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Dec 31, 2008 04:14 PM

work travel to Charlotte, NC

Hey all I have to go to Charlotte, NC for work, need some nice restaurants something local? something cheap? something pricey? I have never been to the EAST coast and I want an experience, might as well enjoy eating on the company dime!

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  1. Try doing a search for "Charlotte"'ll find lots of suggestions. If you have any specific questions after that, I'm sure you'll get plenty of help. Enjoy!

    1. The original comment has been removed
      1. Local fun places aside from Mac's Speed Shop, are The Penguin a retro cool diner/bar known for their fried pickles and Mert's Heart & Soul uptown which serves up good soul food. Near uptown is Price's Chicken Coop for takeout chicken and fixins. Some here aren't a big fan, but Bon Appetit & Gourmet mags can't sing their praises enough. It's takeout only, so keep that in mind.

        Other faves on this site include Lulu, Illios Noche, Andrew Blairs, Las Ramblas, Greek Isles, etc. For a good NY Deli experience, check out Katz NY Deli on Providence Rd.

        As Waitress said, the roads here are screwy, with street names changing several times at a stretch.


        1. re: lynnlato

          okay tonight I went to Mert's is was very good. I really enjoyed the cornbread baked fresh with their butter, MMMMMMM!!!!
          The chicken was good, but the breadding lacked some flavor and fell a little flat for me, though the combination with the short ribs, the Ribs were sweet and succulent; I had those with the collard greens(a first time for me). Greens were very good, Mac and cheese was authentic homemade, and the grits with More butter were very good. I ran out of room, but thoroughly enjoyed the meal. Thank you for the recommendation. I want to try either Ratcliff or Blue next.

          1. re: BA foodie

            Glad you enjoyed it (overall)!

            I would skip Blue and head straight for Ratcliffe on the Green. Blue has not gotten good reviews here and word on the street is it's average at best. Of course their other restaurant, Table, has closed so perhaps Chef Gene can now devote more attention to Blue. I, myself, wouldn't chance it. Ratcliffe is a CH favorite, however. They focus on locally-produced organic foods with a Southern flair. Very good. The dining room is a bit boring (lack of better word) but the service is great and the food is wonderful.

            1. re: lynnlato

              I have to say that I had a very mixed experience at Ratcliffe on my return to Charlotte after the Meineke Bowl game a few weeks ago. Some of the dishes were oversalted and I cannot say that anything popped. They had just introduced the Winter menu.

              I am a big proponent of the local food movement, but the dishes need to be well-executed, too. I sampled the foie gras and squash tart apps and the rabbit and poulet mains. I can't say that I would return to any of those dishes, frankly.

              I haven't been to Blue for dinner in a few years but I had some very good meals there when it first opened. I particularly recall the lamb tagine as being very well prepared.

              I'm not as up to speed on Charlotte as I once was but I've gotta call it as I see it. How is Carpe Diem these days? I have had a number of great meals there in the past.

              1. re: brentk

                That's too bad, brent. Frankly, I'm surprised. Perhaps they had an off night? I've never had a bad meal there and i've never heard any complaints about Ratcliffe. It has to be one of the most consistently good restos in town. Their tasting menu is a great value.

                As for Blue, I've never dined there (except for drinks and apps) but only because I've never heard anyone say anything good about the food... well until now. :) I liked what Chef Gene did at Table - I had some amazing foie gras there - hopefully, as I said previously, he can focus on Blue and improve things. Perhaps I owe them a try? :)

                Carpe Diem has always been a favorite of mine. I haven't been in several months but I've never had a bad meal there. Great service and a warm atmosphere also make for a good value and pleasant experience. I need to get up there soon. I know the restos on Elizabeth have been struggling a bit b/c of all the construction going on on their street - what a mess. They've remained open through it but I think many folks didn't want to fight the bulldozers, construction,etc to see if they were open. Now they have a large sign on the corner of 4th and Kings advertising that all Elizabeth St. restos are open for business.

                1. re: lynnlato

                  Just fyi, I have eaten at Blue numerous times. It's been somewhat hit-or-miss , but I've enver had a bad meal there and I have had some very good meals there. I know a lot of picky eaters who think it's the best "upscale" restuarant on Charlotte. I always recommend it to people.

                  As for Elizabeth Ave., it really stinks for those places. The city needs to get its butt in gear, so that businesses there can thrive.

                  1. re: ickymettle

                    The food I had at Blue was quite good. However, the service is what will keep me from returning.

                    Their menu for restaurant week looks pretty good though. Might be a good time to give them a shot without spending too much money.

                    1. re: concordcourtney

                      "Their menu for restaurant week looks pretty good though. Might be a good time to give them a shot without spending too much money."

                      Good point, courtney.

      2. Where in the city will you be? That way we can get something closer to where you will be.

        8 Replies
        1. re: c.u.shoeless

          I am staying on TRyon St. at the residence in. Training 1525 West W.T. Harris Blvd. will have a rental car and hopefully GPS?!?!?!

          1. re: BA foodie

            There will be plenty of places near you downtown, but my advice is to skip all the restaurants downtown for food (maybe pop into them for a drink). The only place downtown I'll tell you to check out is Alexander Michael's, mainly because it's just a cool little pub. I'm not necessarily recommending it for it's food, which is decent, but mainly as a place to sit and have a drink early in the evening. It's a local favorite with a great atmosphere. It's located in 4th Ward (a downtown neighborhood) on 9th and Pine Streets. And if you are looking for something upscale in the downtown area, Ratcliffe on the Green may be he best of all of them. It's not necessarily a "fun" place, though-- it's a quiet place that serves good, locally produced food. I'm also a fan of Blue, located on College St., but I know many on this board would disagree with me. It would at least be a good place to stop in for a drink.

            If you're willing to spend a little bit some suggestions are:
            Lulu - On Central Ave in Plaza-Midwood-- a chowhound fave.
            Fiamma - Best Italian in town. Located on Park Rd. in the Dilworth neighborhood.
            Terra (not to be confused with Tria Terra) - On Providence Rd. in Myers Park/Eastover. French/Italian-inspired cuisine. Perhaps my favorite restaurant at the moment. Very intimate.
            Fig Tree - On E. 7th Street in the Elizabeth neighborhood. May not be worth the price you end up paying, but if it's on the company dime, you can feel alright about it. Set in a beautiful old house overlooking Independence Park.
            Rooster's - In the SouthPark area. This place may be more fun to go with a group of people rather than by yourself. It's fun to order an entree and share several different sides.
            Barrington's - On Fairview Rd. in the SouthPark area. Admittedly, I haven't been here in several years (but I am dying to go back), but many people say this is their favorite restaurant in town.
            Andrew Blair's - On Montford Dr. A new player in town that's drawn rave reviews.
            Carpe Diem - On Elizabeth Ave. A local favorite for the past 15 years. Great ambience. The food can be hit-or-miss at times, but it's never bad and usually quite good.

            If you want to spend a little less or are looking for something a bit more casual:

            Sir Edmond Halley's - located behind Park Rd. Shopping Center. A local favorite. A British-style pub serving good and interesting food such as ostrich meatloaf (excellent) and venison osso bucco (also excellent).
            Dish - On Thomas Ave. in Plaza-Midwood - Southern comfort food.
            Cabo Fish Taco - On N. Davidson St. in NoDa. The name says it all.
            Revolution Pizza and Ale House - Also on N. Davidson - Good pizza and beer selection. Also good sandwiches, etc.
            Mac's Speed Shop - On South Blvd. A local favorite serving bbq, brisket, green bean casserole, mac 'n' cheese, hush puppies.
            Big Daddy's - East Blvd. If you're craving a burger, this is a good place to go, or go to Hef's located off of Woodlawn Ave. in ParkTown Village.
            Pio Pio - Off of East Blvd. Colombian/Peruvian cuisine specializing in rotisserie chicken. Cheap, good, and filling.

            I'll stop there. I'm sure you'll find something out of all the recommendations from posters.

            1. re: ickymettle

              Wow, IM, nicely done. Come on though, you forgot The Penguin. :)

              1. re: lynnlato

                Yeah, I think I wasted an hour on that post. :-)

                1. re: ickymettle

                  thank you for the waste, I am excited about my options now. I must have some bbq being a texas girl I have to see the world of East coast carolina bbq. And I have seena couple of offers on Mac's speed shop and my hubby is a moto head may find some cool take homes to bring back there. I will report back on my trip Thank you!

                  1. re: BA foodie

                    I will tell you that Mac's is absolutely NOT east coast bbq (or at least North Carolina bbq). Still, it's good. If you are looking for NC bbq, the best I can think of in Charlotte is Bill Spoon's on South Blvd. It's only open for lunch, though. And as just about anybody here will tell you, you have to travel to eastern NC to get real NC bbq (unless you're seeking Lexington bbq).

                    Anyway, it's really never a "waste" recommending good food to out-of-towners.

              2. re: ickymettle

                Why skip all of uptown? Blue, Arpa, Mert's, Pietown, Ratcliffe on the Green on all worth going recommending.

              3. re: BA foodie

                Looks like IM covered most of it. I have a client or two in that neck of the woods, but there isn't much in that specific area that I can recommend. If you were in south Charlotte, I could be of more assistance. If you are down here for a while and looking to venture farther south, I would try Miro's (Spanish), Waldhorn's (German), or Sugar Magnolia (low country). All of these are in the Pineville and Ballentyne areas. Otherwise, we are more or less inundated with chains.

            2. Okay so on my trip I went to this Hole in the Wall place called DOWN TO THE BONE. Tiny little dine in or tack out sould food.....OH MY GOD the best Fried chicken I have ever had. Great seasoning in the batter. Good sides, but the hours a a bit short

              1 Reply
              1. re: BA foodie

                I am a big fan of Down to the Bone and often stop by when I am in the University area. I always get the same thing - oxtail and green beans. The oxtail is fall off the bone tender with a rich gravy and the green beans taste as if they are spiced with Old Bay seasoning.

                Next time I'll have to try the fried chicken.