When people think of great food they picture a nice sit-down restaurant; sometimes, though, wonderful food can be served without the waiter or even the table.
Wander into any of these three hole-in-the-wall spots and you'll be served some of the best burgers, sandwiches, barbecue and more, but it's up to you to find a place to eat it.
Chicken King (2301 The Plaza) is hard to miss at The Plaza and Parkwood.
Inside, though, it's little more than a counter at which to place your order and a few chairs to wait while it's being made.
With a menu featuring everything from burgers and hot dogs to fried fish and pork chops, I opted for the Steak Philly, topped with grilled onions, lettuce, tomato, mayo and oil and vinegar.
This sandwich is well worth the less-than-perfect dining spot, a stone bench outside of the restaurant.
Not far from Chicken King is another tiny order-and-leave spot called simply The Sandwich Shop (1235 E. 34th St.).
The limited menu includes burgers, hot dogs and other sandwiches, but the highlight is the ribeye steak sandwich, a 5-ounce ribeye steak grilled and served on a sub roll.
Right off Interstate 85 you can find Bodrick's Bar-B-Q (3701 Statesville Ave.).
Inside the green and white building are two windows: one for ordering your food, and the other for picking it up.
The barbecue is the reason to seek this place out; served with fries and a drink, the barbecue sandwich was under $7.
The mac and cheese is also delicious.
Larken Egleston has a Culinary Arts degree from Johnson & Wales. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Charlotte Observer welcomes your comments on news of the day. The more voices engaged in conversation, the better for us all, but do keep it civil. Please refrain from profanity, obscenity, spam, name-calling or attacking others for their views.
Have a news tip? You can send it to a local news editor; email email@example.com to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Charlotte Observer.Read moreRead less