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Take the Small Plate Crawl down Franklin Street

“Small plates still taste great, even if it’s raining,” said Nichole Livengood from Carolina Epicurean Events.

Twenty local restaurants are participating this week in the first Chapel Hill Carrboro Small Plate Crawl from September 29 to October 1.

Each restaurant has created a reduced menu of smaller portioned plates, ranging from $4 to $10 — affordable even for college students.

“This is an incredible opportunity to try beautiful, creative dishes from the talented chefs in Hillsboro, Carrboro and Chapel Hill,” Livengood said.

Daily Tar Heel staff writer, Nicole Gonzalez, and UNC student Maddisson Sheppard crawled the area, searching for the best spots for a bite.

Spotted Dog: 

Lil’ Kritters $6

The Lil’ Kritters, also known as fried calamari, are a hit or miss at any location, and Spotted Dog definitely hit the mark. Served with a tangy remoulade sauce, the lightly battered rings and tentacles are sure to be a great starter for any meal.

Southwestern Quinoa Cakes $7

Although I’m not vegan, vegetarian or anything remote, the Southwestern Quinoa Cakes were a pleasant surprise. The Tex-Mex inspired dish is reminiscent of your typical burrito, topped with fried cilantro, chipotle aioli and jalapenos for crawlers looking for a kick.

Southern Rail: 

Apple Salad $4

Three simple ingredients, one explosive flavor. The Apple Salad is as modest as it gets, with chopped green apples, mozzarella cheese and honey drizzled all over. It is a refreshing dish and uncharacteristic for the rustic style of the restaurant.

Pepsi Glazed Pork Belly $8

This dish, served with arugula salad, pickled red onions and fried brie, is probably the best value of all the dishes on the menus of the crawl. The perfect combinations of flavors in the dish make it a must on your trek, and worthy of your top dollars.

La Dolce Vita: 

Panini Sampler $9.75

The Panini Sampler is the perfect selection for lunch while studying in the quiet ambiance of this remote coffee shop. Although it's a little further than most of the locations on the crawl, the three different sandwiches, the chicken pesto panini, the Genoa salami and pepperoni panini and the traditional Caprese panini, offer a wide range of different Italian flavors making the commute worth your while.

Pumpkin and Spice Pick Me Up $7.85

This is not just your typical latte; it’s served with a slice of zucchini nut bread, creating a nice contrast from the sweetness of the coffee favorite.

Top of the Hill: 

Sliced Beef Tenderloin with Mozzarella, Tomato and Gorgonzola Vinaigrette $9.99

The beef tenderloin was just that: tender and cooked to perfection. The Gorgonzola vinaigrette should be bottled and sold in stores near you! Served over a bed of lettuce, the beef tenderloin and fresh mozzarella gave the dish an unexpected touch of grace.

Pretzel with Topo Beer Cheese $4.99

One can never go wrong with a soft pretzel and warm cheese, or so I thought. This is the one small plate on my crawl that I would recommend to skip. Although it was topped with salt and Parmesan cheese, which is never an issue, the soft pretzel was hard and I would suggest spending your money on another small plate.


Cheesecake Mini Sampler $8.95

No night of food would be complete without a dessert at the end, and Sugarland is just the place. The Cheesecake Mini Sampler is large enough for two to share, gives customers a chance to try the three different flavors, red velvet, hazelnut-chocolate and chocolate caramel cheesecake, and pairs perfectly with a warm cappuccino.

The Chapel Hill Carrboro Small Plate Crawl is a fun event for students on a budget, but there are some tips to follow. According to the Small Plate Crawl guide, crawlers are recommended to pay their tabs in cash to make their experience quicker. It is important to note that although they are smaller dishes, plan your time accordingly; it will definitely take up a majority of your night to hit at least four or five of the restaurants on the crawl. Grab an umbrella and enjoy your crawl!


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