Greetings from Carrboro,
We’d inevitably bowl on my birthday. Late January sort of dramatically limited the at-home party possibilities for a dozen kids. Plus, Park Lanes had hot dogs and pinball and all my friends liked wearing the green & red shoes. Mom would buy a cake from the Federal Bake Shop for us to eat afterward. And I’d unwrap presents – model airplanes, jigsaw puzzles, books – as we ate the cake in the side room with the grill and soda counter.
But the most important birthday tradition was family dinner. I always asked for fried chicken with rice and gravy. I’m sure that there was a vegetable on the plate but that was not the point. And, duh, warm pound cake with rocky road ice cream for dessert. Though, admittedly, there was a 3-year span during which Boston Cream Pie temporarily knocked pound cake off it’s throne. To this day I’m not completely sure how that happened. I probably just thought it was fancy.
I still think that dinner in January can be pretty damn memorable. And delicious. With or without a birthday. Fried chicken is still, well, fried chicken — the indispensable spa food for the soul. And this weekend at Acme we’ll have oysters and watercress, duck and crab cakes, flounder and deckle steaks, Brussels’ sprouts and salmon, sweet potato steaks and 4-hour braised cabbage. Not too shabby. And enough barrel-aged negronis to keep talk of politics at bay. For a night at least.
And, well, then there’s that oh-so-important dessert. It just wouldn’t be my birthday without it. So I’m going to make an Acme-fied version and share it with all of you. This Wednesday night, every diner can have some birthday pound cake (my mother’s recipe) and rocky road ice cream on me — OK, not literally on me, but you get my drift — until we run out. But don’t worry too much about that; I plan on making plenty for everyone. Because the best part of having pound cake on your birthday is popping it in the oven with lots of butter the next day for breakfast.
Well, that’s all the news from Carrboro. The staff at Acme look forward to serving you soon.
The Staff at Acme
Reservations: online or 919 929 2263