Poole's Diner - 919-832-4477
Description, Map, Review & Recommendations
Poole's Diner calls itself a diner but it is not. This is an upscale, gourmet restaurant but you would never know it by its exterior. Sorta like Superman. The Superman in this situation is Superwoman/chef, Ashley Christensen, a nationally renowned chef and James Beard nominee. Ashley Christensen was the chef of Enoteca Vin - a deeply missed Raleigh Restaurant.
Poole's Diner is a place to be experienced. The ambiance is retro-cool, diner chic, and stylish.
There are no menus here, just large black chalkboards. The chalkboard menus allow you to mill around and talk to people as you decide what incredible food you are going to order.
The menus are seasonal - so they are always changing according to the local markets. We recommendation you get there early, as the popular dishes get crossed of the boards quickly.
Because it's "diner-ish" it can get a little loud in the evenings. The noise may be conversation but I think its people putting their heads on their tables and moaning at the deliciousness they are eating.
As the menu changes all the time, it's hard to tell you what will be there when you go, but this is comfort food at its best.
The tastes and the flavors that go into this fare are creative and incredible. We love the braised pork shoulder, sweet corn veloute, buttermilk fried chicken, pork carnitas, and a soft-shell crab dish I forget the name of. (I start to moan with the soft-shell crab).
One staple there - and a MUST try - is the mac & cheese. To die for! It is the baked kind with the crusty cheese on top and rich gooey cheese and macaroni filling. It is what mac & cheese was born to be.
It can take time to get some of the entrees because they are cooked when ordered. So, knowing that, you can just relax and enjoy the ambience.
For dessert there are lots of goodies but I love the cookie plate - a plate of homemade cookies! Gotta love it.
Oh by the way - Chef Ashley makes her own butter - who does that! I love butter.
One other aside - the women's bathroom is very cool. It has all the fluff stuff we love, q-tips, nail files, make up pads, hairspray...classy.
This is Southern comfort food at its finest so dress nice. Poole's Diner is gourmet food and priced accordingly.
As someone said: "This is what diners are like in heaven."
Other Downtown Raleigh Restaurants we like include The Pit, Tir na nOg, and Sitti.
If you have questions about dining in Raleigh or any North Raleigh Homes
Driving Directions: Poole's Diner is located at 426 South McDowell Street. From I-40/440 and Wade Ave. Turn east on Wade; merge onto Capital Blvd/Downtown Blvd; Continue onto N Dawson; Turn left at W Cabarrus St; take the 1st left onto S McDowell St; Poole's Diner will be on the left.
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