One of my favorite things about this area is how closely connected we can be to farms and fresh meats and produce. There are so many farms close to the population centers that you can’t help but find local seasonal foods. But, what is even better is that these foods are available in other venues than typical restaurants. One of my favorite is options is the Boxcarr Farm dinners at 3 Cups inChapel Hill. 3 Cups is a fantastic wine, coffee, and tea shop which offers so much more. They are a part of the community offering a space for CSA pick ups, hosting food trucks in the parking lot, and hosting farm dinners. On the first and third Friday’s of the month, Austin and Dani of Boxcarr Farms offer six small plates for $6.50 each or $35 for all six.
The Friday dinners are casual and so enjoyable! The menu of six dishes is provided and you order at the counter. The store offers several wines by the glass as well. Then, wine in hand, you find a seat at any of the tables. The store layout is modified slightly from the daily configuration to offer more seating options but it can still get busy. Austinis the chef in the back working on putting together the dishes and Dani and the 3 Cups staff help bring out the plates. We have been on several occasions and always opted to share all six dishes. Austinis a whiz in the kitchen and we have always been quite impressed by the quality of the food and the delicious flavors. On our most recent trip the menu was:
- Pozole: hominy, chilies, tomatoes, pork rinds, pulled pork, cabbage
- Mixed green salad with smoked chicken, spiced almonds, aged cheddar, sherry vinaigrette
- Leek and goat cheese tart with red pepper puree, greens, red wine dressing
- Spaetzle with roasted sweet potatoes, smoked farmers cheese, hazelnuts, herb brown butter jus
- Shaoxing braised pork shoulder over white bean ragout, kale, toasted garlic and herb broth
- Grapefruit upside down cake with Grand Marnier sabayon
As usual, all of the dishes were wonderful! The stand out for me on this particular evening was the leek and goat cheese tart with it’s flaky, buttery crust and light yet rich filling. The other highlight was the braised pork shoulder which was fork tender and nicely complemented the creamy white beans.
On select Saturdays the Boxcarr gang serves brunch at 3 Cups as well. I must say, their rendition of the Southern classic Shrimp and Grits is one of the best I have ever tasted! They have also started a food truck called Local in Motion, which I haven’t tried yet, but other local food bloggers have enjoyed their tastes.
It is truly a special treat that we are able to enjoy local, seasonal, delicious food straight from the farm passionately prepared by the farmers themselves.