Review: Spotted Dog – Carrboro

Spotted Dog in Carrboro is Man’s Best Friend

My husband and I finally got a chance to go out and celebrate our birthdays, which are held just over two weeks apart. This year we chose to celebrate at the Spotted Dog in Carrboro. Many people know that Carrboro is a vegetarian’s paradise, with many restaurants featuring plenty of great choices for both vegetarians and vegans and the Spotted Dog is no exception. There is a whole page of the menu dedicated to those who don’t eat meat.

vegetarian menu

The menu features many vegetarian items, but there's plenty for meat lovers too!

The restaurant is located right in the middle of Weaver Street and Main Street, so the building has a triangular shape to it. We came to the restaurant early, so were seated in an instant. The restaurant is cleverly decorated with lots of artwork featuring dogs, of course. But unfortunately man’s best friend is not allowed inside the restaurant and there is no outdoor seating, so pooches must be left at home.

The Spotted Dog is smack dab in the middle of Carrboro.

inside the Spotted Dog

The building is a triangular shape and has lots of dog art on the walls.

But this night, both Scott and I chose meals that were not on the vegetarian menu. We started off by having an appetizer of calamari. The Spotted Dog features one of the best dishes of calamari in the Triangle. It has a light, flaky crust and the calamari is as tender as a baby’s cheek. The sauce is a tangy version of Russian dressing with a little bit of cayenne pepper, giving it just a hint of spiciness.


The calamari is a great selection to start off your meal at the Spotted Dog.

For our main courses, I had the Mahi Mahi tacos and Scott had the roasted red pepper pasta with chicken. The tacos were amazing. They are wrapped in a tortilla and fried and are presented much like a very large egg roll. The Mahi Mahi was cooked perfectly. It was moist and succulent, but not undercooked. It was prepared with fresh cabbage, bean sprouts, lime, jalapeno and cilantro. The tortilla was nice and crunchy and since it was wrapped like an egg roll, the contents stayed nice and contained inside the tortilla. The tacos were also served with a fresh black bean salad that had red and green peppers, red onions, cilantro and lime. It was light and refreshing and was the perfect complement to the spicy tacos. Our waitress told us the tacos were very popular and at times they run out of them because so many people order them. I can understand why!

Mahi Mahi Tacos

The Mahi Mahi Tacos are a very popular item at the Spotted Dog.

Scott’s roasted red pepper pasta was a nice blend of roasted red peppers, sun dried tomatoes, and basil served in a cream sauce with nice, large pieces of white chicken, served over linguini. We were told that this is a brand new dish for the Spotted Dog. It also did not disappoint. The flavors were a great combination for the pasta and the chicken was nice and tender.
Though we were both pretty full, we knew that we could not leave the Spotted Dog without having a piece of their famous bread pudding. The night we were there, they were featuring the lemon walnut bread pudding. They change the flavors from time to time, but all of the choices are amazing. The lemon sauce is delicate and is both sweet and tart. The crunchiness of the walnuts gives the bread pudding some texture and the vanilla sorbet helps bring this dish all together. Needless to say, our plates were clean and our bellies were full after this meal. Time to take a stroll around Carrboro and enjoy a lovely spring evening in Carolina!

lemon walnut bread pudding

The lemon walnut bread pudding is one of the most popular dessert items on the menu.

The Spotted Dog is located at 111 Main Street in downtown Carrboro. It is open from Tuesday-Sunday from 11:30a.m.-12a.m.

Spotted Dog Restaurant & Bar on Urbanspoon

Jamie Nunnelly is a communications professional who has worked for companies such as General Motors, Tropicana Products, Inc. and Advantis Corporation and spent over a decade in economic development as the communications director for the Research Triangle Regional Partnership and the Research Triangle Foundation of NC. She published a quarterly magazine called "The Park Guide." Currently, she is the communications director for the National Institute of Statistical Sciences (NISS) and the Statistical and Applied Mathematical Sciences Institute (SAMSI). Jamie considers herself a bit of a "foodie," and loves to try all kinds of cuisine. She has traveled to places such as Colombia, Europe, Costa Rica, Alaska, Canada and Mexico. Jamie and her husband, Scott, have lived in the Research Triangle region since 1995.
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2 Responses to Review: Spotted Dog – Carrboro

  1. @ggpr says:

    Thanks, Jamie. This is making me hungry.

  2. Charlie Brinson says:

    Great post, Jamie! We're glad to have you as a part of Eat It, North Carolina! Those mahi mahi tacos look amazing!

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