Friday, June 29, 2007

a glass of Laphroaig

I didn't manage to head off on my trip yesterday until after 3:00 o'clock and then spent the first couple hours of my trip staring at the back of the car in front of me, so I didn't get down to Chapel Hill until 9:30 or so.

My late arrival meant that Crook's Corner -- where I was planning on getting my first plate of shrimp and cheese grits -- was closed for dinner. I considered the possibility of banging on the front door and explaining to them that I had driven all the way from DC for that damn plate of shrimp and cheese grits, but my dignity got in the way.

Unfortunately, the standard that had been set in my mind of of shrimp and cheese grits meant that the offerings of pizza, Mexican fast food and sports bar menu items that were available to me at that hour of the night just weren't going to hack it. So dinner amounted to a glass of Laphroiag and a chat with Ray, the bartender at the hotel bar.

Ray, whose sister -- also named Alison -- recently passed away from ovarian cancer, informed me that The Franklin Hotel opened on New Year's Eve. If you have a reason to be in Chapel Hill, I'd suggest you check on availability and stay here. It's a really lovely boutique hotel right in the midst of Franklin Street -- the pedestrian hub -- and the rates are shockingly low ($143/night), for a traveler accustomed to paying NY rates.

Actually, because the hotel was so nice and because I'm not willing to head out of town without that damn plate of shrimp and cheese grits, I'm spending another night. I'm aiming for a lazy morning in the room and then a trip over to Durham for a trip down memory lane (I lived there nine years ago). I'll come back to Chapel Hill this afternoon for a stroll on Franklin Avenue and then -- YES -- dinner at Crook's Corner. I picked up the schedule at Cat's Cradle but the band that's playing tonight doesn't look or sound like something that's going to float my boat.

Where's Superchunk when you need them?

Good luck to all the folks in line for the iPhone.


Andre said...

I love me some NC - one of my good friends is moving to Chapel Hill next month for grad school and I love the Raleigh-Durham area. My sister and mom are there now. Thanks for bringing us along for the adventure!

abf said...

It really is a fabulous part of the country. Tell your friend to try the shrimp and cheese grits at Crook's. Definitely worth the trip.

El Duderino said...

Laphroaig is nice, have you tried Glendronach?