“I always go in to every restaurant for the first time wanting to like it.” So said well-regarded Triangle-based restaurant critic Greg Cox, and I think this is a good way to approach eating out.
It’s with this sentiment in mind that I visited LighthouseDeli & Grill in Apex. After entering the front door, I was surprised to
discover that the deli had merged with an adjoining establishment formerly
known as Paradise Pizza. Pie by the slice is available at lunchtime, although the
choices I saw did not look remotely appetizing. Instead, I ordered a Reuben
sandwich on white (since I hate rye) with a side of potato salad and dill
Lighthouse serves quality Boar’s Head meats, so I was relatively
assured that the sandwich would hit the mark. It did. Flawlessly prepared
corned beef was augmented by melted Swiss cheese, sauerkraut and Thousand
Island dressing. The potato salad, however, wasn’t particularly memorable.
Now for the constructive criticism. You would think that a
deli sandwich, side and soft drink at a counter-service restaurant would cost
less than $10, right? You would be wrong. My order came in at just under $11.
Thankfully, no tip was required.
Ambiance? Let’s just say that the Biscuitville in Cary gets
four stars compared to Lighthouse. Stark lighting, drab walls and a mishmash arrangement
of booths and tables gave me flashbacks to my junior high cafeteria days. Perhaps
some art hanging on the walls or live plants would help liven up an otherwise utilitarian
Service at Lighthouse was a shade beyond perfunctory, and it’s
hard to put a finger on why this little eatery with so much potential lacks any
perceptible soul. It’s possible that I had my first and last visit. I really
did want to like it.