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If you want to join in on Fire in the City, the Charlotte stop in the statewide Competition Dining event, you have to figure out which ticket will be the hottest one – and grab it quick.

Let’s peek in at the new Olde Mecklenburg Brewery and the new (but-not-brewery) Draught Charlotte.

Stagioni is, by design, a shifting concept, adapting to each season’s foodstuffs. It’s increasingly more daring – but also with hits and misses.

Late summer’s bounty is showing up in bright, creative dishes on Charlotte restaurant menus.

Let’s peek at two, long-awaited, that opened in the past week and a half: Earl’s Grocery and littleSpoon.

Just the sign “Mi Barrio Halal Latin Grill” promises a mix-up adventure. “Mi Barrio” means “my neighborhood” in Spanish. But “Latin Grill” is in English. And “Halal” – that’s the Arabic word for meat prepared according to Muslim rules of purity.

Midscale Mexican is nearly nonexistent in these parts, as is regional Mexican that embraces notes of Central and South American cooking. So Verde wins a point for rarity-of-menu before you even get in the door.

Jerusalem Cafe is a spare little spot in a Matthews strip mall, with food served quickly and pleasantly, and a few nice surprises.

At ilios noche at Quail Corners, you’ll find vibrant Mediterranean dishes well beyond what that moniker usually connotes around Charlotte.

News and notes from the local restaurant scene: Rocco Whalen, chef/owner of Fahrenheit in uptown Charlotte, has rolled out a new summer menu.

Dinner Lab, in which chefs ‘play,’ plans to start in Charlotte.

Red Ginger offers some handsome sushi, but little else.

Bars, restaurants and breweries all over Charlotte are making plans and vying for business during the World Cup. Many will open early and stay open late whenever games are on.

Good breakfast, with good coffee and classics on the menu, plus a gaggle of more interesting options, too?

Scores filed by Mecklenburg County Health inspections for May 21-27.

Savannah Red desserts and Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar appetizers.

Persuasian offers persuasive case for mix of Asian fare, good service, reasonable prices.

Sampling the barbecue queso and pimento cheese fries from Midwood Smokehouse, and the dessert bar at Crave.

Mike Nguyen and Michelle Tu came from San Jose to start Crackin’ Crawfish near UNC Charlotte.

Dilworth spot does double duty with separate lunch, dinner concepts.

So you might be over the ice bucket challenge raising crazy great money for ALS, but here's a twi...

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