Chapel Hill, N.C. — For 70 years, diners at The Carolina Inn had two options for meals – the more formal restaurant or a quick-service cafeteria. When the cafeteria closed in 1994, it was gone but not forgotten. And when James Clark became chef at the Inn, he got cornered at church by ladies who asked, “Why don’t you bring back the cafeteria?”
We live in a town so steeped in culinary tradition that this inquiry should be no surprise – nor is it a shock that when chef Clark nearly took shrimp and grits off the menu, “I thought they were going to send Rameses to come get me.”
Today the shrimp and grits is just one of the new Inn Trays offered at lunch that’s accompanied by a light salad, a cup of soup and house-made pickles. It’s a modern spin on a beloved favorite that also reflects Crossroads Chapel Hill’s recent transformation. The formality is gone, and what remains is an even more inviting atmosphere coupled with the locally sourced Southern cuisine and hospitality the restaurant is known for. It’s a dining room sure to be a place for more memorable meals for years to come.
Editor’s Note: On April 21, Chef James Clark of Crossroads Chapel Hill will be featured at TASTE 2016, presented by Johnson Lexus. The Grand TASTE Experience will be held at the Durham Armory, from 6:30 to 9:00 pm. The evening will feature 30 local chefs and a dozen beverage purveyors—not to mention a live jazz band!
Tickets are on sale now at tastetheevent.com. This is part of the TASTE the Event series, and a portion of the proceeds will benefit the Durham Branch of the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina.