Q. When does the next Zagat rating for Charlotte come out?
The Zagat Guide (say “zuh-GAT”), a populist approach to restaurant reviews in which anyone can contribute assessments, which are then compiled into mini-reviews using lots of colorful diner quotes, is holding its second Charlotte survey right now. It's open until June 15; you can register free at www.zagat.com and comment. Results will show up in a book called “America's Top Restaurants 2009.”
Just remember: Color and wit are at a premium. To warm you up, a few diner quotes from the Web site – and yes, negative ones are always funniest:
“Suffers from delusions of adequacy.”
“Took a doggy bag home; the dog refused it.”
“If I want a fatty sandwich served by a walking attitude, I'll go to mom's.”
“The service is like a bad high school play: warm, well-meaning and completely inept.”
“The special-occasion place for people with bad taste.”
Q. Any suggestions on who makes a good bananas Foster these days?
If you don't mind spending a bit, you've got to try the one at Bentley's on 27 (201 S. College St.) – done tableside, with a view out over the city.
Q. For (readers seeking) fine Middle Eastern fare, my husband and I highly recommend Jujeh Kabob (lemon saffron chicken) with zereshk (barberries) basmati rice at the Akropolis (8500 University City Blvd.). It's as good as grandma (nana) makes!
I take that as high praise – and have a request of readers. E-mail me (firstname.lastname@example.org) with dishes you've found in area restaurants that are as good as grandma makes (or grandpa, if that's more appropriate). I'll share the results.