On the corner of Martin and S. Dawson in downtown Raleigh, it’s hard to miss the bright, large neon sign flashing the word “RESTAURANT”. And while that’s exactly what’s always been on this conspicuous corner, success has been hard to find for the restaurants that sat in this location. From Cherry Bomb Grill to Brewmasters Bar and Grill and more, a litany of restaurants have shown up and left. But the recent addition of the Parkside on this unlucky spot may break that chain of bad luck, here’s why!
From the outside, the Parkside still has a bit of that old-fashioned diner look but once you step inside you realize, this ain’t yo daddy’s diner! Gun-metal cafe chairs, a fatigued dark concrete floor and wood-paneled bar offers up a very modern look to the space. The large horse-shoe bar still sits front and center in the dining room and the large pane-glass windows keeps the space sunny and bright. I’ve stopped in twice so far and tried a couple of items off the menu, it’s a mod take on bar food with some small plates, salads and burgers. Don’t expect anything wildly unusual here but that will be fine for most meals!
The bacon-wrapped dates are quite good, nicely broiled with that sweet and salty taste bud hit pairing the cured meat with a soft roasted date. Even though they are pretty easy to make at home, I’d certainly order them here at the Parkside. I’ve also tried out their fried chicken waffle sandwich which was excellent! Two large, fluffy Belgian waffles wrapped around fresh, crisp fried chicken and you can bling it out with an egg on top if that’s not enough for you! Served with a little cup of syrup, it’s a mouthful but a delicious one at that! Fun and nicely executed sandwich offering here.
As a newer restaurant you might worry about service levels but not at the Parkside! For both my visits they have been well-staffed and well-trained so kudos there! All I can say is that I didn’t have high expectations for the Parkside, but I’m pretty hopeful given what I’ve tried there so far. While the concept isn’t wildly different than say Raleigh Times for bar food, the quality of ingredients here seem pretty high and well-executed. So here’s to the success of the new Parkside Restaurant on this busy corner of Raleigh. I’m hoping that unlucky streak of restaurants is about to be broken…