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Why you should eat in restaurants in office buildings

wyang@charlotteobserver.com

It just seems like most restaurants in Charlotte are located in strip shopping centers. The others are in office buildings! All those people mashing keys at the computer or taking your blood pressure are working up an appetite. So it makes sense there’ll be some good eats in office buildings.

Here are a few:

(1) Imani’s Fusion Cafe

There are lots of doctors’ offices in this multiple-building office park at Randolph and Billingsley roads. Imani’s is in the Randolph building.

Grilled marinated chicken chunks, bacon, tomato and spring mix were overflowing in the chicken ranch pita. An Israeli couscous side had zing from its vinaigrette, red onion, tomato, whole green olives and capers.

Grilled chicken pita with Israeli couscous at Imani’s Fusion Cafe.

For an unorthodox lunch special, three chicken wings (drummette and wing attached), choice of Buffalo, barbecue or lemon pepper. I enjoyed the variety. Lemon pepper was crispy and tangy, Buffalo was spicy, and barbecue was sweet and tangy.

All three wings had enough heat for me to notice my eyes were watering, which was just fine.

Lemon pepper, Buffalo and barbecue wings and collards make for a fine lunch at Imani’s Fusion Cafe on Randolph Road. MICHAEL WEINSTEIN

Vegetarian friendly? Three-veggie plate is $5.99. Eclectic selections include Israeli couscous salad, broccoli salad, fried okra, sweet potato fries, fried plantains, mashed potatoes and collards.

3535 Randolph Road (in the Randolph Building). imanisfusioncafe.com

(2) Georges Brasserie

Who orders a burger in a French restaurant? Hey, we were in an office building off Fairview Road. The burger was terrific.

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A juicy burger on a brioche bun with red dragon cheese and sriracha aoli at Georges Brasserie. MICHAEL WEINSTEINRead more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/entertainment/restaurants/article29546926.html#storylink=cpy

I couldn’t resist the special ($14), and it turned out to be a thick, juicy burger on a brioche bun with red dragon cheese and sriracha aioli. Coming from Wales, red dragon is made with brown ale and mustard seeds. Grilled onions provided some sweetness to contrast with the slightly spicy burger and cheese. It came with crispy shoestring fries.

Lunch ranges from $8 for gratin de mac entree to $22 for fish.

Vegetarian friendly? House-ground lentil burger, good salads and that mac-and-cheese.

4620 Piedmont Row Drive. georgesbrasserie.com

(3) Lola’s on Brevard

Don’t work uptown? No problem. The restaurant is across from the Charlotte Convention Center and light rail. So if you’re in Pineville, you can hop on the train.

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Lola's on Brevard

There’s a sizable menu with salads, entrees and sandwiches. Baked chicken and dressing is wonderful comfort food (with two sides and bread for $7.95).

Italian-style green beans were surprisingly firm and salty enough to compete with the creamy dressing and chicken. The collards were spicy and flavorful. The mac-and-cheese was light and creamy.

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You get a choice of roll or plain or jalapeno cornbread. The chicken and dressing usually beckons to me.

Vegetarian friendly? Pintos or black-eyed peas can provide the protein on a three-veggie plate for $5.95 (four for $7.95).

305 S. Brevard St. in AT&T Plaza. lolascharlotte.com

(4) More for your list: Upscale, downscale office dining

Upscale dining at SouthPark: Del Frisco’s Steakhouse, Brio at Piedmont Town Center.

Upscale dining uptown: The Capital Grille, Ruth’s Chris, Aria Tuscan Grill, Halcyon Flavors of the Earth, Bentley’s.

Non-upscale dining uptown: Johnny Burrito, Nirvana II,  Fujiyama, Fuel Pizza, Pita Pit.


MW0314
Michael Weinstein
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