Poole’s Diner in Gourmet Magazine Again

Poole’s Diner in Gourmet Magazine Again

Royale with Cheese

September, 21, 2009, by Jedidiah

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photo by John Morris

Back in April we mentioned that Poole’s Diner was given a raving review in the Restaurants Now section of Gourmet Magazine’s online edition. This time the local food lovers destination is mentioned as one of “Eleven great places to spend your hard-earned cash in Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia.”

Poole’s Diner
Poole’s was once a true diner. Formica counters. Fried chicken. Meringue pie. When chef Ashley Christensen, formerly of Enoteca Vin, bought it, she kept the bones of the rectangular space but not the rubric. Rashers of bacon gave way to a jelly roll of pork belly. Chess pie begot a chocolate hazelnut chess riff. And Raleigh’s foodies did backflips. 426 S. McDowell St., Raleigh, NC (919-832-4477; Poole’s Diner)

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  • Harry Seaward
    09/22 02:11 PM

    i hate the term foodie, but i love this restaurant.

  • RustedChef
    09/23 07:09 AM

    Ashley Christensen is simply one of the best most creative chefs probably in the whole South East as Gourmet Magazine reviews attest to. I have eaten at Poole’s Diner now six times and it never fails to amaze me how the restaurant has such great food while the service lags behind in quality. Improve that and I think you would have a two month reservation wait for dinner!

  • tc
    09/23 09:52 AM

    I disagree about the service.  Yes, Poole’s food would fit in a more sophisticated ‘fine-dining’ service scenario, but that doesn’t mean it should.  Their service, and atmosphere for that matter, is relaxed and casual, yet maintains professional courtesy and attentiveness.  I’m glad they leave out the pretentiousness of fine dining and focus more on comfort.  That’s a very southern thing, and I like it.

  • sally
    09/23 10:22 AM

    I love Poole’s. But let’s not equate good service with pretentiousness. I think there are issues with the small kitchen that lead to delays in the food getting out in a timely manner. You can have a relaxed and casual experience without having to wait forever for your food (particularly when you’re going to a show). I have heard the same complaint from others, so I know I’m not off-base.

  • tc
    09/23 10:48 AM

    “But let’s not equate good service with pretentiousness”

    That’s not what I did.  I was equating the pomp of fine dining with pretentiousness.  I’m not saying that is always a bad thing, ,but just that it’s not always a necessary for good service. 

    Honestly, I’ve never noticed or suffered from a wait for food there, probably because I’m relaxing, having a drink, and not in the mood to be hurried.  To me, that is what the atmosphere and service embraces, and that is what I like about it.  It also depends on when you go.

    Though, I wouldn’t mind seeing an expansion, with outdoor seating and larger kitchen.

  • arthurb3
    09/23 11:08 AM

    Well, when they move to a new location once the start of the L building begins maybe they will have outdoor seating and a larger kitchen?

  • VaNC
    09/23 05:16 PM

    I agree about the service.  Food is always great, but service is slow slow slow.  Last time I was there, sat at the bar, and spent WAY too much time trying to get a second drink…never got it.  Wanted to be talking to my friend, but kept having to try to flag down ANY server to get a drink, water, anything.  Food often comes out at odd times, or takes forever, it is hard to be casual when the service is slow and inattentive.  They are always nice and apologize when you pay your bill, but that doesn’t make up for it happening so often.

  • Tom from Raleigh
    09/24 10:32 AM

    Everything is cooked to order at Poole’s hence the wait.  We’ve been able to avoid most of this pain by getting there when they open.  I can’t imagine going there during the rush would be very pleasant.

  • MTH
    10/09 12:25 PM

    Foodie Culture.
    Doesn’t just saying it aloud make one want to jump off the roof ?

    “What can I say, I’m a bit of a foodie ! “
    Bang-Zoom.

    Right there next to the metaphor of ‘rock star’.
    Party like a….
    No.

    Kudos to Pooles. Always great. Best burger (Royale) in Raleigh.
    Goodbye, Gourmet Magazine.

  • Jared
    06/30 02:20 PM

    Hands Down the most unique and best atmosphere in Raleigh!  Thanks Ashley… I have been going since the week they opened… before the lines started, and I will continue being a patron.

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