8 Mouthwatering Dishes We Loved This Year

8 Mouthwatering Dishes We Loved This Year

Enjoy some of our favorite eats from all around town.

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It’s a tough job, but someone had to visit eateries and try sandwiches, empanadas, ice cream and more for The Dish column in each issue of Chapel Hill Magazine. Here, a look back at my favorites from 2015.

PHOTO BY SALLY SCRUGGS
Photo by Sally Scruggs

I could only finish half of my mammoth grilled pimento cheese sandwich with maple-pepper bacon that was perfectly smoky and oozing with cheese at Olio & Aceto.

Photo by Sally Scruggs
Photo by Sally Scruggs

LaPlace also has a menu that could comfort homesick Louisianans with boudin balls, étouffée and the aforementioned po’boys (my version was made from ground pork and shrimp and topped with okra, tomato and andouille chips).

PHOTO BY BRIANA BROUGH
Photo by Briana Brough

For many, this pecan-crusted chicken with herbs and tomatoes would pass for a hearty supper. All I know is that Acme consistently cooks up some of the best fried chicken in town morning, noon and night.

PHOTO BY SALLY SCRUGGS
Photo by Sally Scruggs

Accompanied by a little glass of sangrita, an acidic, spicy palate cleanser, I was ready for flaky empanadas like the Piggly Wiggly, their ode to Carolina-style pulled pork, and my favorite, the Havana Jerk with mango salsa at Calavera Empanada & Tequila Bar.

Photo by Jessica Stringer
Photo by Jessica Stringer

After a few bites of the incredibly creamy pickled peach ice cream at Crook’s Corner, chef Bill Smith warns, “You might get a little heat – a pleasant heat I think.”

Roots
Photo by Sally Scruggs

For their pork tamales, [Roots Bakery Bistro & Bar] slow cooks the meat beloved by both cultures and nestle it in a scoop of masa, a dough made from ground corn.

dish il palio
Photo by Jessica Stringer

Made with imported bucatini, a local duck egg and a salty pork that’s cured for months, the duck egg carbonara at Il Palio is a creamy indulgence that owes its almost spicy flavor to plenty of black pepper.

Photo by Sarah Arneson
Photo by Sarah Arneson

[The shrimp and grits] is a modern spin on a beloved favorite that also reflects Crossroads Chapel Hill’s recent transformation.

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Jessica is the Executive Editor for Chapel Hill Magazine. As a 2010 grad of UNC, she's happy to be back in town writing, editing and eating around the Triangle.