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Hot List 2008

Watts Grocery, Durham, North Carolina

Address: 1116 Broad Street

Tel: 919-416-5040

Located in Durham's up-and-coming Ninth Street shopping area, Watts Grocery combines easygoing Southern hospitality with farm-fresh fare. Chef-owner and Durham native Amy Tornquist named the restaurant after the beloved candy store of her childhood, and the warm atmosphere—paintings of Bull City landmarks and cheery orange lamps—channels that nostalgia. A longtime champion of local food, Tornquist prepares dishes that highlight the area's best producers: Peregrine Farms greens, Chapel Hill Creamery cheese, and Fowl Attitude poultry. Southern favorites are well worth the wait for a table: You can't go wrong with fried oysters with remoulade, chicken and dumplings topped with cheese biscuits, and Meyer lemon mousse. Night owls fuel up on the unconventional bar menu, which has rib-sticking snacks such as fried chicken gizzards with garlic aioli, hush puppies with basil mayo, and red velvet cupcakes (entrées, $12–$19).

Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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