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Milltown - Carrboro, NC

j
jphite Dec 20, 2007 04:06 AM

If you haven't discovered Milltown in Carrboro...you need to. If you like the Federal (in Durham)...you will like this place (it's their "sister" ship).

Went there last night before the UNC game and had a really nice experience. Place was FULL at 7:00 pm. Hostess said "30 minutes"...took about 25 to get a table...but that was ok cause we just sat at the bar and had a couple.

Decent on-tap selection (need more taps and more variety) that included about 15 beers (alagash, victory, guiness, and some others) and a pretty extensive bottled beer list although it seemed to be pretty damned heavy on the belgians (not that there is anything wrong with that). No Triangle Brewing Co. brew...sadly.

Service was great. Food was pretty damned good. Prices were VERY reasonable. I had an awesome steak sandwich with grilled onions, melted gruyere, garlic aoili mayo, and a bowl 'o juice ("au jus" for you frenchies). Everything about it was good...including the fries ("frites" for you damned frenchies). Wife got the chicken nachos - - - OH MY GOD what a huge plate of nachos. Good chips, decent salsa, good black beans, good grilled chicken, slathered in sour cream and melted cheddar. Yum.

The do brunch on Saturday and Sunday, had a good "specials" list, and do mussels w/ frites (there's that damned french again!) if you're so inclined. Regarding the mussels...you can order them one of, if I remember correctly, 4 or 5 different ways. Nice.

No smoking inside.

307 E Main St
Carrboro, NC 27510
Phone: (919) 968-2460

  1. TSQ75 Dec 20, 2007 06:28 AM

    meh. they're simply OK for me. I was there for their trial run, which was disappointing. They have improved, but i still dont find it stellar, and some of their combinations are just wrong.

    I'm also getting mightily turned off by this empire that has branched out from the James Joyce (Federal, Alivia's, Bull McCabes, Milltown) Yes, they're all connected in one way or another...

    1. LulusMom Dec 20, 2007 08:42 AM

      Used to be a fan, but one too many times of snotty service, limp and disgusting fries and only so-so food have pretty much taken it off our go-to list. Some of the staff are great, but one or two really bad waiters can ruin a place. And consistently serving yucky fries and stale bread doesn't help. I always ask for the fries extra crispy, and usually get a "we'll just see how they come out" response.

      5 Replies
      1. re: LulusMom
        j
        jphite Dec 21, 2007 03:56 AM

        Luck of the draw, I guess? My fries were perfect. The bread on my steak sandwich was great. Our service (from the hostess to the waitress to the bartender) was excellent. Oh well.

        1. re: jphite
          j
          jmpswann Dec 21, 2007 05:32 AM

          I will admit that the service is inconsistent, however, I think the beer selection and pub grub is the best in our tiny little town. Not a great place for an intimate dinner, but a wonderful bar to meet a group of friends. And the patio is great when the weather is.

          1. re: jmpswann
            LulusMom Dec 21, 2007 07:18 AM

            The beer selection is fantastic, and some of the wait staff are really friendly, although they don't seem to be able to talk anyone in the kitchen into making any sorts of adjustments (and I'm not talking anything aside from non-stale bread and crispy fries). But the last two times we went both the food and service were really bad. We've taken our business to Tylers, which also has a great beer selection (and lame fries). I should add that I *do* really like the nachos at Milltown.

            1. re: LulusMom
              o
              otto_pivner Dec 21, 2007 08:28 AM

              I like the beer selection and Milltown and it's a great bar to have in Carrboro. The food, though, to me is meh. I don't eat meat, so that obviously colors my perspective. The fish tacos are okay -- filling but a little bland. The fries are inconsistent at best. The grilled cheese sandwich is alright. The prices are reasonable, though I think they charge too much for the fries. In terms of food, I prefer the Carolina Brewery.

              1. re: otto_pivner
                LulusMom Dec 21, 2007 09:45 AM

                The fish tacos at Tylers are wonderful ... give them a shot sometime.

      2. n
        Noel_B Dec 22, 2007 04:16 PM

        I agree with the comments that MT can be amazing (I have had divine frites there and stellar service). Then again, the food can be off entirely. I haven't found a pattern yet. On a good night, it's a favorite place, but on their bad nights I think "Why go." Thus, I don't go all that often not knowing what I'll get. But agreed on their having a great beer selection.

        1. b
          bbqme Oct 9, 2008 10:05 AM

          Went by Milltown last Saturday night for a beer and a bite to eat. I got their prime rib sandwich and it was insanely good. This thing was packed solid with meat (very beefy flavor), melted cheese, and grilled onions But the thing that made it stand out was that it came with a generous cup of outstanding jus to dip the sanwich into. It also came with fries that were super crispy (you can opt for a salad if the decadence is playing on your guilt). It's a little pricey at $9 but you are definitely getting what you pay for. Its really enough to satisfy two people.

          9 Replies
          1. re: bbqme
            LulusMom Oct 9, 2008 11:21 AM

            We went on Sunday and my husband got the prime rib sandwich too and loved it. My nachos (which are usually always a hit) ... not so much (stale chips, skimpy cheese). I so much want this place to be in the same league as the Federal, and it just isn't. Seems luck of the draw whether or not the food will be good or not. But unfortunately it is lots closer to our house than the Federal.

            1. re: LulusMom
              g
              GogglesPaisano Oct 10, 2008 06:15 AM

              I've had the exact same up & down experience at Milltown. I really want to like the place, and when it's on, the food is far better than Tyler's. When it's off though, it is pretty bad. Soggy fries, bad nachos, and general poor execution.

              We've tended to veer toward Tyler's more frequently as a result; the food is unspectacular but reliable and the draft beer lineup is pretty great.

              1. re: GogglesPaisano
                LulusMom Oct 14, 2008 01:02 PM

                Bingo - exactly the way we're playing it most of the time now. I do think Tylers has improved over the last few months - fries are better, fish tacos pretty good, some of the specials are fun. Definitely great beer, and (this matters when we have Lulu along) a very family friendly place.

                1. re: LulusMom
                  b
                  brokegradstudent Oct 14, 2008 02:51 PM

                  In the same vein, Carolina Brewery's food still isn't wonderful but they seem to be making more of an effort to use local ingredients, particularly in the specials.

                  1. re: brokegradstudent
                    LulusMom Oct 15, 2008 06:21 AM

                    That is good to hear. I like sitting there having a beer, but the food has always been pretty bad. Maybe I should give it another chance. Can you suggest something you've had lately that is worth trying?

                    1. re: LulusMom
                      b
                      brokegradstudent Oct 15, 2008 07:52 AM

                      I haven't been since mid-summer when the had a nice salad with local greens and veg.

                      I almost always order from their seasonal menu (I agree w/ you on the regular menu). Last fall they had a good local bratwurst. My wife really likes their chili. The flavor is good but it isn't as spicy as I like chili.

              2. re: LulusMom
                n
                nekst Oct 15, 2008 04:20 PM

                The Federal is worth the drive from anywhere!

                1. re: nekst
                  LulusMom Oct 16, 2008 04:08 AM

                  Except then you have to watch the beer intake ... which is hard to do with such great choices (hic!).

                  1. re: LulusMom
                    romansperson Oct 17, 2008 07:07 PM

                    If the ocean was beer
                    and I was a duck
                    I'd swim to the bottom
                    And never come up

                    (I've been told the original lyrics of that little ditty belong to a polka and that whiskey was the alcohol of choice, but I've chosen to ignore that info) :)

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