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Chapel Hill Restaurants: West Franklin, Part 1

Chapel Hill, NC – West Franklin Street might just be the Triangle’s Restaurant Row. From Columbia Street to S. Graham, it’s one interesting eatery next to another.

There are still some old favorites on West Franklin. But turnover is high in the restaurant business and I was surprised at how many cool looking new places had opened up.

That’s part of what makes W. Franklin the epicenter of the food scene in the Triangle – the energy is there. Both restaurateurs and foodies know it’s the place to go to try something new and exciting.

I mean, a girl needs to eat when she’s not selling houses. And Franklin Street is just 10 minutes up the road from my house in Monterrane.

In fact, there’s so much restaurant stuff happening on West Franklin that this story has to be in two parts.

Part 1: The North Side of the Street

Staring at Graham Street and heading back toward the center of town, here’s the line up.

The Chocolate Door
Handmade chocolate and truffles. It’s like you fell asleep and woke up in Switzerland. I mean, what’s not to love in a chocolate boutique?

India Palace
A mainstay on West Franklin with the college crowd. Fast, inexpensive and tasty.

Italian Pizzeria
Another W. Franklin fixture. Sometimes, a slice of pizza is one of life’s great pleasures.

Carolina Brewery
The big attraction is the beer – fresh, imaginative and flavorful. Many signature brews on tap including Flagship IPA (Gold Medal, Great American Beer Festival), Copperline Amber Ale (Gold Medal, World Beer Championships), and Sky Blue Golden Ale (Silver Medal, World Beer Championships). Voted Best Brewpub in the Southeast by Brewpub magazine, and Best Burger in the Triangle by Independent Magazine and the readers of The Daily Tar Heel.

Telulla’s
Turkish food. A truly unique experience – the decor, the music and the food. You may not recognize one item on the menu, but everything is well-explained and the cuisine is similar to others in the Eastern Mediterranean. Try Karisik Izgara:

Four different Kebabs in one dish! An inviting combination of lamb chop, -weekends doner kebab-, lamb, chicken and Adana kebabs cooked to your desire and served with rice and greens. A luxurious treat for any lover of kebabs!

Elaine’s
Since 1999, one of the most celebrated restaurants in the area. Chef Bret Jennings is known for his unique style of regional American cuisine. He’s been featured in Southern Living and has cooked at the James Beard House in New York.

West End Wine Bar – More than 60 interesting wines on the menu from  Picpoul (a modest French white that’s amazingly refreshing on a hot day) to Nero d’Avola, a mouthful of flavor from Sicily. West End also has savory side plates of meats and cheeses in the European tradition, much like tapas. Definitely a date-night location.

Mediterranean Deli
A vast menu of Mediterranean specialties including falalfel, hummus, gyro, stuffed grape leaves, wonderful olives and a very fine Chicken Salad on a pita. You will be glad you did not go to Wendy’s. They also serve Fatayers, a delicacy you won’t find too often:

Fatayers are served with fresh feta and mozzarella cheeses on our traditional Middle-Eastern, boat-shaped dough made with certified organic flour.

Ham’s
Casual family dining since 1935.

Cypress on the Hill
Another date-night restaurant. Guys will love the Veal Porterhouse or the Painted Hills Ribeye . Girls might enjoy Stuffed Quail or the fresh NC Dayboat Black Grouper. The latter comes with Maque Grits and Collards.

Gumby’s Pizza
A place to get a quick slice or some wings.

Jimmy John’s
My daughter loves these sandwiches.

Vespa
Chapel Hill’s authentic Italian. Risotto di Mare, Penne Al Fumo and Veal Scaloppine are all sure to satisfy. Wash it down with a nice Montepulciano. Lovely patio in mild weather.

Noodles and Company
Noodles prepared to your order in Asian style, Mediterranean, American or Customize It (pick your own ingredients and flavors). Fast, fun and healthy concept. Great website.

Kildare Irish Pub
Not your typical “Irish” pub, owner Dave Magrogan has gone to great lengths to import artifacts from Ireland that recreate the atmosphere and history of Irish pubs. The food is hearty, the beer is strong and the conversation lively.

Lime & Basil
Vietnamese and Pho cuisine. Pho is a noodle soup which can have beef, chicken, fish or vegetables and is great on a rainy Chapel Hill afternoon.

Caribou Coffee
What’s great about this Caribou is that it’s in an old auto service station.

I Love NY Pizza
You can have three pizza joints on one block. Which one do you like best?

Ben & Jerry’s
Sometimes college kids need their Cheesecake Brownie or Cherry Garcia. Sometimes, we all do.

Qdoba
Fast and cheerful Mexican grill.

So there you have it: 18 places to eat on the north side of West Franklin. I have to go for a run before I hit the south side of the block.

What Do You Like?

What’s your favorite restaurant in Chapel Hill?

Pittsboro Events in August

Eagles, tigers, biofuels and a good old-fashioned street fair – where could you find all that in one place?

How about Pittsboro during the month of August?

Jordan Lake Wildlife Observation Platform
Saturday, August 14, 9am – 10am

Photo courtesy of N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission

Take a short hike to the new Jordan Lake Wildlife Observation Platform off of Martha’s Chapel Road.

Bring binoculars and hopefully you will see living examples of our national bird, as well as other flying friends. The guide for this tour will be Chris Militscher with the Environmental Protection Agency.

Meet in the parking lot. The entrance from Martha’s Chapel Road is marked with a brown “Watchable Wildlife” binoculars sign.

Register for the trip by contacting Central Carolina Community College, Pittsboro campus, Continuing Education office. Registration may be done by calling 919.542.6495 ext 8044 or in person at the office, 764 West St., Pittsboro, NC. More Info

Biofuels Tour
August 6, 2010 – 10:00am – 12:00pm
The Abundance Foundation
192 Lorax Lane Pittsboro, NC 27312

More Info

Photo from The Abundance Foundation

Biofuels, like biodiesel and ethanol, are derived from plant and animal products. They can be used to run cars, buses and trucks and are an important part of the growing “green energy” market.

Turns out Pittsboro is a hot bed of biofuels and sustainability, boasting what may be North Carolina’s first Green Business Park.

See environmentalism and business working together when the Abundance Foundation and Piedmont Biofuels give free tours of The Plant, home to Piedmont Biofuels Industrial; Eastern Carolina Organics; Screech’s hydroponic lettuce greenhouse, a biodiversity project; Vermiculture; and The Abundance Foundation’s office.

Tours are also held every Sunday at 1 PM.

First Sunday in Pittsboro
Saturday, August 7, 2010
10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Downtown Pittsboro

Downtown Pittsboro. Photo by Hal Goodtree.

Explore downtown Pittsboro shops and eateries. Fun street fair atmosphere and plenty of special festivities. Great fun for the whole family.

“First Sunday” in August is actually on Saturday. Take note.

Carolina Tiger Rescue Twilight Tours
Ages 13 and up
1940 Hanks Chapel Rd.
Pittsboro, NC 27312

Photo from Carolina Tiger Rescue

Saturdays at 6, your tour will take you on guided half-mile walk to meet some of the world’s most endangered species.

Your guide will personally introduce you to tigers, caracals, servals, ocelots, binturongs, and kinkajous, explaining the rescue stories that brought them to Carolina Tiger Rescue and the issues that their kind face in the wild.

The tour will last approximately 1 1/2 – 2 hours. Dates in August:

  • August 7, 2010 – 6:00pm – 7:30pm
  • August 14, 2010 – 6:00pm – 7:30pm
  • August 21, 2010 – 6:00pm – 7:30pm
  • August 28, 2010 – 6:00pm – 7:30pm

These special walks are during the most active part of the predators’ days. Call for reservations (919) 542-4684.

More about Pittsboro

All this stuff is happening less than fifteen minutes from my woodsy home in Monterrane.

If you want to know more about Pittsboro and Chatham County, get in touch!

Julie Roland Realtor®
Realty World Carolina Properties
919-274-8004
jroland@nc.rr.com

Jordan Lake Boat Rentals

Pittsboro, NC – Realtors are expected to be experts in their communities. I’m always collecting info about schools, restaurants, events, kids sports and more. But one of the most frequent questions I get is: “Can you rent a boat on Jordan Lake?”

Yes, you can. But the info is a little hard to gather. And Jordan Lake is in my backyard – literally five minutes away from Monterrane.

So here’s a quick list of some good resources for various kinds of boat rental on Jordan Lake – fishing boats, pontoons, jet skis, kayaking and canoeing. Something for everyone. Read more

The Pleasures of Pittsboro

Pittsboro, NC – If you’re looking for small village charm in the heart of the Triangle, look no farther than Pittsboro.

An Historic Downtown

Founded in 1787, Pittsboro was incorporated as the seat of Chatham County government. One hundred twenty five lots were laid out surrounding a public square bisected by four streets. Today, the downtown Historic District spans 59 acres and lists 92 principal buildings, 39 outbuildings, 3 cemeteries and a civil war monument.

The streets are punctuated with historic markers and the old buildings each have a story to tell.

The big news in the recent past was a fire that severely damaged the historic Chatham County Courthouse in the center of town. The Board of Commissioners immediately voted to restore the building to its former glory. That work is already under way.

Shopping, Dining and Entertainment

Shopping, services and restaurants radiate out from the courthouse, giving Pittsboro a truly vibrant downtown.

There’s Urban Sampler, home to chic design and Virlie’s Grill, a local eatery where everybody knows your name. Old Pittsboro Antiques affords shoppers a chance to own a small piece of history, musicians flock to Sullivan Music, Bizu sells fine handcrafted jewelry and Antonella’s pampers customers looking for a European salon experience. Blissful!

One of the most popular destinations in downtown Pittsboro is the General Store Cafe. Locals prize the healthy, inventive, casual dining experience in an old-fashioned general store. From art to gardening and home furnishings, GSC delights visitors with things for sale and things to eat. They also have one of the best musical stages in the area making GSC a popular night spot.

I’d be remiss not to mention S&T Soda Shoppe, a Victorian charmer that’s the favorite haunt of my kids.

One more gem in downtown Pittsboro: French Connection. No, not the trendy clothing store. This is the place to go for fine imported furniture and antiques, plus some truly dramatic collectibles. You’re not going to find any of this stuff at the mall.

French Connection sells European and African antiques, art and collectibles.

Getting Back to Nature

Jordan Lake, a 47,000 acres recreation are just outside Pittsboro.

In addition to one of the most vibrant historic downtown districts in the State, Pittsboro is fortunate to be close to many of the area’s premier outdoor recreational attractions.

The Haw River rushes and bubbles to the east of town. It’s one of the best rivers in the Piedmont for canoeing and kayaking.

Then there’s Jordan Lake. The state-run recreation area encompasses almost 47,000 acres and offers boating, swimming, beaches & picnic areas, fishing, wind surfing, kayaking, water skiing, camping and bird watching. It’s also one of the region’s largest summertime roosts of the bald eagle.

Transportation

In the Traingle, all roads lead to Pittsboro.

One of the reasons Pittsboro has continued to thrive over the generations is its location as a hub of area roads.

15-501 connects the center of town to Chapel Hill, a mecca of sports, culture and excitement.

US-64 also runs through town, affording easy transportation to Raleigh, Cary and Apex. It’s just a short drive to professional sports, world-class concert venues and the big-city vibe of the State Capital.

See Pittsboro on a map.

Living in Pittsboro

This lovely house is in the Monterrane neighborhood.

Wooded subdivisions dot the landscape around the town. There’s Henry’s Ridge, The Preserve, Legacy and my own neighborhood, Monterrane.

Real estate and homes around Pittsboro appeal to people who like the woodsy serenity of being surrounded by nature.

My Take on Pittsboro

What’s not to love? A cute, vibrant downtown, proximity to the best outdoor activities in the Triangle and good value, high-quality homes and neighborhoods.

If you’re thinking about living in the Triangle, you owe it to yourself to look at Pittsboro. Call, email or just visit – my office is at 73 Hillboro St. right in the center of town.

General Store Cafe in Pittsboro. Photos by Hal Goodtree, all rights reserved.

175 Deep Creek Lot 443


Unique opportunity to own this spectacular lot in front of hole #12. Beautiful views with the privacy of a cul-de-sac.  Enjoy all the amenities Chapel Ridge has to offer.  Tap and water fees included in price.  Offered at $131,000  MLS # 947214

Contact

Get in touch for more info.

Julie Roland Realty, Inc.
Julie Roland, Owner/Broker
Pittsboro, NC
919-274-8004
jroland@nc.rr.com