Recommendation for the Concord, NC area
Hi, I'm taking a road trip through NC at the end of October. We'll be staying in the Concord area (actually in Kannapolis) and I'm looking for some restaurant recommendations. On the drive down we'll be lunching in Lexington, haven't picked the joint yet. And one night we'll have dinner at Childress Vineyards.. Anything other than chain restaurants in the area? Thanks for any help
Concord has a sweet downtown with several fun places. Cabarrus Creamery has a lemon slice ice cream with chunks of whole lemon in it that draws me every time I'm there. There are a couple of bakeries, including Barrucand. There's a good Cuban restaurant and bakery, Havana Carolina, Union Street Bistro is very good and very local, and Gianni's Trattoria has a big following.
And here's an off-the-wall recommendation I haven't had a chance to try for myself yet: Concord is close to Kannapolis. When I was doing a story recently with the seafood seller Rock Stone, he told me that Lee's Sandwich Shop in Kannapolis is really good, in a small dogs-and-burgers kind of way. If you know Rock, you know he has very strong opinions about food. When it comes to holes in the wall, he has turned me on to several good food finds.
If you like Asian food, definitely try ENoodles, which is right on the edge of Kannapolis in Concord, off George Liles Pwky. I used to live within walking distance of this restaurant and it was a favorite, along with several other local restaurants that are right in that same area, including a Greek restaurant. While Concord has it's share of "chain hell" there are also several unexpected gems, if you just seek them out. :-)
Kathleen is dead on with her Cabarrus Creamery recommendation. I love their moonpie icecream - they always have interesting concoctions. While you're there, pick up a glass bottle of our local soda, Cheerwine while you're there (it's a cherry cola).
For the full Concord experience, start out at the What A Burger & get a WAB, fries (crinkle) and a soda. The soda is where it gets interesting. My fave is the C-LSD, cherry lemon Sundrop (Sundrop a lemon line soda, made by the same local outfit as Cheerwine). They mix Sundrop w cherry soda and add sliced lemons. If you want the full Concord go for broke experience, order a Witchdoctor- a mix of all fountain drinks poured over a fist full of dill pickle chips.
Oh, and Lil Roberts Place next to the Cabarrus creamery has an excellent draft selection-many local. And the owners are really helpful / they offer samples based on what you're in the mood for.
WAB, Cabarrus Creamery & Lil Roberts are all on the same block.
If you're into coffee, you MUST check out the S&D retail store. Their coffee is great, cheap & local (S&D is the famed stuff that Dunkin Donuts brews).
Chocolatier Barrucaud is the one place in Concord, or perhaps the first place, i would take someone who likes expertly-prepared food. i'm not sure about Cabarrus Creamery --- it may be fine. But in Concord, Barracaud is the only first-rate establishment i personally frequent. the pastries and the chocolates are excellent. not sure why they don't get more love on Chowhound. i wouldn't call Barracaud a bakery, however. you won't find bread.