Sunday, May 5, 2013

The Busy Bee Cafe in Downtown Raleigh

I read in the newspaper that Emmanuel Jose' has an art exhibit at the Busy Bee Cafe in downtown Raleigh during the month of May, and I am a fan of his.  So when Marcia and I headed down at lunch on Saturday to see his exhibit, we didn't realize what a treat we had in store.  This was our first visit to this restaurant. I knew the art exhibit would be interesting, but I had no idea the food would be so good.  I'll get two blogs from this gadabout---one about the food and another about the Jose' exhibit. First the food.
Marcia with the official downtown Ambassador.  And btw I just love Marcia's new bright yellow purse.

We parked in the parking deck (free on Saturdays) when my GPS indicated we were at the address but we hadn't actually seen the Cafe.  On entering the elevator to head down to street level, we had a pleasant encounter with an official downtown ambassador who knew where the Cafe is located and he guided us right to it.  Raleigh should be commended for having these roving ambassadors to help downtown visitors. 

The Busy Bee is best known for its extensive selection of beer (the best in Raleigh supposedly), but the food is not your usual bar food, it is outstanding.  It was hard for us to choose from the extensive menu, but we both finally settled on the bruschetta with pimento cheese and marinated tomatoes. A bargain at $7.00.
Bruschetta with pimento cheese and marinated tomatoes.

Although the bruschetta was quite filling, after looking at the dessert menu we decided we could handle a dessert.  In fact we could handle two desserts---one each which allowed us to sample both.

I'm especially fond of Meyer lemons so I chose the Meyer lemon chess pie, with vanilla whipped cream and elderberry syrup. 
Meyer lemon chess pie.

The waiter mentioned that the Left Hand Milk Stout brownie was their signature dessert.  Marcia chose that.  It was delicious topped with blueberry jam and cocoa nib brittle.
Left Hand Milk Stout brownie.

Actually we shared the two desserts and couldn't decide which was better.  They were both scrumptious.  And so low in calories too.  (Smile)

After the delicious lunch, I began to photograph the art exhibit, after all that's why I went to the Busy Bee Cafe in the first place.  I mentioned to two young men sitting at a table near where I was photographing that I really liked Jose' work.  One of the men said, "This is the artist here with me."  Sitting at the table next to ours was Emmanuel Jose' himself.  I was happy to meet him.  I had emailed him a year or two ago when I first discovered his work, and he remembered that I had posted a blog An Unusual Deck of Cards
about his work then.   Since then I have bought a couple of decks of his 2011 Curator cards.  And I'm eagerly awaiting the release of his 2012 second deck. 

To be continued........  (Check out my next blog about Jose' and his art work.)  And you might want to check out the Busy Bee Cafe.

Gadding About with Grandpat Research Triangle restaurants

Busy Bee Cafe on Urbanspoon


  1. Hi Pat,

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  2. The Busy Bee sounds like my kind of place.