After years of serving up diner fare at Elmo’s Diner in Carrboro, owner Cindy McMahan thought, “I can only cook so much meatloaf and chicken and dumplings.” Make no mistake – she’s a big fan of the crowd-pleasing pancakes and omelets – but she figured a little variety can be good. Cindy added dishes to the Elmo’s regular lineup, but then she decided to veer completely off menu with a whole new concept.
It was a few years in the making, but Cindy’s new eatery, Cafe Symmetry, opened this week at the end of Carr Mill Mall. Light pours in the formidable windows of the old mill and the citrus-colored restaurant is downright cheerful. All that sunshine is balanced by brick walls and wood tables made by neighbor Yellow Chair Market’s Amy Caylor.
Don’t worry about making a reservation here because the food’s served cafeteria-style here. Just like in elementary school, you’ll need to pick up a lunch tray before you get in line. Unlike elementary school, you’ll actually want to eat offerings like Guglhupf bread paninis and sides of sweet potatoes with poblanos and cherry tomatoes. Even picky eaters will be satisfied with an peanut butter (organic, of course) and strawberry jam. It’s all really fresh food from the salads to the freshly squeezed juices to the cocktails. We say Cindy’s got another crowd-pleaser on her hands.