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“The Wrong Train to take”
Review of Southern Rail

Southern Rail
Ranked #36 of 77 Restaurants in Carrboro
Price range: $10 - $25
Cuisines: American
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic
Dining options: Late Night, Breakfast, Outdoor Seating, Reservations
Reviewed January 13, 2013

This restaurant has railroad cars that make it unique, and with that they hope to stay around. Maybe they will, but I can promise you it won't be for the food.

The menu is basic with a few overpriced and stingy entrees like the "Parisian Chicken." It is nothing special, likely a frozen chicken breast baked with no seasoning, and the Paris moniker is likely to make it sound more legitimate than it is.

Of course service can be varied at any restaurant, but for our visit it was extremely slow - 20 minutes before the waiter ever said hello, and every step of the night took him a long, long time. When someone needed mayonnaise for their sandwich it took 10 minutes, and the rest of the party was well into their meal. That type of service is really annoying when you are paying full price - it's just mayonnaise.

The sandwiches are the majority of the menu and they are 100% not creative - basically the required meats served on what tastes like Wonder Bread or something of similar quality, delivered without any presentation or embellishment. The sandwiches are served without sides, or "a-la-carte," as our waiter put it. The side of greasy French Fries are again, completely bland, and are likely from a package of frozen fries, deep-fried, and exhibiting the quality you would expect at a fast food restaurant. The prices aren't fast food prices.

Save your money and time and avoid this restaurant until it is under "new management," an inevitable development. You can't make it on crappy food and service just because you have railroad cars! There are lots of great restaurants in Carrboro and Chapel Hill.

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Thank UnclePen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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42 - 46 of 68 reviews

Reviewed November 3, 2012

A train car, right in the middle of eccentric Carrboro-how fun is that? Ambience is the name of the game for this restaurant. Several rail cars put together, it is unique in every sense of the word. Sit outside or inside, and you will not be disappointed by the characters that walk or stop by! The food-used to be a lot more interesting and tasty, now seems a little on the mediocre side. "It has so much potential" is such a cliche, but true in this case. I can't say anything is extraordinary about the food-which is too bad. I hope they are able to find a menu and chef that can live up to the uniqueness of the train cars themselves. I will keep checking back in the hopes that they can get it together.

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Thank Meagan L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 7, 2012

We went here on a Friday Night for a birthday celebration... and the only thing that contributed to a great time was the group i went with.

Food: We were there at 8pm and meatloaf and ribs were out. Then we decide to go with steak and the waitress comes back and tells us they are out fo steak!!!! I finally ended up eating a sandwich (that i could have got at Arby's). I ordered a side of ceaser salad and I got a heap of something with no lettuce!!??? ceaser salad without lettuce- that was my first.
The only good thing was teh spicy crab dip.

Ambiance/Seating: I had made reservations 2 days in advance and had specified that we want outdoor seating.. and what we got is a table in a dark dingy corner and the staff did not even make an effort to get us a better table. Never going back for special occasions!

Beer: The waitress did not even recognize some of the items fromt eh beer list!!!

They did give give a 20% discount on the checks where we ended up eating the 4th choice of food because the first three were unavailable.

It was a large group and was a bday celebration so I did not want to dosrupt the party any more than needed... otherwise i would totally have walked out!

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Thank Sowmya R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 1, 2012

My husband and I went to this establishment based on a recommendations we saw on-line. The restaurant itself is pretty cool looking. Unfortunately the food and service did not live up to all the glowing recommendations we had read. First, we got stuck right next to the ramp where people go up and down to get to and from the bar area. Why they even have tables there is beyond me since they have a huge patio. Our server was trying to serve people on the patio and people inside. This meant someone was being neglected...guess who that was! When the server finally arrived, she informed us that they were out of steak for the Philly cheese steak and the bratwurst ... Really? Those items can be purchased at the local market to get you by until your shipment arrives. After hearing about the menu items, we were then informed they were out of the two draft beers ....the two we wanted. Once we ordered we were asked if we wanted fries and were told there was an up charge?!?! The burger was already $9 and the fries were $2. I'm not a big fry eater so I asked about portion size and the waitress said you got a good amount so we opted for one serving. After sitting at the table with empty glasses for about 15 minutes, the burgers arrived. The burgers were not fresh at all. They were definitely frozen burgers. The serving of fries was not a good size portion either. We had to wait another 10 minutes for condiments since the person who brought the food quickly ran away. I was struck by the number of people working there who at times seemed to have nothing to do. It would seem they could have helped out by filling drink order or just generally coming around to make sure people had what they needed. While we were there another couple was seated, they took a look at the menu and left. Wish we had done that instead of wasting our time and money. Sad since this place has such potential. The management needs to open their eyes, start managing, and give people real value for their money. Have the draft beers and all your menu items available, too.

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Thank gurln2vintage
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 30, 2012

Watch out that you don't skid next time you go here....the 'new' menu is going way way downhill!!! This used to be our favorite local Carrboro hangout and we often went bi-weekly. Last night we were hard pressed to get anything with meat other than a Southern Fried (not even grilled) sandwich. The previous menu had a small selection of main entrees which were fabulous and way better than ACME which is overpriced and haughty. A killer steak and last winter the pork special was awesome. We were told that the owner is going towards reeling in the Carrboro veggie crowd which leaves few options for a place to sit outside on a delightful patio and have a burger and a beer or our favorite- the Flyer steak sandwich- the best & only thing of the kind in the area. We don't need another Spotted Dog. Also they have kept the prices the same but taken away the sides that come with the sandwiches (tater tots, or side salad for a small upcharge). Very very very disappointing!!!!

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Thank azrak2000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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