NOFO @ the Pig opened in December 2001 in the former Piggly Wiggly grocery store in Raleigh’s Five Points neighborhood (2014 Fairview Rd. Raleigh, N.C. 27608.) Upstairs is a great little gift store/food market that has unique items such as kitchen wares and specialty groceries, baby things, linens, bed and bath products, jewelry, pet accessories, gardening items – the list goes on and on.
Downstairs is the Nofo Café, which serves lunch, dinner and Saturday/Sunday brunch. Menu items include soups, salads, sandwiches, entrees, and daily specials. The café has a whimsical and cheerful décor, especially the awesome hand blown glass chandelier encircled with pigs, which hangs from the upstairs market. There is also a small bar area in case you need to wait for a table, which is not unusual in this popular place.
Brad and I have been going to NOFO since it opened. I’ve tried a number of things on the menu and never have been disappointed. We went the other night for dinner, and once again left happy and full.
We each started with a glass of wine. Brad had the McManis Syrah ($6.95) and I had the Picpoul de Pinet ($6.50), a crisp French white that went well with my shrimp and grits entrée. With the wine, our server brought us homemade bread with soft honey butter that was sweet and delicious.
Brad had the prime rib special ($19.95), which came with green beans and roasted potatoes. He has ordered this before, and was wondering if he’d get a huge portion like he did last time. Score! Look at this slab of meat! It was cooked perfectly and did not stay on his plate long!
I decided to try something new, and opted for Bill Neal’s shrimp and grits ($16.95). Another score! Seven nice-sized shrimp sat on some creamy, tasty grits. Lots of crispy bacon, sliced mushrooms and scallions helped finish off the dish. It is now one of my favorite things on the menu, and come to think of it, one of my favorite renditions of shrimp and grits anywhere.
Another favorite menu item of mine is the black bean quesadillas that come with an avocado salad that is out of this world (click here for my previous post on guacamole).
Other recommendations include the meatloaf special offered on Thursday nights, grilled Thai chicken wrap and grilled pimento cheese. NOFO also serves brunch on the weekends – I have not been (yet) but have heard good things about it.
If you go for lunch, try and get there early – NOFO fills up quickly.
- Price: Medium. The nightly specials are a good deal.
- Service: 4.25. Servers have always been pleasant. Have had slow service a couple of times, which appeared to be a staffing issue.
- Food: 4.50. On the whole, quite good.
- Recommend: Absolutely. A nice, locally-owned, eclectic café and gift shop.
- Kid friendly: Yes – there were a number of kids the last time we were there, and the boy sitting next to us was raving about his burger.
1= hater, 2=poor, 3=adequate, 4=above average, 5=superb
Eat, drink and be merry!
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