I’m a big fan of breadsticks — don’t get me wrong. But there’s something great about restaurants that go against the grain (bah-da-bump) and give a twist to the standard breadstick fare.
Here’s a list of some of the best free appetizers in the Charlotte area, with help from some C5ers on Twitter.
(1) Tupelo Honey
With every meal, diners at Tupelo Honey on South Boulevard get made from scratch, warm biscuits, with homemade blueberry jam and Tupelo Honey (from Florida) on the side.
— Our State Magazine (@ourstatemag) February 27, 2016
1820 South Blvd, Charlotte.
According to reader input, the Central Avenue restaurant’s chips and salsa are pretty amazing. Before gorging themselves on tasty tacos, enchiladas and fajitas, those eating at Three Amigos can munch on hot tortilla chips covered in spices. (A manager at Three Amigos said the secret to the chips is a mix of paprika, black pepper, salt and granulated garlic.)
2917 Central Ave., Charlotte.
(3) Nolen Kitchen
Before biting into Sunday brunch orders of french toast or frittatas, diners at the Selwyn Avenue restaurant can enjoy decadent, warm chocolate chip scones, which come in cute, bite-sized form. (The complimentary scones, though, are only available during Sunday brunch, according to a Nolen Kitchen manager.)
2839 Selwyn Ave, Charlotte.
(4) Nan and Byron’s
Those dining at the upscale South Boulevard restaurant can expect to nosh on “wing dust” popcorn while they wait for their meals or sit at the bar. The spicy snack is made with a secret blend of peppers and spices.
1714 South Blvd, Charlotte.
This restaurant, formerly a – you guessed it – pump house, overlooks the Catawba River. Before diving into a crab-stuffed North Carolina trout or an order of shrimp and grits, diners are treated to hot corn muffins with honey peach butter. Both the muffins and the peach butter are made at the restaurant every day.
575 Herrons Ferry Road, Rock Hill.
The Main Street restaurant features a tasty milk bread — which a coworker described as salty, rich and with an almost cake-like consistency.
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Feature photo: Helen Schwab/Charlotte Observer.