This is a post by N&O restaurant critic Greg Cox:
Hotpoint Deli (1718 Walnut St.; 919-460-6299; hotpointdeli.com), the Cary restaurant that rose from the post-kitchen-fire ashes of the original Maximillians on Buck Jones Road nearly 14 years ago, has pulled up stakes. Owner/chef Anthony Scazzero cites a more visible location and improved facilities as reasons for moving around the corner to the former Waffle House building on Walnut Street.
Returning fans will be happy to know that the restaurant's quirky chalkboard menu of pizzas, sandwiches, salads and light entrees has survived the move, and still includes longtime favorites such as Felix the Cat (tortilla-crusted catfish sandwich) and Cry Baby (a grilled chicken calzone that lives up to its name with a fiery "Green Demon" pesto).
Meanwhile in Raleigh, Steve Jones and Sharon Rhue have opened Black Cat Café (4209 Lassiter Mill Road; 919-788-8240; blackcatcafenh.com) in the former Hot Point Café space at North Hills.
Actually, Jones and Rhue bought Hot Point Café - which was once an outpost of Hotpoint Deli, though the two restaurants have long since gone their separate ways under different ownership - last October. But the husband-and-wife team retained the old name for several months as they gradually began to transition to a menu more in keeping with their culinary style.
That style, according to Jones, features "Southern comfort food and Southwestern flavors," with an emphasis on local produce. While the menu retains the Hot Point underpinnings of pizzas, sandwiches, salads and eclectic entrees, an expanded selection of meatless options reflects the fact that both the owners are vegetarians.
The couple plan to increase the number of gluten-free options as the menu continues to evolve. And they're in the process of scheduling a calendar of live music, especially for Sunday brunch.
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