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Saturday, January 15, 2011

Eating Local in 2010

One of my goals for 2010 was to go to 5 local restaurants in Charlotte that we had not eaten at before. You may be thinking "Only 5? I could do that in a week or 2!" But we usually eat out only once a week and I knew these new places would be spread out among visits to our already favorite local places... my 2 favorites being Cantina 1511 and Crepe Cellar :)  This goal became a joint goal of ours since we go out to eat together (whether with other friends or just the 2 of us).

I am happy to report that this goal was completed! I believe supporting local restaurants and local farms is important and Charlotte has a lot of really great local restaurants that use these local farms! I just LOVE this city! This was a great goal that gave us a reason to try new places and get out of the comfort zone of usual places we go.

So this is where we went:
Remember that these are just my opinions of the restaurants

1. Sonoma

Charlotte does something called "Restaurant Week" 2 times a year where participating restaurants charge a fixed $30 per person for 3 courses (you get to choose your food from several options of each course) and some places include a glass of wine. There are local restaurants as well as some chains but most are upscale type places where you couldn't normally get that great of a deal. Anyway, we went to Sonoma and my friend Brooke came too. It is right in the center of uptown and the food was fantastic! Each person got an appetizer, a main course, and a dessert. I had scallops as my main course and they were delish!

2. Old Stone Steakhouse

This is actually in Belmont (barely outside of Charlotte) which is a quaint old fashioned looking town. It has a general store and a good number of antique shops. Our friends Jeremy and Holly picked this place when we went out to eat with them and their adorable daughter Haven. We sat on the back patio which was nice in the Spring. They have a big variety of options and range of prices (tend toward the slightly pricier side) on their menu even though they are called a Steakhouse. I got a pasta dish that was very good and big enough for leftovers the next night. I think everyone else at the table got steak since they had many different ones to pick from. The spinach artichoke dip and their house side salad were good as well.

3. The Icehouse

This is in the South End neighborhood of Charlotte very close to our friends Katie and Kyles apartment which is who we went with. This building used to be a brewery and has a warehouse-ish and modern type look inside with ginormous flatscreens everywhere you look. Many might consider this to just be a bar since their claim to fame is serving over 200 different beers but there is something for everyone on their extensive reasonably priced menu AND it's not your typical bar-ish food. The wraps are great and so is the bbq sandwich. Eric loved the meatloaf (he is a big meatloaf person). We actually went back a few months later for lunch when my friend Shannon and her husband were in town. It would be great for watching a game. I'm sure we will go back more times- I want to try out their patio when the weather is nice!

4. Carpe Diem

happy 1st anniversary!
Eric and I went here to celebrate our 1st wedding anniversary. It's in the Elizabeth neighborhood fairly close to uptown and was recommended to me by several coworkers. The food was fresh, colorful and wonderful! Perfect for a special occasion since it is on the pricier side and they take reservations. I got the Eggplant Roulade: eggplant stuffed with zucchini, arugula, and Chapel Hill Creamery fresh mozzarella served in a smoked tomato marinara with fresh grated Parmesan. YUM! We also had a salad with marinated grilled grapes on it... I know that sounds strange but it was was fantastic! I guess you just never know until you try something new :)

5. Dish

This low key small restaurant in the Plaza Midwood neighboorhood was featured on Diners Drive-ins and Dives for its southern comfort food. My friend Brooke told us about this place as well and so we knew it would be the perfect outing when Eric's friend Will was in town for a Southern History Conference. The prices are true to the type of place it is so definitely budget friendly. I had the chicken and dumplings with mac and cheese, Eric got cajun meatloaf with mashed potatoes, and Will ordered shrimp and grits. Every dish comes with a biscuit and a deviled egg. Portions were plenty big and we all had nothing but good things to say about our meals! Certainly not the healthiest (as most comfort food isn't) so I wouldn't go there on a regular basis but I would definitely go again.

(all restaurant images are from the restaurants' websites unless otherwise noted)

We are going to carry on with this goal in 2011 and aim to visit 5 more local restaurants we haven't been to before. Have you ever had a goal like this in your town? If you have been to any of these places or have any to recommend for 2011, I would love to know!

Sharing at some of these parties:



    Kyle's parents are really into Diners, Drive-ins and Dives and we have been wanting to go with them to a Charlotte restaurant featured on that show. They are coming to visit in a couple of weeks and it looks like we will have to pick The Dish... thanks for your help!

  2. i made the blog! i made the blog! number 3 from my 2011 goals list ... DONE!!! that was easier than i thought.

  3. Katie, thanks! Dish would be a perfect place to take Kyle's parents!

    Oh Jeremy... so glad I could assist with that! LOL!

  4. It looks like you 2 found some great new restaurants! We always say that we really should try somewhere new...then we end up having dinner at Taco Bell! It's tough to try nice restaurants when you're frugal ;)

  5. My husband and I love to find new local places too :) And then find a great one...and go over and over and over again instead of trying new things! haha We are originally from the Charlotte area (we both graduated from Winthrop), but now live in's nice to see a Carolina face in blogland! I'll have to try some of these next time we go home to visit...

  6. I'm a Clemson fan too! :) I'm book marking this page for the next time I'm in Charlotte! Thanks so much for sharing!

  7. Oh I ate at dish a few months ago! I was actually in town for a blogger meet-up. I got a veggie burger with pimento cheese..and I approved!

  8. Mmmm I'll have a good list of eating places if I ever get your way. I love trying new places, too. On vacation we have a rule--don't eat anyplace we can eat at home.

  9. Oh gosh, I really need to get out...I haven't been to any of these. And I live in Charlotte! Actually Weddington to be exact. Thanks for linkin' up!!


  10. What a great idea and wonderful post! I live across the country from you, but this has inspired me to visit different resturaunts! Thanks for linking up to Try it Tuesday!

  11. Just wanted to stop by to say hi! Saw this post in 2 different link parties today. I live just down the road in Fort Mill and am a HUGE Clemson fan also!! Hoping for a better fb season next year. Thanks for the info about the restaurants. I've never been to any of them, so maybe I'll get to try one soon!
    Scissors & Spatulas


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