Poole’s Downtown Diner: Local Flavor

Where: Poole’s Downtown Diner, 426 S. McDowell Street, Raleigh, NC

GF Menu: No. As their website explains, “The menus are inspired by the season and its many offerings. As the season changes, at some points on a daily basis, so do our chalkboard menus.”

What I ate: Yellowfin Tuna (caught off the NC coast that day) with Lentils + a side of Fried Green Tomatoes

How to order it: When I asked the server which menu items listed on the chalkboards were Gluten-Free, he assured me that they would help me select something safe and that whenever a modification was possible, they would do this for me.

I was drawn to the fried green tomatoes, so I asked the server whether the batter contained wheat flour. After checking with the kitchen, he said the batter does contain flour, but that they would modify the order for me and dredge them in pure cornmeal.

As for the fish, I asked whether there were any extra seasonings or sauces which may contain gluten and the server assured me that this dish was Gluten-Free.

What it looks like:

Poole's Yellowfin Tuna

North Carolina Yellowfin tuna, lightly seared, served on a bed of warm lentils, and sprinkled with finely chopped mediterranean black olives.  I like my tuna almost raw, so I asked them to “just kind of wave it over the pan, please.” The kitchen prepared this fish expertly. Seared on the outside, it was tender and pink on the inside. The lentils were flavorful, with a surprising crunch to them due to the addition of very tiny bits of carrot and celery. The black olives on top of the fish provided a gently salty snap to each bite.

The fried green tomatoes (not pictured here due to a natural phenomenon called “spontaneous consumption”) were exceptional. Cut in thick wedges, dredged in cornmeal, and fried in a light oil, they were neither too salty nor too green. They came with a delightful aioli sauce served on the side.

Green Note: There are no tangible menus! This means fewer paper products are used. Poole’s commits to providing a variety of local and seasonal ingredients within their ever-changing chalkboard menus. From their website:

Whenever possible, we work with local growers and artisan producers to showcase their craft, while practicing our own.  We are proud to be a part of a community that recognizes the importance and value of supporting the small family farm.

Poole's Diner on Urbanspoon


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