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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Your CIAA source for Southern comfort food

Posted By on Wed, Feb 26, 2014 at 2:23 PM

Charlotte's own eclectic boutique, dupp&swat, is playing host to chef Barry Francois during CIAA. Francois' signature Kluck 'N' Moo is a menu offering all your favorites in Southern comfort food - fried chicken, mac & cheese, collard greens and burgers of your choice.

It's hard to find good food Uptown when you walk out of a party at 3 a.m. - unless you love hot dogs. What can you do when you finally collapse on the bed in your hotel room, and then your stomach growls?

Here's the answer to all your late-night munchie needs: Kluck 'N' Moo offers delivery to hotels from 8 p.m. - 4 a.m. during tournament week. That's right, after a night of sports and kick-ass parties, you can lie in bed and eat chicken wings. Could this possibly get any better?

Yep, it did. For all you animal friends out there, Kluck 'N' Moo also offers vegetarian-friendly options, including veggie burgers and pork-free collard greens. Now you can enjoy soul food without harm to our furry and feathery friends.

Barry Francois started Food by Francois, a catering company that serves people who live and work in Uptown Charlotte. Food by Francois offers a range of menus, which you can check out on the website.

"Charlotte didn't have any late-night options," Francois said. "It gets intoxicated people off the street, because we deliver. I wish it was something we offered year-round. It's definitely something Charlotte needs."

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Friday, January 31, 2014

5 places to spend Super Bowl Sunday

Posted By on Fri, Jan 31, 2014 at 9:28 AM

We all know that Feb. 2 is going to be crazy. It's the one night a year when public hysteria is socially acceptable - Super Bowl Sunday. Football fans nationwide will be tuning in to watch, cheer, shout and curse as the Seattle Seahawks take on the Denver Broncos for this season's championship. Even if you don't care about the game itself, Super Bowl Sunday is a day of electric atmosphere and contagious excitement. So where are you planning to spend this day of days? Charlotte has sports bars aplenty - so many that it may be challenging to choose. Here are some suggestions that might help you decide on a venue worthy of this oh-so-American occasion.

  • Pint Central Facebook

Pint Central
This brand-spanking-new spot in Plaza Midwood is squeaky clean and ready to be corrupted - after all, what makes a bar interesting is its dirt. Pint Central offers 28 beers on tap and cuisine promised to satisfy any foodie. So go, and leave your mark on virgin turf. (Editor's note: per the Pint Central Facebook page, their opening has been delayed, but we look forward to it anyway!) 1226 Central Ave.

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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Upcoming: Whisky River's Who's Hotter? wing challenge

Posted By on Tue, Jan 28, 2014 at 2:47 PM

On Jan. 31, the popular EpiCentre venue Whisky River is offering Charlotteans a challenge made up of fiery proportions: to consume six of its famous Atomic Wings. Yes, they are worthy of the name - these wings will melt your face off. They're made with Whisky River's specialty sauce, infused with Smokin' Ed's Carolina Reaper Pepper, from Fort Mill, S.C. - the world's hottest pepper, according to the Guinness Book of World Records.


If you pride yourself on your ability to handle explosively spicy tastes, this might be the challenge for you. You have to be brave (or at least a little cocky) to take on a food challenge that threatens nuclear fallout in your mouth. But the reward is worth the risk; contestants enter to win the grand prize of $500 and a Whisky River T-shirt and hat. Not to mention, you get to say that you faced the Atomic menace and came out victorious.

But for those of us who can't stand a burning mouth, spectator tickets are also available with the added bonus of 15 percent off any regular food purchase. It could be fun to watch the contestants wiping tears and burning sauce from their faces while you're munching on Whisky River's less confrontational menu items. (The Tiny Baby Corn Dogs are my personal favorite.)

And of course, if you'd rather consume something a little less nourishing and a little more fun, the bar will be open. Who knows, maybe you'll end up on Whisky's famous mechanical bull by the end of the night.

Register to be a contestant or spectator at by 4 p.m. on Jan. 31. Competition tickets are first come, first serve, so if you're up for the challenge, don't hesitate. $25 to enter. 6 p.m.-10 p.m. Whisky River, 210 E. Trade St.

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Thursday, January 23, 2014

Charlotte Super Food Bowl benefits Loaves & Fishes

Posted By on Thu, Jan 23, 2014 at 1:47 PM

The Charlotte Former Players Foundation is teaming up with AT-NET Services to put on the Charlotte Super Food Bowl tonight at the Levine Museum of the New South as a benefit for Loaves & Fishes food pantries.

Former NFL players at Charlotte Super Food Bowl 2013
  • Former NFL players at Charlotte Super Food Bowl 2013

If you're a football fan, this event is a must. Attendees will experience a live pre-Super Bowl discussion panel featuring former NFL athletes and have the chance to meet the players and get autographs. Or, if you're like me and couldn't give a flying flip about sports, just enjoy the live music, drinks and heavy hors d'oeuvres provided by Plate Perfect.

The Charlotte Super Food Bowl will take place tonight, Jan. 23, at 5:30 p.m. Tickets are $25 in advance and $35 at the door (credit card only). Admission to the museum and two drink tickets are included in the ticket price.

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Monday, November 25, 2013

Latkes! Latkes! Latkes!

Posted By on Mon, Nov 25, 2013 at 10:12 AM

Potato Latke
  • Smitten Kitchen
  • Potato Latke

Thanksgivukkah is just around the corner and with that comes all sorts of Thanksgiving and Hanukkah hybrids in the kitchen. There's manischewitz brined turkey, challah stuffing and sweet potato noodle kugel.

In Charlotte, we've got pickles and latkes. How's that for a mashup? Thanks to Bill Averbach, also known as the Pickleville Pickle Man., the fourth annual Latke Festival returns Tuesday afternoon inside the Atherton Market. Every year, Averbach celebrates the beloved potato and onion pancake with a free festival where he makes hundreds of latkes served up with traditional and non-traditional accompaniments and maybe a few jokes.

This year, Averbach wants to break his previous latke-making record of 650 for what would be one hell of a Thanksgivukkah miracle. Come out and show your support, if not for the Pickle man then for the sacred fried potato.

The Latke Festival is on Nov. 26, 3 p.m.-6 p.m. inside Atherton Market at 2104 South Blvd.

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Thursday, November 21, 2013

Upcoming: Common Grounds Cornucopia

Posted By on Thu, Nov 21, 2013 at 4:22 PM


This 5th Annual Cornucopia event, hosted by the Common Grounds Farm Stand, pops up in Myers Park this Saturday to rally for Charlotte's poor and homeless through a food-centric fundraiser for the Urban Ministry Center.

Common Grounds is a seasonal farm stand that provides locally sourced produce and artisan goods to the public with an aim toward the common good. Every penny collected at the Common Grounds farm stand goes directly to the Urban Ministry Center to help support the multitude of services and programs for one of Charlotte's most vulnerable populations.

This year, Cornucopia has recruited a number of tasty participants for an expanded take on the annual event. The food festivus will feature a vendor village including Lenny Boy Kombucha, The Naked Pig, Your Mom's Donuts, and The Scone Shop. Joining the fundraiser will be artists David French, Liz Saintsing, & The Painted Elephant.

No event would be complete without a food truck, right? The Maryland Crab & Co food truck will be on site serving up traditional Maryland style seafood and the band The Wicked Powers will provide the soundtrack.

There's more. Guests can bid on a live auction featuring a killer lineup of restaurants and food businesses including Barringtons, Block & Grinder, Chef Alyssa's Kitchen, Mimosa Grill, The Tin Kitchen, Harvest Moon & Grille, Upstream, Passion8 Bistro, Reid's Fine Foods, Heritage Food & Drink, and The Wine Bar at Foxcroft.

The farm stand cup overfloweth. In this case, eating is caring. The Common Grounds Farm Stand is located at 119 Huntley Place Charlotte, NC 28209 in Myers Park. Admission is free this Saturday, Nov. 23, 9 a.m.-1:30 p.m.

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Thursday, November 14, 2013

Smoke 'em if you got 'em: Legendary pitmaster to cook in Charlotte

Posted By on Thu, Nov 14, 2013 at 12:12 PM

Third generation pitmaster Samuel Jones of The Skylight Inn is headed west next week to cook some of his legendary Eastern Carolina barbecue for a special dinner at Midwood Smokehouse alongside Midwood's pit master, Matthew Barry.

Jones captains the acclaimed Ayden, N.C., barbecue joint, started by his granddaddy Pete Jones, whom many consider the "King of Barbecue." Jones comes from a long line of smoke aficionados, seven to be exact, and cooks whole hogs the same way his family did - slow over wood charcoals. The sign on the front of the theatrical capitol dome in Ayden says, "Barbecue Capitol of the World" and many who've made the pilgrimage, including me, genuflect there for the whole hog, hand-chopped with bits of crispy skin doused with vinegar sauce.

On Wednesday, Nov. 20, Midwood Smokehouse is hosting a throwback three-course meal featuring Southern hors d'oeuvres of smoked pimiento cheese and jalapeño dip, whole hog prepared by Sam Jones and warm apple cobbler for dessert. NoDa Brewing Company will provide beer pairings. A portion of the proceeds will go to benefit The Southern Foodways Alliance

Tickets are $35 (plus tax and gratuity) and guests can reserve seats by calling 704-295-4BBQ. Midwood Smokehouse is located at 1401 Central Ave.

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Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Upcoming: Young Affiliates of the Mint's Fall Ball

Posted By on Wed, Nov 6, 2013 at 4:08 PM

Just because Halloween is now behind us doesn't mean you can't get into costume - 1920s vintage flapper dress, anyone? The Young Affiliates of the Mint Museum hosts its inaugural Fall Ball on Nov. 8, featuring classic cocktails like the Sidecar, White Lady and Bee's Knees, courtesy of Rémy Martin V and Cointreau. Food, also inspired by the 1920s, will be catered by Something Classic. Selections on the menu include Flash Fried Potato Chalices with Crème Fraiche and Caviar and Waldorf Deviled Eggs with Roquefort, Walnuts & Crisp Apples, among others.

Proceeds from the event will go to support the upcoming Mint Museum Randolph photography exhibit Bearing Witness: The New York Photo League and Sonia Handelman Meyer. $75 for members and $95 for non-members. Nov. 8, 7 p.m.-11 p.m. Mint Museum Uptown, 500 S Tryon St. For more information, visit

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Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Happening today: William Grant and Sons Best Bartender Competition

Posted By on Tue, Nov 5, 2013 at 12:37 PM

Some of the very best mixologists - seriously, these are some heavy hitters - in town will be competing tonight at Heist Brewery for the title of Best Bartender in Charlotte. 

Up for the title are:

Bob Peters of Pisces Sushi Bar
Diego Francica of Heist Brewery
Andy Maurer of Soul Gastrolounge
Maggie Ruppert of Halcyon Flavors From the Earth
Evan Christy of Cowbell
Casey Blair of Bubble Lounge
Miki Nikolic of e2 Emeril's Eatery
Chelsea Rose of Copper
Kyle Crabtree of Block & Grinder

Judges include Charlotte Voisey, Stefan Huebner and Sarah Crosland, but audience members will have the opportunity to chime in as well in a people's choice award.

All contestants' samples of cocktails will be offered with limited availability, so you might want to get there on time. The competition is 6 p.m.- 9 p.m. Heist is located at 2909 N. Davidson St., Suite 200.

(File photo) Summer cocktails by Maggie Rupert - NATRICE BULLARD
  • Natrice Bullard
  • (File photo) Summer cocktails by Maggie Rupert

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Thursday, October 31, 2013

Upcoming: Dining With Friends

Posted By on Thu, Oct 31, 2013 at 2:24 PM

Spend Nov. 2 among old friends and new while raising money for a worthy organization in Charlotte.

As one of the largest HIV nonprofits in the Carolinas, the Regional Aids Interfaith Network's mission is to combat prejudices and strive for understanding within the community. RAIN gives those living with AIDS the ability to live their lives to the fullest.

The charity event Dining With Friends allows hosts to throw their own parties and invite their guests to raise money that will go directly to RAIN. Parties will be held on Saturday, Nov. 2, with the finale shindig at Discovery Place at 9 p.m. The finale is a celebration of all the money raised by the event, and guests are treated to desserts from some of the best restaurants around. Amelie's, barCHOCOLATE and Dandelion Market are just a few of the sponsors. Attendees are welcome to explore the exhibits as they sip on champagne and cocktails. Donations and registration to become a host can be made online at Minimum donation of $30 to attend finale. Nov. 2, 9 p.m. Discovery Place, 301 N. Tryon St.

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