Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Parker & Otis

A post from Laura M. today that makes me really hungry....and desperately wanting a Bacon onesie...

I love food, and I love to eat out. And I am happy to share with y’all one of my absolute favorite restaurants in Downtown Durham -- Parker & Otis. I discovered this delicious cafe and specialty gift shop shortly after its opening a few years ago. I fell in love immediately. Its ambiance is bright and airy with high ceilings and exposed wooden beams. Its decor is rustic, old shutters and doors, brick walls. And that’s just the inside. Out back is a gorgeous wrap-around porch, perfect for enjoying lunch on a warm spring day. It is homey. The perfect place to just sit and enjoy a cup of coffee . . . which is what I do every Tuesday when S & B are at school.

Parker & Otis serves breakfast and lunch, 7 days a week. The restaurant prides itself on using local ingredients and has created a menu that is unique, eclectic and tasty -- from my beloved grilled pimento cheese sandwich and tuna salad with green goddess dressing to the shrimp BLT and peanut butter, bacon and banana sandwich. The sandwiches are a generous size and served with a side of the best cole slaw on the planet. The coffee and breakfast bar is stocked with all sorts of delicacies to accompany your cup of joe - pumpkin bread, chocolate croissants, blueberry scones and assorted muffins and pastries. The bakery display window tempts with carrot cake and zucchini cupcakes. And, oh my goodness, the chocolate sweet shoppe - homemade peanut butter cups, chocolate covered pretzels, truffles of all shapes and sizes . . . So much for that last 10 lbs. of baby weight to lose! ;)

And that’s not all, folks! After you enjoy your tasty sandwich, it’s time to shop. Parker and Otis has anything and everything you could possibly be looking for. Need a Mother’s Day gift? Check out the Le Crueset dinnerware collection, the ample cookbook selection, ceramic plates and bowls, the unique stationery and cards. How about a hostess gift? Head over to their amazing wine section or pick out a Stonewall Kitchen jam or Barefoot Contessa boxed mix. What about a baby gift? The main dining hall is stocked to the brim with JellyCat stuffed animals, Mudpie baby socks and onesies and Noodle & Boo baby products. For the kids birthday party - there are board games, vintage playing cards, books, Crocodile Creek water bottles, plates and placemats and, of course, you can’t miss the eye-catching candy bar. I personally stocked S & B’s Easter baskets with all sorts of fun goodies from this place!

And speaking of kids, while I typically go to Parker & Otis without my two in tow, it is extremely kid-friendly with plenty of high chairs for use. The kids’ menu is fairly simple - grilled cheese, or peanut butter and jelly. Sides of fresh fruit are also available. If you are traveling with a stroller, as my favorite mommy friends and I used to do with our “littles” every week while our “bigs” were in school, be sure to use the front door (the Duke Street entrance). There is no stroller-friendly ramp from the parking lot behind the building to the back porch.

Ok, can you tell how much I love this place yet?! Look for me there on Tuesday mornings. I’ll be the mom happily enjoy her soy mocha no whip, a slice of pumpkin bread and an hour and a half of peace and quiet! ;)

Parker & Otis
112 S. Duke Street

Mon-Thurs, Sat: 7:30am-7pm; Fri: 7:30am-8pm; Sun: 10am-3pm



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