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Good Eats 

Our critics' guide to recommended restaurants in the Charlotte area

All Around Town

Anntony's Caribbean, 400 S. Tryon St., 704-339-0303; 2001 E. 7th,, 704-342-0749. All locations have different owners. A hint of the tropics; rotisserie chicken with Jamaican jerk sauce, ribs, Paradise Island fish special, curries, and Caribbean styled greens. $$

Fuel Pizza Cafe, 1501 Central Avenue, 704-376-3835; 319 W. Trade St., 704-344-1767; 404 S. Main Street, 704-896-0200. Hand-tossed New York style pizza with kitschy automobile and gas station memorabilia. Traditional and gourmet style pizzas, calzones, and chicken wings. $$

McAlister's Deli, 4130 Carmel Rd., 704-540-7199; 19330 W. Catawba Rd., 704-896-3354; 8046-D Providence Rd., Arboretum, 704-752-9665; 15201-A John J. Delaney Dr., 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. $$

Mellow Mushroom, 4422 Colwick Rd., 704-362-5335; 4100-A Carmel Road, 704-341-8236; 5814 Prosperity Church Road, 704-875-2418. An Atlanta-based franchise with a local twist: a large selection of domestic and imported beers. The relaxed atmosphere, and variety of pizzas attracts all ages. $$

Midtown 51, 7715 Pineville-Matthews Rd, 704-541-8117; 618 Kenilworth Ave., 704-358-3933; 18626 Harborside Dr., 704-896-9013; 3425 David Cox Rd., 704-597-7413. Very popular, festive spot for burgers or wings or watching a wide screen, playing pool, or listening to live music. $$Dilworth/Southend300 East, 300 East Blvd., 704-332-6507. Locals have long gathered at this casual neithborhood bistro in a vintage house featuring an eclectic menu. $$$

Berrybrook Farms Natural Foods, 1257 E. Blvd., 704-334-6528. Homemade soups, herbed tofu sandwiches, bean burritos, and freshly squeezed fruit and vegetable juices found in a natural food shop. $

Bistro East, 1608 East Boulevard, 704-334-6161. Unpretentious American bistro cooking with a Southern twist. $$$

Brixx Wood-Fired Pizza, 801 Scott Avenue, 704-376-1000. Home of the MBA program and the "B" stands for beer. Late night noshing on goat cheese ans shrimp pizzas has become a standard. Not complicated, but consistently good. Open late. $$

Comet Grill, 2224 Park Rd, 704-371-4300. Dependable bar food in a friendly neighborhood joint. Big burgers, great fries, a spicy shrimp app and some vegetarian alternatives, too. $

Mangione's Ristorante, 1524 E. Blvd., 704-334-4417. Opened in 1977. If you can't decide between Northern and Southern Italian, they have it mixed here. All the familiar bases are covered, plus you have Mr. Mangione's personalized service. $$$

McIntosh's Steaks and Seafood, 1812 South Blvd., 704-342-1088. Folks head over to Greg McIntosh's steak and chop house for a round up of straight forward menu selections, gargantuan portions, and man-sized knives and forks. Elegant surroundings and service. $$$$

Mister K's, 2107 South Blvd., 704-375-4318. A South Boulevard institution since 1967, but with a 50s-ish ambience: burgers, dogs ans soft ice cream. Homade onion lovers make this a second home. $

Nikko Japanese Restaurant & Sushi Bar, 1300-F S. Blvd., 704-370-0100. Sushi chef and owner Joanna Nix radiates warmth and hospitality throughout this traditional Japanese cuisine oasis. In addition to sparkling fresh sushi, there's yakimono, teriyaki, tempura and udon, too. $$$

Nirchi's Pizza, 1300-M South Blvd., 704-372-3535. Sicilian pan pizza and upper state New York styled 16 inch pies, exceptional chicken wings, subs, and sandwiches at reasonable prices. $$

Original Pancake House, 1300 South Blvd., 704-372-2929. This is a chain restaurant, but the pancakes are so good. The apple pancake is a huge, puffy affair big enough for at least two people. There are plenty of other flavors too. Expect to wait in line on weekends. $$

Patou, A French Bistro, 2400 Park Rd., 704-376-2233. Well-executed French and Belgian (try the Waterzooi) bistro cuisine. Menu changes seasonally. Patio. $$$

Pewter Rose, 1820 South Blvd., 704-332-8149. Opened in 1984. With its whimsical, charming, second story ambiance and notable wine list this restaurant is known for Chef Blake Dewey's eclectic cuisine. Very popular Sunday brunch spot. Nest door is Tutto Mondo, a stylish bar with late night food. $$$

Pike's Old Fashioned Soda Shop, 1930 Camden Road, 704-372-0092. Nostalgia reigns while being served homemade quality from ice cream floats to sandwiches and fries to sticky buns. Lunch only. Breakfast on weekends. $$

The Planet Grill, 1531 East Blvd., 704-372-1818. Buffet style, all you can eat, stir fry wrap joint. $$

Price's Chicken Coop, 1614 Camden Rd., 704-333-9866. Opened in 1962 and known locally for having the best deep fat fried chicken and fish in town, if not North Carolina. You'll see all kinds in line from construction workers to cardiologists. Take out only. Long lines at lunch move quickly. Cash. $

Ru San's Japanese Cuisine, Sushi & Seafood, 2440 Park Rd, Park Shopping Center, 704-374-0008. From Atlanta comes this high spirited, high volume, reasonably priced (for sushi) restaurant. $$$

Southend Brewery, Southend, South Blvd, 704-358-4677. Charlotte based brewpub which serves up their well-known Carolina Blonde and Olmstead Red. $$

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