gsquared, I’m glad you remembered the Copal because I’d forgotten about that place. For a long time, that was the only place that my father swore by. Here’s an interesting article on a bunch of Mom & Pop spots in and around Charlotte. I’m dying to review South 21 Drive-In before the Sterns catch wind of it, but I figure that my chances are good, since they discovered the Penguin awhile back.
Mr. Carlton, I wish I knew more about these places to tell you for certain. Alas, I’ve never eaten at Athens, and haven’t been to the Knife & Fork in at least 10 years. The Double Door, I’d assume, is still there — at least their website says so. Haven’t been there since I lived in the area, but the last show I saw in that hallowed hall was the California Guitar Trio with guest Tony Levin (then of King Crimson) on Stick and bass!
I hope you saw my Spoon’s review before it departed from the homepage. As with many of my reviews that elicit a "why’d you review THAT place?" from friends and family, it was a selfish review: I love that place. It’s a humble BBQ house that has consistently great food. I felt a pang of guilt in writing about the less-than-stellar banana pudding, because it was perfect when I ate there a year ago. I’m also a sucker for good hushpuppies (read: NOT the ones that look pre-frozen ovoids), and Spoon’s serves some of the best. Also, I remember the widening of Independence very well: it razed what was the original and only Krispy Kreme shop in the city! Hopefully a bona fide Charlottean will pipe in here, but I’ll put my feelers out and get back to you…[;)] Chris
I’ve never been to Spoon’s. Should I swoon over Spoon’s after going there? — I await your review, perched on the edge of my chair as if about to erupt in flight.
By the way, I’m told that an old favorite of mine, The Athens Restaurant, has relocated to South Boulevard. Can you confirm or deny such grindings of the rumour mill? When Independence Boulevard was widened this last time, it gulped up their old building… and quite a bit more (The Knife & Fork? The Double Door Inn?).
And what is the name of that great dumpy-looking (well, unprepossessing) place on North Tryon Street, out by a bunch of truck terminals? I’m told it’s been there for years and is a real sleeper.
Wanting A Mecklenburger (Or At Least A Livermush Sandwich) About Now, Ort. Carlton in 30601-Central.
Hey Ort, my batting average in greater Charlotte is higher, but only because I used to live there! Hope you’ve tried Spoon’s BBQ on South Blvd. — I should have a review going live in the next few days, so please gimme some feedback. Thank you kindly, Chris
Anyone who eats in any form of a chain restaurant in Charlotte would be doing so out of desire. The city is chock-full of great mom-and-pop diners, many open long hours, run by families.
While there is a predictability factor to chains, I find them disappointing compared to the put-on-my-pith-helmet-and-go-on-a-safari feeling I get when I’m trying a new-to-me diner. And my all-time batting average is something like .740.
Drive South Boulevard before you resort to chains.
Unhungrily, Ort. Carlton in Scant-Three-Hours-Distant Athens, Georgia.
I have not been to Dolce since it converted from a gelateria a few years ago. I think it may also be a good choice.
Hey Baah, Please work harder to find places other than Cheesecake or Maggione’s. Both are overhyped, overpriced and to be quite frank, not even close to worth the money. I was so put off at both places, I have never returned to either. Go to Mamma’s and then try to find the local joints like Lupi’s, Chili Man hot dog cart (HAD to do it!) and other local places, the Penguin also comes to mind. Volare, BTW, has closed.
Kathleen Purvis is the local food editor and is always good for suggestions. (She is also a dedicated Chili Man fan, so her opinions must be great.
Good luck, I hope to see you,
Vic the Chili Man
Brentk – Menu looks terrific. thank you! And, it’s only 7 miles from where we are staying. Just one last question..If you’ve been there, how does Mamma Ricotta’s compare to Dolce Ristorante on Kenilworth?
It sounds as though you like Italian food.
Based on the chains you mentioned, I have a hunch you would really like Mama Ricotta’s. A little less formal than Toscana or Volare, the food is very good and the atmosphere is fun and lively. Its owner, Frank Scibelli, has become a very successful local restaurateur, but his first restaurant, and the one that is closest to the food he grew up with, is Mama Ricotta’s.
It is a chain and it is out of Charlotte. Thinking of trying it when we are in Charlotte.
Some other possibilities include O’Charlie’s (chain), Toscana and Volare…We are staying near the airport and wanted a good place within 10-12 miles. We can always do the local Cheesecake Factory, Macaroni’s or Maggiano’s….Just thought we’d try something "more local." Thanks for any help….
If it’s not a chain, it sure has that "hoping to be a chain" feel.
I think it is a chain, there is one in Richmond; Charlotte is the original, though they are adding another in town there too.
I have only been to the Richmond one, for lunch; the food was just so so, for the price. We haven’t gone out of our way to go back. Nice looking place though.
Maybe the Charlotte one is better…[:)]
Anyone been here? Comments….
Firebird’s Charlotte, NC
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