In case you missed it, Olio and Aceto opened their cafe location on Saturday. The truck was parked out front, Fortnight Brewery was there pouring English and Blonde Ale, a DJ playing music and getting people to move, and other Galleria tenants were in the festivities.
Everything in its Right Place
I don’t carry a stopwatch, but I think this would be the fastest food truck to brick and mortar in the Triangle’s industry. When I asked Suzie Keenan, the chef and co-owner of the food truck and cafe, she said, “We didn’t plan it this way, but everything sort of fell in the right place.”
Suzie came from a foodie hot spot, Chicago, where she was classically trained and worked many restaurants. As many aspiring chefs want, she wanted her own spot to show her creativity and skills. She thought of a food truck in Chicago, but those who know the scene there – it is very difficult and restrictive. So she moved down to the Triangle with its welcoming food truck atmosphere and brought Megan Olerich, her sous chef, and started Olio and Aceto. Olio and Aceto (ah/TCHEH/toh) means Oil and Vinegar in Italian for the Olive Oil and Vinegar that are the key ingredients to the gourmet eats. When a spot opened in The Galleria shopping center with Blue Sky Oil and Vinegar, a few stores down from the cafe location and the olive oil and vinegar supplier. The other benefit is Blue Sky Oil and Vinegar’s owner is Glenda, Suzie’s mom and the other co-owner, therefore everything was in the right place.
I have to admit so biased, because I love the girls behind Olio and Aceto and the color blue, but the inside looks awesome. In addition to the name and the key ingredients, the name’s wall mural gives a southern Mediterranean feel to it. As far as size, for a cafe there is plenty of seating with a few spots outside for that sidewalk cafe feel. The kitchen area is pretty open, so you can peer inside to see what’s cooking.
For those who have tried the truck, the menu will be very familiar. The menu is divided into three parts, Breakfast and Lunch (offered every day) and Weekend Brunch. One thing that caught my eye was the Fish and Chips on the Lunch menu, which uses Fortnight’s English Ale. Previously, this was only offered at special Fortnight Brewery nights, which resulted in a reroute in my commute home by an additional 40 minutes (not counting the time a road was closed during a storm!
I was also familiar with some of the Weekend Brunch items, too. I recall the Berry Cream Cheese French Toast was offered on my first visit at the South Durham Farmer’s Market. That was so good that it might hard to choose something else. Here are a few pictures of the truck favorites with a slight change to tailored for the cafe:
What looks new from the truck menu are traditional items like eggs, pancakes, sandwiches and salads. Overall the menu seems reasonable to me with the highest item $9, which is comparable to other casual cafes.
If you are looking for a great, reasonable place to eat breakfast or lunch, check out Olio and Aceto. You may also want to stop by Blue Sky to see some of the ingredients you have tasted.
Grand Opening Pictures
Olio and Aceto Cafe
400 S. Elliot Street, Chapel Hill
Hours: 8 am to 4pm Weekdays, 9 am to 3pm Weekends
Breakfast until 10:30am Weekdays, Weekend Brunch and Breakfast until 12:3opm