Broad Street Café in Durham, North Carolina is my type of place. It is a pretention-free atmosphere that makes you feel at home as soon as you walk in the door. Lindsay and I were in Durham a few weeks ago to visit with her family and to produce a collegiate singing competition. Her family recommended that we meet at Broad Street for lunch, and I’m glad they did.
Lindsay and I arrived about 30 minutes before the rest of the gang, so we headed in to wet(whet?) our whistles. When you walk in the door a long line of beer taps stares you in the face, almost challenging you to try the 10 something local beers they have on draft (I accepted the challenge). The next thing I noticed was the huge wood burning pizza oven, which I took as a good sign that they’re taking their pies seriously. Our server was friendly and talkative, but knew when to shut up. As a former server, that is my kind of server. I want a server to help me out, guide me in my selections but not chat my ear off, because I want to talk to my special lady friend. She recommended some great beers. I started with an IPA and Lindsay had a classic lager.
While we waited we decided to order their calamari. Fried food is hard to beat, because it’s fried. However, this was fried well. It wasn’t greasy, doughy, or chewy. It was spot on. Two dipping sauces accompanied the squid and were a great compliment. One was a sweet homemade marinara and the other was a chipotle aoli sauce. Lindsay and I inhaled the entire dish and commented how it even beat the calamari at one of our favorite local restaurants in Greenville.
Lindsay’s family arrived soon after we destroyed our dish, and I got to meet her aunts and uncles and one cousin. Needless to say, they were very impressed by me. I overheard her aunt say, “He’s ruggedly handsome. Almost like he use to be a Marlboro model, but more reserved. He’s very well spoken and you can tell he comes from good stock and judging by how tight his pants are…you’re happy (wink)!” I swear to god that’s what I heard! Seriously, I’m not lying much. They were lovely people and I enjoyed meeting them for the first time.
Lindsay and I ordered the edamame hummus with melba toast and the tuna burger. The edamame hummus was a really creative dish that I had never heard of. Visually it looked like a really chucky guacamole, but its texture reminded me of a thick goat cheese spread. It had a great lemon-garlic finish with fresh mint mixed in and the toast was crunchy and supported the hummus well. The tuna burger was simple but impressive. The homemade chipotle aoli showed back up on the burger and I was happy to see my old friend. The richness of the aoli really paired nicely with the tuna. We ordered the tuna rare and it felt like we were having a southwestern sushi burger. It was served on a soft, yet crunchy brioche roll. Those are my favorite buns (besides Lindsay’s!!!). Lindsay and I finished with another beer. I had the stout and I don’t remember Lindsay’s choice. The stout was full-bodied but not heavy in taste. I could drink local beers all day. It makes me feel like I’m helping the community via my alcoholism.
All I can say is that if you’re in Durham, North Carolina you should swing by Broad Street Café and check them out. I would love to go back in the spring and sit on their patio and listen to live music while I literally try every single beer on tap. For my entertainment/dollar you cannot beat surrounding yourself with artistic food driven people. You leave full and slightly buzzed. What more could you ask for?
Check out their website and menu here, and hit up this fabulous restaurant the next time you’re in Durham.