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HungryGrayCat's Profile

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Charlotte - Where to watch the Masters?

Don't eat or get cocktails at Fox & Hound though -- they can't mix a drink and the food is awful. It's OK for a beer or two and there are plenty of TVs.

When's the show? That makes all the difference because if a weekend day, I might suggest that there's better bar food at Black Finn in Epicentre -- but I wouldn't recommend Epicenter on a Friday after work.

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Fox & Hound
367 Lower Mall Dr, Winston Salem, NC 27103

Apr 09, 2010
HungryGrayCat in Southeast

Arepas in Charlotte, NC?

Also here for good Colombian food:

http://www.lospaisasrestaurant.com/Ho...

Mar 26, 2010
HungryGrayCat in Southeast

Charlotte in a day...

I'd just change it a tad to Amelie's for breakfast, Penguin for lunch and Good Food for dinner -- that way he/she gets to tour the city a bit and see 3 different neighborhoods.

Mar 19, 2010
HungryGrayCat in Southeast

Carnitas at Lupita Tortilleria y Carniceria, Charlotte, NC

OK, got it. I definitely passed it. Can't wait to sample the goods. Thanks, Dawg.

A friend tells me he's seen a big sign on Independence that says "Carnitas". That's all I know for now but I will do a compare and contrast.

Mar 11, 2010
HungryGrayCat in Southeast

Carnitas at Lupita Tortilleria y Carniceria, Charlotte, NC

So where exactly is this place? I was just getting some stuff at Compare Foods on N. Tryon (including nice avocados for $0.69 vs. $2.50 at Teeter) and thought I'd do a drive-by for future reference. I didn't have the address and couldn't remember the name (I know, I know) but thought it was N, Tryon near Eastway. Is it in the mall there? Or is it a self-standing building? On the east side of Tryon or the west? I probably passed it several times...

Mar 11, 2010
HungryGrayCat in Southeast

72 Hours in Charlotte: I Need Neighborhood Recs!!

Has anyone been to Lulu since the chef change? Any recent reports?

http://helendining.blogspot.com/2010/...

Mar 08, 2010
HungryGrayCat in Southeast

What to stock up on at Trader Joe's when you don't live close by

Normally I would agree but this particular Empire was super crisp and sweet with a touch of tartness.

(Of course, they won't even be there now so it's probably a moot point.)

Mar 03, 2010
HungryGrayCat in Chains

Looking for Charlotte Restaurants

Rooster's uptown location is opening in the fall at 150 N. College. Here's a link to the blurb:

http://www.charlottemagazine.com/Blog...

Mar 02, 2010
HungryGrayCat in Southeast

Looking for Charlotte Restaurants

I had another delicious meal at Rooster's on Saturday. No service problems, in fact, the service was really great. We over-ordered so I was stuffed but started with house bread, olives and a selection of 3 cheeses. The olives were really good, a nice mix that went well with the cheese plate and a bottle of Cotes du Rhone. We split the wild mushroom pizza which had a great wood oven char but I thought the crust wasn't chewy enough and could have used a dash of salt. Tasty but not perfect. We then split the mushroom pasta which was perfectly al dente and delicious. A simple, rustic and satisfying dish. Next up were the short ribs with a rich reduction, the pan fried corn and the Yukon puree. The short ribs were absolutely tender and addictive. We sopped up the reduction with scoops of the creamy Yukon puree (so much so that our server noticed and brought us a little dish of extra sauce!)

I still really like Rooster's. It's one of my favorite restaurants in Charlotte for its casual feel yet well-executed food. I hope the Rooster's slated to open in uptown is the same.

When I compare Saturday's meal to The Liberty, which I've now tried 3 times, The Liberty just pales. Service there is so sketchy and the food falls short. The housemade chips came to the table burned; the hand cut fries were cold both times (and the cloying parmesan cheese crust on them is too strong); the burger bun is so large it's impossible to eat; the tomato soup had an odd metalic taste. The Cobb salad at lunch was fine. It seems to be the choice for business lunches lately so if I'm forced to go back, I'll stick with the salad.

Oh....and I finally made it to Keaton's outside of Statesville. Truly delicious. I had the 1/4 chicken with the hot/spicy sauce and I was blown away by how good it was. The mac & cheese wasn't memorable but I actually liked the spicy vinegar slaw. Despite hearing the opposite, the counter folks were perfectly pleasant. The signs are funny though, I'll give you that!! I wish it were closer but even given the distance, Keaton's is going into the rotation for sure!

Mar 02, 2010
HungryGrayCat in Southeast

What to stock up on at Trader Joe's when you don't live close by

LL: It's not a Honey Crisp but I am munching right now on a delicious Empire apple that I got at Harris Teeter for $0.99/lb. They may be gone but were in the "locally grown" section of the produce aisle. Gotta jump on anything in the HT produce section for $0.99/lb!!!

I'm not the biggest Trader Joe's fan but they do have good prices on cheeses, staples like artichoke hearts and roasted red peppers, and various oils/vinegars/mustards.

Mar 02, 2010
HungryGrayCat in Chains

Thai in Charlotte?

There's a place called Blue Basil in the Cotswold shopping center but it's a lousy soup/salad/sandwich place. I wonder if it's related somehow?

Feb 26, 2010
HungryGrayCat in Southeast

Looking for Charlotte Restaurants

At Rooster's, the short ribs are excellent. I've also liked the mushroom fregola (pasta), pomme frites, the speck pizza, the pan-fried corn and butter beans (both very buttery!). The spit fired chicken was great one time, dry another. I didn't care for the charcuterie sampler as the salami was sliced way too thick.

Feb 15, 2010
HungryGrayCat in Southeast

Moving to Charlotte. Afraid of the food

I've actually only had sandwiches from their place next door but I do like the bar -- it's a normal bar. Hopefully it retains the same vibe.

Feb 05, 2010
HungryGrayCat in Southeast

Moving to Charlotte. Afraid of the food

It's crazy how long it's taking them to re-open! I wonder what the story is on that...

Feb 05, 2010
HungryGrayCat in Southeast

Craft Beer Pubs or Food Specialty Stores in Charlotte

I'm not much of a craft beer drinker anymore so I'll let others chime in on that but as far as specialty foods go, can you please be more specific?

I moved from another area and can say that with a little hunting, I can find pretty much everything I need "specialty-wise". There are Asian, Latin and Indian grocers. I've found a really good Italian butcher/specialty food shop near me. Let us know what you're looking for and we'll tell you if it's available and decent.

Feb 02, 2010
HungryGrayCat in Southeast

Dives near hotel in Downtown Charlotte

You can also get PBRs across the street from Penguin at Thomas Street Tavern. If it's not snowing (!!) there's usually a fire in the fire pit outside. What's more romantic than chugging down a Pabst in front of a fire on Valentine's Day?

Also not far from Penguin is Snug Harbor -- truly a dive and with music!!

http://www.snugrock.com/

Feb 02, 2010
HungryGrayCat in Southeast

One Lunch in Charlotte

If you're museum people, I'd suggest lunch at Ratcliffe on the Green, then hit a couple of the museums in uptown Charlotte: Levine Museum of the New South, Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, Mint Museum of Craft + Design.

If that doesn't interest you, I'd suggest Lulu for lunch and (depending on the weather) maybe drive over to Freedom Park to walk around a bit then grab a banana shake at Mr. K's.

Feb 01, 2010
HungryGrayCat in Southeast

downtown charlotte help

Yeah, you'll definitely be able to strike up a conversation (if you want) at Al Mike's. Very friendly people, decent beer on tap, decent bar food. The wings and fried pickles are actually OK but you're gonna want to stick to very simple food in general there. It might be a place to start out your evening with a beer and a snack and then move on. If you're driving, you could easily do that and then hit Pie Town. If on foot, you'd be better off with Nix Burgers as it's on the way back to your hotel.

Jan 19, 2010
HungryGrayCat in Southeast

downtown charlotte help

If it matters to you, you should know that North Carolina law stipulates that burgers have to be cooked medium-well or above. Some places skirt the law but others are pretty strict.

Jan 18, 2010
HungryGrayCat in Southeast

Carry Out - Richmond/El Cerrito/Albany

A little late but HGC reporting to duty.

So, plans didn't go exactly as anticipated but I did have a nice surprise: The Baltic in Pt. Richmond.

We went on a Saturday night at about 7pm -- only one or two tables were occupied the whole night so if you like German food, you'd better get there soon. Granted, no liquor license, but the server was great and kept our beer cold and our glasses refilled. I’m a tad blurry on all details having just flown in but there were 4 of us and we tried: Wienerschnitzel, Jagerschnitzel, Sauerbraten, and the special goose. Portions are huge! Seriously!! My Wienerschnitzel was a bit dry and overcooked (a pretty deep brown breading) but the accompanying potatoes were delicious. The Jagerschnitzel was phenomenal – a rich mushroom sauce covering the ample dish and the perfectly cooked spaetzle. The Sauerbraten was very good – I wondered about the cut (tri-tip) but it worked well. The hit of the night was the goose. It was crisp, moist and not at all fatty. The apple strudel was truly special. The Black Forest cheesecake was just OK. The owner came over to chat…super nice guy.

Zaki Kabob House was a great recommendation. We ordered to go a whole chicken (no sides), baba ghannouj (smoky and creamy), mashweeya (more great eggplant) and the cucumber salad (refreshing and light). That chicken is a keeper. Really, really good, moist and flavorful. Waiting for the food was fine…lots of tea and things to watch and great scents coming from the kitchen.

Had lots of the usual stuff: burritos, take out from the Pasta Shop, etc. Oh, and the obligatory trip to The Junket in the El Cerrito Plaza (for Mom)…such a funny place but I did have a pretty tasty olive salad sandwich with havarti.

Thanks for all of the suggestions. Sometimes the best laid plans don't work with Bay Area traffic and family and all that.

Oh one last thing: I LOVE the new Bowl. Went on December 23 (just after opening) and was in and out in about an hour. And that's with a monstrous shopping list and me not knowing the layout. Parking was fine!

Jan 07, 2010
HungryGrayCat in San Francisco Bay Area

Quintessential Charlotte?

For one meal, definitely don't do Mac's. It's hit and miss and I honestly usually only go there when everyone else wants to go there. Plain and simple: It's a decent spot for a crowd and a few beers.

Another food lacking in SF is Peruvian or Colombian chicken. PioPio on East Blvd. would fit the bill for this but you'll be in and out pretty quickly.

I haven't been in a while, but I love Rooster's. It's in South Park so a little bit of a drive but there's parking. It's a great place for a solo diner because you can sit at the counter and order as much or as litte as you want. Many of the ingredients are sourced locally and it definitely has a Southern touch (i.e., Anson Mills grits with bacon). Great wine list too.

All that said, I'd probably go to Lulu for my one meal based on your specifications. And really try to sneak some Penguin fried pickles in too. You may see fried pickles on a menu in SF but I guarantee they're nothing like these. (Not to be eaten if you're on a salt-restricted diet.! )

Jan 06, 2010
HungryGrayCat in Southeast

Fondue in a Crockpot

Hey neighbor! Here's a link to a very traditional cheese fondue:

http://elise.com/recipes/archives/004...

Don't skip the kirschwasser. It really makes the dish. I'd recommend cooking the fondue on the stove top then transferrring it to the crock.

Dec 30, 2009
HungryGrayCat in Home Cooking

Old-school sourdough bread?

Chiming in late but to me Boudin is close but just not the same. It doesn't have that giant crusty split protruding off the top. You know...the one that tears up the roof of your mouth. Acme has a pretty big sagittal crest (for lack of a better term) but the texture and sourness is not old school.

Dec 16, 2009
HungryGrayCat in San Francisco Bay Area

Carry Out - Richmond/El Cerrito/Albany

Thanks! I'll definitely try the al pastor. My parents love Huang Tra so that's on the list too.

Dec 15, 2009
HungryGrayCat in San Francisco Bay Area

Carry Out - Richmond/El Cerrito/Albany

My parents are pretty good eaters -- they like almost everything. Zaki sounds right up their alley. Being elderly, they don't need big portions and lately my mom seems to prefer little bites of things so a bit of chicken, some hummus and fava salad would be perfect. The reason I suggested non-Chinese is because my dad eats at China Village every week and has done so for 10 years.

I really appreciate all of your suggestions. Even though I'm back twice a year, I seem to cook the whole time instead of getting out -- and I'm resolved to have an easier trip this time. I'm excited to check out the new Bowl!

Dec 15, 2009
HungryGrayCat in San Francisco Bay Area

Carry Out - Richmond/El Cerrito/Albany

Oh I know. I just want to travel around a bit. Not stay in Richmond proper for my entire stay. It's part of my "anti-stir-crazy" plan. The take-out part of my plan is to bring home tasty food since my parents don't like to /can't go to restaurants much these days.

But since you mentioned Mi Tierra and Trujillos, would either have tamales for Christmas Eve?

(Just trying to get as much planning done in advance since it's a bit of a whirlwind trip.)

Dec 14, 2009
HungryGrayCat in San Francisco Bay Area

Carry Out - Richmond/El Cerrito/Albany

Coming from the South, I'm BBQd out (Southern-style anyway).

For Mexican (mostly taquerias) I'll trek to the Mission or Fruitvale but that doesn't need to be carry-out. I'm just trying to avoid wasting any precious Bay Area food time eating what my parents pull out of the freezer from Costco. I love 'em but...

Chirag sounds good -- did that replace another Indian restaurant that was in that same strip mall (I think?).

There used to be a good place in El Sobrante for tandoori chicken sandwiches. Is that still there and still good?

What's the latest on La Bamba? It's been pretty hit or miss the 7-8 times I've been there. Sometimes good, sometimes mediocre.

Dec 14, 2009
HungryGrayCat in San Francisco Bay Area

Carry Out - Richmond/El Cerrito/Albany

Sorry, meant no farther south. Doh.

My parents eat a lot of Chinese/Thai/Vietnamese etc. so I'm looking for something to bring them that's a little different. La Bedaine could be a winner!

Dec 14, 2009
HungryGrayCat in San Francisco Bay Area

Carry Out - Richmond/El Cerrito/Albany

Hey all. I guess I've been away too long. I'm drawing blanks on ideas for good take-out. Can you help? Here are some guidelines:

No farther north than Albany. Solano is OK. Home is Richmond, near La Bamba area.
No burritos; I have that covered
Any other cuisine is OK.
Travels and reheats (if necessary) well.

How about Zaki Kebab House? Anything else come to mind?

Dec 14, 2009
HungryGrayCat in San Francisco Bay Area

Prime Ribeye Steaks at Costco $8.99/lb

Thanks. While I love the crown, I'm thinking of a slow roasted salt/spice packed roast and I don't think there'd be enough surface area. If anyone has other ideas of where I could get this (reasonably priced - I'm on Charlotte wages now), I'd appreciate it.

Dec 02, 2009
HungryGrayCat in San Francisco Bay Area