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Two Tastes of the South

October 15th, 2007 Leave a comment Go to comments

Suzanne’s brother Jamey came to visit this weekend, and one of his requests was to get a chance to sample some local cuisine. We picked to local Chapel Hill eateries that represented different takes on “down home” cooking.

On Saturday, we journeyed to The Barbecue Joint (630 Weaver Dairy Rd, Chapel Hill, NC) in northern Chapel Hill. The restaurant is in an unassuming strip mall, and is fairly small, with very kitschy decorations. I first became aware of the place after a visit by Rachael Ray as part of an episode of her $40 A Day show. While the atmosphere was nothing special, the food was. I ordered the BBQ beef, which was think and juicy. The sides, coleslaw and pickles were amazing, and some of the best I have had. I have to admit I hate coleslaw, but this was different—very crisp and not saturated with mayo, while the cucumbers were ever so slightly pickled.

Sunday night we went to Mama Dip’s Country (kitchen (408 W. Rosemary St., Chapel Hill, NC). While not a huge restaurant, it is much larger than the Barbecue Joint, and more traditionally decorated.  Mildred Council (a.k.a Mama Dip) has been a fixture in Chapel Hill since the sixties. I have been eating at Mama Dip’s Country Kitchen since the late 80’s, before the move to its current location. I have fond memories, of good eating, but the food just doesn’t seem to be as good as I remember. I ordered the sliced BBQ beef, with peas and potatoes, baked apples, and corn bread for the sides. The beef was sliced thin, and was fairly dry, requiring the BBQ to make it edible. The sides were fairly unremarkable, with the baked apples being the best of them.

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