3921 Fayetteville Street
Open Tuesday through Saturday
From $3.75 for a bar-b-q sandwich to $10.99 for seafood gumbo.
My entrée with two sides and hush puppies was $4.99 at lunch.
I finally stopped in at the bright yellow and red restaurant that always catches my eye while driving down Fayetteville. You know the one, with the claim that “We Feed Durham,” on one side of the sign and “Deuteronomy CH8V3″ on the other.
Yep, that’s the place. It’s Dillard’s Bar-B-Q and they’ve got some fun murals on the side of the restaurant that add to their charm, in addition to being a restaurant recognized by the city for their contributions to the Durham food scene over the past 50 years.
Dillard’s serves food up cafeteria-style.
They have two rows of booths and tables in an adjoining room and what looks to be a side room for large parties also.
Intriguing options on their menu list include chitterlings by the cup, pigs’ feet, and a croaker sandwich in addition to their mustard-based bar-b-q and seafood options. There were also bags of pigs’ skin for sale on top of the cases and a nice looking red velvet pound cake that I got thisclose to ordering. I opted for a smothered chicken breast with macaroni and cheese and candied yams.
All their entrees come with a trio of hush puppies. Those hush puppies were delightful and fluffy, possibly the best I’ve had yet. The chicken was pretty good, with flavorful gravy and plenty of meat. Somehow, it seems like they got extra skin on the bird, because every time I thought I had eaten a pound of skin, another biteful would show up. Good, but definitely fatty and I’m not sure what I think about soggy breading, but I assume that’s all part of the smothered chicken tradition. The mac and cheese had a creamy cheese sauce, not too thin or too thick, and there were still some cheesy tendrils apparent when I’d pull my fork away, which is something I enjoy. The candied yams were divine. There was some sort of apple involved, or I just convinced myself there was because it tasted so much like eating an apple pie. Lots of cinnamon and other spices, perhaps some maple, and extra sweet.
What struck me most about Dillard’s was that everyone there seemed to know everyone else and the owners and employees greeted each person who sat down to eat. I’d say, in this Californian’s opinion, that Dillard’s Bar-B-Q is a great example of that legendary Southern hospitality with pretty good food to boot.