Treating Dad on Father's Day

06 Jun 2022

Where you take him depends on his style

By RAY LINVILLE  »  Photos by John Patota

How are you going to treat dear ol’ Dad on Father’s Day? Don’t make the mistake of taking him where only you want to go. Where you take Dad should depend on what kind of a guy he is. Is he comfortable with fine dining, or would he rather have a beer and burger? Remember that it’s his day.

First, place him in one of these categories. Then consider one of the choices in Dad’s category (not yours). All of these choices are open on Sundays, but don’t delay because many do not take reservations and this Sunday can be busy. Some are closed on Mondays, so check ahead if you go a day later.

Beer-and-Burger Dad

Is Dad the casual type who is happiest with a craft beer and juicy burger? The Sandhills is known for its pubs and taverns that have great service, food, and beverages.


Drum and Quill Public House

Did Arnold Palmer love a burger? As his wife Kit has said, he loved comfort food, and his favorite food adventure was finding a thick, juicy burger, such as the gourmet half-pound burgers prepared at Drum and Quill. Each is made from fresh (never frozen) certified Angus beef served on a Martin’s potato bun or a toasted English muffin and comes with lettuce, tomato and onion on the side — as well as the choice of a pub side. With seven beers on tap and 39 more available, you’ll spend more time choosing the beer than deciding on one of the 10 burgers. Brunch, dinner.


Maxie’s Grill & Tap Room

Are you ready for an eight-ounce burger handcrafted from a delicious blend of sirloin, chuck and ground? The chargrilled Black Angus Burger at Maxie’s is waiting for you. It comes with a choice of up to six toppings (among nine cheeses, nine veggies and four meats) on a toasted bun — add more if you wish for a modest charge. My secret: pick pimento as the cheese and add lettuce, tomato, grilled onion, avocado and mushroom (although leaving bacon off is a hard decision). With each burger, choose from four sides — my favorite is sweet potato fries. Lunch, dinner.

Southern Pines

Chapman’s Food & Spirits

Since opening in downtown Southern Pines in 2015, Chapman’s has epitomized the “casual concept” of food and spirits as it serves plenty of American comfort food and your favorite bottled and draft beer. The Hamm Burger is special for more reasons than simply being named for chef Peter Hamm. In a brioche bun with Hamm’s special blend of ground chuck, short rib and beef brisket, this burger is topped with caramelized onions, pork belly and a gorgonzola spread. Known for its comfortable, casual atmosphere, Chapman’s was named the region’s most authentic American restaurant by this magazine’s readers. Lunch, dinner.

Southern Pines

Pine Needles Lodge and Golf Club

The only thing more celebrated than Golfaris is the famous Bell Burger, appropriately named for LPGA legend Peggy Kirk Bell and her family. Enjoy this eight-ounce fresh ground burger in the In-the-Rough Lounge. It comes with apple-smoked bacon, American cheese, shaved lettuce and tomato on a toasted brioche bun and is served with a pickle and fries. If you are ready to take on its famous relative, Grand Bell Burger, order it instead. Topping out at 16 ounces (really), it has two more cheeses, adds BBQ sauce and comes with onion rings and all the other goodies on its relative. Lunch, dinner.

Scrumptious Brunch Dad

Is dear ol’ Dad the type who enjoys the best brunches in the area? Here’s where you can take him.



Proclaimed by our readers as having the best Sunday brunch in the Sandhills, Ironwood can make Father’s Day extra special because their brunch is always extraordinary. Before ordering, relax with Dad with specials that include a champagne-charged mimosa or morning glory. Irish whiskey French toast tops the breakfast choices, but chicken and waffles are enticing. Because Ironwood was also our winner for best outdoor dining, consider taking Dad outside to the patio where you can enjoy your time together among towering North Carolina pines and old southern magnolias. Brunch.

Southern Pines

Southern Prime

With a handsome and charming ambiance, Southern Prime has the impeccable service to match its elegant atmosphere. Steaks chargrilled at 1,400 degrees entice the new clientele. What brings them back is service unpassed in the Sandhills, and Southern Prime was the winner for best service in this magazine’s best of the best contest. Steak and eggs mean a four-ounce petit filet mignon! Another special brunch choice is the prime rib hash. For a celebration with Dad on Father’s Day or any time, every meal is memorable and each visit is a special occasion. Brunch, dinner.

Southern Pines

The Sly Fox Pub

The Sly Fox serves the area’s favorite British classics with an innovative twist. Sunday brunch is available 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. when you can order the whole British countryside that comes with the Full English Breakfast: two eggs, banger, Irish bacon, black pudding, house-made Heinz beans, sauteed mushrooms, and grilled tomato with toast and jelly. (That’s all one serving.) Plan to fast for the rest of the day. Brunch, dinner.

Vegetarian Dad

Yes, some fathers are vegetarians! Here are suggestions for them.


Elliott’s on Linden

Since opening Elliott’s on Linden in 2000, Chef Mark Elliott has set the standard for fine dining as he showcases the region’s bounty in his restaurant, which was named as the best fine dining restaurant by this magazine’s readers. His staff will treat Dad like royalty from the moment that you and he enter. Indulge in hospitable service, fresh ingredients, and beautifully plated meals. For vegetarian fathers, pick the pea tart on the dinner menu. It’s a very imaginative dish created with gorgonzola fricassee of snap peas, asparagus, and kale vegetable and watercress salad. Dinner.

Southern Pines

Hennings Taste of India

What better place to take Dad than the restaurant that was named the best vegetarian by this magazine’s readers! The list of vegetable entrees at Hennings is almost endless. Specialties that feature spinach, eggplant, green peas, chickpeas, lentils, black and red beans, cauliflower, potato, okra, and other vegetables are just as tempting to carnivores as well. Several vegetable appetizers also can start the meal on the flavorsome path. Remember that they have moved to a new location on U.S. 1. Lunch, dinner.

Southern Pines

The Bell Tree

Drawing its inspiration from the taverns of yesterday, The Bell Tree creates an old-world charm with wooden tables and chairs, polished hardwood floors, an exposed brick wall, and a high-top dark wooden bar. But the most charming part of the restaurant is Betty’s Black Bean Burger, which is a remarkable blend of black beans, garlic, roasted red peppers, fresh cilantro and spices. Served on a toasted kaiser roll, it is topped with pepper jack cheese, lettuce, red onion and tomato. Enjoy the dog-friendly outdoor patio and select one of the rotating draft beers to enjoy with your burger. Lunch, dinner.

Big-Family Dad

Do you have a large family that wants to celebrate with Dad on his day? If you have a large group, these places are excellent choices.


Pine Crest Inn

When my grown kids with two spouses and four grandchildren combined are on the scene, my wife insists that I call the Pine Crest Inn. A little-known secret is that the Crystal Room, the small room next to the main dining area, is just perfect for a family gathering of 12 or less. A special Father’s Day buffet line with breakfast favorites such as omelets, waffles, French toast, and side dishes is available until 1 p.m. Reserve early; the Mother’s Day brunch was sold out. Although the main dining room is not open on Sundays, Mr. B’s Pub & Grill serves from noon until 9 p.m. Breakfast, lunch, dinner.


The Carolina Dining Room

The Carolina Dining Room, offering an incredible buffet on Sunday, can easily accommodate large groups. Because it ends at 10 a.m. and includes only breakfast items, it is more a late breakfast than brunch. However, it continues to impress and remains a prominent place to take out-of-town family member whom you want to entertain. If you are interested in dinner instead, the dessert menu with mile-high key lime pie, berry and peach tart, and vanilla bean panna cotta will more than satisfy Dad’s sweet tooth after enjoying a superior entrée. Breakfast, dinner.

Expect last-minute menu changes to continue as we recover from the coronavirus pandemic. Always call and make reservations in advance. You don’t want to be disappointed when you’re taking Dad out.

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