Updated 8/1/10: Elmo's Diner was recently voted as a top Parent Pick for dining out by Carolina Parent magazine.
I know that Elmo's has 2 locations, but I have only been to the one in Carr Mill Mall in Carrboro.
So I generally don't love diner food. Instead, I am a total sucker if you tell me it is organic and locally grown. BUT, if you are willing to accommodate me while my toddler throws food on your floor I could be persuaded to change my mind. AND, if you not only accommodate me but actually smile at me, engage my child, and say things like "He is so cute" (as opposed to, "I can't believe I will have to clean all of those yogurt melts off the floor when you leave"), I will love you.
Elmo's was busy and loud, but made me love them. They brought us crayons, which was a sweet thought, although C only knows how to eat them.
The food still wasn't to die for, but cheap and quick. And as utterly kid-friendly as they come. They do have a patio for dining that is open year-round, with heaters in the winter.
Don't go with a big crowd, and if you go on the weekends be prepared to WAIT. Luckily, while you wait an hour for a breakfast table on Saturday or Sunday they provide coffee. Just don't take it into any of the stores with you....and don't fill up on Rita's Custard while you wait....
N Carr Mill Mall
Carrboro, NC 27510