As I have suggested before, it is necessary to have a couple of default options where you can get a good beer and some delicious food. I have heard so much about the Federal (the ‘Fed’ if you are local!) as being this type of an option but have only recently tried it. The décor is a typical pub, with a wooden bar just as you walk in and several tables and booths. The bar area can get quite crowded as people wait for tables and enjoy their beers. There is a separate quieter dining area in the back with about 5 tables. We met a friend there early, 6pm, on a Saturday night before heading to a concert. She had been several times before and wisely, got us table in the back room before we arrived.
We each ordered a beer as we chatted and analyzed the menu. The menu offers some typical pub offerings, such as burgers, fries, and nachos. But, the draw for most is the always changing specials, which are anything but typical, and on this particular night included Crispy Pig Ear Lettuce Wraps, Grilled Quail, and a Leek Risotto. Even with all of these options we all opted for items off of the static menu. We started by sharing a plate of the Fed Fries which are twice cooked and covered with garlic and parsley. They were wonderfully garlicky!! They are certainly not for those who are shy about garlic! G and our friend both opted for the Fed Burger au Poivre which they enjoyed thoroughly. I selected the Carnitas entrée which is beer braised pork served with corn tortillas, salsa, guacamole and sour cream. The pork was very tender and had a delicate subtle spice which permeated throughout.
Though we selected the more typical menu items, next time we will certainly have to try one of the specials. The Fed is certainly another go-to option for a relaxing evening for delicious food and a good beer.
914 West Main Street
Durham, NC 27701