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Sep 3, 2008 03:45 PM

The "Elizabeth Ave" Restaurant Strip - Charlotte

I was out running yesterday and went down Elizabeth Ave near Presby Hospital... I noticed that two new restaurants are about to open - Nothing but Noodles and Mexi Cafe (?). Anyone familiar with these? Mexi may already be open. It seems like that whole stretch of road is nothing but restaurants (and the Visulite)... those, plus Eliz Creamery, Customshop, Starbucks, Carpe Diem, NOFO, Loft 1523 (well, martinis). What else am I forgetting...

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  1. Nothing But Noodles is an awful place. It's a chain concept that does build your own pasta dishes. They have another location in Stonecrest Shopping Center.

    Don't forget Cuisine Malaya on Elizabeth also. I've only been once but I may return tomorrow. Great curries and other Malaysian specialties in addition to good sushi.

    1 Reply
    1. re: lynnlato

      The fried tofu app is some really good stuff and their fish is good quality.

      The Pad Thai was very WTF.

      Good unique spot for sure.

    2. There was a recent thread on Customshop

      I have been to Carpe Diem, which I loved, they have drink specials on week nights, Champagne flights on Tuesday. The Mexi Cafe is a cute little hot spot, it has an industrial feel to it and you are supporting local business owners. Mexi Cafe is the same owners of NOFO, they left a little retail space in the center. will post photos of Mexi Cafe.

      I had lunch at Cuisine Malaya on a rainy Saturday once and it was delicious. I remember I had an appt of Indian bread dipped in a chicken curry. I want to go back and get more.

      2 Replies
      1. re: waitress

        Roti bread (pancake). I heard Chef Reinhart rave about them one day on Charlotte Talks and had to try them the next time I was there. They are now a must have every time I visit.

        1. re: Cutter

          Ahhh, Cuisine Malaya. Next time you go, do give my best wishes to Robert and Sunny.

          Of all the Malaysian restaurants I've actually been to in the US since moving here FROM Malaysia, Cuisine has the best char kuey teow (flat noodles fried in dark sauce), ha meen (noodles in a spicy shrimp soup), and mee goreng (spicy fried egg noodles Indian-style) so far.

      2. Yes, Lots of restaurants on this strip. I only care for a few of them, however.
        Cuisine Malaya and Carpe Diem are both very good.
        One other place just around the corner not to overlook
        88 China Bistro a Chinese restaurant on 4th street in Elizabeth. They serve a great dish for duck lovers. Shredded Duck with Leeks served with moo shu pancakes and hoisin sauce. It is just ducky! It's a GFL must try for duck lovers.

        10 Replies
        1. re: GodfatherofLunch

          Okay, that duck sounds tasty! I've had a thing for moo shu & the pancakes ever since I 1st tried them as a kid. Per KP, GG will soon offer duck in addition to their yummy pork. How exciting is that? I wanna try those duck eggs too.

          I've always been a fan of Carpe Diem and even w/ all their moving around the city they still manage to get the job done right. Bravo!

          1. re: GodfatherofLunch

            I love the duck that is offered on the Cantonese menu. Juicy pieces of duck meat that melt in your mouth when you bite them off of the bone. The stuffed flounder on the Cantonese menu is also magnificent, albeit rather expensive.

            1. re: ickymettle

              And I also noticed that down at the end of the street are Red Sea Ethiopian and Queens Subs. Anyone have any opinions? I've never been. The Queens used to be a Quiznos, and I think they used the old Q that was on the sign because it looks kind of funny; makes me laugh when I see it.

              1. re: Chocolate Toe

                I haven't been to Red Sea in a long time but their vegetarian lunch special is really interesting - four or five warm salads/purees over spongebread that you eat with your hands. Fun stuff. Weird atmosphere.

                1. re: Chocolate Toe

                  I've heard when it comes to Ethiopian, skip Red Sea and go to Maskarem nearby on Kings Drive. I've heard the service at Red Sea is rude and there are many cleanliness issues.

                  1. re: ickymettle

                    Yeah Maskarem is better but we're talking Elizabeth. Like I said, weird atmosphere.

                    1. re: avad

                      I have eaten at Red Sea couple of times and was just wondering what you meant by weird atmosphere?

                      1. re: Luvfriedokra

                        The time I was there for lunch, admittedly several years ago, I was the only diner in the restaurant. After taking my order the server went back into the kitchen and I didn't see them again until my food came out, a very long 20-25 minutes later. No TV, no music, no ambience. For me, that constituted weird atmosphere.

                        1. re: sunsh9e

                          Isn't there a Leo's Delicatessen on this road? And (something like)K Internet Cafe? ANyone know anything about these?

            2. I have to say I am a big fan of NOFO on Liz. It's been one of my go-to places for a relatively inexpensive meal for some time. I usually eat at the bar, and the bartenders are great.

              15 Replies
              1. re: ickymettle

                NOFO is a fine little lunch spot. The cobb salad is very good.

                The cobb salad at Crisp might be a tad better but NOFO is more relaxing/calm if that's what's called for.

                1. re: GodfatherofLunch

                  All that cobb salad talk got me back to Crisp for lunch today. I was there at 12:30 when normally it's a madhouse but today it was surprisingly relaxing/calm. Must be a Wachovia/economic collapse/weather cooling off thing.

                  The salad was its usual deliciousness. My only complaint is that they tend to overdress the greens but I suppose by now I should have learned to ask for a little less.

                  And BTW, I've heard the cobb salad at Betty Ford Clinic is spectacular!

                  1. re: HungryGrayCat

                    I had lunch at Crisp for lunch today as well. I went with the sandwich special-- it was nothing special today.

                    1. re: HungryGrayCat

                      Oh it is. I always request easy on the dressing heavy on the valium.

                      1. re: HungryGrayCat

                        Doesn't that basically just depend on who is making your salad?

                        1. re: avad

                          Now as always, I will defer to an expert.

                          1. re: GodfatherofLunch

                            Oh you flatter me!! :-)

                            But seriously, I've had about 10 salads there and they've all been a bit heavy on the dressing, no matter who's prepared it.

                            There was a really good looking soup on the menu yesterday: proscuitto and pea. Any comments on Crisp's soups?

                            1. re: HungryGrayCat

                              I have had the soup and enjoyed it, but the salad is the thing that I keep coming back for. I must admit proscuitto and pea.soup sounds great.

                              1. re: GodfatherofLunch

                                I had a friend in town, visiting from Sweden. I took her to Crisp for lunch. We had the steak salad. While is was good (fresh veggies, good mix of ingredients, steak cook how it was ordered), it was so much food. My friend, who is an internist, commented on how large the portion was there and in most places she's dined in the U.S. She was overwhelmed by the size of that salad, and I must say, I was to. Unfortunately, it's not really something that you can take home either.

                                1. re: lynnlato

                                  The steak salad is huge. Like a shower, nice to share with a friend

                                  1. re: lynnlato

                                    I finally tried NOFO for the first time! We went early, about 5:30, before a 7pm movie. It was good.. like someone else said, a nice little spot. I had a cobb salad too and it was great; also tried my friend's fish tacos which were decent. They start you with bread, but it's hard as a rock and it comes already laying in oil. NOFO has been circulating a lot of those buy one entree get one free coupons lately, so if you go with that it's not a bad deal at all.
                                    PS - I'd love to hear how the chowhound meetup went on Saturday!

                                  2. re: lynnlato

                                    Just got back from yet another lunch at Crisp where my dining partner clued me in to something: half salads!! This totally solves the problem of too much food though I'm still stuffed. The half seemed almost as big as his full salad.

                                    1. re: HungryGrayCat

                                      I'm with you! Crisp is great and the salads are huge. I didn't think that they were in the Elizabeth neighborhood, I will return to 7th and Pecan because those salads rock.

                                      1. re: GodfatherofLunch

                                        No, it's not Elizabeth but somehow we got off topic in the posts above and I didn't want to start a new thread on my half-salad discovery.

                                        Hope you all had fun this weekend at Dim Sum. Let's have a report!

                                        1. re: HungryGrayCat

                                          Crisp is in the Elizabeth neighborhood, just not on Elizabeth Ave.

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