Let me get this out of the way right up front: Lunchboy doesn’t like visiting chain restaurants. That said, today my family was invited to join some friends for lunch at Firebirds Wood Fired Grill in Raleigh’s North Hills.
Here’s an overview of the experience:
When it came to ambiance, stone columns, high ceilings and an expansive, open-air kitchen made for a warm, inviting dining area.
An Aspen-inspired menu contained an appealing assortment of burgers, sandwiches, salads and specialty entrees. My choice was the sesame-encrusted grilled salmon, which was served with a tasty ginger mustard aioli, parmesan mashed potatoes and fried spinach. It was a solid dish from top to bottom (half order pictured below).
Perhaps the most impressive portion of the menu was the kid’s section, which offered everything from chicken fingers and sirloin streak to grilled salmon and a half rack of ribs. What’s more, two side items and a drink were included, and the price came in under $6 per child. For the record, my daughter’s substantial cheeseburger was a cut above what’s found in any kid’s meals elsewhere, and the macaroni and cheese was first-rate.
The one drawback: While our waiter did a serviceable job delivering food and refilling drinks, he possessed the personality of a post office worker on a Friday afternoon. This was both surprising and disappointing, especially since Firebirds is a highly regarded casual-dining eatery that leans toward an upscale experience.
Bottom line? The food and atmosphere at Firebirds were impressive enough to lure me back for another visit. Hopefully next time, though, the server will enhance the outing.