This downtown diner boasts a retro vibe and one of the hottest chef-proprietors on the Raleigh scene. For ten years Ashley Christensen has produced a menu of upscale comfort food prepared with flair from ingredients so fresh, the chalkboard list of selections is updated weekly, if not daily. Roasted chicken is a popular choice. Other dishes may include short ribs, scallops, amazing salads, pork and more. The mac and cheese, rich and golden with a brûléed crust, is legendary, deservedly so. The diner is open for dinner nightly, and brunch is served weekends. Selections may include decadent sandwiches like croque madame, or entreés like shrimp and grits. Free parking is available after 5 p.m. and on weekends all day in the lot across the street; look for the directional signs.