If you spend a lot of time on S. Glenwood, you may not entirely think about visiting Five Points which lies just a half mile north of party central. Quaint, cute and tidy, Five Points hosts a bunch of little shops and restaurants that fall into the category of old school Raleigh to me. Lilly's, Hayes Barton Cafe, and the Rialto along with the somewhat hidden NOFO! While you'll certainly notice the fluorescent NOFO sign at night, during the day the narrow front and back entrance to this restaurant can easily escape the eye. And that's a shame because it's a slice of Southern culture that should not be overlooked. Inside, NOFO is a two-level space with a restaurant-cafe in the lower level, retail shop on the top level with a handful of tables for overflow diners. We stopped in for brunch as a group of Yelpers and take note, NOFO serves brunch on both Saturday and Sunday which is nice if you need a mimosa before noon time, blue-law restrictions!
They've got a nice assortment of breakfast and lunch sandwiches on the brunch menu, I went with the Coastal Benedict: two poached eggs with country ham over crab cakes and covered with hollandaise. Our table of eight ordered quite a few menu items so I got to see a lot of what NOFO had to offer, I was really tempted by the barbeque hash plate but maybe next time! My Coastal benedict comes out and it looks great. Note, there's no english muffins for this dish, the crab-cakes take the place of the muffins which I missed. The eggs were perfectly poached with a liquidy yolk, the thinly cut ham was quite salty and it all worked pretty well with the crab-cake. The side of fruit and small biscuit were decently done, a nice overall brunch plate. Throw in a coffee and $5 mimosa and I was a happy boy! Service was very good and attentive, kudos here. NOFO is quite busy and I'm guessing attracts mostly Five Point locals. I live within a stones throw of this place but it was my first visit in over six years of living in the hood.
After the brunch we wandered around upstairs in the retail section where NOFO sells everything from coffee to clothes, chocolates, sweets and more. Vaguely reminds me of a mini Southern Season but of course only a small portion of that place. Overall I'd have to give NOFO a solid rating as a brunch spot. Decent, comfortable, just don't expect anything too mind-blowing. The food was well-prepared and service was spot-on which is always nice. I guess NOFO reminds me a bit of my experiences at 18 Seaboard. A solid Southern eatery that you bring the parents to. A safe choice that will keep most everyone pretty happy, bon appetite!
2014 Fairview Road
Raleigh, NC 27608
3.5 stars out of 5
NOFO - Reviewer: Ron Wen - Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars