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.
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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.