The folks behind Federal has taken that recipe to Carrboro, with a little twist. The basic idea is the same: cool bar, good music, lots of great beers, patio dining in the summer. The details are slightly different: the beer selection is wider and focuses on belgian beers, both made in Belgium and in the US. The food is bar food, but also with a Belgian twist: frites instead of fries (with different Belgian toppings). The menu is similar, though: good value, slighty innovative bar food. For appetizers we had the sausage plate (this was the best plate of the night - good sausage, great "pretzel" roll, with good grainy mustard and we also had the cheese plate: some medium range cheeses you see at Whole Foods: a good cheddar, drunken goat, but nothing special.
In our party of four we had the burger (good not great), bratwurst sandwich (with sauerkraut on a baguette which was a little crusty (but tasty) for the task), the mussels (deemed a bit "fishy" for the one who ordered it) and the ribs, which were, again, good not great.
The overall take is: this will definitely serve a niche that is empty in Carrboro/Chapel Hill: good bar, good food, at a reasonable price. Is it going to win any food awards? No, but it will probably do good business like its cousin Federal.
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