Greetings from Carrboro,
I knew it had been a parking lot. For 70 years, trucks had backed in, delivered, and left. Regardless, I didn’t expect my first exuberant swing of the pick-ax to bounce. Or, for that matter, the 53rd. But if there was ever going to be a garden much less a place to sit outside at the restaurant, this was going to be the spot. I honestly didn’t have a choice.
Slowly, the hard-packed soil gave way, turning over in big, jagged chunks. There were bottles and batteries – all the buried detritus of Carrboro’s inglorious 20th century. As luck would have it, I even found an intact horseshoe. To this day, it sits above the back door of the restaurant. So over those initial weeks I brought in large rocks from my house in Orange County and bought plants and manure from Southern States. That first year, I couldn’t afford to put up a fence and there wasn’t the slightest hint of shade – the birds hadn’t been kind enough to plant the trees yet.
But things got better. The trees grew. I catered a wedding to pay for the fence. Brian and Justin put in the fountain. Time, as they say, wove it’s magic. The patio was – and is – a process. And a commitment, to put it mildly. So here we are, our 20th spring in Carrboro. There is a viburnum my mom brought up in her Camry the first April that is about to explode in bloom. I thought it wouldn’t survive that first, hard summer. But look at it now. That horseshoe must have been a sign.
Shad roe (while it lasts). Pecan-crusted fried chicken. Pink Txakoli! Pickled Carolina shrimp. Pan-seared mahi-mahi. House-made torteloni. Flash-fried flounder. Grilled 14 oz strip steaks. Crab cakes. Trotter terrine. Shooting Point Oysters on the 1/2 shell. Individual key lime tarts. Blackened salmon. Fried green tomatoes. Forever roasted pig. Sweet 16 basketball. Acme burger deluxe. And all of it oh-so-much better on the patio.
Well, that’s all the news from Carrboro. The staff at Acme look forward to serving you soon.
Cheers, The Staff at Acme