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everyday foods in Charlotte? off Carmel Road

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ruthie_1000 Jun 16, 2009 07:17 AM

Hello Chowhounds,

I am a Brooklyn CH trying to create a little dining guide for my parents who are about to move to Charlotte, NC. I have compiled a list of burger places, Vietnamese spots, bbq (with disclaimers), and other places around town, but I am now looking for places near their house for take-out, delivery, or a quick lunch or dinner.

They are moving near Carmel Road (3611) and Pineville Matthews Road (51).

Help!

p.s. If anyone has a rec for a dumpling place like Dumpling King in Houston with fresh grated ginger and chopped jalapenos in jars on the table, that would be a bonus.

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  1. c
    Ciao Italia Foodie RE: ruthie_1000 Jun 16, 2009 10:02 AM

    IMO Great Wall of China has good Chinese and is right on Carmel Rd. dine in or take out!
    6666 Carmel Rd. 704 545 5409

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      pinogirl14 RE: ruthie_1000 Jun 16, 2009 11:03 AM

      There's Bombay Grill and Thai Taste - i think that's the name - on 51 towards Carolina Place Mall. At Carmel and 51 is a pizza place - Carmella's? There's Panera's for salads and sandwiches, Tamarind Indian - it's OK, not as good as Bombay Grille, Bonefish Grill - seafood chain. I'm sure there's more, but I'm still exploring that area myself.

      1. b
        billyjack RE: ruthie_1000 Jun 16, 2009 12:44 PM

        Bombay Grille is great, but a little pricey for takeout I think. I'd rather eat there.

        Bangkok Ocha is right at Carmel and 51 in the Carmel Commons shopping center. Also in that same center are the aforementioned Great Wall and Carmellas.

        The other Thai restaurant is Thai House (not Thai Taste). I like Bangkok Ocha.

        Clucker's in the McMullen Creek shopping center is a Greek/Middle-Eastern place that I used to like a lot. Last time I had it was not so great but could have been an off night.

        Mizuho (next to Cluckers) is probably my favorite Japanese restaurant in the city. Never had anything there I didn't like. The specials page usually has the more "authentic" stuff if you're into that sort of thing. They are on the back side of the shopping center, not the front.

        Also in that same strip is Viet-Thai Noodle House, whose name is pretty self-explanatory. I like it for the Vietnamese, not so much for the Thai.

        Wan Fu is an old-school style Chinese place, they have the Americanized stuff as well as authentic dishes. This is a stand-alone building behind the Outback on 51 - pagoda-styled, can't miss it.

        Shanghai is a little farther away at Quail Corners but its a favorite of mine.

        I'm not aware of any dumpling houses near there, or anywhere in Charlotte. Hopefully someone will prove me wrong.

        Oh and for regular 'merican food there is Hickory Tavern on Carmel, and I guess the Graduate is still open at McMullen Creek. Can't say they're great but they serve a purpose. Rusty's Deli at Quail Corners has some good sandwiches (not a NY-style deli however so don't get confused).

        1. l
          little debbie RE: ruthie_1000 Jul 26, 2009 06:40 AM

          The authentic ethnic eateries and markets in Charlotte tend to be along South Blvd on the west side and Central Ave, Sharon Amity and Albermarle Rd on the east side. I would encourage your parents to set out and explore. South is closer to where they are living, but Charlotte is pretty compact and there is much more diversity than the area aound Carmel would suggest. There is also a great French bakery on North Davidson, in the NODA section of town. NODA is the arts district and is just outside of downtown.

          There ia also a new Asian market off of Park Rd. right before you get to 51. I think it is called Zen something.

          1 Reply
          1. re: little debbie
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            Nocturnalbill RE: little debbie Aug 5, 2010 06:27 PM

            And double for Amelie's (the French bakery) over on North Davidson. Bit of a drive from where they are, but they are open 24/7, so absolutely worth it.

          2. l
            little debbie RE: ruthie_1000 Jul 26, 2009 06:42 AM

            ditto the shanghai comment. owners are fabulous and will custom your order.

            1. southernitalian RE: ruthie_1000 Jul 27, 2009 06:20 AM

              The one other restaurant in Carmel Commons that no one mentioned is Carmella's. I think it's the best pizza in Charlotte and I'm from NJ/NY. It's a little bit of a dive but great for lunch outside. They do deliver to a small area.

              8 Replies
              1. re: southernitalian
                southernitalian RE: southernitalian Jul 7, 2010 07:35 AM

                UPDATE: Well, I'm a big, fat idiot because someone DID mention Carmella's before I did last year. I came back to this thread because I met a friend at Viet Thai Noodle House yesterday and wanted to see what was posted here about it. It was good. We had summer rolls which were fantastic and pho which was pretty good. I can think of three Vietnamese place in Charlotte I like better but this one is the closest by far. There's a lot to be said for that, particularly since I have had the recent pleasure of working from home. So with the moeny I'm saving on gas and uptown parking, I've been enjoying South Charlotte's restaurants at lunch time. Don't tell my boss (or my husband).

                I also went to Carmella's for the first time in a while on Sunday. We had been swimming all day and were really hungry. It was so nice to be there without the fog of cigarette smoke hanging in the air. The three of us got a large cheese pie which was as good as it's always been. Seriously, very good. We decided to also get a meatball hero to share in case the pizza wasn't enough. One word: Sugar! The meatballs were good but the sauce was so sweet that it rendered the sandwich inedible. What is UP with that? I know the owner is Greek, not Italian, but what's up with the sugar and nutmeg in the gravy? Yuck!

                Sadly, Tamarind is gone but Bombay Grille continues to turn out great Indian in this area of town.

                It's impossible to get a table at Bangkok Ocha after 11:30 a.m. most weekdays. Glad they're still doing well because they're nice people and they make terrific food.

                Cluckers is solid although the service can be a bit surly. Reminds me of Brooklyn, which isn't a bad thing.

                I'm pretty sure the Hickory Tavern location on Carmel near the post office is something else now and I am not sure if that Graduate location is still open. Neither would be a loss. Did I type that out loud? I think I read that Quail Corners was being completely renovated so not sure of the status of anything over there.

                The one other significant addition to my rotation is The Lodge and this is only because I can walk there. It's okay. Hot wings are NOT hot and they don't write down your order so it's wrong 25% of the time. And Ric Flair is selling his house across the street so that entertainment is gone. But it's always packed with my rowdy neighbors so we'll keep going back.

                What else is new in 28226?

                1. re: southernitalian
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                  billyjack RE: southernitalian Jul 8, 2010 12:36 PM

                  I find Carmellas pizza to be greasy and extremely garlicky. I like garlic but its a little much. Don't know why Carmella's puts nutmeg in their sauce, but every Greek-owned diner and "Italian" restaurant here in Charlotte makes it that way. Always have, tastes normal to me but I'm from here so I expect it.

                  The spot that was Tamarind is now some "Pan-Asian" place.

                  The spot that was Hickory Tavern is now called "Oldpro". Don't know anything about it except that it has a strange name. Probably same food as before.

                  Quail Corners is slated to renovate but who knows when. They basically kicked Shanghai out, which was a huge loss because now I hardly eat any Chinese. My other favorite is 88, and thats too far for takeout. Lotus II is decent, the best thing about them is that they use fresh vegetables and don't overcook them. Great Wall is ok but kinda greasy. Wan Fu is fun for nostalgia.

                  I said it in another thread but I'll repeat it here - Thai House in the Tower Place shopping center is excellent. I like it much better than Bangkok Ocha. I think it is now run by the people from the original Thai House.

                  -----
                  Bangkok Ocha
                  7629 Pineville Matthews Rd, Charlotte, NC 28226

                  Thai House
                  5592 Whitesville Rd Ste I, Columbus, GA 31904

                  1. re: billyjack
                    lynnlato RE: billyjack Jul 9, 2010 11:44 AM

                    I HATE nutmeg in my sauce and never encountered it until moving down here 15 yrs ago... and I first had it at Riccio's. Are you saying it's just the greek-owned establishments that do it? I don't think Riccio's is greek-owned (I believe the owner is from NY), and I know Palone's, Lorenzo's, Ilios Noche all don't do it, thank goodness. :-)

                    I'm partial to Bangkok Ocha over Thai House for the same reasons Southernitalian listed - good food and great service.

                    Trio, hwy 51 & McMullen Creek Pkwy, has had a loyal following for many years in 28226. I prefer their lunches for good salads, wood-fired pizzas, pastas, soups and burgers. Try their mulligatawny soup or French onion soup. Good cobb salad too. Nothing out-of-the-ordinary but good, reliable food, friendly service and locally-owned too.

                    Tria Terra is in Carmel Commons and while I haven't been there in a while, it was always good. There menu is mostly Italian/Spanish/French inspired with both small plates and entrees.

                    -----
                    Ilios Noche
                    11508 Providence Road, Suite I, Charlotte, NC 28277

                    Bangkok Ocha
                    7629 Pineville Matthews Rd, Charlotte, NC 28226

                    Tria Terra
                    7707 Pineville Matthews Rd, Charlotte, NC 28226

                    1. re: lynnlato
                      southernitalian RE: lynnlato Jul 12, 2010 10:28 AM

                      There was a post about the Greek/Nutmeg thing a while back but I can't find it. If you look at recipes for moussaka or pastitsio, you'll usually see nutmeg, allspince and cinnamon. I just leave it out.

                      You know, I have been living here all these years just miles from Trio and have not been in about 15 years. I need to get that on my list. It was featured on a (very) local food show a while back and I was very pleasantly surprised at how inventive the menu looked.

                      Great Wall and Wan Fu remind me very much of the Chinese restaurants we ate at in NYC and NJ (good thing). Somehow Tomi is still open at Colony Place. He continues to be very strictly Taiwanese which I admore, but I wish he'd expand his menu just a tiny bit. That white hot and sour soup is really good.

                      1. re: lynnlato
                        b
                        billyjack RE: lynnlato Jul 12, 2010 05:25 PM

                        Not all Greek-owned establishments necessarily, just the old-school places that have been around forever.

                        Speaking of Riccios, I like it. They make an eggplant parm pizza that sounds wrong but tastes great.

                        I used to agree about Bangkok Ocha, but Thai House is much much better than it used to be, and I think their food is more flavorful than Bangkok Ocha's. Lot of depth to the curries, and they use fresh chilis if you ask for it spicy. People are nice as well.

                        Trio is good and reliable. Always forget about it when this area comes up.

                        -----
                        Bangkok Ocha
                        7629 Pineville Matthews Rd, Charlotte, NC 28226

                        Thai House
                        5592 Whitesville Rd Ste I, Columbus, GA 31904

                        1. re: billyjack
                          l
                          little debbie RE: billyjack Aug 5, 2010 05:03 AM

                          Just had lunch at Trio Terra yesterday. Ditto the comment on inventive menu and excellent quality ingredients.

                          1. re: little debbie
                            lynnlato RE: little debbie Aug 6, 2010 06:13 AM

                            Trio and Trio Terra are two different establishments. Trio at the corner of Hwy 51 & McMullen Creek Pkwy (next to Waffle House) is a somewhat of a South Charlotte go-to place for lunch, brunch and dinner. It's been around since the early 90's. www.trio-charlotte.com

                            Trio Terra, in the Carmel Commons Shopping Center, is a sister restaurant to Fiamma and has been there maybe 2 yrs.

                            Both are very different but great place nonetheless.

                          2. re: billyjack
                            lynnlato RE: billyjack Aug 6, 2010 06:21 AM

                            I like the eggplant parm pizza at Riccio's too. I haven't had it in a long time, I need to get over there.

                            I'll have to give Thai House another try. It was my go to Thai place a few years ago, but then it started to decline and I found Bangkok Ocha and so I didn't return. But there are Thai House diehards who insist its quite good. I'll have to get back over there too.

                            Trio has become somewhat of a South Charlotte institution. Everyone in South Charlotte knows the owners and they don't forget faces. :)

                  2. b
                    billyjack RE: ruthie_1000 Aug 5, 2010 02:07 PM

                    Yet another restaurant closing in the area - Mizuho is gone, sadly. I think its been closed maybe a month now, I just thought they were renovating or something. It was one of my favorite restaurants in the city. Excellent traditional Japanese dishes and the sushi was among the best in town. The sad part is it seems to be replaced by a run of the mill sushi place with a "pick your meat and sauce' hibachi and teriyaki menu. I will try not to judge it until I try it but not the kind of place I would normally choose to go to.

                    Point of my long winded post - anyone know of another Japanese restaurant serving more traditional dishes? I know of Mai (the one on Colony), and even their menu seems limited compared to what it was on South Blvd. Can't think of any other.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: billyjack
                      i
                      insouthpark RE: billyjack Aug 6, 2010 07:42 AM

                      Have you tried Musashi off of Johnson Rd? We went there after an excellent writeup in the Observer and were impressed. I don't know authentic Japanese if it smacked me in the face but this place didn't have a thing I knew on the dinner menu ;-)

                      http://www.musashi-nc.com/dinner.html

                      We went for the sushi and it was excellent. The most telling thing that this is indeed authentic...we were the only non-asians in the place.

                      1. re: insouthpark
                        mcap RE: insouthpark Aug 6, 2010 10:13 AM

                        I love Musashi. They have an entire section of the menu written in Japanese.

                        1. re: mcap
                          b
                          billyjack RE: mcap Aug 6, 2010 04:51 PM

                          Sounds like what I'm looking for....I honestly never went in because Mizuho called to me every time. Will definitely try it soon.

                        2. re: insouthpark
                          GodfatherofLunch RE: insouthpark Aug 8, 2010 09:34 AM

                          I love Musashi. It is IMHO the best Japanese food in Charlotte. Great sushi, sashimi, bento box lunch specials and the hot food is excellent too.

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