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Southwestern Enchiladas at Chuy’s in South Park.

Chuy’s brings in some fun, festive TexMex color and flavor to South Park. The restaurant chain from Texas has hit the Queen City and it’s causing quite a commotion. From the vibrant colors and fake palm trees, to the “junk in the trunk” nacho bar, people are eating it up! A Wednesday dinner at 6:30 pm included a wait for a table. Had I arrived any later, I would have been facing a long night of hanging out with a crowd of fellow hungry people clutching blue buzzers. It looks like this joint has the luck of its neighbor Cowfish – always bustling and hopping with diners (which include couples [who look like they may be on dates] and many families of rugrats.

Most on the menu is under $10. Most impressive is that all the tortillas are handmade in restaurant. The free chips brought to the table are extremely light and crisp, reminiscent of Indian papadum. The salsa is pico de gallo style – fresh and spicy.

Another reason to arrive early besides avoid the wait, is to get in on the trunk of nachos. No joke. Chuy’s offers a FREE, yes, free, nacho bar served out of a remodeled car trunk from the hours of 4 to 7 pm, Monday through Friday.

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Chuy’s :: 4310 Sharon Rd,  Charlotte, NC 28211 :: http://www.chuys.com

The Capital Grille’s Generous Pour Summer Wine Event is going on now. For $25, guests can enjoy unlimited pours of nine wines to accompany their meals. The highly-allocated wines, each hand-selected by The Capital Grille’s own Master Sommelier, George Miliotes, can pair with every dish and every course – from appetizers to dessert. Need help pairing wines with your meal? Expert servers are there to help. The event only goes on until September 2, 2012, so go while you can – it’s a delicious deal you don’t want to miss!

The Capital Grille’s lunch “Plates” menu has been refreshed for spring. The standing menu, which features 3 items (soup/salad, sandwich and a side) for $18, is a great lunch deal and gets you in and out of the door within an hour, before your boss can complain! New on the menu are three new selections: Asparagus Soup, Shrimp and Piquillo Peppers with Crisp Bomba Rice, and Grilled Spring Vegetables.

While the new items are great to change things up a bit and add variety, I still prefer the ol’ staples – clam chowder, mini tenderloin sandwiches, and truffle fries.

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Wesley Heights’ newest restaurant Picante serves up fast casual Mexican fare. I hate to compare it to Chipotle, but it’s similar. The menu is simple – tacos/burritos/bowls/salads and your choice of protein. The toppings like corn salsa, pico de gallo, guacamole are all fresh and good quality. Their chips have a hint of lime, and the guac and queso dips were both great. For those who like Coke made with real cane sugar, they’ve got it. For those who like alcohol, they’ve got that too!

For the surprisingly low price point of all their items, it’s definitely going to be a default go-to place for me since it’s located right in my ‘hood.

1500 West Morehead St.
Charlotte, NC 28208

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The Capital Grille in Charlotte has launched their new Winter Lunch Plates menu. Like their past seasonal lunch menus, you get a 3-course lunch for $18.

New items on the menu are clam chowder, roasted red pepper soup, Waygu cheeseburger, and roasted root vegetables.

While I got to taste a smorgasbord of everything and it was all delicious, if I had to choose, I’d go with the trio combo of:

• Clam Chowder (Perfectly creamy and chunky, the soup reminds this New England girl of home.)
• Mini Tenderloin Sandwiches (Sandwiched in brioche with Boursin cheese and mushrooms, these sliders are a winner. Be sure to order them done medium rare!)
• Truffle Fries (I am an addict. Can’t. Stop. Eating. These.)

And, of course, I’d add on a dessert order of either the cheesecake or coconut cream pie.

Take a look:

Smalls, a restaurant featuring “chef-inspired food” will be opening its doors mid-January on Elizabeth Avenue in Midtown Charlotte. The 80-seater will be family friendly before transitioning into a lounge, full with a DJ or live music on Wednesday through Saturday nights.

According to owner Joseph DiLeo, “Smalls will become a destination restaurant, lounge and bar. We designed Smalls as a family friendly restaurant with a relaxed setting through the day that will gain energy into the night, especially with our late night hours Wednesday through Saturday.”

The Small Plates portion of the menu includes Oysters; Crispy Eggplant Stack with Mozzarella, Confit Tomato, and White Balsamic; Glazed Pork Belly with Cannellini Beans; Zack’s Confit Korean Wings; Drunken Short rib on Bavarian Pretzel Bun with whole grain mustard and cornichons; Crab Cake on Old Bay Jalapeno Biscuit with Peppadew Remoulade. The slider portion of the menu includes Old Fashioned Hamburger, Pimento Burger and Blue Burger.

Entrees include Braised Short Rib with Parmesan and Bourbon Creamed Corn and Whipped Yukon Gold Potatoes; Smalls Steak Burger- Leidy’s Double Smoked Bacon and Blue Cheese on an Amish Potato Roll; Crispy Chicken with Thyme Waffle and Salted Caramel Butter; Porcini Papperdelle with Oyster Mushrooms, melted leeks, caramelized baby carrots and Grana Padano and Pan Seared Scallop With Root Vegetable Puree, Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Truffle Oil.

Smalls
1609 Elizabeth Avenue
Hours: 11:30 a.m. – 10 p.m. Sunday through Tuesday
11:30 a.m. –  2 a.m. Wednesday through Saturday
Twitter: @Smallscharlotte

The Chick-fil-A located in South End (Charlotte, NC) is hosting an open house on Thursday, Jan. 12, from 9 to 11 a.m., to taste and see their newest products: Grilled Nuggets (on the Kid’s Menu) and a new ooey-gooey, chocolate chip cookie to be launched this year.

If the new items are anything like the past items CFA has launched in recent years (spicy chicken sandwich, milkshakes, etc), they’re sure to be a hit.

Chick-fil-A at South End.
3015 South Blvd
Charlotte, NC 28209
Phone: (704) 665-6371

The Capital Grille’s Summer “Plates” lunch menu has been updated to reflect fall flavors. The new Fall “Plates” menu, which debuted in September, features customizable combinations of soup or salad, a sandwich and a side for $18. The menu features three soups/salads, three sandwiches, and three sides. I stopped last week and sampled the fall fare. Here’s what’s on the menu:

The Fall “Plates” Lunch Menu

Soup or Salad:

Porcini Bisque – Tried this one. So delicious, I could drink it out of a coffee mug! Creamy, without the heaviness of usual bisques. Topped with a little chive oil, it’s great for cold weather.

Clam Chowder (didn’t try this one)

Field Greens – It looks pretty plain,  but dressed with a champagne vinaigrette, it’s fresh and delightful.

Sandwich:

Mini Tenderloin (2) Nicely cooked pieces of meat, paired with a horseradish sauce, sandwiched with mini brioche-type buns. They’re almost too cute to eat… but I ate them anyway and liked it.


Lobster Roll An oldie but goodie from the Summer “Plates” menu, chock full of lobster and lots of creamy mayo.


“Knife and Fork” BLT – This guy is a bit messy to eat, but packs it all in. Lacy cheese crisps top thick slices of bacon, tomato, and lettuce. The bread is oiled and grilled, and slathered with some sort of dressing that adds a lot of flavor.

Side:


Seasonal Vegetable – I had haricot verts with cherry tomatoes.


Truffle fries – These are to die for. GET THEM.


Roasted Butternut Squash – Topped with a cranberry chutney, they remind me of Thanksgiving.

And of course, for dessert, I always have to get the Creme Brulee Cheesecake…

The Capital Grille
201 North Tryon Street, Charlotte, NC 28202
Reservations can be made by calling 704-348-1400
www.TheCapitalGrille.com

 

 

Halcyon Restaurant, Flavors from the Earth – Home
500 South Tryon #201
Charlotte, NC 28205
(704) 910-0865

Bite Your Tongue, my favorite Charlotte restaurant for New Orleans-style Cajun food, is expanding. Previously located in a tiny corner of an office building on Randolph Road, the restaurant now has a new home in South End. The new restaurant will feature a dine-in option and longer hours. (Location details and grand opening are TBA.)

Owners Lucius and Martine ask you to please text “BYT” to 72727 to be notified of their grand opening date when it is announced.

Read more about Bite Your Tongue and see food pics in this post I wrote for EatMyCharlotte.com earlier this year.

Bite Your Tongue
1928 Randolph Rd. Ste 116
Charlotte, NC 28207
704.606.2898