Top of the Hill
100 East Franklin St # 3
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Visited on September 4, 2011
If there’s one thing that the folks in Chapel Hill at the University of North Carolina know, it sure as hell isn’t beer. This was probably one of the most disappointing brewpubs I’ve been to. It’s right on campus, has a great patio overlooking downtown Chapel Hill and has a really nice space. And yet, the beer sucks and the food isn’t much better. All I remember is thinking that the fried pickles and jalapenos were the best thing about lunch, and they weren’t that good. I’ve been to Chapel Hill a few times since, and I will continue to be in town on a regular basis since my fiancee’s parents live there, but I doubt I will ever return.
My first North Carolina brewpub experience came in the form of a slightly pretentious restaurant on the second floor of a building just off the campus of UNC. The décor, lighting and wait staff makes it seam like a very nice and respected establishment. The food and beer makes it seem like a cheap knockoff of a real brewpub.
The menu had a pretty wide selection of dishes, so finding something that sounded good wasn’t a problem. But everything that came out was pretty mediocre. The best dish was probably the appetizer; lizard chips comprising of fried pickles and jalapenos. My girlfriend’s sister’s salad was missing the dressing when it came out. My seared tuna pretzel sandwich was fine, though nothing to write home about. My girlfriend’s turkey and brie waldorf rollup was by far the best entrée. A great combination of savory (bree and turkey) with sweet (raisins and apples). The sweet potato fries were crinkle cut and seemed to come from a bag most likely.
The beer was entirely unremarkable. I managed to find enough flavor in the IPA to drink an entire pint, and the stout wasn’t terrible, but for the most part there was nothing behind the brews. The light, wheat, blueberry wheat, white and blonde all sucked. Mass produced fizzy water to appeal the students, I imagine.
Service was meh. At least it was from a vampire.