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village tavern or red rocks cafe in charlotte

so i know i was in asking about sushi. but i think that i am going to step away from that for my birthday instead to make sure that everyone can eat. but i will definitely be taking those sushi recommendations for another trip to charlotte.

but i want to know what your opinions are on village tavern and red rocks cafe. i didnt find much on either one in the boards so im turning to the always best charlotte chowhounds for advice that hasnt steered me wrong.

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  1. Both are small "chains", but locally owned and I think have slightly different menus for each location. My personal experience is with Village Tavern. The original is in Reynolda Village near Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem. Back before fancy hamburgers were the rage, they had the best burger around and it was still very good the last time that I had one. They do have a good variety on the menu which can make it easier to please a diverse crowd. Their food is good quality and has been consistent for my tastes. They have a full bar and a very good selection of beer. Friendly staff and laid back atmosphere. http://www.villagetavern.com/

    1. I would rate those restaurants two sad faces and one thumbs down.

      1 Reply
      1. re: waitress

        can i ask why you would give those places that rating?

      2. vttp926, if I had to choose between the two, I would probably choose Red Rocks. Their menu is slightly more adventurous and I haven't had a bad meal there. That said, both of those restaurants are sort of vanilla. Village Tavern, especially, is the kind of place you can go for a business lunch or a first date (or a birthday) and everyone can find something they like... but neither are particularly unique in their approach to food. They're pretty similar to Applebee's, Chili's, etc., IMO but more expensive.

        10 Replies
        1. re: sashapt

          that is probably the biggest reason why i was leaning towards either one because everyone can find something they will like. but it isn't your every day restaurant.

          is there anything you had that is especially good?

          1. re: vttp926

            Both are kind of lame. In particular, the VT at Stonecrest is horrendous. For a middle of the road crowd pleaser, check out Harper's.

            1. re: southernitalian

              That's City Tavern in Stonecrest. Village Tavern is up in Southpark and has a nice, large outdoor patio. The food is unimpressive, but the atmosphere is nice.

              1. re: lynnlato

                Ahhh...thanks for clarifying. I've made that mistake several times because they're both pretty forgettable. I'm amazed that those places stay in business. Probably because of their ability to please a wide audience. Yes, atmosphere there is nice. Food is eh. Last time I went there with a group of about 10 women and the service was deplorable.

                1. re: southernitalian

                  I always confuse the two, myself. Yea, I think someone compared them to Applebee's and while I don't think they are that awful (that's about as awful as they come), I'd say they are pretty bad.

                  Bottom line - they are both chains establishments. I prefer to give my hard-earned dollars to owner-operated places, not corporations. JMHO.

              2. re: southernitalian

                I would second that emotion. If it must please everyone try harpers. wide ranging menu a step up in quality from either red rocks or vt(though I love those vt fresh hot chips)

                1. re: southernitalian

                  if harper's is a recommendation, one of their restaurant (zink's) from their group was another restaurant i had been considering.

                    1. re: southernitalian

                      Agreed. Zink is mediocre at best. Not recommended.

                      1. re: bbqdawg

                        Zink's was amazing, until Tommy Condron left to open Liberty. The food quality has dropped dramatically in the past few months.

            2. If I had to choose, I would pick Red Rocks over Village Tavern, but I wouldn't recommend either. I will tell you that I had a couple VERY bad experiences at Village Tavern, albeit those were several years ago. One time they brought out some incredbily overcooked fish-- and when I say overcooked, I mean that it was black (not blackened) virtually all the way through and completely inedible. It was like burnt leather. And that's no exaggeration. Yet thay were still actually serving it! That was inexcusable.

              There are plenty better places that could satisfy all takers that are far superior to the two you mentioned. I might recommend Rooster's (which is very good for a group willing to share), 300 East, Sir Edmond Halley's, to name a few.

              1 Reply
              1. re: ickymettle

                Agreed - wouldn't recommend either place, but least of all RR's. A flying crawly critter greeted us one evening, a few years ago, while we were there for dinner. I fully realize that all places have critters, but I was completely freaked out by this one experience that I never returned. Both places remind me of a higher end TGIFridays anyway - not my cup of tea.

              2. May want to consider Firebirds Wood Fired Grill. There are two locations in Charlotte, one at Stonecrest on 485 and a new one beside Southpark on Colony Rd.

                1. well i guess i need to start another thread then. and see from what everyone may recommend and look through menus and what not.

                  this is one of the things i hate deciding is where to go for dinner. but i may wait a little bit before starting a new thread. i still got about a month till my birthday but would need to make a reservation for it.

                  thanks for the suggestions so far.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: vttp926

                    We should all be so lucky that there was a restaurant in Charlotte that required a month to make a reservation. Pretty sure you'll be happy in a wide range of places.

                    1. re: southernitalian

                      no i didnt mean that i was going to make the reservation a month ahead. i was hoping to decide the week before my birthday. but i have a month till my birthday.

                      i am easily satisfied in wherever i end up choosing as long as something on the menu has caught my eye but i have picky friends coming to my birthday dinner.

                  2. Zio might be a good choice for your birthday celebration. It is a small family run Italian restaurant. Great food and prices, not the hippest but a great place for picky eaters and foodies.

                    1. Basically Village Tavern is Applebee's with boobs. Red Rocks has better food than VT , but is just okay. Sure you want to please all but why do that by being bland. Pick the best place not the most middle of the road. Is your birthday about being blah or being great?

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: GodfatherofLunch

                        I agree. Make it something to remember.

                        1. re: ickymettle

                          i will probably be putting up another new thread in the next couple days about it to get away from this one about either of those places for suggestions. but yea i do want it to be something to remember since it is my golden birthday.