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“Terrific and local” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Southern Rail

Southern Rail
Ranked #43 of 74 Restaurants in Carrboro
Price range: $10 - $25
Cuisines: American, Bar
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Bar scene, Romantic
Dining options: Late Night, Lunch, Dinner, Breakfast, Outdoor Seating, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff
Chapel Hill, NC
Level Contributor
157 reviews
53 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 157 helpful votes
“Terrific and local”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 15, 2013

This place is like a tourist attraction on its own. There was no real major passenger train station on site, as far as I know, but there was a significant railway in this area. They have taken that depot feeling and made an amazing site for a restaurant, especially in nice weather, but great year-round. Food is good, not great, but prices are totally fair. Overall, an excellent space in Carrboro.

Visited November 2012
Helpful?
Thank jahausa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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69 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    14
    25
    14
    10
    6
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
Miami, Florida
Level Contributor
115 reviews
71 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
“Go for the atmosphere, not the food”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 5, 2013

Nine family members had early dinner reservations at 5pm and already several entrees
were not available so last minute switch to a hotdog, etc was less than what we expected from such a popular place. People line up outside to wait for a table just so they can eat in an old train car. Some of our food choices were very good, especially spicy mac & cheese and philly steak. Drinks and dessert will add considerably to your tab. Desserts are very small so do not expect to share your $8 piece of cake. Waffles & chicken is a mediocre dish with nothing else besides a few possibly previously frozen small waffles and a few fried chicken nuggets. Overall
a unique place to have an average meal.

  • Visited January 2013
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank blonomad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
188 reviews
150 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 106 helpful votes
“The Wrong Train to take”
1 of 5 bubbles 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.

  • Visited January 2013
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank UnclePen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Level Contributor
21 reviews
20 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Eccentric Carrboro Place”
3 of 5 bubbles 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.

  • Visited November 2012
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Meagan L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Morrisville, North Carolina
Level Contributor
49 reviews
34 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“My experience was disappointing in terms of the food :( Ambiance is very unique - good place to catch a few drinks”
2 of 5 bubbles 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!

  • Visited August 2012
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Sowmya R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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