New restaurants spice up Chapel Hill’s Franklin Street

Posted by Greg Cox on May 28, 2014 

What’s your palate-tingler of choice? Dynamite sauce? Cajun spices? Jalapeños? Take your pick, these Franklin Street newcomers have got you covered.

You’ll have to wait a few days to get your sizzle on at Sup Dogs (107 E. Franklin St.; 919-903-9566; supdogs.com), which is targeted for a June 9 opening. The original Sup Dogs is in Greenville, and owner Bret Oliverio isn’t changing the formula that has made that restaurant a perennial hot spot with the ECU crowd: every imaginable variation on a hot dog, reasonably priced and served into the wee hours (closing Thursday-Saturday at 3 a.m., half an hour earlier the rest of the week).

One of those variations is the Fire House Dog, which delivers a triple wallop in the form of jalapeños, hot sauce and home-cooked, 16-spice, six-hour-simmered chili - plus monterey jack and cheddar cheese, on an all-beef hot dog.

If you’re looking for something to tide you over until Sup Dog opens, you’ll find dozens of ways to scratch the endorphin itch at Spicy 9 (140 W. Franklin St.; 919-903-9335; spicy9chapelhill.com), a pan-Asian restaurant and sushi bar that opened in early May. A Flaming Salmon Roll, say, or spicy conch and octopus salad. Or maybe a Thai coconut curry (red, green, Massaman or Panang). The extensive menu of Japanese, Korean, Chinese and Thai dishes offers plenty to tempt more delicate palates as well. Spicy 9 is open daily from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. A liquor license was just approved, and the bar should be fully stocked by next week.

Just up the street at Mina’s (401 W. Franklin St.; 919-903-9619), owner John Hanna says the Cajun burger has quickly become a best-seller at the restaurant he opened on Monday in the space that was for many years home to Trilussa (and more recently for a brief time, Mozzarella). The Garlic Melt, a racy riff on a Philly cheesesteak, is another early favorite on a menu that includes an eclectic assortment of sandwiches, salads, burgers, wings and pasta dishes. Mina’s is open Monday-Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Thursday-Saturday 11 a.m. until midnight.

Greg Cox, the longtime N&O restaurant critic, also covers restaurant news. Tune in to hear his radio show at 11 a.m. Saturdays on WPTF. Reach him at ggcox@bellsouth.net.

News & Observer is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service