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Thursday February 2nd

Drunchies: We ate cheese fries and Brussels sprouts at Linda's

<p>The loaded sweet potato tots, left, and the loaded regular tots at Linda's.</p>
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The loaded sweet potato tots, left, and the loaded regular tots at Linda's.


Chapel Hill-Carrboro is known for a lot of things — sports, music, liberalism in the center of a red state — but we think it should be known for one more thing: drunchies. Drunchies, for those who don’t know, are drunk munchies, or the food you eat when you’re intoxicated. We bravely decided to take on the challenge of finding the best and the worst drunchies in the area.

For our first review, city editor Jane Littlevisual managing editor José Valle, investigations director Sara Salinas, city staff writer Olivia Ross and swerve director Sarah Vassello took it to the place where the term Drunchies was born: Linda’s.

We started this adventure on a Wednesday, which means that we got blue cups at He’s Not Here for pint night, obviously. It was overcast, and lightning illuminated the night, but we foolishly thought it wouldn't rain. Ah, to be young and naive. Assistant city editor Ryan Salchert joined in this activity, but, alas, would not join us at Linda’s.

After a blue cup and a torrential downpour, we decided it was time to mangia (Jane says this means eat in Italian. She went to Italy). We ran to Linda’s, and it was OK at best, being tipsy and in the rain. Which is fun sometimes, but most of the time it just makes your one dramatic friend even more dramatic (this was Sarah Vassello).

Once the squad rolled up and snatched the middle table right across from the bar, Michael, the Linda’s manager, handed out menus and said, “Y’all know the drill.”

Indeed we do.

We each ordered our own item — No. 1 mistake. No one could decide, and then when it came time to order we got flustered and made poor but delicious choices.

Here’s what we ordered:

  • 1/2 order of loaded cheese fries without bacon (Sarah and Sara are vegetarian)
  • Fried Brussels sprouts (a semi-green vegetable)
  • 1/2 order of loaded sweet potato tots
  • 1/2 order of loaded regular potato tots
  • Chicken tenders with loaded fries (no bacon on fries for sharing purposes)

(Note: The tenders and fries aren’t usually served loaded, but you can swap regular for loaded).

Then, we dug in, and luckily for you, recorded some of our thoughts at the time.

Thoughts

“I fucking love Linda’s.” — Julia Child, probably.

Everything was, as expected, amazing. Even the sprouts.

We admittedly had a few too many orders of loaded fries and should’ve diversified a little bit, but you can’t beat a classic.

The variation in tot type was a genius idea — thanks, Olivia. We noticed that the regular potato tots went really well with the spicier ranch, but the sweet potato tots with the spicy ranch kind of overwhelmed some of us.

But “overwhelmed” does not mean “didn’t finish the basket.”

For pairing purposes, we paired these carbs (and vegetables lol) with more carbs — Sarah got Wicked Weed Lieutenant Dank IPA, which she thought was very excellent. Sara and Jane got Tröegs DreamWeaver Wheat. Olivia got a WIcked Weed Pernicious IPA. José didn’t get alcohol because he is responsible and said that “three beers is enough.”

After we closed out, it was raining so hard that there was a flash flood warning. We ran back to the office as best as we could, getting absolutely soaked in the process. Sarah realized she left her car windows open for the third time in two weeks, and her phone stopped working due to the rain.

“I’m so done,” she said, dramatically. “I’m so done.”

The morning after

“The journey is the destination.” — photojournalist Dan Eldon, a Snapple bottlecap

About 24 hours later, we regrouped to recount our experiences.

Sara Salinas: The cheese fries were exactly what I was hoping for after a blue cup. I ate them so fast that I'm pretty sure I burned my tongue, which is not the first time I've done that. Still feeling good about them today. Would get cheese fries again. Would get cheese fries like right now, to be honest.

Olivia Ross: Although some parts of the night were blurry, the tater tots are still in my mind. No regrets.

Sarah Vassello: I love Brussels sprouts, and I feel really good about our choices last night. l will love Linda’s forever and always, and I hadn’t been there since Saturday, so it was time. I really wish it didn’t rain, and I also wish I were less dramatic about that.

José Valle: It was the perfect place to go after a fun time of drinking.

Jane Little: I have a few regrets, like ruining my brand-new shoes in the rain. But other than that, it was an A+ event.

Drunchies score

“I like criticism. It makes you strong.” - Lebron James

Environment: 8/10 (casual, comforting, people are nice)

Drunchies options: 9/10 (everyone from vegans to carnivores to people allergic to gluten can find something)

Price: 7/10 (We are willing to spend $7.95 on cheese fries because they are holy, but it is a lot for fries)

Further drinking options: 10/10 (Linda’s is a full bar, and they know what they’re about). We recommend asking Adam for a Seeing Double IPA and then he will recommend a “beer that’s better than that,” but we can’t remember the name.

swerve@dailytarheel.com

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