It’s completely normal to fall into a routine every weekend. (*Cues Kendrick Lamar* “Pour up, drank, head shot, drank, sit down, drank.”) The same goes for venue choice. You find a place that’s comfortable and the next thing you know you’re going to the same handful of places you’ve been going to for years. Don’t get me wrong, it’s good to have your favorites, but this weekend I was bored of my usual routine and was dead set on breaking it.
On Thursday, I failed. I drank a little too much and woke up on Friday playing a dangerous Walking Dead version of “eeny, meeny, miny, moe” on whether or not I needed to have a 9-to-5 day. That’s when I realized that I was working from home for the day. Friday night was moving slow and by the time I got my boyfriend out of the house and was two drinks deep at Flight Beer Garden & Music Hall, he was suggesting that we call it a night. Responsible, I know, but unsurprisingly, also very taxing.
Saturday we started switching it up. His mom was having a fish fry and I hadn’t been to one in quite some time. If you’re wondering if it resembled a Tyler Perry’s Madea movie, you pictured it right. Good ol’ fashioned cookouts are lit — old school music, line dancing, mac and cheese, golden brown fish and family (including relatives sneaking a few sips of adult beverages in, of course).
After the fish fry, I hopped in the car to head to Concord. Even though I was already stuffed, the parental units were coming into town for a family friend’s 50th birthday dinner at Carrabba’s. We talked politics, sabotage and television shows; a welcomed change from my usual Saturday night early evening drinking turned Sunday morning hangover.
After dinner, the night went from low-key drinks and hookah to the French Quarter, also referred to as Latta Arcade. I hadn’t visited the area in a while so I was excited to see what craziness awaited me. While hobnobbing with some Jersey boys at Belfast Mill Irish Pub, someone decided to bring in a gyro from Nefelie’s across the alley. Needless to say, that meant my boyfriend and I were going to grub. I ordered a gyro and grabbed a drink while I waited.
A late-night gyro at Nefelie’s was the best I’ve had in Charlotte. And to top it off? The side of fries were good down to the very last crumb. When the clock struck 2 a.m., you’d think we’d had enough. Nope, our crew, many of whom were jealous of our gyro, decided to grab a pizza each at Zablong Peculiar Pizza. Pro tip: my fave pizza spot stays open until 3 a.m. on Friday and Saturday. All pies are oblong-shaped and no matter how many toppings you get you pay $10!
If you’ve been in Charlotte for the fall/winter, you know Sundays are reserved for Panthers football. But this past Sunday, we switched up the venue and hopped in an Uber to Ink N Ivy. Brought to you by the owners of other local favorites such as Whiskey Warehouse, Slate and All American, Ink N Ivy represents the perfect marriage of sports entertainment and aesthetic in Uptown Charlotte and I’m all for it.
While my boyfriend was surveying the landscape, stressed about finding a good spot for a perfect view of the game, I was obsessing over the eclectic décor — chandeliers, raw edge furniture, skulls and of course, “tattoo ink” stencils on the walls. Oh, and I can’t forget the beautifully-tattooed waitress and bar-back with a manbun.
Even though the venue was packed, I put our name down and grabbed a drink. Somehow, just 20 minutes later, we managed to snag the perfect high-top table, right by the door, away from the congestion and directly below a TV labeled “Panthers vs. Chiefs.”
We ended up taking over the spot with my partner-in-crime, her sister and their friend for hours. And while we’ve heard many friends haven’t been captivated by the menu, we tried the classic nachos with pulled pork with barbecue sauce and were impressed. (The cilantro cream sauce easily moved them to the top of my Q.C. nacho list.) Did I mention they have an epic patio complete with its own bar? You’re welcome.
If you’re craving some new “ink” in Charlotte, you’ll be itching with withdrawals after visiting this spot.