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Date Night in Tar Heel Territory

By August 31, 2008

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Chapel Hill is a great place to spend a Saturday evening: itís walkable, chock full of great restaurants, and has plenty of bars and clubs, most of which have several bands playing on any given weekend night.

Last night, my husband and I decided to have a date night in Chapel Hill. I was eager to try Nealís Deli, a relatively new sandwich place in Carrboro that has drawn rave reviews and was included in Bon Apetit Magazine's list of the top ten sandwich shops in the United States. Unfortunately, Nealís Deli was closed for the holiday weekend, which extended my streak of Saturday restaurant strikeouts. In any case, Nealís posted hours donít match the hours listed on their website, so make sure to call ahead before making a special trip for that famous pastrami sandwich of theirs. . .

Still hungry, and with husband and pet dog (Lucy) in tow, I decided to stop by Weaver Street Market to get some take out sushi for dinner. Strikeout number two for the dayóthey were completely sold out! We finally ended up getting some sandwiches at Harris Teeter. They werenít the delicious deli creations that we were hoping for, but they did fill our bellies.

Next, on to LocoPops for dessert. I was temped to try their Watergate Salad-flavored pop (made with a combo of pistachio, pineapple and marsmallow) but decided on Peaches and Cream instead. Lucy enjoyed her beef-flavored pet pop, especially its rawhide Popsicle stick.

The Cave, a dog-friendly bar in Chapel Hill, was our next stop. The 8:00 p.m. early show featured The Starlings, a Seattle-based band with a fantastic folk/country sound full of lush harmonies. Their music was enhanced by a guest appearance from Duke graduate and guitar player/sound engineer Julian Martlew.

We capped off the evening at The Catís Cradle, an all-ages club in Carrboro, where we were treated to tunes by local bands The Pneurotics, Puritan Rodeo and The Proclivities.

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