Eat My Charlotte | Creative Loafing Charlotte

Monday, December 22, 2014

Yes, Virginia, there is healthy fast food in Charlotte

Posted By on Mon, Dec 22, 2014 at 10:45 AM

'Tis the season for fun and festivities. For weeks we whirl between office holiday parties and sparkly New Year celebrations, with a stop for family gatherings featuring the annual retelling of Uncle Bob's "hilarious" flaming turkey story.

With all the dashing about, nobody could blame you for wanting to hunker down at home for a night and let someone else do the cooking. But that doesn't mean you have to order pizza or stop off at Bigbelly Burgers. Charlotte's local food scene offers plenty of tasty, healthy alternatives to mass-produced takeout meals.

Beverlys Gourmet Foods
  • Beverly's Gourmet Foods

A natural outgrowth of a family farm, Beverly's Gourmet Foods offers a wide variety of appetizing meal options. You can start your day with vegetarian breakfast quinoa, or start your dinner with a comforting black bean soup or spicy corn chowder. If you're tired of meat-and-starch holiday meals, try a casserole of roasted vegetables or some vegan stuffed peppers (note: no vegans were harmed in the making of this dish).

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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The Dilworth coffeeshop conundrum solved

Posted By on Wed, Dec 17, 2014 at 5:26 PM

A couple of months ago, I made a point to meet a new contact at the coffeeshop in Dilworth. Eight years in Charlotte and I'd never been to Dilworth Coffee — shameful! It turns out, as I pulled into the parking lot adjacent to Harris Teeter's, I actually still have not been to a Dilworth Coffee, as this shop was called Dilworth Espresso.

Last month, the Observer wrote about a legal battle between the quarter-century old Dilworth Coffee and Dilworth Espresso, which opened in July in the original DC storefront. A story like that lent itself to the obvious, awesome lede: "A fight is percolating between two Charlotte coffee purveyors over whether their names are so similar that customers will be confused."

Yes, as a thirsty coffee drinker that day in Dilworth, I was confused.

Today, the daily reports that both coffeeshops have dropped their suits, and the owner of Dilworth Espresso has agreed to change the business' name to Kenilworth Espresso.

Whew! Thank goodness. I'm happy to support any business who will caffeinate me, but it's nice to know what I'm walking into.

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Monday, December 15, 2014

Charlotte’s first edible walkway is planted

Posted By on Mon, Dec 15, 2014 at 4:11 PM

The historic Wilmore neighborhood made history on Saturday as the first neighborhood in Charlotte to plant an edible walkway at the intersection of Mint Street and Kingston Avenue. In a most excellent display of community, Wilmore residents, church members of Calvary United Methodist (the church that owns the property where the walkway is planted) and sustainably minded Charlotteans gathered together on a chilly Saturday morning to plant fruit and nut trees that will one day bear fruit for all of its residents to eat.

The idea stemmed from an observation made by Wilmore resident Kris Steele, who witnessed children walking up the street to get “food”, only to see them coming back from the convenience store with processed food items laden with salt, sugar and fat. Steele, who is also co-founder of Crown Town Compost, had a vision for something better and dreamed up the idea of an edible walkway. In Steele’s mind, an edible walkway would provide a sustainable source of fresh food, accessible to all.

“Imagine being able to just grab a piece of fruit from a tree,” says Steele.

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Thursday, December 11, 2014

The Yolk re-opens in Rock Hill

Posted By on Thu, Dec 11, 2014 at 9:00 AM

Last year, the Charlotte food scene was abuzz about a great new breakfast place in Rock Hill called The Yolk. Located in a dumpy strip mall, it boasted a homey atmosphere, intriguing specials and lines out the door every weekend. Say the word "pancakes" near me, and I'll tell you the best ones I've ever had were at the Yolk (and believe me, I've had my share of pancakes).

Owners Greg and Subrina Collier already had a relocation in the works when an electrical fire last August shorted out their plans. Finally, after months of insurance claims, construction and inspections, the Yolk has risen from the ashes, opening its new doors last Wednesday.

The restaurant's second home at 1912 Mt. Gallant Road is another shopping mall, only 50 years newer and in a better location. Ignore the old "Big Wok II" sign high on the façade and look for the small banner over the door announcing that breakfast is back in town.

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Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Charlotte-based app could help you preserve your family recipes

Posted By on Wed, Dec 10, 2014 at 4:25 PM

For anyone who has ever treasured a family recipe, this app is for you. Whether cookbook junkie, recipe hound or sentimental foodist, a recipe is often much more than a recipe. It is a story, a legacy, a piece of a loved one left behind.

For Charlotte-based tech duo, Jill Bjers and husband Torgny, the loss of a beloved family recipe spurred the development of Food.les, a digital cookbook and recipe archive designed to preserve recipes online and in print.


Bjers lost her grandmother 10 years ago and with her, the recipe for Divinity, a Southern confection similar to nougat. Bjers calls it a dense marshmallow. Though she can recreate Divinity through other recipes, it just isn’t the same. As a mother herself, Bjers realized the importance of preserving recipes and began researching online recipe archives to see what was out there.

The tech goddess, who throws big brains behind some of Charlotte’s most notable tech events like TedXCharlotte, BarCampCLT and most recently, Geek Girl Camp, uncovered a need for a more comprehensive online archive. Bjers, who loves the feel of flipping through cookbooks, wanted the online space to feel the same but could find none who did it successfully. She also found a wealth of sites that allowed for recipes to be archived but made it requisite to share with the public at-large. She didn’t want to do that either.

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Monday, December 8, 2014

A fine brew grows better with age

Posted By on Mon, Dec 8, 2014 at 5:43 PM

We’ve all heard the idiom: “Like a fine wine, you grow better with age.” But what if I were to tell you that beer could be aged as well? No, I’m not off my meds, it’s true. You can have the same aging experience with certain beer styles, and achieve greater results in less time.

First off, don’t start looking at that leftover Miller Lite can in the back of the fridge with delusions of grandeur. Only certain beer styles will undergo a fascinating transformation; others will just get increasingly worse.

Why age beer, though? Well, think of it as an experiment in chemical composition over time. Or, if you prefer, just consider it a tasty and easy science experiment. It interests me to see how some existing tastes will fade away, only to let a new flavor profile emerge. For example, an alcohol-forward beer may see that booziness drop off and get replaced by molasses or caramel. Coffee notes may give way to brown sugar. Sherry aspects may suddenly appear out of the ether. Basically, I age beer to see how it changes over time, and if you’ve lost your sense of wonder then this practice just isn’t for you.

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Thursday, December 4, 2014

Wake 'N' Bake-Off starts holiday season on a high note

Posted By on Thu, Dec 4, 2014 at 2:12 PM

If chewing on some beer-infused baked goods and downing a glass of Wake 'N' Bake sounds like the perfect way to help a good cause, stop in at Salud Beer Shop this Sunday, Dec. 7. Terrapin Beer is teaming up with Salud and Pure Intentions coffee to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Terrapin's Wake 'N' Bakecoffee oatmeal stout, while raising money for Changed Choices.

Supporting women currently in or transitioning out of incarceration, Changed Choices offers inmates guidance and support to make positive life decisions. The bake-off proceeds will be used to help provide their children happier holidays. "It's not necessarily going for toys," says Terrapin's Jennifer Davis. "It may mean food for their children or just keeping their houses warm."

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Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Eat This: Roasted Scallops at Halcyon

Posted By on Wed, Dec 3, 2014 at 9:00 AM

Remember Halcyon? That restaurant attached to the Mint Museum made notable by a certain chef Marc Jacksina who brought Southern and seasonal together inside the elegant rustic space? Yeah, that one.

It’s been well over a year since Jacksina left the building to pursue other endeavors (he is now at Earl’s Grocery in Elizabeth) and executive chef James Stouffer took over. For some inexplicable reason, the foodie fangirls and boys abandoned ship here for no good reason. Since Jacksina’s departure, Stouffer has been quietly executing dishes centered around the seasons, employing classical technique and European-inspired touches for offerings that are as colorful as they are comforting. Farmers pay Stouffer a visit each week, delivering fresh produce to populate the ever-changing menu. On any given night, you can find him joyfully cooking in the tiny shoebox of a kitchen with his team. You won’t find the trendiest tricks or even a sous vide machine, for that matter. What you will find is a passionate chef cooking, truly cooking, honest food.

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