The CLog | Creative Loafing Charlotte

Friday, January 30, 2009

New in Town: The same-old same-old, only worse

Posted By on Fri, Jan 30, 2009 at 4:47 PM

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By Matt Brunson

NEW IN TOWN

DIRECTED BY Jonas Elmer

STARS Renée Zellweger, Harry Connick Jr.

With Valentine's Day just around the corner, it's no wonder that a couple of studios have opted to release what they believe will be perfect comfort cinema for making couples cuddle up together in their auditorium seats. Yet given the sheer dreariness of the products at hand, they would have fared just as well luring lovebirds with, say, the latest installment in the Saw series. A romantic comedy (New in Town) and a romantic comedy-drama (He's Just Not That Into You) would seem like perfect V-Day fare to entice openhearted women and their agreeable mates, but to quote my girlfriend after she watched these duds alongside me, "These movies are where feminism goes to die."

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Should Mecklenburg offer domestic-partner benefits?

Posted By on Fri, Jan 30, 2009 at 4:37 PM

E-mails have gone out today urging people to vote in a Fox Charlotte online poll that poses question. You can find it here.(It's on the right side of the page, about halfway down.)

At 4:31 p.m., Fox Charlotte's poll found a majority favor the idea: about 61 percent of the 246 people who clicked on the online box said yes.

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Queen's Feast, restaurant No. 4

Posted By on Fri, Jan 30, 2009 at 3:54 PM

It's Charlotte Restaurant Week -- when restaurants offer 3-course (fixed menu) meals for $30. I've made it my mission to hit up at least 5 participating restaurants in 7 days. I hypothesize I will gain 20 pounds by the end of the week, but hey, it's all in the name of research. Here's goes..

Date: Thursday, Jan. 29

Restaurant: M5 Modern Mediterranean

What I ate:

  • Appetizer: Seared Maine Sea Scallops with Fava Bean Puree, Celery Leaves & Lemon
  • Main: Smoked Pork Tenderloin with Braised Clams
  • Dessert: Warm Chocolate Cake

Summary: A long red carpet greets guests as they walk into the restaurant. The decor of the restaurant reflects the "Modern" part of their name -- the place is decorated with dark wood, chocolate-colored crocodile print, and yellow onyx details.

Prior to the meal, focaccia bread was brought out in a conical wire basket. Though no olive oil was brought out with it, I thought it was tasty, but now looking back, I attribute that to my state of starvation at the time. Everything tastes better when you are hungry.

The scallop appetizer came two to a plate. The perfectly crisped sides of the scallops paired well with the delicate texture of the insides.

The pork entrée was served with Creamy Polenta, Saffron, Sweet Pepper Stew, Potatoes & Capers. The pork came sliced and positioned on top of the clams and the sweet pepper stew was spooned over. Hands down the best entree I've tried this week.

Dessert was the ubiquitous molten lava cake with a scoop of ice cream on top. Good, but not to-die-for.

Verdict: The dessert was OK, the appetizer was good, and the main was excellent. You could probably order off the normal menu and manage to get an appetizer of soup and a main dish for around $30, so the $30 deal for three courses isn't as enticing as it is at other higher-priced places on the Charlotte Restaurant Week list of eateries.

More Queen's Feast reviews:

Restaurant No. 1: Oceanaire Seafood Room

Restaurant No. 2: The Capital Grille

Restaurant No. 3: Noble's

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Food news: Jan. 30

Posted By on Fri, Jan 30, 2009 at 3:28 PM

The Polka Dot Bake Shop, 1730 E. Woodlawn Road, is featuring Valentine-themed gift boxes. The half box ($20) is two each of their Classic Red Velvet, Kisses ‘n Cream, and Heavenly Chocolate cupcakes. (Dozen, $30, is twice that). Decorations include fondant hearts, butter-cream roses, and chocolate-dipped cherries. Available February 13 and 14 from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. www.polkadotbakeshop.com.

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Mecklenburg and beyond ...

Posted By on Fri, Jan 30, 2009 at 2:59 PM

College: Did members of a Fayetteville State University fraternity beat pledges? (The Fayetteville Observer)

Conflict: Iraq to Blackwater: Get out. (The News & Observer)

Fear of flying: U.S. Airways Flight 1549 get a year's worth of upgrades. (The New York Post)

Nonprofits: The United Way of Forsyth County raised 95 percent of its goal, despite the economy. (The Winston-Salem Journal)

Bizarre: N.C. man faked his own death 20 years ago to evade drug ring (WBTV)

More bizarre: Wait. He says he didn't. (The Asheville Citizen-Times)

Homelessness: A Census count is expected to show that, unsurprisingly, more people lack permanent shelter. (The News & Observer)

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International Night

Posted By on Fri, Jan 30, 2009 at 11:42 AM

Check out the flyer (below):

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The Lust List is coming ...

Posted By on Fri, Jan 30, 2009 at 10:17 AM

Wednesday, Feb. 11 (and/or Tuesday, Feb. 11 in some places in and around Charlotte), Creative Loafing will unleash its highly anticipated and ultra-coveted Lust List 2009.

For the uninitiated, the Lust List is CL's annual showcase of the Queen City's hottest citizens. Check out this little video promo (created by our resident filmmaker Torrell S. Taylor) — it's sure to get you excited about the impending issue:

Creative Loafing's Lust List 2009

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Weekender

Posted By on Fri, Jan 30, 2009 at 9:56 AM

Check out these events going down in Charlotte and the surrounding area this weekend— as selected by the folks at Creative Loafing.

Friday, Jan. 30

Art: Check out the opening reception of artist Tonya Gregg’s exhibit at The Creative Art Exchange, which features vibrant art that focuses on gender roles and identity within African-American culture. You’ll also have the chance to meet Gregg and ask questions too.

Music: Get your groove on with funky vibes by Tropic Culture when they perform at Visulite Theatre. Oh yeah, and save room in your stomach for Latin food, as it will be provided at the show.

Theater: When two fairies from Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream show up on a Hollywood set, they’re bound to stir up more than fairy dust. See what happens as performances of Shakespeare in Hollywood go down at Theatre Charlotte.

Saturday, Jan. 31

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Music: Clarence Greenwood aka Citizen Cope will dish out his own mesh of blues, rock hip-hop and other chill-styled vibes when he performs at Neighborhood Theatre.

Music: Get ready for some all out jamming and sing-along’s at the Tosco Music Party, which will feature a mix of local musicians performing at Central Piedmont Community College’s Dale F. Halton Theater.

Food: Sink your mouth into a large and delicious sandwich at Nonna’s Kitchen.

Sunday, Feb. 1

Theater: Music, laughter and love make for a good time, even during hard times. Be sure to catch a performance of Rent at Ovens Auditorium before it’s too late.

Art: Check out the Re/formations: Disability, Women and Sculpture exhibition in the Van Every/Smith Galleries at Davidson College. The exhibition features an array of sculptures, representing the cultural identities of disabilities.

Food: Feast on Peruvian-styled rotisserie chicken and more at Pio Pio Restaurant.

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Today's Top 5: Friday

Posted By on Fri, Jan 30, 2009 at 9:37 AM

Here are the five best events going down in Charlotte and the surrounding area today, Jan. 30, 2009 — as selected by the folks at Creative Loafing.

A Year with Frog and Toad at McColl Family Theatre

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Shakespeare in Hollywood at Theatre Charlotte

The Benjy Davis Project at The Evening Muse

Tonya Gregg exhibit and opening reception at The Creative Art Exchange

Wine Tasting at the Common Market

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Muddling though Morning News: Jan. 30

Posted By on Fri, Jan 30, 2009 at 8:58 AM

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WSOC talked to parents this morning about budget cuts that CMS will vote on today. None of the parents want teachers to be laid off. But none of them offered to pay higher taxes either.

Flipping over to Fox News Rising, it seems that the drought is back. And guess what? There is a chance of snow for next week. That means, buy your bread today. Mark Mathis was supposed to talk about the ecomony, but the reporter from New York could not be found. Thank you for small blessings. But I can't wait for the Friday Dance Party.

Jon Wilson was hanging out with a bunch of Pittsburgh Steelers fans this morning. At least he's still representing for the loser Panthers in his No. 48 jersey. Who is number 48?

So, one little boy is a huge fan, yelling that the Steelers will win. Wilson said, "This kid is obnoxious." Mathis replied, "Well, you should love him then."

Those two are going to fight one day. On air, I hope.

CBS's The Early Show always seems to be a day late and a story short. Today's guest: Ted Haggard. He was all over the morning news yesterday! Let's move on.

The California woman who had eight babies this week already has six kids. She's filed for bankruptcy and lives with her mother. I'm guessing she's not going to get a free trip to Disney World.

The Today show pretty much laughed at former governor Rob Blagojevich. They basically said his closing argument was the same thing he'd said during his media blitz, which started on Today.

One state senator said: "We have this thing called impeachment and it's bleeping great and we used it in the right way." That was pretty funny.

Creepy moment of the morning: Merdith rubbed down Al Roker's head and then said they both felt moist. I threw up in my mouth a little bit.

Good Morning America is sampling a bacon explosion. It was invented in Kansas City and it's just pork on top of pork. There's sausage wrapped in the bacon. People actually eat this heart attack on a plate? There are 5,000 calories and 500 grams of fat in this meat roll. As if the bacon explosion wasn't enough, now they have Paula "I love butter" Deen's kids on the show. Bacon wrapped chicken breast and sausage potato salad.

"Haven't we've been getting people fit for weeks?" Sam Champion asked.

Extreme texting: some kids can text so much that their phone bills are more than 70 pages. 35,000 texts a month? That's just crazy. The average that teens text a month is more than 1,000 texts. One girl sent more than 35,000 text messages per month. They are texting during homework, during TV time, during dinner. It's not as if these kids don't do other stuff. But the parents should be slapped because one kid had a $750 texting bill before they switched to an unlimited plan. They should've taken the phone away.

Text speak is getting into kids school work. Now texting is a second language?

MSNBC is reporting that President Obama wants the Steelers to win the Super Bowl. Wow. And I thought he was cool.

CNN is reporting that Paris and America are fighting over cheese. Come on people, eat a cheeseburger and call it a day.

Zoos are facing major budget cuts; does that mean that PETA was right all this time? What happens if a zoo closes? Where do you send a lion? To the pound? Back to Africa?

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