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Cuisine Goodeats 

GoodEats

The following is Creative Loafing's bite-sized guide to restaurants in Charlotte.

Inclusion in this guide doesn't necessarily serve as a recommendation, but does stand as a source of quality fare. Where possible, we have included our subjective opinions. The dollar signs at the end of each item are indicative of the cost of a meal, from one dollar sign (cheap) to four (steep).

ALL AROUND TOWNANNTONY'S CARIBBEAN 2001 E. 7th, 704-342-0749; 145 Brevard Court, 704-339-0303; 5668-A International Drive (Providence Square), 704-362-0283. A fun, change-of-pace restaurant for a casual lunch or dinner. Limited menu features rotisserie-cooked barbecued meats, what else, Caribbean style. $

BRUEGGER'S BAGEL BAKERY All over town. Chewy bagels, crisp on the outside, and served with either your favorite cream cheese or as a sandwich with any of a number of stuffings. $

CARIBOU COFFEE 731 Providence Road, 704-332-1512; 4327 Park Road, 704-523-6822; 1531 East Blvd, 704-334-3570; 20619 Torrence Chapel Road, Davidson, 704-895-0116. Coffeehouse offers full range of hot and cold coffees, 20 types of teas, as well as bakery goods. $

CAROLINA SMOOTHIES 1620 E. 4th Street; 10110 Johnston Road, Hannaford Shopping Center; 1408 East Boulevard; 4717 Sharon Road. Locally owned, upscale chain creating excellent fresh fruit (and grain) juices and smoothies. $

EL CANCUN With various locations around town, El Cancun serves as close to authentic Mexican food as you'll find in the area, featuring fresh ingredients, down-home atmosphere and good vegetarian selections. $-$$

FUEL PIZZA CAFE 1501 Central Avenue, 704-376-3835; 319 W. Trade Street, 704-344-1767; 404 S. Main Street, Davidson, 704-896-0200. Hand-tossed New York style pizza with kitschy automobile and gas station memorabilia. Traditional and gourmet style pizzas all on a notable crust. Also calzones, garlic knot mini-sandwiches, chicken wings, nachos, and gyros. Limited seating. $$

THE GRADUATE 911 E. Morehead Street 704-377-3808; 8334 Pineville-Matthews Road, 704-543-4020; 2014 Sharon Forest Drive, 704-532-2562; 123 W. Trade Street, 704-358-3024. Popular hangouts with college crowd, offering good variety of dishes, subs, sandwiches, calzones, pizza. Try the cheese fries. $

LONGHORN STEAKS Various locations in Charlotte. A bustling, friendly crowd gathers here and no wonder - they have some of the best steaks and burgers anywhere. Casual, fun, meat haven. $L, $$D

MCALISTER'S DELI 4130 Carmel Road, 704-540-7199; 19330 W. Catawba Road, Cornelius, 704-896-3354; 8046-D Providence Road, Arboretum, 704-752-9665; 15201-A John J. Delaney Drive, Ballantyne Commons East, 704-542-0727. Offers over 100 items including sandwiches, salads, appetizers, plus they do more with a baked spud than you can imagine. $-$$

MIDTOWN SUNDRIES 618 Kenilworth Avenue, 704-358-3933; 7715 Pineville-Matthews Road, 704-541-8117; 3425 David Cox Rd. 704-597-7413; 4544 South Boulevard, 704-522-6100; 18665 Harborside Drive, Cornelius, 704-896-9013. Very popular, festive spot for burgers or wings, or watching a wide screen, playing pool, or listening to live music. $-$$

OUTBACK STEAKHOUSE 1412 East Boulevard, 704-333-0505; 9623-Y E. Independence Boulevard, 704-845-2222; 1015 Chancellor Drive, 704-598-7727; 1319 River Run Court, Rock Hill, 803-329-6283. The presiding theme is Australian: the presiding food is meat and lots of it. Great steaks, great appetizers. $$

RAINBOW DELI & CAFE 201 S. College (in Charlotte Plaza Bldg.), 704-372-2256; 8200 Providence Road, (Arboretum) 704-541-1811; 1001 E. W.T. Harris Boulevard (University), 704-548-8989. A gathering spot for those seeking soups, sandwiches, 1/2 pound burgers, grilled beef and tuna steaks, and pasta dishes. $$

WOLFMAN PIZZA McMullen Creek Market, 704-543-WOLF; Selwyn Corners Shopping Ctr., 704-377-4695; Cotswold Mall, 704-366-3666; 10620-A Providence Road, 704-845-9888. Flashy wide-ranging selection of California-style pizza, with everything from the sweet-tangy Maui, to New Mexico, to Shrimp, Pesto and Goat Cheese. Also home of the Howlzone (calzone).$-$$

DILWORTH/SOUTHEND300 EAST 300 East Boulevard, 704-332-6507. This stylishly casual neighborhood bistro in an early 20th century house, features an eclectic menu. A longstanding local favorite. L$$, D$$-$$$

BERRYBROOK FARMS NATURAL FOODS 1257 East Boulevard, 704-334-6528. Healthy and wise, the lunches here are tasty. Veggie Burgers, bean burritos, tofu dogs, freshly squeezed OJ, carrot, and vegetable juices, large variety of smoothies, homemade soups, salads, and sandwiches. $

BLUE MARLIN 1511 East Boulevard, 704-334-3838. Seafood and grits are the trademarks, the 1940s are the ambience. Open for lunch & dinner. $$

BRIXX WOOD-FIRED PIZZA 801 Scott Avenue, 704-376-1000. Gourmet pizzas, fabulous Caesar salad, other salads. Limited, but well chosen wine list served by the glass, too. Open late. $$-$$$

COMET GRILL 2224 Park Road, 704-371-4300. Good, dependable bar food at this friendly neighborhood spot. Big burgers, great fries, a spicy shrimp app and some veg alternatives, too. $

DILWORTH COFFEE 1235-B East Blvd, Kenilworth Commons. 704-358-8003. Coffees and desserts, plus good morning munchies. Full array of coffees, including espresso, latte, cappuccino, all roasted there. $

EAST BOULEVARD BAR & GRILL 1601 East Boulevard, 704-332-2414. Friendly place whose menu ranges from wings to terrific salads to hearty burgers and more. $L, $$D

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