Happy Friday! Rather than my usual Friday Favorites, I’m showing you some of my recent favorite spots in Charlotte. This is based on where I’ve been for the past few weeks. Though I don’t get out to eat as much as I used to, I still treasure good food and atmospheres, and love to write about them.
The Asbury is one of the best restaurants in Charlotte, in my opinion. It was just listed as the 5th best in Charlotte for 2018 (out of 50). I’ve been a handful of times and have always walked away full, satisfied and happy from a good meal. It’s housed in the Dunhill Hotel, one of the historic hotels in America, which is also another “cool thing” in Charlotte.
Chef Matthew Krenz has a deep respect for local food and finds creative ways to incorporate them into his meals. His family owns a cattle farm, so there are usually many creative meat dishes to choose from (like beef tongue or heart)! This visit was no different.
Here’s a sample of what we tried:
The sticky biscuits with country ham and goat cheese icing (also a brunch specialty). This was one of my personal favorites – great mix of sweet and savory! And I’m a sucker for any kind of icing.
The Tasting of Carrots with a spiced carrot puree, sumac, cocoa nibs, blue cheese and bee pollen. I was pleasantly surprised at how all of these flavor combos worked SO WELL together. Never would I have ever thought to add cocoa nibs to a veggie dish (or bee pollen)!
The warm kale salad with trout. Love the homemade croutons and kale+caesar always gets me.
The Krenz Beef Blackboard with crispy potatoes. The cut of meat varies depending on the day. We got lucky and had beef short ribs from Chef’s farm that had been braised and brined overnight and were fall off the bone good. Such a savory dish with the perfect crispy potatoes alongside. We also tried the Sorghum Glazed Duck with braised greens and pickled mustard seeds. The duck had a crispy exterior, which was fantastic. I don’t know how they kept the inside so tender with the crispy outside but the combination was impressive!
Spicy Tempura Cauliflower – This was a fun one that I just knew I had to try. It was served with beets and a refreshing cucumber sauce that resembled tzatziki.
Dessert was a goat cheese creme brulee with rice crisps, shortbread crumbles and kalamansi (a citrus fruit).
On Sunday, I got the chance to meet up with some other bloggers for a fun Blogger Brewing and Brunch Event at Legion Brewing, which is located in the Plaza Midwood area. Obviously, I passed on the beer, but they had some delicious sounding choices that they paired with each dish. Legion Brewing has a legit brunch menu, let me tell you that!
We first sampled the breakfast slider with bacon, cheddar, tomato and black pepper aioli paired with a lighter weisse beer dressed with a blueberry lavendar simple syrup. This beer sounded delicious – putting it on my list for post baby 🙂
Next up, was the southwest grits bowl with chorizo, egg, cheddar cheese, housemade salsa, jalapeno and avocado paired with an IPA.
The last dish was my favorite. It was a belgian waffle with a chocolate reduction, housemade chantilly cream with maple candied bacon, served with a Maple Brown Ale.
I will definitely be adding Legion Brewing to my brunch routine. I love how they took the time and effort to pair everything so closely.
Earl’s Grocery is a long time favorite in the Elizabeth area of Charlotte. Not only do they have great breakfast and lunch meals, but they also serve as the most adorable little grocery spot with specialty foods. I met my friend Sara for coffee there on MLK day for a lovely catch up sesh. The simple egg and cheese breakfast sandwich was calling to me, with a latte and a Seeing Red juice (apple, carrot, beet, lemon, ginger).
I don’t splurge on juices often because they are so expensive and definitely can’t serve as a meal replacement but sometimes I think they can be refreshing. I’ve been feeling congested forever (thought it was related to pregnancy but maybe it’s a cold?), so I thought the juice would help. It was good but not the magic cure all.
After breakfast, I spent a few hours working away and treated myself to lunch there as well. I got a buddha bowl with white rice and tofu. Sometimes, you just want the fluffiness of white rice over brown.
Trade and Lore
Another day when I was working from home, I decided to get out and try a new coffee shop. I headed to the Noda (North Davidson street) area, and checked out Trade and Lore, which has been on my bucket list. The concept totally reminds me of Portland style coffee shops. It’s open and airy, and has long tables suitable for getting in the productivity zone. They also have alcohol and sandwiches/waffle wiches you can order too! I just got a cappuccino but I’ll save the food for next time!
Disclaimer: My meals at The Asbury and Legion Brewing were both complimentary. I was not compensated for my time.
Have you tried any new restaurants/coffee shops in your area?
If you’re in Charlotte, where’s the latest place you’ve gone to?