When I moved to Chapel Hill, I knew only 2 people. One was my dear friend Cheryl who I met at White Lotus during a Yoga Teacher Training Program. The other was a cook named Hitch who I worked with at the venerable Union Square Cafe. We literally worked on opposite sides of the kitchen. Hitch would work feverishly on the Pasta Station, while Karen and I would toil away in the Pastry Station. The design of the Pastry Area was created by someone with a very wicked sense of humor. During service, only 2 people could work in the area and it was still a bit too cozy. While we tried to make delicate tuiles in the top oven, the line would be searing off lobsters or bacon in the bottom one. Our Hobart machine was housed on the floor and the ice cream machine lived in the dungeon. I mean downstairs past the walk-ins and dry storage. The whole kitchen and upstairs office had an eclectic feel of a first apartment. Use of space and inherited objects would find very creative uses, but somehow it all worked.
The menu was not cutting edge, no foam or sous-vide here, just, rustic inspired food. How could you go wrong with the Greenmarket just steps away? Among the hustle and bustle, you would find a familial atmosphere. Many interns, cooks and chefs would pass through the doors to gain hands-on experience and a notable mark on their resume. I didn't know Hitch all that well, but knew he was moving to this place called North Carolina. Quelle idee! I thought when you get married and have children you move to Connecticut. Of course, roughly a year later I found myself in the same predicament and was eager to get in touch with him.
I had no idea what a culture shock it would be to move here and going to Hitch's restaurant Sandwhich definitely reminded me of home. We would reminisce about work, living in the city and adapting to life in a small town. He even let me try my hand at making a few pastries for his shop. His menu is composed of thoughtful concoctions that are far from ordinary. Each sandwich is served between Weaver Street Bakery bread and many ingredients are from local farmers. The Tuna Sandwich, a favorite, is a perfect homage to our Alma Mater.
East End Courtyard
431 West Franklin St. Suite 16
Chapel Hill, NC 27516