If you’re familiar with the RTP office area for work, you know that it’s hard to find good eats! But who wants to sit in the office cafeteria or eat at your desk? So over the past two years, I’ve been on a mission to find the best eats in the area given that I work in the hood. One restaurant that always seemed to elude my grasp is William’s Gourmet Kitchen. And while I had seen stellar online reviews for this eatery, I had never made it over until a co-worker suggested it for a lunchtime visit. And now I understand what all the hub-bub is about after a couple of lunches at William’s Gourmet Kitchen!
One of the reasons why I hadn’t been to William’s Gourmet Kitchen is its somewhat hidden location. While it sits on a prominent corner of 55/54 in S. Durham, it’s setting is somewhat sunken and out of view. Thankfully you can see the top of their building and their signage peeping out if you keep your eyes peeled. As soon as you pull into William’s busy parking lot, you can tell it’s a popular RTP lunch time spot given the dearth of parking spaces. A bit of patience might be needed to catch a good space.
Inside William’s Gourmet Kitchen you’ll find a bright and casual dining room along with a covered patio to the side. There’s a smattering of booths and two-tops for dine-in but I’m guessing that William’s Gourmet Kitchen does quite a bit of take-out. Two cashiers are at the ready to take your order! Menus overhead display a great selection of sandwiches, salads, burgers and small plates. A small chalkboard menu up front also offers the weekly specials, Monday to Friday. Most sandwiches are in the $7 to $11 range and you can make it a meal (drink, side) for an additional $3 to $4 depending on side. Put your order in, grab your cup and number, it’s time to wait!
While William’s Gourmet Kitchen is usually busy, their kitchen is pretty fast with my meals taking maybe 10 minutes to come out. Over the course of my two visits I’ve tried out a thick, stuffed turkey sandwich on pumpernickel with cranberry sauce, provolone and tomato. A quirky take on the classic Thanksgiving sandwich. And a fantastic honey-stung chicken sandwich! Think of a perfectly fried chicken breast, drizzled with honey, topped with LTO and a pickle all on a sweet brioche bun! William’s Gourmet Kitchen is really all about high-end sandwiches. While you won’t find kale, arugula or anything froo-froo here, they do the classics really well with fresh ingredients and in large portions.
Oh and don’t miss the beer-battered fries here, they are AWE-some! Service at William’s Gourmet Kitchen is efficient and a bit busy, they seem to be pretty distracted at times but get the job done. And in both my visits I was in and out in well under and hour which is a requisite for lunch. So rock on Williams Gourmet Kitchen! I now know why you’ve got all those great reviews and your food lives up to that top billing. It’s not cheap, it’s not easy to locate but if you’re willing to find Williams Gourmet Kitchen out in S. Durham, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised…