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More than fireworks on the Fourth

By Courtney Devores
Correspondent
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DAVID T. FOSTER III - 2011 OBSERVER FILE PHOTO
Patrons display their patriotic feelings by dressing up during the 11th annual Plaza Midwood Pig Pickin’.

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As part of the 14th annual Plaza Midwood Pig Pickin’, several spots in the neighborhood will offer various specialty pork dishes starting at 4 p.m.

Soul Gastrolounge (1500-B Central Ave., 704-348-1848) is cooking up twists on American fare such as the three piggy ramen with three kinds of pork, baked bean hummus, a “big-ass American burger,” apple pie bread pudding cake, and drinks called the 5th Amendment, Presidential Sweet and the Embargo Act.

Lulu (1911 Central Ave., 704-376-2242) offers a three-course dinner of pig ear salad, pork belly entrée and bread pudding with candied bacon for $30 in addition to its regular menu. Nearby Bistro La Bon (1322 Central Ave., 704-333-4646) boasts steamed shellfish, barbecue pork shoulder, smoked brisket and veggies, and smoked sausage and spaetzle.

Also: Petra’s Piano Bar & Cabaret (1919 Commonwealth Ave., 704-332-6608) will feature a $5 barbecue buffet; Diamond Restaurant (1901 Commonwealth Ave., 704-375-8959) will roast aforementioned pig; and Snug Harbor (1228 Gordon St., 704-561-1781) hosts a fish fry with eats from Gastonia’s Twin Tops Fish Camp.

If you can’t get a table at any of these places, food trucks will serve everything from burgers to cupcakes – and, of course, more pig – in the Sherwin-Williams lot (1218 Gordon St.).

And although Peculiar Rabbit (1212 Pecan Ave.) is not a part of the Pig Pickin’, it’s right in the heart of Plaza Midwood and offers a primo rooftop from which to view the uptown fireworks. The restaurant will host the Funny Bunny Cocktail Party from 8 to 11 p.m. A $50 ticket includes an open beer and wine bar and hors d’oeuvres.

More 4th-themed fun

• The Elizabeth neighborhood hosts its fourth annual July 4th Block Party, with patrons bar-hopping between Kennedy’s Premium Bar & Grill (366 N. Caswell Road), Philosopher’s Stone Tavern (1958 E. Seventh St.) and Jackalope Jacks (1936 E. Seventh St.). Crawlers will find activities such as cornhole, drink specials and plenty of World Cup watching.

• EpiCentre Charlotte (210 E. Trade St.) hosts the Red, White and Brew bar crawl, which includes craft beer, a T-shirt and discounted or free admission into several EpiCentre bars and venues. Registration begins at 7 p.m. at Rooftop 210; tickets are $19.01 (including fees) at www.eventbrite.com. Howl at the Moon Charlotte is not participating but is offering an American buffet with creamy mac ‘n’ cheese, mini beef hot dogs, and chips and French onion dip.

• Wine Me Down starts the celebration early with an Independence Day “Reds, Whites & You” tour of four area wineries – with two itineraries to choose from. The six-hour tours depart from the uptown Target (900 Metropolitan Ave. #2) at 11 a.m. and get you home in time to partake in other festivities. $99 includes tastings, a souvenir wine glass and a picnic lunch. Details: www.winemedown.com.

•  Osso Restaurant & Lounge’s (1000 NC Music Factory Blvd.) special July 4 menu Friday and Saturday includes Certified Angus Beef Grilled N.Y. Strip over house-made blue crab canneloni with Parmesan bechamel. All American-made wine is 25 percent off.

• South End’s Food Truck Friday starts at 5 p.m. and features 14 restaurants on wheels serving wings, barbecue, burgers, gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches, sweets and more.

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