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Charlotte - Please review my itinerary/list

  • m

Hiya hounds!

At a quick scan, this is what I saw listed. Please respond if you can, off-list if you want to. My brother-in-law will be traveling there soon for a few days, and he eats just about anything. The boards I saw said to avoid Chinese, BBQ and deli, for the most part. I am going to suggest he go to:

-Firehouse Grill, Fort Mill, SC (for American?)
-Lang Van for Vietnamese
-Penguin, for fried pickles and burgers
-Bonterra or Barrington's for upscale
-Mai for Sushi

If there are any wonderful cheap-eats or healthy-eats that I missed, please let me know.

Thanks!
~Matthew

PS---Here is a list of others I saw listed, but I didn't comb down too far:
-Bombay Cuisine for Indian
-Zack's for Hamburgers
-Mr. K's for Cheeseburgers
-Green's Lunch Inc for hotdogs
-Campania for Italian
-Guytano's for Italian
-Vidalia & Grapes for Tapas
-Cilantro's for Mexican
-Cabo for Fish Tacos
-El Ranchito for Mexican
-Halal for Middle Eastern
-Kabob Grill for Middle Eastern
-Brixx for Pizza
-Portofino's for Pizza
-LaVecchia's for Seafood
-Fuse Box for Sushi
-Mert's for Soul Food
-Price's Chicken Coop for Fried Chicken
-Beef & Bottle for Steak

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  1. m
    Matthew David

    If there are an MUST-do's, museum, art gallery, music club, parks, etc. (especially if they involve photography or nature),please pass those along as well...I imagine he will have time to do one or two things tops, probably at night, and probably only for a few hours...

    1 Reply
    1. re: Matthew David

      Several cultural ideas downtown...

      Mint Museum of Craft and Design is an extraordinary small museum that is one of only a few museums in America devoted to craft. Their permanent collection is nationally recognized and they are currently featuring a special exhibition of Murano glass.

      A couple of blocks away is the Light Factory (located in Spirit Square) which is the local photography center. Among the current exhibitions is Phil Moody's quilt-like panels of photographs that explore the history of the textile industry in the region.

      To satisfy his interest in nature, the Carolina Raptor Center (about 15 minutes north of town) is a unique rehabilitation and display center for eagles, hawks, falcons and other raptors.

    2. Not sure where your brother is from, but if he is not from the south, your suggested itinerary (while good) fails to provide any regional perspective.

      Some suggestions along these lines would be Mimosa or Savannah Red (for upscale) and Coffee Cup, Mert's or Gus' Sir Beef (for more casual offerings).

      1. s
        Staci Falkowitz

        Here's a couple of additional suggestions...enjoy!

        Healthy:
        Peaceful Dragon
        The Peaceful Dragon
        12610 Steele Creek Road
        Charlotte, NC 28273
        (704)-504-8866 http://www.thepeacefuldragon.com/dini...
        Voted Best Vegetarian Restaurant in Charlotte, fresh, healthy, delightful food.

        Cheap Eats:
        Lupies
        2718 Monroe Rd.
        704) 374-1232
        Charlotte institution; best known for its chili, burgers, fresh vegetable plates and banana pudding, bohemian ambience very popular with the natives.

        Anntony's Caribbean Cafe
        2001 East Seventh Street (Pecan & 7th
        )704-342-0749
        http://www.anntonys.com/restaurant.htm
        Festive carribean fare; don't miss the jerk chicken, wings, "rasta pasta", and famous greens!

        1 Reply
        1. re: Staci Falkowitz

          I ate at Antony's today. Extremely disappointing. The "Cuban-style" roast pork wasn't anything like Cuban. It was OK, but it was sliced, very dry, and had more of a Jamaican-style sauce on it. Rice and black-eyed peas were good, but the plaintains, well, I've had waaay better. Tried a Jamaican veggie patty. Flavorless, textureless, and the shell was like cardboard.

          However, the Coconut Cake was very good. Essentially a good tres-leches cake with coconut on top, but moist, sweet, delicious. Skip it for the main courses, but come for the cake.

        2. Agree w/ Price's
          Cabo
          Mr. K's
          Brixx
          Especially Mai (after twelve years w/ a Japanese trading company this place is wonderful)
          I must however respectively disagree w/ Brent regarding Coffee Cup. Now on the third owner in less than two years the quality is only so so and the prices are too high (six dollars + for lunch, drinking water)

          1 Reply
          1. re: Michael B

            I haven't been to the Coffee Cup recently so it may well no longer be a good choice.

          2. Zacks is a far superior burger to that of Mr. K's in this old timer's opinion. You may want to consider takeout fried chicken from the Chicken Coop in Dilworth. It's the best in town.

            Better yet, hop on to I-85 and head over to Gaston County for one of their all you can eat deep fried fish camp meals.I always liked Stowe's.

            3 Replies
            1. re: YourPalWill
              m
              Matthew David

              Thanks everyone!

              BTW---There seems to be a competition between Zack's, Penguin and Mr. K's...

              I was thinking Penguin because of the fried pickles, but perhaps Zack's is the way to go overall...?

              1. re: Matthew David

                Go with the Penguin...the food is great and it is located in the heart of Plaza Midwood, one of Charlotte's most eclectic, diverse and fun neighborhoods....

                1. re: Staci

                  Penguin is more of a bar/burger experience. Zack's is fast food (though good fast food). If I had my choice as an out of towner, i'd probably go with Penguin.

                  Someone mentioned Lupies below for burgers. I'm not at all a fan of that place. Cleanliness issues being the reason.

            2. m
              Matthew David

              I have heard back and his trip was very good overall. He thanks ye NC hounds very much! =)

              STUFF TO DO
              Carolina Raptor Ctr. http://www.carolinaraptorcenter.org/
              (Thank you brentk
              )He said that this place was an “absolute delight” and that it is the “best bird or prey exhibit” he’s ever seen. Other centers recommended to him while he was there were in:
              ---Maitland, FL
              http://www.audubonofflorida.org/conse...
              ---Atlanta, GA
              http://www.wildliferehabsanctuary.org

              FOOD

              Mert's Heart & Soul, http://www.mertsuptown.com/
              This was his favorite. He ate their twice he liked it so much, once for lunch and once for dinner. He says it is “the best soul food he’s had in a long time,” and in it is in a fun, eclectic neighborhood. Both times it was very busy. He gives it a 9 out of 10. He had meatloaf, greens and mac & cheese. The greens were very good---not over cooked which is a rarity. Shrimp and grits (Gullah) were also very good. And the sweet potato pancake was one of the best things he’d ever eaten---regular pancake batter with sweet potato paste.

              Lang Van Vietnamese, 3019 Shamrock Dr, 28215, (704) 531-9525
              This place also gets a 9 out of 10. He loved it---it has excellent fish stew.

              Green's Lunch Inc, 309 West 4th Street, 28202, 704-332-1786
              He liked this place okay. He gives it a 6.5 out of 10. There is a big menu, good but not interesting or innovative.

              Mr. K's, 2107 South Blvd, 28203, (704) 375-4318
              Similar to Green’s---they have good hotdogs. 7 out of 10.

              1. DEFINITELY Cabo FIsh Taco and the Penguin. Also for Cheap Eats you've gotta try Mac's Speed Shop on South Blvd (Harley theme; bbq,mac n cheese, that kind of thing). For nicer, try Pewter Rose Bistro, also on South Blvd.

                1. Matt's Chicago Dogs is a great cheap eats uptown (downtown) depends on if your talking to someone who cares what you call it.
                  I would call Firehouse Grill and make sure they are open and the directions, something makes me think they moved or something.
                  Did someone mention The Penguin? It is a fun local landmark and the area is really cute around there, depending on what they are interested in.
                  If they are outdoorsy, there is the white water rafting center and you can hike crowder mountain.