About 30 minutes east of Raleigh, NC on Rt. 264 is a gourmet surprise. On the suite level of the Class AA minor league Five County Stadium (home of the Cincinnati Reds affiliate Carolina Mudcats) is Cattails Restaurant, a gourmet dining experience with a perfect view of the field.
My friend Joe and I had been to see other games at the stadium but hadn't been to, or even known about, Cattails before. Tonight, because it was a hot night, because we had saved money on buy-one get-one-free tickets, and because we had time because it was a guy's night out with our families, we decided to try it, expecting a sports-bar/Applebees type of atmosphere and menu.
Instead, we were surprised to find high-end appetizers and entrees including fresh fish and steak, with entrees from about $15 to $25. Because we wanted to get down to our front row seats (behind the Mudcat's third-base bullpen where Reds pitcher Arnoldis Chapman was sitting during his rehab assignment), we just ordered one of each of the four appetizers. The service was fast, the ingredients high quality, and the results very tasty! The shrimp and grits (even the full description in the menu doesn't accurately describe just how good this seemingly disparate set of ingredients taste) and oysters Rockefeller were especially good.
By the second inning, we were down in our seats (you can also purchase tickets for field-facing seats in the restaurant as well) and well-satisfied with the experience. The only reason I didn't give Cattails 5 stars is because we didn't order from the entree menu, but I have every reason to believe it would be as good as the appetizers.
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