2011 Best Triangle Places to Dine
DINING IN OR OUT
Along with more traditional kid's menu entree items, Red Robin offers children a choice of a chicken, turkey, veggie or BOCA (soy) burger as well as the standard beef patty; grilled chicken on a stick; or a chicken and cheese quesadilla. Locations in Apex, Cary, Durham and Wake Forest; www.redrobin.com.
Elmo's Diner is a locally owned restaurant that serves homemade food and breakfast all day. All sandwiches on the kids' menu come with a choice of small fries, carrot sticks, applesauce or raisins. 200 N. Greensboro St., Carrboro; 776 Ninth St., Durham; http://elmosdiner.com.
El Rodeo offers traditional Mexican and Tex-Mex dishes along with house specialties. Try the agua de horchata drink, made from rice. 2400 Hillsborough St.; 4112 Pleasant Valley Rd., Raleigh; www.elrodeoraleigh.com.
Moe's Southwest Grill menu options include burritos, quesadillas, tacos and more with unique names like The Funk Meister taco and Billy Barou nachos. With 25 toppings, you can customize your selection. Locations in Raleigh,
Durham, Cary and Fuquay-Varina; www.moes.com.
Pei Wei offers options from Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Thai and Vietnamese cuisine, with all dishes less than $10. Some signature items include Mandarin Kung Pao and Thai Coconut Curry. Locations in Cary and Raleigh; www.peiwei.com.
Goodberry's offers its famous frozen custard in vanilla and chocolate, plus daily and seasonal specials. Ingredients include blueberries, macadamia nuts, English walnuts, mocha and more. Choose a mix-in to create your own special Carolina Concrete. Locations in Raleigh, Cary, Wake Forest, Durham and Garner; www.goodberrys.com.
Honorable Mentions - Cold Stone Creamery: Check for locations in Apex, Cary, Chapel Hill, Garner, Raleigh and Smithfield; www.coldstonecreamery.com.
Locopops: Locations in Durham, Chapel Hill and Raleigh; www.ilovelocopops.com.
Maple View Dairy Farm: 6900 Rocky Ridge Rd., Hillsborough; 100 E. Weaver St., Carrboro; 525 Hampton Pointe Blvd., Hillsborough; www.mapleviewfarm.com.
Mellow Mushroom offers a variety of pizzas made with fresh ingredients to enjoy in an atmosphere of colorful and funky art. The restaurants also serve munchies, salads, calzones, and grilled and deli hoagies. 410 Blackwell St., Durham; 601 W. Peace St., Raleigh; and 2125 S. Main St., Wake Forest; www.mellowmushroom.com.
CiCi's has a buffet of salads and pasta as well as desserts and, of course, pizza. The carry-out menu includes wings, dippin' sticks, cinnamon rolls and more. Locations in Apex, Cary, Durham, Raleigh, Wake Forest, Clayton, Knightdale and Smithfield. www.cicispizza.com.
Place for a Picnic
Duke Gardens occupies 55 acres and is recognized for its landscape design. Public programs for kids and families include workshops for preschoolers, drop-in programs, activity backpack rentals and more. Located at 420 Anderson St., Durham; www.hr.duke.edu/dukegardens.
Honorable Mentions - Pullen Park: 520 Ashe Ave., Raleigh; www.raleighnc.gov. (See Park/Playground for details.)Bond Park: 801 High House Rd., Cary; www.townofcary.org.