Raleigh has a pretty extensive greenway that can be accessed by bicycle or by foot. The paved path is built over the sewer systems behind some neighborhoods so it can be a little smelly sometimes but the ride is nice on a bike. Part of the greenway is really close to where I live and I can take the path down to Shelly Lake, a small man made lake that has paddle boats, canoes and lots of ducks and geese. For a map of the Greenway go to
this site. Oh, and they just added a new bridge to the system that spans across part of I-440. If I make it down there I'll add a picture to my travelogues.
My favorite two spots to dine...
My favorite two spots to dine are in Chapel Hill. There are lots of good ones, but these two have a certain character to go with the good food. Charlie's Chinese Restaurant and Dip's Country Kitchen are run by two local celebrities.
Mama Dip (Mildred Council) has appeared on national TV a few times for her good homestyle country cooking. Charlie 'Two Shoes' serves some of the freshest Chinese food around, and he displays lots of Americana to honor the U.S. marines who befriended him in his home of Tsingtao, China during WWII and eventually helped him get to the U.S. I love the Mongolian beef, lemon chicken, and kung-pao chicken at Charlie's. The Mongolian beef has lots of green onions. Mama Dip serves up good pork chops, chicken livers, and bread pudding, but really it is hard to find anything not good at her place.
518 Italian Cafe
It is a...
518 Italian Cafe
It is a sister restaurant of the 411 Italian Cafe in Chapel Hill (on 411 W. Franklin St), both serve the same menu. 518 is much larger a place than 411.
Interesting yet simple Italian flavor deco, with ceilings painted as a Carolina blue sky with clouds (yes, free clouds!).
Many families have dinner here together with young DINKs.
It has two floors, each floor has its own bar, kitchen etc. Second floor seems quieter than the first one, if one has a table next to their ''balcany' looking railing, one can have a birdview of the downstairs.
On Saturday, they open at 5 pm for dinner, go there early to enjoy the beautiful afternoon sunshine shining through the huge window over your table.
The most unique table was the one 3/4 towards the second floor on the side of the stairway. It is an isolated place of its own, sitting two people, the afternoon light really makes it a very romantic setting, however, the restaurant could make it more appealing.
I will attach a photo here soon. Although it is an Italian restaurant, it also serves dishes from other cuisine such as Thai (curry dishes) etc. The food is average, not bad.
- Wood fired focaccia bread - with choice of herbed artichocke dip, salsa fresca or sun-dried tomato artichoke spread
- Whild mushroom poltenta- assorted wild mushrooms pan seared with fresh rosemary, mushroom broth and cashewnut butter. Served over baked poltenta and topped with fresh parmesan.
Chef's special pasta salad - house greens tossed with rotini pasta, artichoke hearts, pimento, grilled chicken, prosciutto and mozzarella in a creamy Italian vinaigrette
Pasta and Etc
- whole wheat fetticine - with wood grilled chicken, fresh mushrooms, marsala, rosemary butter and garlic cream sauce, topped with fresh parmesan
- Chicken marsala - chicken breasts sauteed with mushrooms in a dark chicken marsala sauce, served with over roasted potatoes and fresh vegetables
- Wood grilled shrimp poltenta - grilled marinated shrimp served on cheese polenta with mushrooms, leeks and prosciutto di parma, topped with parmesan
Desserts (all made fresh in house)
- Tiramisu torte - Layers of sponge cake, esperesso custard and fresh whipped cream with bittersweet chocolate sauce (could be also with some Brandy if you prefer)
- Dylan's Belgian dark chocolate fudge cake - moist, fudgey chocolate cake served with white chocolate chunk ice cream and raspberry sauce
This is a pretty neat place, that I'm sad to say I haven't had a chance to explore much yet. The museum itself calls itself the "first interactive museum about the world". A few weeks ago they hosted a Tsunami benefit and had presentations about the cultures of people in the affected areas. Wish I could have gone.
They have an IMAX theater inside plus many exhibits about world cultures. They also host afterschool and summer camps for kids. Definitely worth checking out. I think they had Harry Potter 3 at the IMAX theater here for a while.
About my hometown
I've lived in Raleigh all my life- that is, from 1985-2003. In that time, the area has grown substantially and become incorporated with surrounding towns in the Triangle area. Although the city itself isn't much of a vacation spot, it's less than a day's drive from the beach, the mountains, Biltmore Estate, Tryon Palace, the Wright Brothers Memorial, and a waterpark. Check this page often to find tips for your trip from someone who knows the area well.