The Queen City has a lot of tasty treats in store for you while you are here for the Charlotte Day of DotNetNuke.
My family moved to Charlotte 7 years ago. So you'd think that would be enough time to find all the great eating places in the area, but we're still finding them.
Here are a few of my favorites dining and noshing venues:
Amelie's is a one-of-a-kind bakery/eatery, not just in the Charlotte area but across the board. This great french bakery is open 7 days a week, 24 hours a day, and 365 days a year. Thats right, they never close! And the food is wonderfully prepared and delicious. Great French pastries, great freshly baked bread and amazing soups, including my favorite: cream of Spinach Asparagus Leek soup - amazing with a french baguette! Amelie's is also a great place to people-watch. Both the wait staff and the customers come from all walks of life. Located in the NoDa Arts District you'll be pleased and enchanted by the spacious "Paris Shabby-Chic" decor'. You'll also find that people come to stay for hours with casual business meetings happening along-side graphic designers, people reading books, students and groups of friends chatting and enjoying the ambience and tasty food. Of course, WiFi included. Amelie's is not far from Charlotte Uptown. Oh you say, uptown? not downtown? Welcome to Charlotte - where there is no downtown, only uptown! Directions to Amelies. Oh, if you see a distinguished gray-haired gentleman behind the counter or chatting up the customers, that's probably Bill Lamb, one of the owners, say hey and tell him Allen sent you.
Okay, so french bakery, now what about actual southern cuisine? Well we do happen to have that too...
Merts is a fantastic venue to taste authentic southern meat-and-three cuisine. First time someone invited me to a meat-and-three I thought, uh-oh, what kind of singles bar am I being invited to? That was in Birmingham Alabama, and the meat-and-three there had nothing on Merts! Located in the heart of Uptown Charlotte, Mert’s Heart and Soul is one of the most-visited restaurants in the Queen City. From the award-winning macaroni and cheese, to the sweet, buttery cornbread and shrimp and grits, Mert’s Heart and Soul's southern, Low Country, and Gullah-inspired dishes leave guests with an unforgettable “home cooked” experience. Stop by Mert’s Heart and Soul today to find out what Charlotteans and tourists already know: That Mert’s is the heart and soul of Charlotte. Merts is very close to the Charlotte Day of DotNetNuke event and hotels - very easy walking distance - minutes away in the heart of Charlotte uptown. Directions to Merts.
Another southern treat and icon in Charlotte is Price's Chicken Coop. Claimed to be Charlotte's finest souther fried chicken establishment. Make sure to git yerself 1/2 Chicken, some Gizzars, Slaw and some hushpuppies! You can find Price's here. This is a git-yer-food and get-on-out kinda place - takeout only!
Looking for something a little more sophisticated? How about the an uber-cool drinking and socializing spot? Like the Ritz Carlton Lobby Lounge. Soft lights, jazzy live music and delicious snacks and adult beverages. For a late Friday or Saturday night cocktail and hors d'oeuvres - this is the place to be. Try puttin on the Ritz, it's just a few steps from the Charlotte Day of DotNetNuke event hotels. You can figure out how to get there by going here.
Another favorite of the Foster-clan is Lang Van, a sweet little Vietnamese restaurant in what looks to be a former dry-cleaning shop! Don't be dismayed by the locale though, this place has great authentic Vietnamese food and crazy-friendly staff. We love the rice wrapper appetizers. Fresh mint and other greens, bean sprouts, chicken, shrimp, beef and other taste delights along with what look like plastic doilies. Dip the rigid rice wrappers in the provided hot water and viola'! A softened wrapper that you can fill with whatever pleases you from the platter. And the Pho - delicious! Here are the directions, it's a short drive from uptown Charlotte. For the best dining experience ask the owner/manager to order for you!
And again in the NoDa Arts District is Cabo Fish Taco. You got it. Fish. Tacos. Fresh ingredients. Funky and trendy. Drinks n' beer. All that cool stuff. Cabo Fish Taco is the combination of concepts from three completely different people, who share the same idea of what makes a restaurant great. Unlike most Baja styled restaurants, Cabo combines coastal Mexican cuisine with a unique healthy California feel. The food and atmosphere of Cabo is an impeccable infusion of very different styles. Get yer Fish Tacos here.
Want a little bit of cajun cooking in the Queen City? Visit Boudreaux's in the Noda Art District. On a nice evening sit near the open window or on the patio and watch the Charlotteans pass by. I suggest you try the Cajun Carbonara – Blackened chicken, tasso ham, sweet corn kernels and trinity finished in a light Cajun cream and tossed with tri-colored rotini pasta, a try. Or the treat yourself to the Low Country Shrimp & Grits – Gulf shrimp and Andouille sausage sautéed with trinity in a lively Creole beurre-blanc and served over Charleston cheddar cheese grits. For a Laissez le Bon temp rouler, git yerself to Bourdreaux's!
Are you full yet? One final spot you might consider is the Crêpe Cellar Kitchen & Pub. Good food and wine. However there is really just one thing you MUST try if you get a chance to visit this intimate restaurant - and that is the Pesto Brie French Fries, hand cut and twice fried! The Pesto Brie French Fries were named one of Charlotte Magazine's "Best of the Best" in 2011. The fries are waiting for you here.
I'm sure that some of our other Charlotte DotNetNuker community have favorites. Or perhaps you've visited Charlotte before and have some good eatin pointers - so don't be shy - let our Charlotte Day of DotNetNuke guests know your favorite places in Charlotte to dine by dropping some comments!
The wife says:
If you want to stay Uptown, try The Dandelion Market on 5th Street, Amalie's satellite cafe Uptown or King's Kitchen.
The husband says:
I sliced a piece of cherry pie, warmed it up in the micro-nuker, sprayed it with whipped cream and hand delivered it to you and all you give me is one sentence? She says she's not in the mood. To blog.
Nice list! I've been in Charlotte for 7 years also and I think you've hit a lot of the big ones here. I would also recommend Mama Ricotta's http://mamaricottasrestaurant.com near uptown and Bad Daddy's on East http://baddaddysburgerbar.com. Both are run by the same operator, both are delicious!
I think you should add Villa Francesca Italian restaurant... only a couple blocks from both the venue & the hotels and it's an awesome little eatery - http://www.villafrancescacharlotte.com/