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Our Take on Popular Charlotte Restaurants

Updated: Jul 1

Many of our readers know that we do not review places which we don’t like. These reviews take a lot of time, and I don’t want to waste the effort in writing about a place that we wouldn’t recommend to our readers.

However, it occurred to me a few days ago that there a lot of restaurants we have tried in recent years that did not make the cut when it came to writing a foodie review. And perhaps it would be helpful to know what some of those places are. Now, please keep in mind that that you may not agree with us. And that’s OK! But these are establishments that we do not care for. And, of course, not all of us have the same taste.

  • Superica: We have been, more than once, to the Strawberry Hill location. First of all, they have a meager beer and wine list, while the food is just so-so as is the service.

  • Red Rocks: Located in the same shopping center as Superica along Providence Road, Red Rocks has been in business for more than 30 years. It is extremely popular, and I really like the owner, John Love. However, it is very hard to eat healthy as most of the menu is comprised of comfort food. And that’s simply not what we want to order most of the time when we go out. The portions are huge, and the prices reflect that.

  • 131 Main: Similar to Red Rocks, this place is very popular. But there is nothing special about the food in my opinion. And it’s expensive. There are too many restaurants in Charlotte serving great food for us to want to spend our money here.

  • Peppervine: Located in Piedmont Town Center, the owners clearly spent a lot of money to upfit the space. But after eating there, the food simply did not match the experience. Again, this place is very expensive and is not worth it in our opinion. There are too many good restaurants in Charlotte for the times that we are willing to spend a lot of money.

  • Haberdish: Located in NoDa, this restaurant has been highly acclaimed since it first opened. I actually did write a review of Haberdish because I understand why it is popular. We have a lot of people now living in Charlotte who did not grow up in the South like I did. I ate the type of food served at Haberdish which was cooked by my mom and at every family reunion and funeral that our extended family had. So, I can see where Haberdish would be popular with many of the city’s transplants. But when we went, I ordered their signature dish, Fried Chicken. It was overcooked and the Banana Pudding was improperly cooked as well.

  • Beef & Bottle: This well-know steakhouse has been in Charlotte a long time. And when most of Charlotte’s steak restaurants are charging much more than Beef & Bottle does, it has remained on the list of Charlotte’s best steak restaurants. However, the atmosphere is very dark and the service was just ok. And since I struggle paying a lot of money for someone to cook a steak for me when I cook a great steak myself, it takes a lot to get me to go to a steakhouse.

  • Fine & Fettle: We actually went there last week. When we perused the menu before going, we were pretty excited to try this place since it is located in the SouthPark area. But it turned out to be located in a hotel. There was almost no one in the restaurant when we showed up at 6:30. And the few guests that came in later were hotel guests. It’s not a great sign when the only other guests are staying at the hotel. The food was so-so, and service was slow since our server frequently would disappear for several minutes, as she had to deliver their room service orders.

  • CharBar 7: Their Carmel Road location recently relocated in Olde Town Shopping Center which appears to have been a smart move. This location is consistently busy and is quite popular with many of our neighbors. However, it has a similar menu to Red Rocks. In fact, there is only one healthy item on the menu that either of us like.

  • Hickory Tavern: There are a few locations in Charlotte. I’ve eaten at the one in Wesley Chapel that was pretty good. But the Ballantyne location, which is closest to our house, smells like a fraternity house the morning after a big party. That just brings up too many bad memories of having to get up early in the morning, as a pledge, to clean up our frat house. I just don’t want to smell that while eating lunch or dinner.

  • Baku: This Japanese restaurant, located in the SouthPark area, has been in business for a while. When we went there, the smell of fried food was overpowering, and the food was just ok.

  • Restoration Hardware: When I went there with friends, my lunch was $50 and the portion was half of what it should be. No thanks. There are too many reasonably-priced places for lunch in the SouthPark area.

  • Steak 48: This is the only restaurant to which we have not been on this list. And after hearing from many friends of paying $300/person or more to eat there, we have no plans to do so. First, I’m not paying that amount of money for any restaurant in Charlotte. And as I mentioned above in my comments about Beef & Bottle, I’m certainly not going to pay that kind of money for a steak. It can’t be THAT good.

I’ve really struggled with writing this, as I do not like being negative. So I apologize. But I hope that some of our readers will find this interesting.

Do you have any restaurants that you want to recommend as a candidate for a future Fagan Foodie Review? Just reply to this email OR send me a text at 704-975-6799.

Buon Appetito!

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