Friday, July 10, 2009

Shula's 347 Grill : Chapel Hill

Shulla 347 belongs to Don Shula, the NFL coach who holds the record for the most wins in a NFL career, 347. We ended up going here for brunch, since we had stayed in the adjoining hotel.

I find the whole idea of celebrity-owned restaurants to be somewhat fascinating, because I'm curious as to what their decision process was in wanting to do so. Is it purely an investment to sustain their wealth? Or are they secret foodies? I'm guessing some would argue for their vanity, but I suppose I'm more apt to give them the benefit of the doubt, especially Don Shula who seems to be very respected.

Anyhow, the setting was somewhat interesting and gets at the appeal of going to a celebrity restaurant. The walls were covered with autographed photos of famous sports stars, current and past. Ones of Michael Phelps, Muhammad Ali, Roger Federer & Rafael Nadal, and Maria Sharapova were a few that I remember. And there was also a superbowl trophy in a case that you could see up close. It really gets at fans feeling one step closer to these celebrities.

Oh and one more thing. We went on Sunday around 11am and we were the only customers there. While they weren't exactly serving brunch-type food, that wasn't what I would expect.

Especially since the food was pretty solid.

Just judging from the food alone, I imagine Shula's to be a place that serves very consistent, solid-quality food and that could satisfy not overly-critical foodies, as well as those with slightly more conservative palates.

Black & Blue Burger - Blue cheese, cheese angus beef burger. Pretty decent burger, with the blue cheese a little bit overwhelming. Decent fries that were humorously described by our waitress as like McDonald's fries. An upscale version perhaps, but I could see where she was coming from.

Ribs - Ribs were so-so; I've had juicier and more flavorful, but they weren't anything to complain about. The mashed potatoes were pretty tasty if you don't mind a healthy buttery-ness.

Barbeque Sandwich - Decent barbeque, with juicy & tender pork.

Chicken salad - And the chicken in the salad was probably what I liked least. While better quality, I just couldn't shake the echoes of worse renditions of the flaming orange bbq chicken at say super markets.

All in all, this was an interesting experience. The food was pretty solid, particularly considering the reasonable prices, the photos and superbowl trophy made for some interesting side-attractions and our server, while a little inexperienced, was warm and attentive.

PS. Looks like I'm not the only one who was relatively happy with Shula's.

Shula 347 Grill
Sheraton Chapel Hill Hotel
One Europa Drive Chapel Hill, NC 27517 (Map)
($Burgers / Hot Dogs, $North Carolina, $Steak)

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