Welcome to The Charlotte Spoon!

The Charlotte Spoon is a fancy new blog (because the internet is severely lacking in blogs) that chronicles my eating adventures in the many fantastic restaurants of Charlotte, NC. Apart from the vital stats (cost in real dollars instead of a cryptic dollar sign scale, location, appropriate dress), you’ll get impressions, photographs, and lots of effusive gushing from a (non-snooty but knowledgeable) food lover and writer.

Thanks for reading, offering your comments and opinions, and throwing links to this blog around the world wide web! I appreciate it, as will the restaurants reviewed here (well, unless they sucked, but that’s not my fault, now is it?).

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27 responses to “Welcome to The Charlotte Spoon!

  1. good luck with your blog. eagerly await future posts!

  2. It is nice to see a new blog that can give local food and restaurant ideas!

    To add a few of my favorites:

    1. Chris’s Deli – 3619 E. Independence Blvd. Charlotte NC (EVERYTHING is good here – can’t go wrong with anything! AND it is worth the drive)

    2. South 21 – 11450 Independence Blvd. Matthews NC (Wonderful cole slaw and again, everything is good)

    3. Tank Town Cafe – 430 Little Rock Rd; Charlotte NC (a breakfast and lunch diner that is really good – and cheap)

  3. charlottespoon

    Thanks Nancy! I’m uploading some delicious photos as I type…

  4. charlottespoon

    Ooh, thanks for the suggestions, Kim! Always happy for some food tips.

    You will be amazed and appalled to learn that I, a life-long Charlottean, have yet to visit South 21. I know, it’s a crime!

  5. Glad to see another local food blog…I frequent Chowhound.com boards, but there can be a few food snobs…I did find Poi Poi chicken through those boards…great chicken in the strip mall where Talley’s use to reside….Look forward to your local food thoughts…

  6. charlottespoon

    Thanks, Hap, and welcome 🙂 Hope you enjoy!

  7. Saw your comment on charlotte.com mentioning your blog, looking forward to seeing recomendations. I would like to see any comments you may have regarding service, maybe even a name of a great server or friendly owner if you run into any. It seems that even some of the best food around can leave a bitter aftertaste when the servers don’t treat you right.

  8. charlottespoon

    Hi Dawn! Thanks for reading!

    I’ll have to make sure to include comments about service. Off the top of my head, I’ve been impressed with the service at Intermezzo Cafe (can’t wait to do my review of this place — it’s so fantastic!) where they’re very personable, as well as the owner of Amelie’s French Bakery who helped us choose some desserts.

    The owner of Comalapa on South Boulevard was also friendly and helpful, but I have to wait to return until their health score is better… ugh.

    I know just what you mean about that bitter taste that comes with bad service. Mike and I love the food at Addie’s Jamaican Cuisine (review coming soon!) but the service there has been so abysmal all 3 times we’ve visited that I have to beg Mike to go back!

  9. Hey! Great new blog! Charlotte has the best choices in restaurants.. Here are a few of my favorites if you have time someday to try them!

    * Bombay Cuisine 8706 Pineville Matthews Rd
    Charlotte, NC 28226 http://www.bombaygrille.com
    – Vinnie and I have tried every Indian restaurant that we know of in the Clt area, and this one is always the best.

    * Cafe Nirvana 15025 Lancaster Hwy
    Charlotte, NC 28277 http://www.cafenirvana.net/
    – To us, they’re a very close #2 in Indian cuisine. My absolute favorite is the vegetarian dish Mutter Gravy.

    * Zen Asian Fusion 1716 Kenilworth Ave. Charlotte, NC 28203 http://www.zenasianfusion.com/
    – We ate here religiously for a while but haven’t been lately. I always get the veggie fried rice and Vin gets the Sesame Chicken.

  10. Whoops. I needed to add
    Brooklyn Pizza Parlor 7725 Colony Rd
    Charlotte, NC 28226
    http://www.brooklynpizzaparlor.com

    Vinnie is from Long Island and swears that they are the only restaurant with good pizza in a 100 mile radius.

  11. charlottespoon

    Hey Kristina! Indian is one of my favorites! I’ve been to Cafe Nirvana and LOVED the flavors; I totally agree that it’s one of the best in Charlotte. I’ll have to go back and take pictures for a review.

    I’ve also tried (in order of how awesome they are): Jaipur, Saffron, Maharani, The Woodlands, and Sangam. Still need to try Bombay Cuisine, Namaste, Copper, and a couple of others.

    What do you think of Jaipur? It’s still my favorite, but I can’t decide if that’s taste or loyalty — the servers got to know us personally because we visited so often and we love the atmosphere!

    Can’t wait to try your other recommendations (especially Zen Asian Fusion — yum!).

    Has Vinnie tried Brooklyn South pizza in Cornelius (exit 28 on I-77) or Taste of Buffalo pizza? I love them, but I’d be curious to know his opinions as a true NYer!

  12. I am loving this, Jule! Makes me want to run out and eat…… they should PAY you!! I especially want to eat breakfast at Zada Janes.

  13. Julie, I mean… I am trying to eat and type….

  14. charlottespoon

    Thanks Mom! Glad you’re enjoying it! I get hungry all over again writing every review…

    I totally agree that someone should pay me to eat!

  15. There is a great restaurant in Ballantyne called Salara Dessert Lounge & Bistro. Not a lot of people know about it yet but it really is great. You mentioned that you like desserts then you will have to check this place out you will love it! Don’t just go there for the desserts they have a fab savory menu too.

  16. charlottespoon

    Hi Leigh!

    I’ve heard of the Salara Dessert Lounge and it’s on my list! I can’t wait to try it — as you already know, I’m a huge dessert fan!

  17. You need to try Jake’s Good Eats, here’s a review I wrote of the place after my first experience there, I sent it to many friends and none have been disappointed. They are closed Sundays and Monday otherwise they are open from 11-9.

    I want to share with each of you, an experience I had this evening. I am reluctant to share this information as I do not like to wait in long lines and am afraid that once this place is discovered that I will have to. I will preface this with the statement that I am not a food critic, however I am a true southerner and enjoy meals of delicous food and above all sharing that meal with family and friends. My brother-in-law informed us this week that a new eatery had opened in the nether region of the Charlotte metro area called Midland maybe it is still considered Mint Hill there, one can never tell. It is just past the I-485 junction on Hwy 24/27 known to locals as Albemarle Road headed east maybe half a mile. It is a small place on the left that decades ago was a small grocery, where my mother’s youth group would stop for bathrooms and sodas. It is now a quaint eatery called “Jake’s Good Eats.”

    When you walk in it has a nostalgic sense of walking into “Home,” whoever’s home and being welcomed like family. We were seated and quickly served our beverage of choice in Mason and Ball jars, and the Orange Crush’s and Cheerwine’s in retro glass bottles. Obviously, I chose sweet tea, which was by far perfection in a jar, sweet but not syrupy. We were immediately served hot biscuits with apple butter. Not the big fluffy puffy biscuits, but flat biscuits. The kind I had when I was a teenager visiting my youth leader’s mother in Danville, Virginia. Remembering those biscuits 18 years later really means something. Biting in to those biscuits brought memories flooding back. The apple butter wasn’t like the brown kind in a jar but was fresh butter mixed with apples, melted just slightly on the plate in between the hot biscuits. I could have had my fill on the biscuits and tea alone.

    Our table of ten including children ordered a variety of dishes. Chicken salad sandwich, BLT’s, 16 ounce Ribeye with a suculent topping of carmelized onions and I’m not sure what (I’ve never seen my nephew not clean his plate but this ribeye filled him up), Meatloaf with garlic mashed potatoes, grilled chicken sandwich, hot dogs Carolina style, cheeseburgers whatever way you want them, but the dish that put it over the top for me wasn’t even my own. I didn’t read the description on the menu but I will describe it the best way I know how. It was a blackened flounder atop a grilled cake made from grits, with a crawfish e’touffee type spicy kick it up a notch topping. WOW!!! Is all I have to say about that. It will knock your socks off. The fresh grilled seasonal veggies were awesome too.

    As if all of that tasting of each others meals wasn’t enough our cute little waitress introduced us to the dessert menu. We had choices of Chocolate pie (the rich baked homemade kind, the recipe is a family one), Banana pudding, pound cake, and my husband’s favorite Blueberry cobbler. There may have been one or two others but I was hung up on the cobbler and chocolate pie, I didn’t hear them all. We ordered both the cobbler and the chocolate pie for our table to taste, we probably should have started with dessert. Maybe we will on our next visit. THe cobbler was fresh with the perfect amount of topping to filling ratio. The chocolate pie is something worth making a trip there just for coffee and the pie. It reminded me of a chocolate pie that my mother has made, I think she calls it Fudge Pie, It took me back as soon as I put it in my mouth. I did not want to share the pie, it was mine, it took me back to good times with old family members who have since passed. It took me back to my grandmother and conversation with her over the amazing dessert my mother made. This pie was for the evening my connection with that history.

    I was so excited (my family was probably tired of hearing me say how excited I was, I had to call my mother, my sister, and my friends at work immediately upon arriving home to tell them about Jake’s) to be there in that place, with family, my very dear family, and experiencing the warm hospitality that Jake’s brings to an era that is so hung up on anonimity, and fast no matter the cost service. It’s nice to feel welcomed, not like just another paying customer. Most of the places where we ate growing up were like this, if they were’nt we didn’t eat there much. Some of the restaurants would put your children’s pictures on the corkboard on the wall near the checkout. It made you feel like a million bucks to know you were important enough to be up there, I remember checking everytime and pointing out that it was me, like I was some sort of celebrity. I must admit I was crushed the day (not too long ago) I noticed my picture was gone, taken down when NEW management took over. Jake’s reminds me of those establishments, where my family was appreciated for their patronage, I can’t wait to go back there and be greeted by the warm older lady, I wish I had gotten her name, I hope we will become friends.

  18. charlottespoon

    Leslie, what a fantastic review! I can almost taste the biscuits and the fudge pie. You can bet Mike and I will be making our way up to Jake’s soon to give it some more coverage on the internet. It sounds truly fantastic.

  19. Thanks for having this blog available I look forward to reading more. Be sure and go to Jake’s at dinner the offer the lunch menu at dinner but not vice a versa, and say hi to Mama Jean. She’s the mother of the owners, the lady I mentioned in my ever so long review. Have Mike try the ribeye it’s amazing!

  20. charlottespoon

    I’m betting that’s EXACTLY what Mike’ll choose 😉 We’ll say hi to Mama Jean for you!

  21. I saw the previous blog and had to add my take on Jake’s Good Eats. This friendly family owned restaurant in East Charlotte can be quite deceiving from the outside. Jake’s Good Eats located at 12721 Albemarle Road, Charlotte, NC, 28227 (near I-485) in the old Lemmond Gulf Service Station building offers a menu packed with flavor, eye appeal, and value. We walked in through the antique squeaky screen doors to country decorations and gas station paraphernalia of yesteryear expecting the usual “hole-in-the-wall” menu. Was I ever surprised when I found Hoisin Glazed Grilled Chicken, Pork Tenderloin, Blackened or Fried Flounder, Steak, and several other items. Tonight I had the Blackened Flounder topped with a crawfish etouffee over a Country Ham Grit Cake along with perfectly seasoned sautéed veggies. I followed it with home made Peanut Butter Pie which was absolutely amazing!! My family also enjoyed the nightly special — Bacon Wrapped Meatloaf over Mashed Potatoes topped with melt in your mouth onion rings, accompanied by seasoned sautéed veggies and Dill Cream covered Grilled Salmon over a Potato Cake. The pricing is great (4 entrees, 2 desserts, tip – $65.00), the food is terrific, and the staff is very friendly and constantly checked on us but not to the point of overbearing. In addition to the upscale dinner menu (minus the upscale pricing) they serve lunch with the typical sandwiches, burgers, and lunch fare. You must stop by and enjoy the best new place to eat in East Charlotte. Pass the word on this tasty treat on the East Side but get there early as the 15 or so table will fill up quickly.

    Jake’s Good Eats
    12721 Albemarle Road
    Charlotte, NC, 28227
    704-545-4741, open for lunch and dinner only Tuesday – Saturday 11:00 – 9:00

  22. You know, it’s weird Josh… after the last review, my family couldn’t wait to try Jake’s. They went and were actually disappointed. They said it was all right, but the dinner menu was priced higher than they expected ($13-20) and the sandwiches they had were okay, but not extraordinary. My dad also said the piece of pie they ordered was on the small side.

    I hope to go try it myself soon, but the pricing is actually a little prohibitive for me considering the type of restaurant.

    Mike and I just went to The Coffee Cup, which is more economical and has a diner-type soul food feel I can really get behind!

  23. Just got back from Jakes and was disappointed as well. The BLT was dry and the hamburger my mother ordered had a cheap pasty white grocery bun and the meat tasted funny. I thought I had the dessert to look forward to at least, but all they had was lemon squares and pound cake. We went for the lemon squares which not only were small, they didn’t have lemon flavor at all. On the upside my daughter enjoyed the wings and the staff was friendly. They really need to tweak their food if they’re going to make it. They said business had been down. I think I know why.. Nice folks though..I hope they figure it out.

  24. Hi Alyson,

    Thanks for sharing your experience! Here’s hoping they’re listening and tweaking. After the first couple of posts, I’ve actually been wondering if the glowing reviews above were posted from “Jake insiders” so to speak 🙂

    I’ll have to go try myself soon and decide how I feel!

  25. rdugonnaeatthat

    I am liking your blog. Its good to see another North Carolinian blogging about food. I have only visited Charlotte a couple of times, but I will be sure to use your blog as a guide to the great food that they have there next time I do.

  26. This blog looks great and I hope to be informed

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