2818 Chapel Hill Road
Gregoria’s Kitchen is a Cuban restaurant in a historic home/restaurant just south of where Chapel Hill Road crosses 15-501. There is not much parking in back so park at the Yates Baptist Church across the street or use their complimentary valet. First and foremost, Gregoria’s has a wonderful atmosphere.
The manager greeted us warmly, and an electronic harp player provided lively background music. Loads of happy patrons relaxed in welcoming red- and gold-toned rooms on the restaurant’s bottom floor. Without a reservation on a busy Friday night, we were seated upstairs at the hallway tables, which are less attractive.
The manager, however, shared that the rest of the rooms in the top floor were undergoing renovation and would be open for dining in about a week or two if all goes well. So likely, it’ll all have the same cozy feel of the downstairs soon.
For soda drinkers, they serve imported cokes in 8 oz. bottles. I tried the house cocktail called the Hemingway ($8), made with grapefruit juice, light rum, and dark rum infused with the house grenadine.
I’m not sure what infusing the dark rum contributes to the drink, but it was a nice blend of flavors, almost too sweet with the grenadine but the rum still came through.
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Old Havana Sandwich Shop
310 East Main Street
I’ve been twice now to Old Havana Sandwich Shop, and it’s a wonderful choice for lunch or coffee. The owners are always super welcoming and happy to share their offerings of good Cuban sandwiches. I am not a Cuban sandwich traditionalist—if you are, you’ll be horrified to learn that I ordered both my sandwiches without any mustard at all, so don’t count on me to tell you whether this meets your authenticity credentials or not. But it definitely meets my delicious credentials, and that’s all I ask for.
Following the smart choice of many local restaurants and cafes, Old Havana gets their bread from Guglhupf, and the French rolls crisp up wonderfully when pressed. They also do coffee really well. My double cubano
was absolutely delicious and sweetened just right for me to add it to my list of favorite strong, yet palatable, caffeine fixes in the area. It’s pictured with a dulce de leche mantecadito from the South Durham Confectionary Company. I thought that was steeply priced at $0.75 for such a small cookie, but it was pretty tasty with lots of butter. The dulce de leche flavor was lost in the mix, however.
I’ve also had their double café con leche, and that drink was just as well-prepared as the cubano.
The Old Havana Sandwich Shop gets major points for their coffee quality.
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