Well, the time has come for use to make another move. This time we are moving to the Chicago area. With the addition of the peanut, it was time to be closer to my family. We have absolutely loved our time here in the Triangle and especially the food scene. In the four years we have lived here were have developed many favorite places and we have been trying to visit as many as we can before we head out. The spots we are making a priority to get back to are (in no particular order):
Mexican-Asian fusion is not something I’ve seen before but is the concept behind Lucha Tigre. It is a new-ish place, in the old Flying Burrito space next to Flyleaf Books and Foster’s Market in Chapel Hill. The space is nice with gray walls decorated with black, white and red Lucha Libre wrestling posters. We went early, since we have the little one, and the atmosphere was causal and comfortable. We started with the Lucha Mojito which were a twist on the traditional mojito and included ginger. It was fresh and bright! I loved that it was served with a piece of sugar cane which I had to chew down!
Kitchen has become one of our new favorites and each time we go we wonder why we hadn’t tried it sooner. It is a wonderful neighborhood gem nestled in a strip mall next to a laundry mat. The space is intimate with a bar for seating for ~10 people, one larger 6 top table, and about 10-12 other 4 and 2 tops. The tables and space are simple but thoughtfully decorated with chefs white aprons signed by local chefs. The couple behind the restaurant are Dick and Sue Barrows who have been in the restaurant business for years. Dick is the chef and runs the kitchen. Sue manages the front of the restaurant with a warm friendliness that makes you feel as though you have come to their home for dinner. The space is small and they don’t take reservations however, you can take your glass of wine or beverage over to the wonderful independent, Flyleaf Books, as you wait for a table.
The Carolina Inn is a beautiful, historic inn in the center of Chapel Hill on UNC’s campus. In the summer they have a lovely tradition of ‘Fridays on the Front Porch’ in which they have a local bluegrass band playing outside and offer food and drinks for purchase. It is such a fun, relaxing afternoon. I have wanted to go all summer long and between the ridiculous heat, the thunderstorms, and our own travel we finally managed to go a couple of Fridays ago. We decided to make an evening out of it and enjoy dinner at the inn’s restaurant, Carolina Crossroads. We headed to the inn around 6:30pm and enjoyed the music for about an hour and then made our way to the restaurant. It is an intimate, charming space with French country decor. The light yellow walls are accented by crisp white table clothes and tarheel blue upholstered chairs and banquettes.
Chapel Hill has recently gained another Indian restaurant in the old Cypress on the Hill space. A couple of weekends ago we checked out the new CholaNad for lunch. The room is simple and modern with exposed duct work, sleek wooden furniture, and crisp white tablecloths. It is basically the same as it was before with a few Indian wall hangings.
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.