Andrea Reusing, a chef at Lantern, sits at a table in her restaurant. Reusing is a finalist for a James Beard award for best chef in the Southeast region. Lantern's dishes mix Asian flavors with North Carolina ingredients.
Family weekend is fast approaching, and with it comes the looming promise of a family meal. Don't worry, we have a handy list so that determining the restaurant of choice requires minimal effort.
IF YOUR PARENTS LOVE YOU:
Al’s Burger Shack
Your parents adore you and adore themselves. They have gifted you with ambrosia and shown you a path to paradise. Reminiscent of a roadside burger shack, Al’s specializes in quality burgers and has the awards to show for it. Pros: The best burgers in town. Cons: Few vegetarian options, limited seating compared to the size of the lunch and dinner rushes.
Your parents are obscenely rich, and they’ve been planning their special visit for months. Pros: Voted one of America’s top 50 restaurants, and the chef/owner has won a James Beard Award. Cons: To eat there you need to be richer than God.
Your parents, like Garfield, love Italian food. 411 West features great Italian food for high prices. Pros: A comfortable atmosphere, friendly wait staff, and lasagna. Cons: Not a ton of vegetarian options, bad parking.
IF YOUR PARENTS ARE OK WITH WHAT’S HAPPENING:
Your parents do their best. They might not really understand what you’re majoring in, but they’re determined to support you anyway. Pros: Their menu’s a little bit of everything. PLUS: they have caricatures on their walls. Cons: Best at nothing.
Your parents think they’re more hip than they actually are, but they’re probably pretty cool anyway. Bunsprovides more patty options than Al’s, and feels like a modern take on the 80s nostalgia for the 50s. Pros: Chili cheese fries and Cheerwine milkshakes. Cons: It’s not Al’s, and the veggie burgers are mediocre.
IF YOUR PARENTS WANT YOU OUT: Kurama
Your parents love you, but they’re letting you know you’re on your own. The food is good, but the food is cheap — a necessary stepping stone on the path to understanding how to manage money and still get out of the dining halls every so often. Kurama is a comfy sushi place and one of the few local sources of green tea mochi. Pros: Cheap, great food for the price. Cons: Uncomfortable seating.
Your parents don’t care that you enjoy the food they get you or that’s it particularly healthy for you, but they bother faking a familial bond and take you to what is, strictly speaking, a real restaurant. Pros: Every meal from here on out feels like a gift, and it’s extremely cheap. Cons: Every meal from here on out feels like a gift.
The Subway in Rams Head Market
Your parents might actively hate you. Pros: It’s close to South Campus dorms, so first-years don’t have to walk far. Cons: Literally everything else.
IF YOU WERE RAISED ON A COMMUNE BEFORE YOU DEVELOPED OBJECT PERMANENCE AND DON’T KNOW YOUR PARENTS: Spotted Dog
Tons of vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options (and a pet-friendly setup) make this the perfect restaurant for the person left on the doorstep of an eco-commune before they were old enough to develop object permanence. Pros: Delicious food that can suit a wide variety of diets. Cons: YOU WILL MISS YOUR DOG BY THE TIME YOU’RE DONE EATING.