Greetings from Carrboro,
We struggle. A lot. Not with making something taste delicious; that part we get. But making something sound delicious is often a very real challenge. And honestly, not just delicious but also smart. The lexicon of words used to describe southern food can leave a lot to be desired. Equally cannibalized by the “Kountry Kitchen” phenomena where words like “vittles” haunt the menu and by those southern “themed” places that have the incessant need to name everything after a made up relative. Because honestly, nothing says yummy quite like “Great Aunt Fannybell’s Famous Wing-a-Ding” followed by a description full of exclamation points making it feel like someone’s yelling at you. Cheese! Bacon! Shhhh.
But try as we might, there’s often no escape, no easy way to sidestep the limitations. And with summer in full swing, I always get flummoxed by one specific category: dips. Or, you know, spreads. Either word does nothing to tantalize the senses. And both seem more akin to something you buy at a hardware store than something you put in your mouth. Lucky French restaurants get to use words like paté and rillette and terrine. Those just sound fancier. Foie gras dip wouldn’t be nearly as popular. And they’d have to charge half as much. But a southern restaurant saying pimento cheese terrine would be wrong in just as many ways.
I guess we’re just going to have to embrace it. What the hell. There are just too many delicious versions – hot and cold – that are perfect for summer evenings. Growing up, they were always one of my favorite things at July family reunions and church suppers. I was generally a fan of pretty much anything that I could put on a Ritz cracker. And, well, that still kinda fits. So, starting this weekend we’re going to have a separate section of our menu devoted to dips and spreads (there, I said it). We’ll change some items week to week with both classics – think crab and artichoke dip – to our own concoctions – peach & thyme jam with goat cheese, for example. But all delicious. And perfect for summer. If you come up with a better word, let us know.
The 22nd annual Acme Tomato Festival is next week, July 12th-16th. It’s our annual belly-flop into the delicious heart of summer. We will spend the week knee deep in every kind of tomato we can find – slicing and dicing, frying and oven-drying, steaming and dreaming. Tomato pies and tomato chutney. Tomato sauce and tomato salsa. The whole shebang. And the posters are here! Hooray! It’s always one of the best weeks of the year to eat at Acme. We hope you can join us.
This weekend @ Acme: Dips & Spreads galore. BLT bento box. Flash-fried okra. Shooting Point oysters on the half-shell. Wedge salad. Classic shrimp cocktail. Southern tomato pie. Watermelon sangria. Pecan-crusted fried chicken. Chili-crusted NY strip steak. Corn pudding. Acme smashburgers. Shrimp & scallop risotto. Flash-fried flounder. Smoked pork ribs. Key lime pie. Acme tomato plate. Ice-cold beer. Blackened salmon. Brussels sprouts. Summertime melon salad. Acme cornbread. Tuna ceviche. The only struggle is figuring out what to eat.
Well, that’s all the news from Carrboro. The staff at Acme look forward to serving you soon.
The Staff at Acme