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Local dining offers food for thought

By Robin Domeier
Correspondent
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2013/09/01/13/03/1pb9kv.Em.138.jpeg|203
    HEATHER JOHNSON -
    12/5/03 Dressler's Restaurant is located in the Birkdale Village on Lindholm Dr. in Huntersville N.C.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2013/09/01/13/03/1j95F3.Em.138.jpeg|209
    YALONDA M. JAMES - Staff Photographer
    Sarah Reinhart talks to Charles Edwards, who is affectionately known as the "Mayor of NoDa" as they have a cup of coffee at Smelly Cat Cafe on Friday, May 26, 2006. Yalonda M. James/The Charlotte Observer -yjames@charlotteobserver.com

Charlotte has more restaurants than you can shake a fork at. There are areas of town that are virtually buffets, with clusters of varying restaurants. So no matter what you crave, if you visit one of the places mentioned below, chances are you’ll find something to suit your tastes.

Blakeney/Blakeney Crossing

Whether you’re looking for a quick bite or a place to linger, you’ll be hard-pressed not to find somewhere to dine at either of these family-friendly south Charlotte shopping centers. In addition to national chains including Chili’s Grill & Bar (9730 Rea Road), Five Guys Burgers (9820-C Rea Road), McAlister’s Deli (9864-A Rea Road) and Salsarita’s (9941-F Rea Road), don’t miss the local favorites.

Brixx Wood Fired Pizza (9820-F Rea Road) – which originated in Charlotte – boasts more than two dozen gourmet pies. The Bronx Bomber with Italian sausage, prosciutto, gorgonzola and oregano is one zesty bite.

Encore Bistro & Bar (9824-A Rea Road) offers a range of cuisines. At 131 Main (9886 Rea Road), look for food with a Southern flair. Thai lovers can check out Thai 1st Thai Bistro (9824-E Rea Road). For a sweet treat, consider venturing across the street to Blakeney Crossing to visit SAS Cupcakes (9941-C Rea Road) and Newk’s Express Café (9815-A Rea Road).

Montford Drive

Located off Park Road not too far from uptown, this may be one of the best streets in Charlotte when it comes to finding a group of restaurants unique to the Queen City.

At Angry Ales Neighborhood Bar & Grill (1600 Montford Drive), enjoy burgers (the chili cheeseburger is a fantastic mess) and a patio tricked out with numerous TVs. Innovative tapas make up the menu at Good Food On Montford (1701 Montford Drive).

Music aficionados will enjoy looking at caricatures of rock and roll artists while noshing on all sorts of tacos at Maverick Rock Taco (1513 Montford Drive), while cornbread and succulent chicken are the hallmarks of The Roasting Company (1601 Montford Drive).

North Davidson Street

Located east of uptown, North Davidson also has a legitimate claim for being one of the best restaurant clusters in Charlotte.

In NODA you can begin the day at Smelly Cat Coffee (514 E. 36th St.), which serves up espressos, frappes and straight up coffee. Amelie’s (2424 N. Davidson St.) French bakery has the pastries covered – the raspberry tea cakes leave a buttery residue on your fingers.

Growlers Pour House (3120 N. Davidson St.) keeps things going into the night with craft beer and beer food – i.e., food that pairs well with beer such as hot dogs, pulled pork, brownies. All things Cajun are on the menu at Boudreaux’s Louisiana Kitchen (501 E. 36th St.). Cabo Fish Taco (3201 N. Davidson St.) fills tortillas with everything from mahi to shrimp to Wahoo.

At the Crepe Cellar Kitchen & Pub (3116 N. Davidson St.), look for both savory (there’s a spinach, wild mushroom caramelized shallots and goat cheese concoction) and sweet crepes.

Birkdale Village

North of uptown in Huntersville, Birkdale Village is crammed with over a dozen restaurants and food shops.

Bad Daddy’s Burger Bar (8625-A Lindholm Drive) is where to get a burger fix. A favorite is the Sam I Am burger with American cheese, fried egg and rosemary ham.

Dressler’s Restaurant (8630-1A Lindholm Drive) pairs approachable food with an upscale flair (roast salmon with roasted grape tomato risotto; bbq shrimp with Cajun beurre blanc. Beautiful plates of sushi along with Thai and Chinese are at eeZ Fusion Sushi (16925-F Birkdale Commons Pkwy).

Look for half a dozen salads and nearly four times that amount of subs and sandwiches at JD Rockers Subs & Salads (16925-C Birkdale Commons Pkwy.). And should you eat a salad, perhaps you won’t feel so bad about eating one of the caramel apples or wedges of chocolate peanut butter fudge at Kilwins Chocolate & Ice Cream Shoppe (16926-A Birkdale Commons Pkwy).

Downtown Mooresville

Mooresville is north of Huntersville. Referred to by the locals at DOMO, like all the other restaurant clusters you can expect a wide variety of choices.

Epic Chophouse (104. S. Main St.) is home to a 28-ounce porterhouse in addition to some other pretty big hunks of meat. And Pie In The Sky Pizza (125-2 N. Main St.) is where you can get a slice, in addition to some house-made meatballs. The menu at J.J. Wasabi’s (183 N. Main St.) includes stir fries as well as hibachi offerings and sushi.

And at the Mooresville Ice Cream Parlor (186 N. Broad St.), they’ve been making ice cream for close to 90 years, so you’ll definitely want to drop in there.

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