One block away from busy Franklin Street in Chapel Hill is a quiet, little, inconspicuous house bursting to the seams with history and recognition. This house holds Mama Dip’s Kitchen. Almost 40 years ago, Mama Dip opened this now famous country kitchen and it has become a Chapel Hill staple. Crystal suggested this gem for our day in Chapel Hill a few weekends ago and I’m so glad she did. After a pretty busy day checking out what Chapel Hill had to offer (more on that Thursday!), I was starving and ready for some amazing food. Mama Dip’s was perfect.
We got to the restaurant around 5:30p, a little nervous of what the crowd might be, even at that early of a dinnertime. We were the first ones for dinner that night but definitely not for long. I’ve heard that for brunch you can wait quite a while for a table so for dinner on a Saturday night, I expected much of the same. We were lucky (smart?) enough to get there early and beat the crowd. Our waiter, who could totally pass for Kenneth from 30 Rock, was attentive and quick with drinks and orders. He added a nice touch to that Southern Charm atmosphere.
It was perfect weather so we decided to eat dinner on the front porch. We both started off with some lemonade and an order of fried green tomatoes and fried pickles. I’m not a fan of pickles so I munched on some tomatoes and browsed the menu. Y’all, there are too. many. choices. I narrowed it down to the stewed beef and chicken and dumplings and had to go with the chicken since it’s not something you can find (done well) many places. For my sides, I chose lima beans and baked apples and we got a corn bread basket for the table. Holy cow. I’m still thinking about this meal. The chicken was so tender and the dumplings were cooked perfectly. I couldn’t get enough. There was just the right amount of seasoning on the apples and they were tender but still had a crunch. I’ve been craving cinnamon everything and these hit the spot. Crystal decided on the vegetable plate with macaroni and cheese, broccoli, fried okra, and baked apples. My only regret is that we didn’t save room for dessert but I guess that just means that we will have to make another trip down very soon!
Got any suggestions for the next time we’re in Chapel Hill? —Annie