Category Archives: Morrisville

Review – Cafe Anar in Morrisville

Outside of Cafe Anar
Cafe Anar recently opened in Morrisville.

The other day I was looking for a restaurant located between Cary and RTP so my friend and I could meet for lunch. We decided to try Cafe Anar, a little Mediterranean place in one of the out buildings near the old Factory Shops in Morrisville.

Cafe Anar booths and tables
Inside Cafe Anar in Morrisville.

This quaint restaurant is modestly decorated and has nice little booths and a few tables near a semi-open kitchen. I was surprised to see that the menu was not a true lunch menu. It had a few items that could be eaten for lunch, such as the pita sandwiches and a couple of salads, but most of the menu items are their kabobs.

Green tea with cup of pistachios
Green tea.

My friend started his meal with some Persian green tea, which was served with two sugar cubes and a side of almonds and chopped up dates. It was a very nice presentation.

Lamb kabob with rice
Lamb Kabob.

I decided to try the Kabab-e-Barra (lamb kabob), because I love lamb. The rice was nice and fluffy, mixed with saffron, grilled onions, cucumber and tomatoes. The lamb, however, was a bit over cooked. It was a little tough to eat and to make matters worse, I only had a butter knife to cut the meat with, which didn’t work well at all. The sauce served with the kabob was a nice mint chutney sauce.

Chicken kabob on a pita
Chicken kabob sandwich.

My friend tried the chicken kabob sandwich, which was actually nice and juicy. It looked a lot better than my lamb. I think he really enjoyed his dish.

I feel bad that I didn’t have the time or the money to try any appetizers or dessert, as it did look like they had some interesting options. However, I think they need to develop a menu that is just for lunch at lower prices. I usually do not expect to spend almost $14 on a lunch and that is before tip and tax.

This is a fairly new restaurant that is just starting to figure out its market and what the community would like to see.

Cafe Anar is located at 108 Factory Shops Road in Morrisville. It is open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. for lunch and from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. for dinner Monday through Saturday. You can like its Facebook page to get news from the restaurant.

Cafe Anar on Urbanspoon

Review – Dawat Indian Restaurant in Morrisville

Sign outside of Dawat Indian Restaurant
Dawat Indian Restaurant is in a small shopping center near Davis Drive and McKrimmon Parkway.

I’ve been in the mood for Indian food, so when my friend, Glenn, emailed me and said he’d like to meet for lunch, I suggested a couple of Indian restaurants. We decided to meet at Dawat Indian Restaurant in Morrisville. Dawat is located off of Davis Drive and McKrimmon Highway, in a small shopping center. If you blink, you might miss it!

buffet line of Indian dishes
The lunch buffet has many interesting dishes to choose from.

We arrived early, so we were the first customers of the day. We decided to do the buffet because that way we could try several dishes at one time, and, of course, most people order from the buffet at lunch anyway.

The restaurant has been open for about five months and features Northern Indian cuisine. I started with a samosa, which is a large fried ball with potatoes, peas and some spices inside the ball, and an aloo tikki, which is a little fried patty of lentils and potatoes and, I think, some spinach.

A plate of Indian food
This was my plate of food from the buffet line.

For my main dishes, I tried the vegetarian biryani, which is yellow rice with carrots, potatoes and peas. The daal nakhni is a dish with  lentils and a very soupy gravy. It’s great for your health and for the tastebuds. I had the shahi paneer, which is chunks of fried cheese in a tomato cashew gravy, and is very good. The creamy gravy is one of the hallmarks of Northern Indian cuisine. I also had the chicken tikka, which was chunks of chicken that had been cooked in a tandoor oven, which is like a small clay oven. The chicken was really tender. It was served with a creamy tomato-based sauce. I don’t want to even think about how many calories are in that dish, but it was really good! Lastly, I had the chef’s special, which was my favorite dish of the day. It was pieces of eggplant and okra, that were stir fried. It did not have a creamy sauce, but was very flavorful. Don’t expect any of these dishes to be too spicy as they are on the buffet line, so everything is made to a more mild palate. If you like real spicy, I’m sure you can order off the menu and get something with lots of spice.

Four pieces of the garlic kulcha bread
The garlic kulcha bread was fabulous!

Of course, no lunch would be complete without bread and dessert! The waiter served us some garlic kulcha, which is an unleavened bread with lots of garlic, parsley and some butter. Wow, was it great!  For dessert, I tried the Gulab Jamun, which is like a fried doughnut hole with a sugar water syrup. It was warm and moist.

Dessert was two of the gulab jamun balls
Dessert from the buffet line.

If you like Northern Indian cuisine, consider trying Dawat in Morrisville. I think you will be delighted with the food. The dinner prices seemed a bit on the high side for me, but it is a great place to dine for lunch.

Dawat Indian Restaurant is located at 3735 Davis Drive, #105 near the Triangle Wine shop. They are open for lunch Monday-Friday from 11am-2pm, on Saturday-Sunday from noon-3pm. For dinner they are open Monday-Thursday & Sunday from 5pm-10pm and on Friday-Saturday from 5pm-10:30pm.
Dawat Indian Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Review – Martin’s Curry Rice in Morrisville

 Unfortunately, Martin’s Curry Rice has closed. It was a good concept, perhaps before its time.

sign outside Martin Curry Rice
Martin’s Curry Rice is located in Morrisville.

Sometimes you want to quick meal that’s inexpensive. But most of us don’t want to resort to the typical fast food place because we don’t want all the processed food. One nice alternative is Martin’s Curry Rice in Morrisville. The restaurant is located off of Highway 54 and Cary Parkway near the Carmike Theater, next to the Amante Pizza place.

Martin’s idea came from him visiting Japan, where he saw many people selling curry rice near the railroad tracks and on the streets. Martin realized that Americans like to have lots of choices, so he set up his operation more like a Mongolian grill. You chose the ingredients and which sauce you want, and then the chef cooks up your meal.

Many of the ingredients are from the Western Wake Farmer’s Market.

When you first enter, you need to select whether you want a small or large bowl (most small bowls are $4 and the large are $7) and you pick your protein and then your vegetables. It was Meatless Monday for me, so I got the vegetarian bowl which consists of six vegetables. Five of the six were ingredients from the Western Wake Farmer’s Market, a major plus in my book, especially for a place that’s basically fast food! Next, you select which sauce you want. I got the yellow curry sauce, which was described as the most mild. Not being familiar with their sauces, I thought I might be conservative and try the least spicy one. I also ordered a vegetarian samosa to see how their appetizers were.

young lady cooking
After you pick your ingredients and sauce, it is cooked and served to you.

My friend got the large bowl with chicken and several vegetables with the green sauce, which was described as a medium spicy sauce. You also get to decide if you want white or brown rice to go in your bowl. Then the cooks stir fry your ingredients and serve them to you.

The samosa was not fried long enough, so it was undercooked. The lentils and curry inside the samosa were tasty though. Again, for a quick, cheap meal, it was decent enough.

samosa, small bowl of vegetables and rice
Veggie bowl and a samosa.

The bowl I had included sweet potato, kale, rutabaga, corn and broccoli. Alas, for my taste, the sauce was too bland. I should have asked to taste them beforehand. I think next time I will get the red curry sauce. However, the ingredients were fresh and the small bowl was a good size for lunch. It also came with a side item. I had the tamarind chutney sauce, which was a great dipping sauce for the samosa.

large bowl with chicken and vegetables
Large bowl of chicken and vegetables with rice.

My friend’s large bowl came with a side of riata which is a yogurt sauce with chunks of cucumber and onions. He said the green sauce was not spicy, but had a good taste of cilantro.

All in all, Martin’s is a cheap, yet healthy meal and you can eat it quickly. I admire their commitment to including ingredients from the farmer’s market and still keeping their prices in a reasonable range.

Martin’s Curry Rice is located at 9549 Chapel Hill Rd in Morrisville. The restaurant also has a food truck. You can follow the truck by following their Twitter feed: @MartinCurryRice.

Recap of Reviews on Eat It, NC

a collage of photos from the reviews I did at Eat It North Carolina
Some of the many places I visited last year.

For several months I was writing reviews on Eat It, North Carolina, thanks to Charlie Brinson. He has been a great mentor and I so appreciate having been able to write entries on his blog. But it was making me feel really guilty that I was writing so much on someone else’s blog. That was one reason I decided to branch out on my own. So, in order to entice you to check out his blog, I’m going to give a little recap of the reviews I did on Eat It, North Carolina. I will, on occasion, still be doing some guest reviews on Charlie’s blog.

Bear Creek
The Old Place
Southern Supreme

Spotted Dog

Chapel Hill
Bean and Barrel
Maple View Farm Country Store

The Blue Taj
Thai House

Beyu Caffe
Chubby’s Tacos
Dos Perros
The Federal
The Old Havana Sandwich Shop
Williams Gourmet Kitchen
Worth It Cafe

Pepper’s Market and Sandwich Shop

Angelina’s Kitchen
Donna Bellas
Granary at Fearrington
Greek Kouzina
Pittsboro Pepper Festival 2011
S&Ts Soda Shoppe

Steele Street Cafe