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Charlotte, NC recs?

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scarter66 Apr 29, 2008 05:33 PM

Hi, my hubby, sis and I will be spending 3 nights & 2 days in Charlotte. 5/1 near the airport and then 5/4 & 5/5 downtown. I'd love your recommendations for cheap eats, at preferably veggie-friendly places near where we're staying. We love all cuisines, and are happy to hop on public transit or walk distances for good food. We prefer to avoid chains and tourist traps.

We'll be in Sumter, SC in between our stay in Charlotte, so if there are any recs there we'd love those too.

Thanks much for any advice!

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    ickymettle RE: scarter66 Apr 30, 2008 11:02 AM

    You won't find anything near the airport. Adn, hosestly, most of the food stuff is putside of downtown. But here are some suggestions for "cheap eats" regardless of location:

    Dinner:

    Dish (Plaza-Midwood, on Thomas Ave.) - comfort food
    Penguin (Plaza-Midwood, on Thomas Ave.) - greasy food
    Lang Van (on Shamrock near Eastway) - Vietnamese food
    Ben Tanh (on Central Ave.) - Vietnamese food
    Mac's Speed Shop (South Blvd.) - known for its briscuit and barbecue, but has plenty of veggie selections
    Alexander Michael's (Fourth Ward (which is downtown)) - cool atmosphere with American food
    Cabo Fish Taco (NoDa, on N. Davidson St.) - fish tacos and other things

    Lunch:

    All of the above, plus

    Reid's (downtown) - sandwiches and hot bar
    Common Market (Plaza-Midwood, on Commonwealth Ave.) - sandwiches, real cool place
    Lola's (downtown) - good homecookin'
    Mert's Heart & Soul (downtown) - soul food
    Coffee Cup (downtown)- soul food
    Zada Jane's (Plaza-Midwood, on Central Ave.) - organic and home-grown food

    Those are some ideas off the top of my head, but I'm sure there are many more.

    2 Replies
    1. re: ickymettle
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      scarter66 RE: ickymettle May 8, 2008 04:24 PM

      Thank you for the recs! We didn't do as much eating as I would have liked, but we sure did a lot of walking. I cannot even remember the route we took, but we covered downtown, 4th Ward, Plaza-Midwood, Elizabeth, and I don't even know where else.

      At any rate, Mert's was right by our hotel and was fantastic. Honestly, I could have eaten every meal there and been happy. We also ate at Dish....if I lived in that area I'd hang out there all the time. The food hit the spot.

      We also ate at our hotel the last night (Caffe Siena), after being so tired of walking all day. That was actually really good, and a good value compared to what we would spend for a similar meal at home (Minneapolis). The presentation was a little over the top....think bread served in wine goblets...but we enjoyed it nonetheless.

      Finally, I cannot express how friendly everyone was. Service was great everywhere, and everyone was so helpful everywhere we went. It was a refreshing change from the typical "Minnesota Nice" i.e. friendly reservedness. :)

      Thanks again!

      1. re: scarter66
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        ickymettle RE: scarter66 May 9, 2008 08:32 AM

        Glad you enjoyed your stay. And sorry about the type-os in my initial post. I was typing really fast at work. Looking back at it, the first part doesn't make much sense, but at least the food recs did. LOL.

    2. southernitalian RE: scarter66 Apr 30, 2008 12:01 PM

      On the 1st you'll have to compete with all of the folks in town for the Wachovia but that will be gone by the weekend. There's a recent Charlotte post that's incredibly comprehensive. Do a search for "Charlotte, not a dive" or something like that. It's Uptown, btw, not downtown.

      2 Replies
      1. re: southernitalian
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        ickymettle RE: southernitalian Apr 30, 2008 01:35 PM

        "It's Uptown, btw, not downtown."

        I've lived in Charlotte all my life, and I, along with my Charlottean friends, refuse to call it Uptown (or Center City for that matter). The Uptown tag was one of those cheesy publicity stunts that somone came up with in the late-70's in order to make downtown sound like a fun place, which it wasn't at all back then.

        1. re: ickymettle
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          mrwaterslide RE: ickymettle May 9, 2008 08:03 PM

          ickymettle, I'm so glad you said that. That "uptown" designation was always something I disliked, like insisting on calling overtime "sudden victory," instead of "sudden death."

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