Monday, July 21, 2008

looking good in the neighborhood

At the risk of sounding like a lackey for the Durham Chamber of Commerce, I want to talk about our great neighborhood. Our street is actually on the border between three neighborhoods – Old West Durham (where we actually reside), Watts-Hillandale, and Walltown. Our local weekly newspaper, The Independent, publishes a list of The Best of the Triangle. Here is everything that made the list that is within walking distance (I’m talking three or four blocks here) of our house.

Best of the Triangle: 2008 Readers' Choice winners
The Independent Weekly, June 2008

Best local bookstores
The Regulator (finalist) -- awesome
Nice Price Books (finalist)

Best hair salon in Durham County
Funky Monkey (finalist) – Ginger’s place

Best jewelry store in Durham County

The Bicycle Chain
Best bike shop

Best store to buy eyewear

The Music Loft (finalist)
Best place to buy music gear

Dogstar Tattoo (finalist)
Best tattoo studio
Best place to get pierced

Whole Foods
Best retail cheese selection
Best green business
Best place to people watch (finalist)
Best outdoor dining in Durham County
Best business lunch
Best salad
Best comfort food (finalist)
Best brunch/breakfast (finalist)
Best bagel (finalist)

Sam's Quik Shop
Best retail beer selection(finalist)

Ninth Street Dance
Best dance studio

White Star Laundry & Cleaners (finalist)
Best dry cleaner

Mad Hatter's Bakeshop -- amazing
Best birthday cakes(finalist)
Best desserts (finalist)
Best bakery (finalist)

Best chef in Durham County
Ben Barker @ Magnolia Grill
Amy Tornquist @ Watts Grocery (finalist) --my chef!
Tim Lyons @ Blu Seafood (finalist)

Watts Grocery -- my restaurant!
Best new restaurant in Durham County
Best waitstaff in Durham County (tie)

Blu Seafood & Bar
Best waitstaff in Durham County (finalist)
Best Caribbean cuisine (finalist)

Magnolia Grill
Best waitstaff in Durham County (finalist)

Cosmic Cantina
Best super cheap meal
Best meal after 10 p.m. (finalist)

Elmo's Diner -- Ginger's fave
Best children's menu
Best waitstaff in Durham County (tie)
Best comfort food (finalist)
Best brunch/breakfast (finalist)

Bruegger's Bagels
Best bagel

Best desserts (finalist)

Dain's Place -- I can vouch for all of these
Best burger in Durham County
Best neighborhood bar in Durham County (finalist)
Best place to watch televised ACC in Durham County (finalist)
Best bar food in Durham County (finalist)

Vin Rouge
Best French cuisine (finalist)

Blue Corn Café
Best Mexican/Latin American cuisine in Durham County (finalist)

Dale's Indian Cuisine
Best Indian cuisine (finalist)

The Green Room
-- even Ella can go in
Best place to shoot pool
From burgers to bicycles, tattoos to tiramisu, with all kinds of ethnic food, coffee shops, an old school pool hall, and a great pub with a great burger, all I can say is I love where I live.


P. S. -- There's a new recipe.


Joan Calvin said...

OMG, The Magnolia Grill I think is the old Mayolas. You're too young to have known this place--smoky pizza place where the kids from Duke went to dance, eat pizza and make out. I went back for a reunion and it had transformed itself from what I remembered into an upscale restaurant.

beth said...

Having actually partaken of the food at Watts Grocery, I can say that yes, indeed, it's really good. Friendly waitstaff, although our waiter seemed a bit perplexed at why a bedraggled woman with five hungry, frumpy children would interpret a drive to Florida to eat there, rather than, say, McDonalds.

But he served us with a smile.

Congrats on stumbling into a very cool place, indeed.

Karyn said...

I think one of the things I like the most about you and Ginger is you hopped right in and took Durham in your hands and made it yours. I remember Ginger saying, "I found a place I want to go for a hair cut, it's called the 'funky monkey!'" I love that!

Real Live Preacher said...

Oh man, I am so SICK of the damn suburbs. awful. It's easy to get sucked into the vortex of cheap and crappy living out here. then your kids are in school and don't want to move and you're in debt and the next thing you know, this is your life.

can I come visit? After the kids leave home. if they ever do. ;-)

Liz said...

Hi, Milton. I've been reading your blog for a long time (food and religion, what's more fun) and was excited that you'd moved to Durham. I'm even more excited that you're living in and loving OWD. Maybe we'll pass on 9th St some day and I'll say hi.