Sorry, forgot one of the other outstanding stops on the trip, and the reason that I spent the night in Chapel Hill. It’s a place a Roadfooder would love, but which sells no Roadfood.
It’s A SOUTHERN SEASON gourmet grocery store in the University Mall in Chapel Hill, just a few miles off I-40. I had seen this place on the Food Network’s Food Finds, several years ago, and this was the first chance that I had to visit. This is a 50,000 square foot store which strangely enough sells almost no traditional groceries, and surprisingly does not even have that large a bakery or prepared foods operation. It started as a gift basket kind of store with gourmet kitchen appliances. It is now a full kitchen housewares operation with a very large coffee bean department, expansive selection of gourmet grocery items, such as hot sauces, mustards, bbq sauces, rubs, spices, etc. It is a wonderful place to do gift shopping.
Since I’m not a cook, I didn’t examine every aisle in detail, but this is one hell of a place. The only other store I’ve been to that compares, is Central Market in Texas, but Central is much more a prepared food and grocery store.
The only purchase I made was a 4 pak of Sprecher’s Root Beer. I had never seen this in any store I’d been to, and it was the most touted brand in a recent Root Beer thread. Haven’t tried it yet though.
I would have liked to have spent more time at A Southern Season, and even wished I had a gift list to fulfil. This is one place you want to see for yourself. And for those groceries, there’s a Harris Teeter in the back of the University Mall.