Tuesday, April 9, 2013

North Carolina Metropolis





I don’t know about you guys, but until my most recent Easter visit to Charlotte, NC I had no concept of what the city had to offer. My brother-in-law and his girlfriend showed us the sites. Here are a few noteworthy places or tidbits should you ever decide to visit the largest metropolitan area in North Carolina.

As usual, most of my sites to see are restaurants or yummy experiences. What can I say? I love good food. I prefer to eat my way through a new city.

I will hold off on the food and tell you a little bit about the vibe I got from the city. First of all, cleanest larger metropolitan area I might have ever been to. Like whoa, clean. Like is this a real city? clean. There were good amounts of green space to offset the urban area and beautiful historic neighborhoods that have been completely refurbished. I was thoroughly impressed. I would buy any number of those houses if my wallet was stocked. There are a ton of new lofts and apartments shooting up along the edge of the downtown and there are young professionals everywhere. It seems like the perfect city for young adults to start careers while at the same time a perfect city for those young adults to settle down and start a family later. There are boroughs near downtown with fun shops and restaurants and malls with every store you could imagine not 10 minutes away from downtown. My stay might have included a trip to Anthropologie. The city seems to have just about everything for everyone. Did I mention they have a cool rail transit system? Real cool.

While the girls visited Anthropologie the boys visited the U.S. National Whitewater Center. If you visit Charlotte prepared you can do anything from whitewater raft to completing a ropes course any difficulty level. I heard this place was pretty awesome. You can even go to spectate.

Now the most important. You don’t want to visit much less live in a city without respectable eateries. I mean, what is the point right? Have no fear. That is not Charlotte. Not only are there yummy spots like Zada Jane’s there are also creative types that are into the food truck scene. There is an empty lot near a borough and near the area we stayed that hosts about 5-6 food trucks on Friday nights. Of course we were there! You can see some of the yummy creations we consumed below. Food trucks are the best. You can get fantastic food for a lot less than in a restaurant of equal quality. Chefs are able to make whatever they want without worrying about paying a large staff or paying rent...it is just fantastic. If you are in Charlotte on a Friday night just ask a local where the food trucks are and by all means, go find them. (Sidenote: There is a place called the Common Market within walking distance that has a huge selection of beer and other beverages you can pair with your food truck finds.)

So I mentioned Zada Jane's...best breakfast all day long. Everyone knows it too so don’t be surprised if you have to wait a little. And wait a little, it is worth it. Did I mention a biscuit comes with every meal? And their fresh local jam and jelly they serve with it...oh, my, goodness. yum.

We also made a stop to a downtown restaurant called Dandelion Market. It is a great place to go with a group of people (alone is perfectly fine too of course). Dandelion serves small plates from 4-11pm. You can get anything from fried pickles to lamb and ahi tuna. Can I PULEAZE recommend the Prosciutto Crostini! Fantastic. Oh my. I want some now. The eating experience is really fun and laid back too. You can start with one or two small plates, take a break order some more, take a break order some more...it is just a great way to slowly eat yummy food and catch yourself before you overindulge. If you do find that you ate a little too much just take a walk around downtown and see if you can spot the Epicentre (think a smaller Time Square).

So there you go--a Fanciful review of Charlotte, North Carolina. Go visit sometime. There is always something to do.

-Alison

Puppy love at Zada Jane's...shout out to the bro and bff gf
Zada Jane's the dish at the front is similar to a frittata (Booker T.S East Side Hasher) and the Bunny Rancheros
I need that fancy panorama app...food trucks...you get the idea

Saffron rice and a tilapia and pork with hominy salsa


Schnitzel sandwich with a pretzel bun


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