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13 comfort food dishes in Raleigh you need to try

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If frigid temperatures have you seeking shelter, look no further than these thirteen comfort foods from local Raleigh restaurants to provide you a gastronomic respite from Old Man Winter.

Macaroni and Cheese (Macaroni au Gratin) from Poole’s Diner
Macaroni and Cheese (Macaroni au Gratin) from Poole’s Diner http://www.ac-restaurants.com/pooles/

Macaroni and Cheese (Macaroni au Gratin) from Poole’s Diner

A trio of cheeses (Gruyere, Parmesan and white cheddar cheese) combine under the broiler to create this classic,gooey comfort dish from Chef Ashley Christensen’s celebrated restaurant, Poole’s Diner. The oozing, bubbling creation is a must-try for any Raleighite.

2. Menudo from Fonda y Birrieria Jalisco
2. Menudo from Fonda y Birrieria Jalisco flickr

2. Menudo from Fonda y Birrieria Jalisco

Not just the name of a famous boy band, menudo has often been hailed as the best hangover cure. A traditional Mexican crimson-colored brothy soup made with tripe, a warm and spicy bowl of menudo from Fonda y Birriera Jalisco may make you forget about the below freezing temperatures outside.

3. Chicken pot pie from PieBird
3. Chicken pot pie from PieBird annie chen

3. Chicken pot pie from PieBird

Pie may have reached its peak in popularity two years ago, but traditional comfort foods like chicken pot pie will likely never disappear. PieBird serves a traditional version of chicken pot pie made with chicken, potato, vegetables that come immersed in a garlic and creamy gravy.

4. Chicken noodle soup and chili from Lilly’s Pizza
4. Chicken noodle soup and chili from Lilly’s Pizza flickr

4. Chicken noodle soup and chili from Lilly’s Pizza

Lilly’s Pizza may be famous for its pies, but the made-from-scratch soups at Lilly’s Pizza are good enough to write home about as well. Whether a bowl of chicken noodle soup or chili, or its vegan black bean soup, the assortment of soups are comforting enough to elicit the familiar “mmm...good” seal of approval.

5. Schnitzel sandwich from Capital Club 16
5. Schnitzel sandwich from Capital Club 16 flickr

5. Schnitzel sandwich from Capital Club 16

Though not a traditional Southern comfort dish, schnitzel--a fried pork cutlet--may be the hearty antidote to combating freezing temperatures outside. Capital Club 16 in downtown Raleigh offers schnitzel in a sandwich with a lemon caper aioli and your choice of a side.

6. Tonkotsu ramen on Sunday night from Sono
6. Tonkotsu ramen on Sunday night from Sono flicr

6. Tonkotsu ramen on Sunday night from Sono

Real ramen has to be slurped to be believed. Sono only offers its take on tonkotsu ramen on Sunday nights, so you will have to belly up for one of its limited bowls on the last part of the weekend. Once you take one sip of the unctuous broth, you probably won’t want to stop.

7. Meatloaf from Beasley’s Chicken + Honey
7. Meatloaf from Beasley’s Chicken + Honey flickr

7. Meatloaf from Beasley’s Chicken + Honey

Not your standard meatloaf slathered in Heinz 57, Beasley’s Chicken + Honey’s take on the classic comfort dish is elevated to the next level. Drizzled with a charred onion gravy, the tender and juicy meatloaf is made from Berkshire pork shoulder, and comes accompanied with fluffy whipped Yukon Gold potatoes.

8. Gumbo from Battistella’s
8. Gumbo from Battistella’s flickr

8. Gumbo from Battistella’s

On a cold and bleak day, there may no better food than a hot, steaming bowl of gumbo. Battistella’s offers their version of the Cajun and creole specialty at its downtown Raleigh restaurant in City Market.

9. Chilaquiles verdes from Gonza Tacos y Tequila
9. Chilaquiles verdes from Gonza Tacos y Tequila flickr

9. Chilaquiles verdes from Gonza Tacos y Tequila

Fried tortillas drizzled with a tangy tomatillo sauce, topped with chicken, crema and queso fresco: it’s a decadent and sinfully wonderful amalgamation of food ripe for a day indoors. And luckily, Gonza Tacos y Tequila serves its version of the traditional Mexican dish every single day.

10. Grilled cheese sandwich from Relish Cafe
10. Grilled cheese sandwich from Relish Cafe Relish Cafe's Facebook page

10. Grilled cheese sandwich from Relish Cafe

Not beholden to the plain old grilled cheese, Relish Cafe offers six different types of the childhood favorite sandwich. The Vegetarian comes with pimento cheese and cucumber and porcine seekers can look towards The Carolinian, a grilled cheese that comes built with pulled pork and coleslaw.

11. Pho from Pho Far East
11. Pho from Pho Far East flickr

11. Pho from Pho Far East

While many crave chicken noodle soup when under the weather, some may desire its Vietnamese counterpart--pho. A noodle soup made with a rich beefy broth, meat and herb garnishes, pho has culled a legion of fanatics around the world. See why for yourself at Pho Far East.

12. Chicken and dumplings from Mandolin
12. Chicken and dumplings from Mandolin flickr

12. Chicken and dumplings from Mandolin

Rooted in the working class of the South, chicken and dumplings is as emblematic as a classic Southern comfort dish as they come. Mandolin gives its version an upscale makeover, using a braised chicken and the unconventional inclusion of brussels sprouts.

13. Shrimp and grits from Glenwood Grill
13. Shrimp and grits from Glenwood Grill flickr

13. Shrimp and grits from Glenwood Grill

Shrimp and grits used to be the breakfast of champions for coastal fisherman, but now this Southern dish is served throughout the day. Served with andouille sausage and crimini mushrooms, the shrimp and grits at Glenwood Grill may be the hearty ticket to warm you up on a cold day.

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