Friday, April 30, 2010

Saxapahaw Surprise

Saxapahaw is a tiny town between Chapel Hill and Burlington, NC. They have great outdoor concerts and farmer's markets in the summer. Otherwise, there isn't much to be found in this town until recently when the general/ convenience store added a grill. Normally, I would never drive by a place like this and think it was a good idea to stop for dinner. What a surprise. On their website, they claim to be a "little store with a big mission". The general store does a great job of using local and hormone free meats and vegetables. Every night, they have a chalkboard of specials like Asian pork spare ribs with collards and mashed potatoes or salmon with asparagus risotto. They also have an extensive sandwich, salad and pizza menu. I recently tried the "saxy pizza"; a white pizza with artichokes and roasted tomatoes. Delicious. Try breakfast as well. There is always a supply of bakery goods, excellent local coffee and full plates of eggs, biscuits and potatoes.

This is the first place I've tried duck fat fries. If you watch Anthony Bourdain's show on the Travel Channel, you've heard him rave about duck fat fries. As an occasional splurge, try them for the rich flavor that brings out the roasted potato flavor. Not your ordinary fries. You'll see what I mean.

The general store's slogan should be "come as you are and eat well". There's no pretentiousness about this place and it's hard to believe you can find gourmet food in such a location. You'll run into all sorts of people, which is part of the fun. And it's common to hear the chef singing while he works, which is indicative of the happiness ingredient that makes this place successful. This place is definitely off the map and a true locavore's treasure, but it's worth the hunt.

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