Greetings from Carrboro,
The baggy chile pepper pants are gone. Along with the equally fashionable pasta pants. Thankfully. And I haven’t seen someone wearing kitchen clogs in a hot minute, though Crocs continue to make regular appearances. The tall poofy toques – à la Chef Boyardee – never were a thing in any restaurant where I’ve worked. And to be honest, it might actually be illegal to wear a hat like that and serve fried chicken. But that’s only speculation.
Similarly cigarettes have disappeared. No longer does every line cook and server stand outside the kitchen door, coffee in hand, 5 minutes before the shift to have that all-important final drag. And as a result, there are no more random tins of Altoid breath mints squirreled away in every nook in the restaurant. Now people squirrel away their phones. And the restaurant actually has to buy lighters! That blows my mind.
Don’t worry; the rituals persist. Today, the Acme kitchen is fueled by yerba maté. Gallons of the stuff. Only old people like me drink coffee. If someone told me 20 years ago that a kitchen crew would collectively drink herb tea, I would have laughed. I blame Leon. He runs the line and grew up in South America where mate is the drink of choice. And like clockwork, every day someone on the team makes a giant batch of the herb tea in a white five gallon bucket. By the end of the shift it’s gone. Completely. The tea is even creeping into the floor staff’s repertoire of shift drinks. As the song says, the times they are a-changin.
But regardless of trends, what really matters is that the food coming out of the kitchen remains delicious. And it is. That’s always been the goal. As we turn to fall, the natural rhythm of the season will take hold in the kitchen. Sweet potatoes and dark greens, apples and smoked fish, fat shrimp and smoked pork. These are the rituals that are truly important. And they haven’t changed one bit. There’s something wonderful in that curated familiarity, that inevitable return to the things we truly love. I just hope that means I’ll never have to see those baggy chile pants ever again.
Speaking of rituals, tonight is the Acme Almost Friday $15. Every entrée, every Thursday is $15. Isn’t it about time for you to have a great Thursday night? The weekend starts here.
Tomorrow is my youngest daughter Addison’s 20th birthday. So hard to believe. I couldn’t be a happier or prouder father. They’re the light of my life. Happy Birthday, Monk.
This weekend @ Acme. Shooting Point oysters. Smoked tomato risotto. Forever roasted pig. Butter beans. Cast-iron skillet cornbread. Crab cakes. Wedge salad. Martha’s chile relleno. Apple cobbler with rum raisin ice cream. Acme Brussels’ sprouts. Cold beer. Peach & tomato salad. Braised beef short ribs. Deviled eggs. Pineapple & ginger sangria. Pecan-crusted fried chicken. Mississippi tamales. Pumpkin whoopie pies. Acme deluxe smash burger. Blackened salmon. Shirts and shoes required.
Well, that’s all the news from Carrboro. The staff at Acme look forward to serving you soon.
The Staff at Acme