“Expect the unexpected” was my college's football motto (a good one, when you've got a 34-game losing streak going). But it's nice for these historic times as well. In honor of that, here are five good things in five places you just wouldn't expect:
1. Sliders, at the upscale Nolen's Kitchen (2839 Selwyn Ave.). Facsimiles of the teeny burgers made famous by White Castle (they apparently were trademarked as Slyders) now pop up in lots of places, but these are charming – with malted mayo, no less.
2. Fish at the Chicken Box (3726 N. Tryon St.). Try a terrific “whiting snack” – fried fish fillets, y'all – or you can choose flounder, tilapia or croaker.
3. A veggie hot dog in the oft-smoky bar atmosphere at Comet Grill (2224 Park Road).
4. A fine hamburger at Matt's Chicago Dog (uptown and Cornelius).
5. Sangria, a classic Spanish wine punch, at Tria Terra (7707 Pineville-Matthews Road). Here's why its presence is unexpected: Starting Dec. 1, this formerly Spanish/French/Italian spot will go all Italian. But owner Esteban Vintimilla assures me the “ very popular” sangria will remain on the new menu, along with a few tapas.