Charlotte and Charleston help needed
We are doing a quick revisit this week for some colleges for our senior daughter. Last year when we visited Charlotte we ate at Zada Jane's, Amelie's bakery, and the penquin.(Based on reviews of new ownership we will not return to the penquin) Loved them all so we are again looking for local spots that are fun without being over the top price point for this trip.
Also we have never visited Charleston, but are considering The gin joint, Five loafs, Glass onion, or Queen street grocery.
We do have a car so driving is not a problem, but we don't want to drive to far. staying in the Southpark area in Charlotte, and in the historic district in Charleston
Thanks in advance for any help.
In the Southpark area there are a several fun, casual places.
I like Cowfish - a new burger & sushi concept right by the mall (same small complex as Crate & Barrel). They have burgers, sushi rolls and then they have burger sushi rolls which they call burgushi. Weird, I know, but it's fun and good. They also have fried pickles. ;-) It's always packed so plan accordingly.
Roosters is another great spot near the mall. Their rotisserie bbq chicken is SO good. They have a large open kitchen & it's entertaining to watch them cook as you eat. We were just there last night. I had a house-made tagliatelle pasta w/ wild mushrooms, parm cheese, mint & thyme. They have many different vegetable sides that are served family style - au gratin potatoes, haricot verts w/ garlic, roasted asparagus, pan-fried corn, frites, etc. The menu is a la carte and so it is a little bit pricey, but casual atmosphere and good, fresh, local food.
Up in the Plaza-Midwood area of town, near Zada Janes, there is a new bbq joint called Midwood Smokehouse. Good pork bbq, brisket and all the fixins.
Next door to Midwood Smokehouse is a relatively new vegetarian restaurant that has gotten a lot of praise lately. It's called Fern and they have a fresh & local focused menu. The whole wheat cannelloni stuffed w/ goat's milk ricotta w/ butternut squash puree and walnut pesto is really good.
Also in Plaza-Midwood is a place called Krazy Fish. It's definitely a crazy concept in that they serve up fusion tacos. It's difficult to explain so just check out their online menu.
In the NoDa area of town is Crepe Cellar (NoDa is our arts district and a fun place to walk about). Crepe Cellar has delicious flash-fried brussel sprouts w/ an arugula pesto - yumm. They have various sweet & savory crepe dishes in addition to entrees and some interesting cocktails too. Great beer list also.
You picked some good Charleston spots, but if you've never been here, you might want to consider something a little more traditional. Look at 82 Queen for the best she crab soup in town, delicious fried green tomatoes, and a nice walled patio if the weather holds. Magnolia's is great for shrimp and grits, as is Anson. We went to Anson for restaurant week and seriously enjoyed it.
If Glass Onion is serving their homemade sausage, get it. I recently spent 2 months in Germany and nothing there came close. On the day I got it, it was served with kale and mashed sweet potatoes. It's located in West Ashley, so you'll need to drive out there.
I haven't been to Queen Street Grocery yet but it looks great. I'll try to get down there this week.
There's no need to drive anywhere if you are staying in the Historic District. There are plenty of very good restauants that you can walk to. Husk is excellent, but you probably won't be able to get in on short notice. Some others to look into:
Amen St. Fish
Fleet Landing is nothing outstanding foodwise, but it's a nice place to have lunch since it's on the water.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. There are too many to mention.