Eat My Charlotte | Creative Loafing Charlotte

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Locals gather to discuss N.C.'s campaign to label GMOs

Posted By on Thu, Jan 31, 2013 at 9:44 AM


Last Thursday, a packed room of concerned citizens, local farmers and students came together on the second floor of Harvest Moon Grille to kick off the grassroots campaign to label genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, in North Carolina.

The discussion was led by Renee Maas, a senior organizer with Food & Water Watch along with local blogger and passionate activist, Vani Hari, known around town as the Food Babe. The ladies outlined the potential dangers of GMOs and more importantly, empowered the crowd to take action by sharing tips and strategies for organizing. The idea, the ladies said, was to stop waiting for the federal government to do something and begin rallying for change at the state level.

Last fall, a legislative initiative to label GMOs in California was defeated in a David versus Goliath campaign that pitted large companies like Monsanto, Nestle and Hershey against smaller companies that could not stand up to the deep pockets of the mammoth corporations.

Genetically engineered foods are causing concern among many groups of people, from farmers who are losing local control of their crops to average citizens concerned about their health. The ladies presented several compelling reasons why we need to label GMOs. Here are just a few:

1. GMO labeling is regulated in more than 60 countries including all European Union member states, Australia, Brazil, China, Japan, New Zealand, Russia, Saudi Arabia and South Korea. The European Union, in particular, requires all food, animal feeds and processed products with biotech content to bear GE labels.

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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Upcoming: Dining in the Dark Event at Osso

Posted By on Tue, Jan 22, 2013 at 4:11 PM

They say that when one of your senses is dulled, your other senses are heightened. "Dining in the Dark" has gained in popularity across the country and is being marketed toward those who want to experience a heightening of senses, while eating. In Charlotte, however, this dining phenomenon is also being used to serve a greater purpose: to benefit those who experience this form of dining every single day.

On Wednesday, Jan. 30 at 8 p.m., Good Eats and Meets, along with Osso Restaurant and Lounge, will join together to host a Dining in the Dark event.

Osso Restaurant & Lounge at the NC Music Factory
  • Osso Restaurant & Lounge at the NC Music Factory

The purpose of our dinner is to give guests a unique eating experience while fostering a greater understanding of what it's like to be visually impaired and to raise awareness for their cause.

For $39 a person or $79 a couple, diners will begin the evening with an hour of cocktails and mingling. From there, diners will move on to a room of total darkness as they begin their mystery meal. From the food on their plates to the faces at their table, everything will be experienced in complete darkness with only scent, sound and touch to guide them through the experience.

The price of the meal includes dinner, one drink of choice, tax and gratuity. A portion of the proceeds will go to the Fighting Blindness Foundation.

Tickets can be purchased at the event's Eventbrite website. Seats are limited and every Dining in the Dark event has sold out, so purchase tickets soon to be a part of this unique dining experience.


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Friday, January 18, 2013

Nice knowing ya, Pewter Rose

Posted By on Fri, Jan 18, 2013 at 2:48 PM

The favorite brunch spot of many a Charlottean announced yesterday on its Facebook page it was closing.


I expect Sunday to be fairly packed. Cheers to butterscotch scones, y'all.

To read about the restaurant's history, check out Helen Schwab's article at the Observer.

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Recipe: S'more Brownies

Posted By on Fri, Jan 18, 2013 at 9:00 AM

Ooey gooey smore brownies

I've never met anyone who doesn't like s'mores, and I've never anyone who doesn't like brownies. Well, that or I just refuse to be friends with such people.

This recipe has been a big hit with both adults and children alike, but I feel like I should warn you: The toasted marshmallow layer makes this brownie recipe very messy. So bring plates, forks and napkins, or be prepared to wipe everyone down with a damp cloth after enjoying this treat. And I'm not just talking about the children here.

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Thursday, January 17, 2013

Vamos! Eat your way through Latin America in Charlotte

Posted By on Thu, Jan 17, 2013 at 3:40 PM

  • El Pulgarcito

Last Thursday, the Levine Museum of the New South kicked off the 2013 New South for the New Southerner series to a packed house of Queen City foodies. The event focused on the topic of "Eating Out: Past and Present." Charlotte Restaurant Week founder Bruce Hensley opened up the evening with a spirited account of Charlotte's restaurant history.

Staff historian Dr. Tom Hanchett led the evening with a discussion of the explosion of Latin American eateries (namely in the Eastway neighborhood) in Charlotte, where you can find some of the best and most authentic dishes in town. Denise Botello-Coleman of Latina 102.3 FM and Levine staffer and Latino New South Project Coordinator Melina Monita-Pacheco shared favorites from the vast and varied scene. All you need is your car and an appetite.


Cocina Latina is serving up some of the best Hidalgo style barbacoa in town right here in East Charlotte. Owner and cook Fausta Salvatierra will take you on a pleasurable trip. Enjoy tortas, a type of Mexican sandwich and authentic pastes, a savory pastry stuffed with meat and cheese.5135 Albemarle Road. 704-531-5757

Las Delicias Bakery is known for its freshly baked authentic pastries, cakes and homemade bread. Head in between 1:30 or 2:00 in the afternoon for a chance at snagging some goods fresh out of the oven. 4405 Central Ave. 704-568-2121

Lupita Tortilleria y Carniceria This is the spot for carnitas, the deliciously tender and flavorful pulled pork of your dreams. Lupita's makes carnitas on the weekend and folks begin lining up on Sundays around 7:30 a.m. for theirs. I am so down for some pork with my morning coffee. 5210 N. Tryon St. 704-910-4872

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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Whole Capitalism

Posted By on Wed, Jan 16, 2013 at 11:04 AM

  • Mackey
We always knew there was something totally not cool about Whole Foods - besides the grocery store chain's ridiculously inflated prices.

This is what Whole Foods founder John Mackey told NPR's Steve Inskeep about President Obama's healthcare law:

Technically speaking, it's more like fascism. Socialism is where the government owns the means of production. In fascism, the government doesn't own the means of production, but they do control it - and that's what's happening with our health care programs and these reforms.

Go to NPR for the "whole" broadcast.

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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Crispy Crepe offers savory and sweet, uh, crepes

Posted By on Tue, Jan 15, 2013 at 12:44 PM

Stepping into Crispy Crepe on South Boulevard, you're first struck by the wafting sweet aromas coming from the kitchen.

Crispy Crepe

The enormous jar of Nutella behind the counter has you salivating for chocolate, even if it is only 9 a.m. And although sweet dessert-like crepes are the first thing to come to mind when you walk into the South End restaurant, you'll be pleased to know that you can order a crepe stuffed with shrimp, chicken or eggs, to go along with your more decadent crepe.

The extensive menu at Crispy Crepe offers 19 different crepe choices, including nine savory and 10 sweet. The choices can be a bit overwhelming, but If you want to know what they think is the creme de la creme of their menu, chocolate-covered strawberries mark the Crispy Crepe "specialties." For savory crepes, they recommend the Chipotle Chicken, which includes cumin-crusted chicken slices topped with pico de gallo, jack cheese, sliced avocado and chipotle cream). As for sweet crepes, one of the two specialties is the Maple Creme Crepe, filled with pure organic maple cream (100 percent reduction of pure organic maple syrup) and served with pure maple syrup.

The restaurant is very casual. Patrons order from the counter where they're given a number, grab a drink from a self-serve soda fountain, and seat themselves at one of the inside or outside tables. Waiters bring out the food to the customers. During my visit, the waiters refilled our drinks, which was very nice, but made it a bit confusing whether we were supposed to tip and how much when it was time to leave.

Egg, Cheese, and Turkey Bacon Crepe

Many of the savory crepes seem more appropriate for lunch (open for lunch and dinner), like the Gyro Crepe, but there are three different egg crepes, for those of you who like more traditional breakfast fare. These are served with a fresh fruit, cilantro hummus, side salad, or kettle chips.

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Monday, January 14, 2013

Charlotte Restaurant Week returns, screws with people's New Year's resolutions

Posted By on Mon, Jan 14, 2013 at 3:48 PM

Between returning emails, editing stories, updating our social media pages and website and a slew of other work-related duties, I somehow manage to squeeze in texting my best friend during the day. Today was no exception. (And here's the part where you, Eat My Charlotte readers, get interested.) We were discussing the potential restaurants we would visit during Queen's Feast - Charlotte Restaurant Week.

It's baaacccckkkkkkkk.

From Friday, Jan. 18 through Sunday, Jan. 27, you can dine at all those fancy-schmancy restaurants you've always wanted to check out but were too broke to do so: $30 per person gets you a three-course meal. (Reservations are strongly recommended.)

What my best friend and I weren't discussing, however, is how indulging in the fine dishes of these restaurants probably doesn't bode well for our "Sexy Beast Mode" resolutions. One dish, maybe. But a three-course meal, beginning with a savory app like the one pictured below and capped off with a chocolatey dessert? Hello, calories.

Chicken Lollipops are one of the choices for an appetizer at Terrace Cafe.
  • Terrace Cafe - Ballantyne Facebook
  • Chicken Lollipops are one of the choices for an appetizer at Terrace Cafe.

But can you blame us?

Peruse the prix-fixe menus of more than 100 restaurants in the Charlotte area, from Lake Norman all the way down to South Charlotte and Fort Mill, to help you decide which restaurants you will grace with your presence. For my friend, her top choice has a lot to do with the restaurant's offerings rather than its reputation or upscale factor.


So, where are you going for Charlotte Restaurant Week? And how in the world did you decide?

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Friday, January 11, 2013

Where to eat like an Edwardian

Posted By on Fri, Jan 11, 2013 at 12:34 PM

At long last Matthew and Mary marry. But the fortune of the Crawley family has taken an uncertain trajectory and the specter of bankruptcy - how 2009 - hangs before the family. Will Lord Grantham and his Ladies have to downsize or be saved to continue living their lavish aristocratic lifestyle? More than 7 million American viewers tuned in to watch the Downton Abbey season 3 premiere on Sunday, and food is a dominant player in the storyline.

The glimpse into the workings of a large estate kitchen circa 1920 has many fans searching for the gleaming cooper pots that line the kitchen shelves and the Edwardian recipes that fill the plates of the Crawley family.

What's on the nightly 12-course menu? Shimmering aspics; roasted fowl, including pheasants shot on the estate; soups; salads; vegetables; fruits and wines poured for each course. Much like the pre-bubble-burst, free-spirited 1990s in the U.S., the Edwardians consumed conspicuously.

A dozen oysters at McCormick & Schmick  -  yes, please
  • A dozen oysters at McCormick & Schmick - yes, please

Looking to eat like an Edwardian? Bring the plastic and a healthy appetite. A dozen oysters on the half shell at McCormick & Schmick's (200 S. Tryon St.) begin at 20 bucks - and that's just a starter. Add to this the $16 foie gras with pumpkin seed baklava, tangerine and pickled sugar pumpkin appetizer at Barrington's Restaurant - and I'll bet on Chef Moffet over Mrs. Patmore any day - (7822 Fairview Road); the $8 roasted beet and apple salad at Bistro la Bon (1322 Central Ave.); the $7 French onion soup at Café Monte (6700 Fairview Rd); the pan-seared Scottish salmon ($24) at Carpe Diem (1535 Elizabeth Ave.); and $24 fire-roasted chicken at Halcyon (500 S. Tryon St.). Your bill now hugs a c-note, and that's only half the courses and without the cost of cellared wine.

Too much? Downstairs, the staff enjoy shepherd's pie. You can find this dish for $16, less on Thursdays, at Big Ben British Pub & Restaurant (2000 South Blvd.). Cheers.

Watch Downton Abbey Season 3 Preview on PBS. See more from Masterpiece.

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Thursday, January 10, 2013

Indulge in a new brunch 'experience'

Posted By on Thu, Jan 10, 2013 at 5:01 PM

The other day I was watching some mindless movie on TV - so mindless I can't even remember the name of the movie. Anyway, a snobby young woman made the comment that [insert whatever she and another girl were talking about] was as 1990s as brunch. And that got me to thinking - is the concept of brunch played out? I mean, I love going to brunch on Sunday afternoons, and I know plenty of people in Charlotte who do, too. Are we not cool?

Enter Indulge, the latest event co-promoted by The Sol Kitchen and Digital Divas (two local promoters known for throwing a good party). On Sunday, Jan. 13, Osso Restaurant & Lounge will host this brunch experience, featuring the three-piece band Harvey Cummings, followed by music courtesy of DJ Smitty.

The flier promises "great music, perfect ambiance and a cool & sexy crowd." There's no hint of old-school nor played-out here.

Reservations are limited - make 'em here. Brunch will be served from 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

Blue Crab and ricotta crostini with a spicy chili jam.
  • Blue Crab and ricotta crostini with a spicy chili jam.

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