Saturday, April 7, 2007

First, First Friday

I finally did it. I wrote the date for First Friday in my day-timer so that I would remember to go. And we went!

First Friday is an event in downtown Raleigh on the first Friday of each month. Restaurants and art galleries and other businesses open their doors and usually provide a special offer or discount for that evening.

We decided to walk around Glenwood South a bit first, so we got downtown a little early. It's so much easier to see the city on foot, and we decided to visit only places we hadn't been. We checked out FM Sounds and Shoes - very hip. Too hip for me, but they have very cool stuff. Next door we went into Firefly, which also has very cool stuff. Camper shoes for men and women and some super fun clothes and bags with a handmade look to them for the ladies. I'll be going back there for sure.

From there we just walked around, checking out all of the new stuff going in. They've fenced off where 712 Tucker is going to be built. What's nice about that project is that they are planning to rent a few of the condos, so folks who may not be ready to buy can still live downtown.

One of the highlights of our tour was the stop at the top of the Clarion hotel. Nineteen stories above downtown, you can see what an incredible view many of the condos are going to have when they are finished. RBC condos, West at North, and the Quorum are all high rises and will have awesome views no matter which side you choose.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

I'll have the Poulet, please.

My favorite lunch spot in downtown Raleigh is definitely Sosta Cafe. I work two or three times a week at the Hudson, a condo-conversion project on Fayetteville St. I'm downtown a lot and thought I'd start up a blog on all things downtown. I tend to ramble, so this title seemed appropriate.
Full Disclosure: I am a Real Estate Broker/REALTOR.

Anyway, Sosta Cafe is a block from the Hudson. It has a sophisticated look to it, which is pretty new for this area for a lunch spot. Most lunch places are burger joints or sandwich shops with your basic menu. You can only eat a turkey sandwich so many times for lunch. Sure, there are lots of sit-down places, but that's not an option when I'm at the Hudson.

Sosta is a cool coffee shop in the morning and their lunch menu is unique for this area. Don't get me wrong, I love a good dive as much as the next person, but sometimes you want something healthy and fast. And so I go to Sosta. A lot.

I'm a southern, chicken-salad-eating girl. So when I saw the Poulet on the menu (curried chicken salad w/lettuce & tomato on multi-grain bread), I knew that I had a new favorite place. First, it's a unique twist on chicken-salad. YUM! But the sides are super healthy, too. Usually you get a chickpea salad, and they also have navy bean salad and another one that looks like really big couscous grains. Can't remember the name of it. But it's good.

Don't ask me if anything else is good because I order the Poulet every time. The tomato soup is wonderful. I have tried that. I am there so often that now when I call they even know my name. That's service.

"Yes, please."
"It'll be ready in 10 minutes."