Thursday, August 8, 2019
Greetings from Carrboro,
My first shift was brunch. It was August and hot as hell. I washed dishes. Pots and pans, really – and anything else my manager told me to clean. No one told me that my shift was over until that same boss yelled at me close to 6:30 that night to stop what I was doing and get off the clock. My arms were red from the bleach. And lord they itched. Funny thing, too, I was starving. I hadn’t eaten all day.
There was certainly no idea that I had hit upon a career; I just needed to pay rent. Sleeping on my friend Luis’s couch was not my long-term plan. I at least knew that much. The next day, the kitchen manager was honestly surprised when I showed up for work. Dishwashers were a rather undependable lot back then and I certainly didn’t look the part. But I had done the math. At $50 a day, it would take me 3 weeks to have enough money to move into my own apartment. So I wasn’t going anywhere.
That was 30 years ago. Almost to the day. And the world of restaurants has changed a lot since then. To be clear, everyone on staff is still in a band. But most everything else has shifted. Wine classes are pretty formal affairs now. They’re no longer on the roof of Cliff’s Meat Market at midnight. And the kitchen staff doesn’t clandestinely trade steaks for large pizzas in the parking lot with the Gumby’s driver anymore. Restaurants have gone legit. OK, kinda sorta legit.
But I don’t see my anniversary as so much of a milestone. It’s more of a reminder. Time moves quickly beneath all of our feet. And marks us in rich ways that make even the largest imaginable tattoo the merest pretense to set ourselves apart. Time tells us who we are. Unflinchingly and uniquely. And it’s crucial for me to hew the story that my history has woven to the story my life and words continue to tell. That the work I urgently had to do 30 years ago is what I urgently choose to do today. So, yea, still not going anywhere. But for very different reasons.
This weekend @ Acme: Soft shell crabs with shishito romesco. Acme tomato plate. Pecan-crusted fried chicken. Drool-worthy corn ribs. Summertime risotto. Blueberry pie. Scallop chili relleno. Grilled local asparagus. Forever roasted pig. Watermelon sangria. Perfect bone-in ribeye. Flash-fried Carolina flounder. Butterscotch pudding. Southern tomato pie. Blackened salmon. Frogmore stew. Deviled ham biscuits. Wedge Salad. Line-caught NC tuna. Peach cobbler. Summer squash casserole. Pink bubbly. Acme smash burger. Fried okra. And biscuits and bacon and doughnuts at brunch. It’s more delicious here.
Well, that’s all the news from Carrboro. The staff at Acme look forward to serving you soon.
The Staff at Acme
Reservations: 919 929 2263 or online