Mar 03 2013

First Take: City Beverage in Durham for Cheap Hipster Eats!

Interior at City Beverage in Durham, Foodalicous Follies


Over the years I heard the legendary stories about City Beverage, its amazing nachos and glorious selection of beers. But since I don’t live in the Woodcroft area, there really wasn’t much to take me out this way. As luck would have it, I finally had an excuse to visit this popular Durham eatery. Paired along with the Lava Lounge, City Beverage seems to be a bit of a hang-out for local students and professionals. Out front a large cement patio is dotted with metal patio tables. Inside it takes on a different feel with a large bar, open and high ceiling dining space, perfect for a casual comfortable feel. There is definitely a hipster vibe to the staff but thankfully the service is better than say, the Federal downtown. On the flip-side of City Beverage is the Lava Lounge with hi-boys, small tables and a pool table. Grabbing a seat at the bar, I scanned the menu and it looks like eclectic upscale, pub-grub. I go with the famous chicken nachos along with the spicy pork dumplings.


Spicy pork dumplings at City Beverage in Durham, Foodalicious Follies


A tray goes by, quarter sheet aluminum COVERED in nachos and I’m thinking to myself, oh my gosh, what did I do?! Eventually my food comes out and let’s just say it was puh-lenty. The dumplings was a generous serving of seven crisped won-tons and a side of peanut sauce. My nachos were big but only a large platter-ful. Overall the food was ok, but not really that impressive. The dumplings were more like fried wontons with a bit of a texture-less filling. The side peanut sauce was ok but not very nutty. Same deal with the nachos, they were covered in beans, tender sweet chicken and a smattering of cheese. Definitely spent a bit too much time under the broiler given the deep-brown color. So what can I say but City Beverage-Lava Lounge is an ok neighborhood spot in my book. Service was fine but a tinge disaffected. And the food was ok but it just felt like large quantities put together a bit sloppily. If I were in the hood, I’d stop by City Beverage from time to time but definitely wouldn’t go out of my way for what could have been a GREAT experience. But I’m sure I’ll give ‘em another shot soon!


Chicken nachos at City Beverage in Durham, Foodalicious Follies

City Beverage
4810 Hope Valley Road
Durham, NC 27707

Menu at City Beverage
Location on Google maps
City Beverage on Urbanspoon

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