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“Late breakfast”
Review of The Refectory Cafe

The Refectory Cafe
Ranked #5 of 812 Restaurants in Durham
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$5 - US$29
Cuisines: Bar
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast, Dinner
Description: "Slow Food, Fast", this award Winning, local family owned, restaurant is focused on Hot, healthy, homemade & Local fare. The Refectory Cafe® was Duke University's first "Green Cafe" established in 2005, it won best food on campus 7 Years in a row and Duke University's Environmental Leadership Award four times. The Refectory Cafe "on the Boulevard" opened September 2012 and continues the tradition of great homemade soups, fresh local produce, eggs, local line-caught fish, local grass-fed beef, chicken and simply amazing desserts. Vegan, vegetarian, Gluten Free, Raw or Plant Based The Refectory Cafe caters to all dietary preferences. Award winning VEGAN, GF DAL, Chili and soups; delicious panini on locally made bread; "breakfast of champions" with amazing grits, local eggs, biscuits, Tofu scrambles, baked oatmeal, local sausage and more; Delicious Dinners of Chicken Marsala, Surf & Turf, Lobster, Linguine with clams, Crabcakes, Slow-cooked short ribs, Blackened or Grilled Salmon, Vegan GF Tempeh, Indian DAL, soups, salads & more. Full bar, craft cocktails, martinis, fine wines and local beer with Table Service Evenings 5pm-9pm. Monday through Saturday. Excellent seafood, steaks, soups, salads, vegan & vegetarian fare. The award winning desserts are created on site and are simply fabulous! Reservations encouraged and available on-line.
Reviewed 14 October 2017 via mobile

Enjoyed an omelette and a cup of fruit. The omelette was huge and very good.
I believe it was made with 4 eggs ..
Up to 3 ingredients.
Would return.

Thank becca83-TN
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Laura H, Owner at The Refectory Cafe, responded to this reviewResponded 29 December 2017

Thanks Becca! We love our breakfast offerings. Perfect for all diets and always fresh, local eggs.

We now serve breakfast from 8am to 3pm, Monday through Friday due to it's popularity.

Weekend brunch is 9am-3pm, again fresh & fabulous.

We look forward to serving you again soon.

Bon Appetit!
Laura Hall

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32 - 36 of 226 reviews

Reviewed 5 October 2017 via mobile

Went to lunch with my wife, the food was great and the service excellent. Wasn’t having desert until I saw it pass me on it’s way to someone else - just had to have it. Go on treat yourselves

Thank Peter H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Laura H, Owner at The Refectory Cafe, responded to this reviewResponded 10 October 2017

Hello Peter,

Thank you for sharing your experience. We love to be everyone's daily treat!

We look forward to serving you again soon. Breakfast, lunch, dinner & brunch. You must check out our evening service. Local fish, beef & produce at dinner with a chef inspired menu that will "knock your socks off". Of course, the desserts are always amazing.

Dinner includes a full bar, curated wine list and table service. Another "treat" to make your day.

Thanks again for the 5-Star review - the entire staff is extremely grateful!

Laura

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Reviewed 5 October 2017

Just had our first dinner at The Refectory after eating a breakfast there a year or so ago. The atmosphere is fairly stark - minimalist cafeteria, but clean and comfortable with pleasing background music. Menu had some fairly expensive entrees for what felt like a no-frills dining atmosphere, and we were a bit sticker-shocked at first..
Our server was very pleasant and helpful, although did not ask us for a drink order (hard or soft), and in fact, we did not realize they served alcohol until we noticed some bottles behind the counter. We ordered the Fried Cauliflower which was excellent: a good portion of lightly coated vegetable with a lemon, mustard aioli for $7.
As an entrée, I had the Chicken Parmesan which was well-prepared and tender with sprinkling of fresh herbs, but could have been served with a more generous portion of pasta for the $17. Ditto my wife's dish, which was a well-prepared Bolognese for $16, but she ran out of pasta before finishing her meat sauce, and my wife is a petite calorie counter.
Kari, our server, when notified of the lack of pasta that my wife was experiencing apologized, but did not offer to bring out additional pasta or suggest any other remedies. She then brought a dessert tray around before we were finished with our main course. Although the desserts did look very fresh and creatively-prepared (heavy on the cheese-cake options), we were ready to move on.
So, while the atmosphere and our service were disappointing, the menu seems creative and the food well-prepared, although shorting on pasta for the prices of the entrees $15-$30, seems short-sighted. We would likely try The Refectory again for a breakfast or lunch, but not for dinner.

    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
2  Thank Anonymous924
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 September 2017 via mobile

It was difficult to choose between so many amazing possibilities, but I settled on the veggie quiche, and I was not disappointed.

Thank Catherine A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Laura H, Owner at The Refectory Cafe, responded to this reviewResponded 10 October 2017

Hello Catherine,

Our pastry chef makes our quiche from the freshest ingredients including local eggs. The crust is also made in house with Organic, never bleached or bromate flour.

We look forward to having you return and try more of our amazing chef inspired dishes!

Thank you,

Laura

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Reviewed 20 August 2017

We've had breakfast here a couple times, and I'm in love with the lemon ricotta pancakes. But last night we decided to try them for dinner. We were pleasantly rewarded. First, they were short-staffed so it took a little while for someone to take our order. We weren't in a hurry so we just chatted and waited. When the waitress came over, she apologized for the wait and said to save room for dessert because it was on the house because of our wait. Nice!
I had the beef short ribs and it was delicious. Came with very nicely seasoned mashed potatoes and fresh green beans. Everything on my plate was delicious. My husband had wild caught salmon. It was served under-cooked and had to be sent back, but the second time it was perfect. He enjoyed it a lot. Came on a bed of greens that had a tangy dressing.
The free desserts we selected were lemon pie and strawberry rhubarb pie. Both were very good. We ate half of each and took the rest home for tonight.
The staff was very friendly and even though they were working hard to keep up, we felt well taken care of. We will definitely go back.

    • Value
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    • Food
Thank Carol S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Laura H, Owner at The Refectory Cafe, responded to this reviewResponded 31 August 2017

Hi Carol,

Thank you for your understanding and we are thrilled that you were so delighted with your meal and your service!

Everyone loves our pancakes AND we now make a VEGAN version. Equally as awesome as the Lemon Ricotta.

We look forward to serving you again soon. Thank you very much for taking the time to share your experience. We love our food AND our guests. :-)

Gratefully,
Laura Hall

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