109 West Chapel Hill Street, Durham
Few restaurants in downtown Durham are consistently doing it better than Matthew Kelly's Mateo, a higher-end spot that infuses Spanish tapas with Southern charm, a place where you can get a delectable stalk of roasted cauliflower for a $20 meal—or, when it's on the ever-changing chalkboard menu, a succulent $50 lobster. But if you want to go cheaper, you really can't go wrong with Mateo's pan con tomate. For just six bucks—four if you get the small, but you don't want to do that—you'll get warm Italian-style bread imported from Loaf, smeared with tomatoes that have been crushed into an uneven paste and bathed in olive oil and salt. If you want to add on, you can top all of this with a first-rate manchego, ham, or anchovies. But you really needn't bother. The bread—infused but not soaked in the oil and tomato—does the heavy lifting.