McAlister's (see their corporate website) at 205 East Franklin Street (see map) in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, is an “in place” to be. Lots of college students and other locals enjoy this restaurant and its great variety of menu offerings. My family, all five of us, lunched there on a recent chilly February day.
I ordered the California Classic, a pita style sandwich containing provolone and mozzarella, lettuce, tomatoes, bell peppers, onions, and olive salad. The olive salad was very oily, so much so that oil just ran out of the sandwich as one ate it. The flavors were delicious, though. I'd get it again and order the olive salad on the side so I could put the marinated vegetables on the sandwich, and not so much of the dressing. The sandwich cost $4.29. That included the choice of a side of potato salad, potato chips, cole slaw, or fruit salad.
My husband Henry ordered the Greek Salad ($4.99). He said it was excellent — very fresh. Crumbled, dry feta cheese was sprinkled on top, rather than the large chunks of moister feta often found in Greek salads. No anchovies were offered.
Our son David had the “Chicken Grill” Salad ($6.59). He thoroughly enjoyed it. The salad pepper in it was hot.
Our daughter Sarah chose the Veggie Spud ($4.25), loaded with lots of veggies and mozzarella cheese. It was huge, and obviously quite filling. Sarah thought the salsa served with it was especially good.
Jonathan opted for the “Patriot” ($5.29), smoked turkey on Wheatberry bread with Swiss cheese, lettuce, tomato, light mayo, and Orange Cranberry sauce. (I tasted it and was very impressed, though I'd ask for the sweet cranberry sauce to be served on the side so I could use the amount I wanted.) Jonathan liked the sandwich.
Big beverages (32 oz.) are available. You even get free refills. Sarah chose the All Natural Lemonade; everybody else drank colas.
The restaurant also offers soups, chili, traditional deli-style sandwiches, and desserts such as Chocolate Loving Spoon Cake. If you can't find something you like on the McAlister's menu, you just aren't in the mood for food.
Copyright © 2006 Patricia B. Mitchell.