When you first enter Milltown in Carrboro, you pick up the alternative vibe. The beer-brand logos on the walls, old booths and laminate tables remind you that you are next to a college campus. This place is a beer lover’s paradise.
The folks at Milltown opened across the street from Cat’s Cradle and the Carrboro Arts Center hoping to get a crowd before and after performances, which is a very good strategy. Milltown opened about seven years ago and has quickly gained a reputation for being another good place to go for vegetarians and vegans, though they also serve many meat dishes as well.
Milltown is a gastropub. You can certainly get a beer after you’ve gone to a concert. I ate here recently for lunch, so decided that beer was not part of the plan for this particular day. They say they have 18 beers on draft and over 180 beers in bottles. Many of the menu items are inspired by beer, or have beer as one of the ingredients in the dish.
I ordered the veggie sliders, which were made from lentils, leeks, and basil topped with melted Gyuere cheese, grilled onions and wild mushrooms. A nice piece of ripe tomato and local lettuce are also included in the slider. It came with a side of sweet potato chips, which were nice and crispy and a good compliment to the sliders.
The chef must be from Canada or have friends in Canada, because they serve poutine here. Poutine is french fries and gravy, usually served with other toppings and Milltown has many interesting combinations to offer. I really want to come back sometime to have the Poutine.
My husband and I went back to Milltown to have the San Diego frites, which had guacamole, salsa, chipotle sour cream and marinated flank steak. The fries are very crisp, almost more like a potato chip. This was like having nachos with french fries. I loved it and will order it again.
A few weeks later, we came back for dinner. This time Scott ordered the Allagash White, which is a Belgium pale ale, which a white beer with some orange peel and some spices in it. It was very light and easy to drink. I had an old fashioned because I was so overwhelmed by all the beer choices, I couldn’t make a decision and opted to have a cocktail instead. I decided next time we came I would have a beer, because I’m not sure where else you have so many choices of German and Belgium beers.
We decided to split an order of fish and chips and a Milltown burger.
The fish and chips were really good. The batter was made with Foothills Pilsner. The batter had a really nice taste, though was maybe just a titch too thick for me. The cod was very soft and sweet. The fries were cut very thin and crispy, just like the San Diego frites. It was topped with a bok choy slaw that really woke me up as it was quite spicy! I liked it, but wasn’t expecting it to be so spicy.
We ordered the burger with a side salad instead of fries since we were already getting fries with the fish. The salad was baby greens with Craisins and a nice citrus-based vinaigrette. The burger was excellent. It had a really nice, toasted sesame bun, which had baby lettuce, tomato, a dill pickle, onion and cheddar cheese on it. The meat was nice and juicy and cooked well.
We came back again a few weeks later, and yes I had a Belgian beer this time, followed by a glass of the German Spraten beer. Both beers were excellent. Scott had the macaroni and cheese, with a smoky cheddar cheese, broccoli, mushrooms and tomatoes. This is comfort food at its best and you can feel less guilty eating it because it has some vegetables in it. By now, my husband and I decided this place is going to be on our regular rotation of places to eat!
I had one of the specials, which was the sauerbraten with red cabbage and a home made pretzel. The pretzel was excellent and I would have been happy to eat more of them. However, this was the only dish I did not like at Milltown. The beef was tough, which was quite disappointing. I don’t think they marinated it for several days, which is the key to a sauerbraten. The meat should be so tender it falls apart. The cabbage had way too much cinnamon in it, and actually had a grittiness to it because there was so much cinnamon. One bad dish out of many, many other great dishes means this one bad experiment won’t keep me away! Milltown can expect to see us again soon!
Milltown is located at 307 East Main Street in Carrboro and is open 5 – midnight on Mondays, 11am – midnight Tuesday – Wednesday, 11am – 2am Thursday – Friday, 10:30 am – 2am Saturdays and 10:30am – midnight on Sundays. You can follow them on Twitter or like their Facebook page.