Category Archives: Carrboro
The fiesta is always happening at Carrburrito’s in Carrboro. Located on Rosemary Street, just a half a block from the “V” in the road where Rosemary Street intersects with Main Street. Carrburrito’s is tucked in a corner of a two story building, sharing the space with a Buddhist Center. When you enter the establishment, the place is alive with energy. Most nights, the place is packed with students from UNC, young families with their children and other folks, like myself and my husband who just like a really good burrito.
The ingredients are fresh, mainly local and everything is made in the restaurant, including the tortillas and all the fillings. Some of the postdocs at my workplace have told me time and again that I needed to try this place, so I finally ventured out this weekend to check it out.
The ordering happens much like when you go to Mo’s. You line up, cafeteria style and order. You have a choice of three basic burritos, the plain which comes with Black or pinto beans and cheese or rice; the regular, which comes with everything in the plain, but also adds lettuce and salsa fresca; and the mejor, which comes with everything in the regular plus guacamole and sour cream. There is a great variety of fillings to add to the basic burrito. You can choose either one of the vegetarian options, such as tomatoes and rice, or vegetales asados, which is grilled marinated seasonal vegetables, or the pure’de papas, which are mashed sweet potatoes with caramelized onions. I had the sweet potato mixture and it was excellent. The sweetness of the sweet potatoes married well with the earthiness of the black beans and the spiciness of the salsa. The portions are generous, so you might even get away with eating just a half of a burrito, but I liked mine so much I ate the whole thing!
There are also a variety of meat fillings including pollo asado, which is marinated grilled chicken breast, carne desebrada, which is beef roasted in chipotle peppers, onions and garlic, or my husband’s choice, which is chorizo, a spicy pork sausage that Carrburritos makes in-house.
The plates are also accompanied by homemade tortilla chips that are a mix of corn and flour tortillas fried to a crispy golden brown. You have your choice of six salsas to dip your chips in. My husband had the salsa fresca, which included fresh tomato, jalapenos, cilantro and lemon. It was crisp and clean tasting and not too hot. I had the salsa frutas, which had lots of fresh pineapple, along with chilies, cilantro and just a tiny bit of tomato. It was really delicious and had just a little bite to it from the chili peppers. We also each had a margarita. It was OK, but nothing to write home about. It’s probably better to get another beverage here and save your money to drink at one of the many bars down the street in Chapel Hill.
Carrburritos serves more than just burritos. You can also order tacos, quesadillas, tostados and nachos. Everything we saw coming out of the kitchen looked really appetizing. I know we will be coming back to try more dishes soon.
As I said before, you will get a great deal here. The mejor was just $7.95. No wonder there were so many families with children here. You could feed your family and keep within a tight budget.
Carrburritos is located at 711 West Rosemary Street in Carrboro. They are open from 11am to 10 pm Monday through Saturday and are closed on Sundays.
Usually when you think of ACME, you may think of Wylie Coyote and the Roadrunner. Remember, the coyote would order many clever devices from ACME to try to trick the roadrunner. ACME in Carrboro may have some tricks up their sleeves, but there’s no smoke and mirrors in play when it comes to the outstanding food that is served here.
ACME has had a long standing reputation as being one of the first restaurants in the area to get almost all of their ingredients locally and to serve whatever is in season. They were trend setters in the farm to fork concept. Chef Kevin Callaghan started the restaurant in 1998 and has gained the reputation of being one of the top chefs in the Triangle.
My husband and I have taken strolls down Main Street in Carrboro many times as it is the closest town to our home in Chatham County. We would look into the window of ACME and think this was a fancy place and probably out of our price range. But we were wrong. Yes, it is an upscale dining experience, but the prices are in line with most restaurants of this caliber and we found out that they have a great special on Tuesday evenings. All the entrees are just $12.95! Should you decide to go on a Tuesday night, though, you better have reservations, because many people already know about the Tuesday special and the restaurant is quite crowded.
We went out with some friends this past Tuesday to ACME to try out the cuisine. While we waited for the rest of our party to arrive, we saddled up to the bar and had one of their drink specials, which was a watermelon mojito. It was made with fresh watermelon juice, simple syrup, mint and lime and a bit of soda water. It was a cool, refreshing summer drink.
We ordered two appetizers for the table. The first was a tray of Heirloom tomatoes with fresh mozzarella cheese and a nice pesto made from fresh basil drizzled over the top. It came with a couple of deviled eggs and the tray also featured a side of very intriguing pickled squash. The squash was sweet and sour. We think it may have had some cloves and ginger in it. Everyone loved the plate.
The second appetizer was a chili relleno with a mole sauce made with chilies and chocolate. The pepper was stuffed with a shrimp and rice filling and had a light batter that was fried. Everyone at our table raved about the mole sauce. We all had to use some bread to mop up the leftovers because it was so good.
The entrees were also fabulous. I had the crab cakes that had been seared in a cast iron pan and were jammed full of crab and hardly any filling. They were served over a plate of swiss chard, butternut squash, sweet snap beans and corn kernels and were drizzled with a light citrus beurre blanc sauce. I savored every bite of this dish!
My husband had the New York Strip served over garlic mashed potatoes and grilled asparagus. The steak was tender and the mashed potatoes were rich and creamy. I could have eaten his whole plate if he had let me too!
One of our friends had the blackened salmon, which was served with cheesy grits. The grits were smooth and comforting. The salmon was cooked perfectly and the spices worked well with the rest of the dish. It had a tomatillo sauce served over the top of the salmon. It also had a side of black beans, which were another great compliment to the dish.
Two of our other friends had the pecan crusted fried chicken with garlic mashed potatoes and southern butter beans. The sauce served over the top was a creamy tomato sauce and both men said the dish was really great. I didn’t try it myself, but I will take their word for it.
We also decided to indulge in some dessert. One couple split the key lime pie. It was the real deal. A slice of tart key lime custard filling over a graham cracker crust. The other couple had the peach and blueberry cobbler served with some whipped cream. It was another comforting Southern dish. My husband and I split the lemon mousse with blueberries and fresh whipped cream. It was a cloudy, fluffy layer of tartness and sweetness. It was nice and light, making it a perfect ending to a tremendous meal. It was accompanied by some toasty coconut macaroons. They were a great compliment to the tartness of the mousse.
ACME is open seven days a week for dinner starting at 5:30pm. They also serve a Sunday brunch from 10am to 2pm. ACME is located in downtown Carrboro at 110 East Main Street.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
The Spotted Dog is located at 111 Main Street in downtown Carrboro. It is open from Tuesday-Sunday from 11:30a.m.-12a.m.