Makes sense for office buildings to house restaurants. All those people mashing keys at the computer or taking your blood pressure are working up an appetite. Here are three places in office buildings with interesting and fun food.
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. Park around the side and walk right in. If you go in the front, take the elevator to the ground floor.
You’ll find the decor is the only thing that’s bland.
Grilled marinated chicken chunks, bacon, tomato and spring mix were overflowing the chicken ranch pita. An Israeli couscous side had zing from its vinaigrette, red onion, green olives and capers.
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.
Our server lured me into the bread pudding with Jamaican rum sauce. Warm, firm texture on the outside and sweet and squishy on the inside, with raisins adding some texture.
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
Who orders a burger in a French restaurant? Well, it was terrific.
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 aoli. 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.
Lunch ranges from $8 for gratin de mac entree to $22 for fish. Considering this is a brasserie in SouthPark, prices are reasonable for lunch.
Vegetarian friendly? House-ground lentil burger, good salads and that mac-and-cheese.
4620 Piedmont Row Drive. georgesbrasserie.com
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.
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. I usually douse my collards with some vinegar or hot sauce, but after one bite I knew I needed no condiments. The mac-and-cheese was light and creamy.
Vegetarian friendly? Pintos or black-eyed peas can provide the protein on a three-veggie plate for $5.95 (four for $7.95). Looks like they always have eight sides to choose from.
305 S. Brevard St. in AT&T Plaza. lolascharlotte.com