With one day in Raleigh earlier this week, I had an opportunity for a couple of quick meals.
For lunch, J. Betski’s would be the perfect place for something different. The eastern European menu attracted me, particularly the pierogies, as I’ve been preparing some at home recently. Unfortunately, the liverwurst pierogies with fennel marmalade and sage brown butter were no longer on the menu, and with a desire to try some house-made sausage, I went with a combination platter that included sauerkraut. This tilted my choice away from mushroom and cabbage as the filling, going instead with potato and cheese. Lightly pan-fried, the pair of them were delicious, the filling creamy and a little sour cream adding to the fatty delight. Both half-sausages were good, though I preferred the bite of the smoked kielbasa over the bratwurst, and I enjoyed alternating between two mustards.
Contemplating the dessert menu, I realized what I really wanted to round out the meal: the roasted beet salad from the regular menu. The toasted pumpkinseed oil was a perfect dressing for the greens, and I loved the tower of beet rounds layered with horseradish quark. The dish was perfectly savory with just the right amount of sweetness.
Slightly sick but in a dumpling mood, I took a light dinner at David’s Dumpling and Noodle Bar. I started with “David’s original half-fried dumplings” ($5.50), which the server said were filled with pork and cabbage. These were more like dense meatballs (with very little in the vegetable department) inside a house-made wrapper. The frying crisped them nicely without being overdone, but overall, the dumplings were quite heavy. I asked afterward about these, and was told that “we make them to satisfy American tastes.”
I thought some soup would help fight my cold, and my eye caught pork, pickled turnip, and ginger noodle soup on the menu. This warmed me up nicely, and hopefully the ginger helped, but the soup was also a bit on the heavy side. The restaurant itself is quite contemporary with the central bar area a focal point.