REVIEW: Finch’s Family Restaurant – Raleigh
Finch’s Restaurant is a little hole-in-the-wall joint in Raleigh located “inside the beltline” on Peace Street right off of Capital Blvd. The restaurant resides in an old school drive-in restaurant’s skeleton and has been there since 1945. Pollock and Chesson, my friends that took me here, told me that it has been a local hot spot for a cheap breakfast and a tasty meat & two vegetables plate for a while.
We went on a Saturday morning around 10 a.m. before heading down to Greenville to watch East Carolina whip up on Marshall during a nice afternoon game. The restaurant was buzzing with people from all walks of life and everyone was in the mood to get a tasty breakfast.
One thing that stood out to me about Finch’s was their coffee cups. Unlike traditional breakfast places, the coffee cups were the kind that you would find in anyone’s kitchen. I have been told that locals bring in random coffee cups to add to the collection. My coffee cup was from The Weakest Link. It is a pretty cool idea because I could see someone eating there 20 times and never getting the same cup twice.
The menu had a little bit of everything on it but we were there for breakfast. I recommend their coffee. It was on point that morning and the waitress had filled up my cup about five times before we left. It was just a regular old Folgers or Maxwell House or something but it was brewed perfectly.
The guy on the grill (who looked strikingly similar to Sidney Lowe, NCSU’s basketball coach) was absolutely dominating the grill with orders flying at him left and right. He was the only person manning the grill and flying through five or six orders at a time. It was very impressive and I kind of wish I had gotten a video of this guy in action.
I ordered the Big Man’s Special because I figured it would be a long day of tailgate games and cold beer. The meal consisted two eggs (any style), two pancakes, two pieces of bacon and grits or hash browns. Their hash browns are apparently home fries and I asked for them Waffle House-style (smothered & covered). I was a Waffle House when I lived in Chattanooga, TN and was hoping for something similar. The hash browns came off tasting more like an order of bacon cheese fries than hash browns. The eggs and bacon were cooked to perfection.
The pancakes were the highlight of my meal. It was probably because the waitress placed an ice cream scoop full of butter on top of them that melted underneath all the syrup but I digress. They were fluffy as hell and delicious. I wanted to order more than I thought about Mitch Hedberg’s bit on pancakes:
As a comedian, you have to start the show strong and you have to end the show strong. Those are the two key elements. You can’t be like pancakes. You’re all happy at first, but then by the end, you’re sick of ’em.
– Mitch Hedberg
Check out Finch’s but be forewarned that you may encounter a big rush at breakfast and lunch so plan your time accordingly. Don’t be scared by the unkempt exterior. The food is delicious.