What it is: Harvest 18 is a great new restaurant that just opened up in the former location of Doc Greens in the shopping center off Renaissance Parkway, the same shopping center as other kid-friendly favorites Rise, Tomato Jakes, Kid-to-Kid, Petco, Sports Clips, and Peek-a-Do.
The chef, Jason Smith, also owns two restaurants in Raleigh, 18 Seaboard, and Cantina 18. He felt that S. Durham was filled with chain restaurants and would benefit from a local restaurant that prepared local, farm to fork food. I think he was right, I think they will fit in just fine here!
When I first heard the description of the restaurant I wasn't sure that it would be kid-friendly. However, when I called and asked he assured me that they had a kids' menu and all kids were welcome. In good weather, they also have some great outdoor seating to enjoy. This time, we headed over on a dreary day so we sat inside. The kids' menu had several delicious options including grilled cheese, mac and cheese, hamburger, and meatloaf. Each meal came with a side which could be fruit, fries, or several other options.
The regular menu was filled with delicious, local treats. The food made us feel like we were eating at a fancier restaurant for a date night. The prices for the entrees ranged from $8-14, so they were on par with most of the nearby restaurants. I tried the meatloaf with blue cheese smashed potatoes, collard greens, and homemade Worcestershire sauce while my husband got shrimp and grits. We also tried the melted pimento cheese appetizer, yum! We finished off the meal with some delicious chocolate ice cream with caramel and candied walnuts. Everything was homemade and local and you could definitely tell! Oh, and apparently there's sangria to be had as well, yum!
The chef actually came up to us and talked to us as we were eating. He also mentioned that more kid-friendly touches would be arriving soon. His other restaurants have little chalkboards for the kids to draw on while they wait, and he said they would be arriving at Harvest 18 soon.
What we liked: We felt like we were eating date night quality food in a kid-friendly restaurant. It was definitely the best of both worlds. We love the emphasis on farm-to-fork, fresh local food, and everything we had was delicious.
What we would change: There's not much we would change. The kids' meals were $6 which is a little more than some of the other nearby restaurants, but it is worth it! (I don't remember whether our kids' meal included our milks, but that might also add to the cost.) However, for the quality of the food, I would have expected to pay much more than we did for the items on the regular menu.
Website and other important information:
Website: https://www.facebook.com/harvest18durham, http://www.harvest18restaurant.com/
Address: 8128 Renaissance Parkway, Durham, 27713
Hours: Monday-Sunday: 11am-10pm
(My meatloaf...$8 for all that!)
(The kids' mac and cheese and fruit-nice and kid-friendly)
(My husband's shrimp and grits)
(The chocolate ice cream for dessert, yum!)
(the bar area)
(a view toward the back of the restaurant)
(the front entrance, they don't even have a sign up yet)