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Jun 2, 2010 05:32 PM

suggestions for Charlotte, NC

I'm going to be in Charlotte for a week of training in late June. I don't know the city AT ALL.

I will be staying near S. Tryon Street off 77 and training off Clanton Road near 77. Any recommendations for that area or other easy-to-reach spots?

I'm on the company dime, so I'm assuming i won't have TONS of money to spend, but I like any and all ethnic cuisines, as well as good ol' southern and all-american fare. Help me out, Charlottians!

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  1. In particular, I seem to remember seeing mentions of Vietnamese places around Charlotte....VERY CURIOUS TO KNOW YOUR RECS!

    7 Replies
    1. re: dingey

      Vietnam Grill is on South Blvd., close to your hotel. La Unica, an excellent mexican restaurant is also on South Blvd. Central Avenue is fairly easy to find, where there is Lulu, Common House, Cuban Pete's, Zada Jane's, Intermezzo and Soul Gastrolounge. Also just off Central are the Pengiun and Dish. You are also close to Uptown (what we call downtown) which is accessible via light rail that runs along side of South Blvd. Coco Osteria is there, and offers great italian at excellent prices. Simmons Fourth Ward Restaurant and Mert's Heart and Soul are good soul food choices in Uptown. Also along the light rail near Uptown is Pewter Rose, Greek Isles and Nikko, an excellent sushi place. You might also want to do a search...lots of Charlotte posts.

      Greek Isles
      200 E Bland St Ste B, Charlotte, NC 28203

      Coco Osteria
      214 N Tryon St Ste 2, Charlotte, NC 28202

      1. re: CharlotteChowhound

        THANK YOU SO MUCH! It's helpful just to have someone tip me off what areas I'm near and what good picks are close by! I'm also VERY PLEASED to hear that I'm going to be near reliable mass transportation. That makes exploring so much easier.

        1. re: CharlotteChowhound

          Saigon Palace is also on South not far from VG and is very good, great atmosphere (a little kitschy in a good way). Monsoon is further north on South, heading into South End, and is excellent Thai. Also in South End is Mac's for okay BBQ and a cool place to grab a beer. Get a map and figure out where South, East and Central are. Those are the best chow roads in Charlotte.

          Saigon Palace
          5215 South Blvd Ste B, Charlotte, NC 28217

          1. re: southernitalian

            If you are training at Clanton Rd. You'll be near Mac's Speed Shop on South Blvd.. I'd recommend it. Its a BBQ joint. I'd recommend their beef brisket sandwhich. I also recommend Saigon Palace , on South Blvd in that area. Try their Ban Xeo, otherwise known as the Yellow Pancake.

            Can you tell us the nearest exit of 77 you're staying at. It might help zoom in on nearby choices.

            Mac's Speed Shop
            2511 South Blvd, Charlotte, NC 28203

            Saigon Palace
            5215 South Blvd Ste B, Charlotte, NC 28217

          2. re: CharlotteChowhound

            Just to clarify - South, East, and Central are streets...South Blvd, East Blvd, and Central Ave.

            I'll second Vietnam Grille and Monsoon. Bill Spoon's is a good barbecue place but lunch only so you might not be able to make that. McKoy's Smokehouse on Old Pineville Rd. should be close for you as well - its definitely a biker bar but friendly and their smoked wings are supposed to be great.

            Also, Charlotte is very car-oriented. While you will be near mass transit, you will probably have to drive to a stop :-). The train is easy because its only one line. I wouldn't rely on the buses if I were you - they can be confusing and involve a lot of transfers to get where you're going. Bring a GPS if you have one.

            1. re: billyjack

              Thanks for clarifying. I'm just happy that four people have chimed in and no one suggested Price's! Over-rated (clap, clap, clap, clap, clap).

              1. re: southernitalian

                HA! Yes, thank you one and all for orientation tips and recommendations all around! I knew I could count on the 'hounds to steer me right!

        2. If you're the night-owl type, Amelie's over on North Davidson, which is just off the 277 on ramp is a great French Bakery. Food is good and people watching is better. Will second the bring your GPS post from a previous poster. Will also second the Price's Chicken Coop is overrated if iconic.

          1. Don't bother trying to use the light rail line if you have a car. The trains do not run that frequent outside the morning and afternoon rush hour. Better off driving to your destination and relying on GPS.

            1 Reply
            1. re: easzman1

              For the most part, trains run every 15 to 20 minutes during non-rush hour. Its definitely worth taking the train Uptown, as parking can be expensive.

            2. Thanks again, one and all, for the suggestions and tips. As usually happens on work-related trips, I was more burned out than expected at the end of each day, so didn't do NEARLY as much gustatory exploration as I intended to. I did manage to find and eat at several of the places mentioned here, including Monsoon (where I got some Massaman curry. It was good, but it didn't blow me away. If I lived nearby, I'd be back to try some other stuff there to see how it shapes up compared to my hometown fave Thai spot), La Unica (for a big comforting plate of bistek ranchera that was right on the money), and multiple visits to Vietnam Grille (for a big bowl of pho and, on the next trip, one of the char-grilled pork on broken rice dishes, with extra veg. I have nothing to compare it to, since it was my first time trying Vietnamese, but I was impressed. Lots of "Mmmmmmm"-ing to myself as I chowed down. Pho was so much more delicate and subtle than i was expecting, and ABSOLUTELY delicious! The pork dish was so simple and fresh and lovely..I experimented with the various sauces and such that come with it and those that are permanently ensconced on the table--every one of them worked with it and gave a different flavor profile. I'm in love and I want to try A LOT MORE VIETNAMESE!) . OH! I also stumbled across Mert's the one day I got out early enough to have the energy to explore the downtown a bit, and had a fine platter of ribs, collards, and mac and cheese. The food was really good, the staff was great, and the music was fabulous. I love the vibe in that place, and I think I developed an instant platonic lady-crush on the woman who took care of me. Down-to-earth, funny, and instantly able to put a heat-addled, discombobulated hungry woman at complete ease.

              Sadly, I spotted Coco Osteria after I'd already eaten one night, and didn't ever have a chance to get back there. The menu looks goooooooood!

              La Unica
              4305 Old Monroe Rd Ste A, Indian Trail, NC 28079

              Coco Osteria
              214 N Tryon St Ste 2, Charlotte, NC 28202

              1. El Pulgarcito De America
                4816 Central Ave
                Ste A
                Charlotte, NC 28205

                El Pulgarcito De America
                4816 Central Ave, Charlotte, NC 28205