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Restaurant Eden

Posted by DID 8 Feb 2010 8 Comments

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Last week my boss offered to take me out for a nice lunch and I thought I’d take advantage of the opportunity to try the relatively new Restaurant Eden in the space that formerly housed Starlu.

Opened this past summer, Restaurant Eden’s interior feels really similar to Starlu. Though my memory can be a bit fuzzy, I couldn’t point out a single change. On a rainy Friday afternoon, the relatively empty space felt oversized and too fancy for the casual menu.

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Eden’s website claims it strives to offer simple, fresh American cuisine using plenty of local ingredients. The lunch menu was pretty basic: salads, sandwiches and a handful of entrees, all priced at less than $15.

I was a bit taken aback that a restaurant, which prides itself on being “driven by fresh, locally grown produce, meat and seafood,” would tout its pork sandwich as containing Smithfield pork loin. To me, Smithfield implies factory-produced meat that just happens to come from down the road. I could see listing the source of the pork if it came from the pasture-raised pigs of Brinkley Farms or Fickle Creek Farm, but Smithfield? The menu didn’t offer sourcing information for anything else.

I ordered the chicken “pot pie” (their use of quotation marks) and my boss ordered the foccacia grilled cheese with fries. The chicken pot pie, a steaming compote of chicken and veggies piled on a puff pastry square, was warm and comforting on a miserably rainy day. I cleaned my plate. The “foccacia” grilled cheese, though tasty, came on slices of thick, buttered Texas toast. It was gone in 10 minutes; it’s hard to resist melted cheese, bacon and tomato. But it does seem like the waiter should have at least offered a warning about the lack of foccacia.

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Overall Restaurant Eden offered a tasty and affordable lunch in a white-table cloth setting. I’d like to try it again for dinner, where the menu is more interesting and the prices still hover right around the affordable $15 mark.

Restaurant Eden is open 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Mondays, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Fridays, 4 p.m.-10 p.m. on Saturdays, and 10 a.m.-2 pm. Sundays for brunch.

Restaurant Eden

8 Comments »

  • elpea70 said:

    We drove by this place Saturday night and couldn’t even tell if it had opened for business! May have to try it out for Valentines.

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  • JS said:

    Went there for dinner a couple weeks ago – it was good, not great. Overall my party enjoyed our meals, but none of us were thoroughly impressed. I’d go back, but won’t go out of my way to get there.

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  • heidi said:

    After reading about Eden’s and that it was open for brunch, we rushed over Sunday morning at 10am sharp (I even verified the time on their website prior to heading out). Waddya know, they don’t actually open until 11 on Sundays. We knocked on the door to inform them, and that same day the website changed. So FYI. Anyway, we’re looking for a chance to check it out. Durham, for all it’s great food options, could stand a few more Sunday brunch places that open BEFORE 11.

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  • tripncch said:

    I suggested to a friend that we try a locally owned restaurant for our lunch get-together in January. After some thinking, I thought of Restaurant Eden as a place neither of us had been and set out to make a reservation. I called the phone number listed on the website and was met with a recording to let me know that the phone was disconnected. Thinking that maybe they had changed their number and just hadn’t updated their website, I attempted to make a reservation via Open Table through a link on their website. A message appeared that the restaurant was not taking reservations. So I immediately thought, “Uh oh, another restaurant in this space was gone under.” So my friend and I went to another restaurant. One day a couple of weeks later, I was driving by Restaurant Eden’s building at lunchtime and I thought I would swing by to see if the restaurant was indeed closed. To my surprise, the restaurant was open and I mentioned to the host that their phone number was disconnected and that Open Table was no longer taking reservations. He was surprised and said he would look into it. It appeared that others may have thought that the restaurant was closed as during a busy lunch time, only two customers were populating the restaurant. Shortly after this, I called the restaurant to discover that the phone number was now working, but the lack of diners and the seeming disorganization did not encourage my making a reservation. The curse of this location continues!

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    TSQ75 replies on March 3rd, 2010 at 9:46 am:

    wow. what happened to the days of just driving by the place vs relying on a website?

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    belle_vue replies on March 3rd, 2010 at 10:20 am:

    Hmm, calling for reservations seems to be more than just relying on a website.

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  • mh said:

    A website visit + open table + phone call seems like a more than adequate attempt to determine if the place was open. Plus, the location of Eden so obscure that you can’t just “drive by.”

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  • Morgan L. said:

    My husband and I had a disappointing dinner here a while back. I had the grilled cheese which I noticed was also inaccurate on the menu. I don’t think we would go out of our way to return.

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