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“Always Top Drawer”
Review of Youssef 242 - CLOSED

Youssef 242
Price range: $8 - $38
Cuisines: American
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Large groups, Special occasions, Local cuisine, Business meetings
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Late Night, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Cross street: HWY 127
Description: We want your dining experience to be something to shout about-always. We encourage you to break the rules. That's why we have dessert first on the menu and not last. We believe everyone deserves an enjoyable, amazing dining experience. That's why we strive for excellence in the quality of our food and service. We do our very best to constantly surpass our own accomplishments and move forward to be the best of the best. We believe everyone should make, break, set and never settle on the rules. This is Cafe Rule.
Lenoir, North Carolina
Level 5 Contributor
56 reviews
37 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Always Top Drawer”
Reviewed July 24, 2013

This is our Go To place. We have to drive about 45 minutes - not long for Chicago but forever for the NC Foothills. The service is terrific and management cares. The menu is always creative and changed so as not to become tired. We have tried most of the menu and seem to have a hard time choosing what to order. Prime Rib, Salmon, Scallops, Lamb, Pizza? The wood fired Caesar is amazing. Appetizers are also super - the tuna is a favorite.

We've had Youssef cater meals and we've had parties in the private room. The wait staff is personable and fun.

  • Visited July 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Saltydog44
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

185 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    133
    36
    15
    1
    0
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
DeKalb County
Level 4 Contributor
31 reviews
22 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
“A delightful experience for lunch!”
Reviewed July 24, 2013

I really have no good reason to give Youssef fewer than five stars, but I generally don't do so on a first visit. Perhaps that's wrong. I DID find it a very enjoyable lunch, however, and I will return if I'm in the area again, which is likely.

As a teacher, I have been able to travel with my husband when he goes on business trips in the summer when I'm not taking courses or seminars. When I do, I like to explore not only the historical features of a place but the culinary ones as well.

My recent goal has been to find really decent and healthy food for lunch for under $15. Of course, I could easily grab something off of McDonald's dollar menu and fill my stomach, but I find it a challenge to discover diamonds in the rough or special places at which each item ordered sparkles with fresh flavor and spices.

At Youssefs, I was greeted cordially and asked where I would "like" to sit. Good start. Of course, the place was just beginning to fill, but I still appreciated not being escorted to a spot which was simply convenient for them. As my husband will tell you, I am a bit fussy about where I am most comfortable in restaurants. I'm not quite Sheldon from the Big Bang Theory but close.

The decor was pleasing -- modern but not cold. The back lit bottles of vodka lining the bar glowed in pale crystal and a rainbow of sherbet colors, tempting me to try a martini, but I resisted. It WAS lunch, and I find it somewhat sad to drink alone. I opted for an unsweetened iced tea which was religiously refilled when the level dropped to half. I hate having to ask. My server was very competent -- not pesky or brusque -- just friendly and helpful. She also didn't rush me into ordering or later, leaving. I felt as if I could finish the chapter in my book before departing. No one was waiting in line.

The smaller booths are perfect and allow single patrons or couples to spread out and not feel as if they need to hold their elbows in or slide off the edge of the seat.

To start, I ordered the three deviled eggs because I love to eat them but hate making them. Those I've made the mistake of sampling from salad bars always disappoint, the whites rubbery and the filling bland. These were nothing like that. I enjoyed the flavors of red pepper in one, dill and pickled vegetables atop another. I don't know what the third one was, but it was flavorful and creamy.

I wanted to order the lamb burger, but I knew that it would be too heavy for me for lunch, so I chose a lunch special for $8.00. I got to pick 2 items from a list and selected a cup (which was truly a bowl) of gazpacho and a lettuce wedge with bleu cheese, walnuts, and heirloom cherry tomatoes. It's the only way I like to eat iceberg lettuce, and it lived up to my expectations for flavor and crunch. The gazpacho, topped with a swirl of chipotle sour cream, too, was cool and delicious. I would have liked more heat, but I was pleased that it didn't contain overpowering green pepper as some do.

The spot is probably a bit pricey for my husband's expense account, but I didn't feel as if the cost was outrageous, and I stuck within my $15.00 limit for lunch. When my check came -- $14.98. Now, that's cutting it close.

  • Visited July 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank foodophile
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
B, Florida
Level 5 Contributor
59 reviews
34 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Awesome, different in Hickory”
Reviewed July 21, 2013 via mobile

Had lunch because we got to hickory too late for dinner. Had read about Youssef's on TA and it was well worth the stop. The gaspaccho was outstanding (personally, I would have liked a little more sour cream),but the bowl portion was plenty big to share. The fig jam and Parma ham pizza was awesome...ultra then crust with sweet and salty flavors blending perfectly. My choice of a rose went great with the pizza. Hope we will someday have a chance to come back for dinner. Decor was quite surprising for Hickory...looks more like a more major city. The owner was very friendly and even gave us recommendations for Asheville. Wish I could take this place home with me!

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Judy and Allan S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
North Carolina
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Fantastic food beautiful spa like atmosphere”
Reviewed July 20, 2013 via mobile

We are locals. The food is great and service fantastic. A little pricey but worth the trip. Also open for weekday lunch amazing for a restaurant of this caliber. I have travelled around the world and I would pit this one against just about any other.

  • Visited July 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank yeahmonNorthCarolina
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
44 reviews
27 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Certianly did not expect to find a restaurant like this in Hickory”
Reviewed June 24, 2013

A real gem of a restaurant tucked away in this quiet NC town, if you are anywhere nearby this place is definitely worth a visit. Interesting menu with plenty of options but not trying to do too much. I had a very interesting ceasar salad followed by a fantastic filet mignon which was tender and perfectly cooked. Also worth a mention is the wonderful wine cellar which would befit many a big-city fine dining restaurant. Looking forward to going back.

  • Visited June 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank mxgill
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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