The Durham Hotel may raise uncomfortable questions, but the food sure feels good | Food Feature | Indy Week
Pin It

The Durham Hotel may raise uncomfortable questions, but the food sure feels good 

The dining room of The Restaurant at the Durham Hotel

Photo by Alex Boerner

The dining room of The Restaurant at the Durham Hotel

Just before the evening becomes too dark to see the skyline from the roof of The Durham Hotel, our denim-aproned, Converse-wearing waitress walks the carrot dog to our table.

I spent the drive from Raleigh into downtown Durham considering the technique behind a vegetarian hotdog, so I'm now on the edge of my soft, brown leather seat: Is the carrot churned through a meat grinder? Made from bits and bobs? Is the casing shaped from carrot skins?

"This," I whisper, "is not what I expected."

My partner looks at our carrot dog, at me and again at our carrot dog: "It's exactly what I expected," he replies.

This is because it's exactly what it sounds like—a hickory-smoked carrot, stuffed in a squishy bun and topped with green tomato chow-chow (or your choice of sauerkraut, sweet onion relish, ketchup or mustard). It is firm, like a snappy-skinned sausage, and very smoky. As with any good ballpark dog, the bun is buttery, the relish bright.

Much like the broccoli dog at Amanda Cohen's Dirt Candy or the Carrots Wellington at John Fraser's Narcissa, the carrot dog looks at our meat-obsessed culture and laughs. There is an animal-made Butcher's Hot Dog, too, but this carrot is bold and independent, funny and chic, the sort of city slicker your sad, suburban, crisper-drawer vegetables want to become.

The carrot dog is also the last thing you'd expect when you hear the name Andrea Reusing—which you probably have, if you live in the Triangle and follow the area's food scene. Reusing opened her farm-focused, Asian-fusion restaurant, Lantern, in Chapel Hill in 2002. Nine years later, she earned a James Beard Foundation Award for Best Chef: Southeast, and Lantern became a destination on the national map. In a profile with The Huffington Post's Makers project, she explained, "The practical translation of that is that you get to do things that you didn't get to do before."

When Reusing announced that, after more than a decade, she was taking on a second culinary venture, she couldn't stress enough that the two concepts are unrelated—American not Asian, a hotel instead of a stand-alone spot. "This will not be a Lantern in Durham," she told Eater.

Served on the roof, just after the sun slips away, the carrot dog says she wasn't kidding.

Dry-Aged House Blend Burger - PHOTO BY ALEX BOERNER
  • Photo by Alex Boerner
  • Dry-Aged House Blend Burger


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Food Feature

Twitter Activity


Don't waste your $$ here. Horrible service, mediocre food. From what we heard - kitchen turnover is the issue due …

by Ibaguru on Piedmont Restaurant (Durham County)

I don't want to give this place any stars. We were just there this past weekend and the service was …

by Ibaguru on Piedmont Restaurant (Durham County)

Most Read

Most Recent Comments

The people of Cleveland have a different version of a steamer.

by Shocka Kahn on Kaffeinate’s Iced Okinawan Steamer Is Summer’s Answer to Pumpkin Spice (Food Feature)

From Paragraph 3. Quote " It has long filled its labor pools with migrant workers willing to do the dirty, …

by Timothy Oswald on The Immigrants Packing Your Butterball Turkey Are under Threat (Food Feature)

"Might we suggest the next time the author visits a Tiki bar, she could perhaps ask the Bartender to add …

by Jacob Crim on The Triangle's Tropical Drinks Are Mighty Tasty, but Their History Is Harder to Swallow (Food Feature)

If memory serves, the whole lawn culture thing was started by medieval British & French aristocrats, in order to a] …

by Jon Howell on Urban Agriculture Could Potentially Produce a Tenth of the World's Food. Is Grass Really the Best Use for Your Yard? (Food Feature)

Embarrassingly low quality journalism. The author would do well to properly investigate some of the studies that were mentioned and …

by Matthew Christopher on In Carrboro's first kava bar, Krave, getting kozy is hard (Food Feature)

© 2018 Indy Week • 320 E. Chapel Hill St., Suite 200, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation