Hi friends! I hope you are staying warm and bundled up if you are impacted by all this nasty weather. And if you’re in Utah and enjoying 60 degree temperatures, I hate you a little. Juuust kidding…but man, I really should have visited my family this month. The roads are a sheet of ice and that’s covered with snow, soooo I won’t be leaving my house anytime soon. The roads are a mess. At least Maizey is enjoying it.
I can’t wait for warmer temperatures so I can enjoy all the awesome outdoor dining options in Charlotte – it seems like there are a lot. I’ve still been able to try some great places out despite my wanting to hibernate until all this cold weather and the dark evenings are gone. These are the places I’ve checked out so far. (I apologize in advance for all the iPhone photos; I really need to start taking my nice camera with me. I have no excuse except laziness for the at-home dining photos.)
Peculiar Rabbit: I’ve been here twice and ordered the exact same thing: a burger with guacamole, jalapeños and bacon and herb fries. I went on a lunch date the second time I visited, and apparently they only serve that burger at dinner, but the chef was nice enough to make it at lunch. Their charcuterie plate is awesome too (Crystal and I shared that when she helped me on moving weekend), and they also have a great draft beer selection. The Bird Song MexiCali Stout and NoDa Jam Session are gooooood.
Vivace: I went to brunch here a couple weekends ago and I don’t think a day has gone by that I haven’t thought about the brussels sprouts, bacon and poached egg appetizer I got. So dang good. I was too busy inhaling my food to take a picture.
Carpe Diem: I went here with a coworker before we went to the Ingrid Michaelson concert (which was amazing – that woman is so talented and hilarious). Their wine selection was great and I wanted to lick my entrée plate clean; I got their scallops with a beet puree.
Three Amigos: I ordered from this place solely because they deliver. And it’s a double win because it’s awesome Mexican food. Their mole is a definite winner. Their al pastor tacos were good too, but I’d go for the mole over those.
Akahana: My neighborhood has an app where you can post questions, ask for recommendations, sell things, notify other about suspicious activity in the area, etc. (Yes, it’s awesome.) I posted asking for Thai and sushi recommendations and got about 50 responses within 24 hours! I can’t wait to check out everything that was recommended. Anyway, I tried Akahana because it’s about 5 minutes from my house. I was nervous because they offer buy-one-get-one-free rolls which I wouldn’t think bodes well, but lots of people vouched for it being a solid option. Not the best sushi in town I’m sure, but definitely good enough for weeknight take-out. I loved their Furious Dragon Roll with eel, jalapeño, avocado and shrimp.
Thai Taste: Lots of people raved about this place, but it had a HIGH bar to live up to since you know how much I love my beloved Teeter Thai in Winston. I got the green curry because they didn’t have yellow curry (they lose a star simply for that). It was fine. Not amazing, but fine. I wonder if they have an equivalent dish to Teeter Thai’s “spicy noodle” (#33 on the menu)…I’m not sure what the Thai name is for that. Anyone know so I could find it on another menu?? Two other negatives against Thai Taste: their portion sizes were half the sizes of Teeter Thai and their fresh rolls were terrrrrrible. Even watching Scandal and drinking wine while eating couldn’t improve upon those.
Zada Jane’s: I had been here a few times before moving to Charlotte and it never disappoints. My friend Carolyn (the one who owns Pure Barre in Winston-Salem and Clemmons) visited me from WS for a Charlotte brunch outing, and I was excited to take her here. The East Side Hasher and Bunny Rancheros are two favorites. They also have gluten-free pancakes.
Speaking of gluten-free, I’ve been experimenting adding gluten back into my diet on a limited basis (see burger bun above). My ex-boyfriend had Celiac so that was the main reason I cut out gluten, and truthfully, I did feel better. I don’t think I’ll eat gluten on a daily basis since I do have a reaction (super super bloated and I seem to put on weight overnight when I eat it…like seriously 4-5 pounds – I REALIZE THIS SOUNDS CRAZY so you don’t need to tell me). But since most of the time I don’t get sick or experience pain when I have gluten, it’s not something I want to swear off of for life. And hell, sometimes a little gluten bloat is worth it…especially since I now live about 5 minutes from an authentic French bakery.
Speaking of said French bakery… Amelie’s is freaking amazing. Great coffee, great fruit tarts, and breakfast sandwiches on croissants that make all my dreams come true. (Hmmm I’m now wondering if they are open today in this snowy mess….)