Triangle Dining: Poole’s Downtown Diner

Poole’s Downtown Diner
426 S. McDowell Street, Raleigh, NC 27601

Web Site:

The Triangle area has such a bounty of wonderful local produce and ingredients. One such place that is focusing on the organic and sustainable is Poole’s, a small funky eatery-cum-wine bar-cum-bistro with a diner theme located near the Convention Center construction zone on the site of a former pie shop. Here the talented Ashley Christensen (formerly of Enoteca Vin) is serving fresh and delicious simple  dishes using the best stuff she can source.

This downtown storefront in Raleigh in the midst of the construction zone is serving some of the best casual local cuisine in the city. Watch yourself while crossing the street, it’s practically a NASCAR track.

Poole’s is no ordinary diner. Click on the “Read the rest of this entry” link below for more.

The bar is a great place for single diners to eat, drink, and to chat with the resident psychotherapist.

Oh I do think I will have a Julep.

A sign of a good cocktail program is the fresh juices.

I know where that is going.

In my Julep!

The menu at Poole’s is seasonal and varies from week to week. It’s small, focused, and entirely at Ashley’s whim.

I think tonight I am going to be a very bad boy.

My Julep arrives.

Sunburst Tomatoes with Endive Slaw, Buttermilk Fried Shrimp and Horseradish Dressing. Heaven.

Orange roasted beet salad. This dish would be perfect on a hot summer’s day.

Black River Farm Lettuces

The “Royale”. This is a giant, 10oz burger over brioche French Toast, with the variable cheese of the week. This time it was Cabrales, which is a stinky Spanish blue. My favorite.

Wilted Red Russian Kale. It’s the South, I gotta get in my greens.

3 Responses to Triangle Dining: Poole’s Downtown Diner

  1. dave says:

    Great review. I’ve been wanting to try this, and with my birthday coming up, it’s down to here and Piedmont (in Durham).
    Do you know if this place is the former location of the Vertigo diner? It sure looks it.

  2. If you go to the Flickr feed on the right hand side of the page there are photos of Piedmont as well :) We’ve got a lot of backlogged content in the hopper.

    I’m not sure about the location other than it was formerly a pie bakery.

  3. Varmint says:

    Yes, it was the Vertigo. It was originally the Poole’s Pie Bakery. It later became Poole’s Diner (not sure if they used the “Downtown” describer in the name). It was closed for awhile before opening in the 90s as The Vertigo. When the owners had some struggles, they changed the name to Poole’s Diner. Ashley Christensen purchased it a year or two ago and calls it Poole’s Downtown Diner. The Poole family loves that the name has been retained.

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