Boy, write about foods that folks miss from up North and the Internet catches fire. Following my recent “Northern Food Comes South,” here are six more places to “eat Northern” around the Queen City.
Chicago Dogs. What’s got bright green relish, tomato slivers, little “sport peppers” and a poppy seed bun? Taste the answer at Matt’s Chicago Dog on The Green in uptown Charlotte or off Interstate 77, Exit 28, in Huntersville. Kelly Jeffries noted that Matt’s offers Chi-town hot marinated Italian Beef sandwiches, too.
Everything Buffalo. “How could you miss Lebowski’s?” chided Macon Abbott, speaking for many fans of the eatery in Dilworth. “The blue ribbon place for beef-on-weck, wings and haddock fish fry,” added Gary and Ronni Coon.
Or drive out to Indian Trail to try Crossroads Grill. It’s Union County’s spot for “authentic Buffalo fare, the owner a native son,” emailed Wendy Aronica.
And in Matthews find Bisonte (“Buffalo” in Italian) run by two Buffalonians who specialize in Buffalo-style pizza. What’s that? “A thicker crust than N.Y. style, heavy on the cheese and light on the sauce – with pepperoni, of course,” said tipster Klaus Wilkens.
NYC & Jersey eats. Amalfi’s near UNC Charlotte has “as good a pizza and Italian food as I have had,” reported N.J. native James Fritz. “Owner’s wife is from Italy and the husband is from N.Y.”
How about NYC pastries – crumb cake, ruggelah, black-and-white cookies? Find them at Maddy’s Fatty’s Bakery & Cafe on Catawba Avenue in Huntersville.
Still looking for…
▪ Paczki (say POONCH-key) – Hot doughnuts made on Shrove Tuesday in February. “Just the smell will magically transport me to Hamtramck,” enthuses Detroit-area transplant Emiene Wright.
▪ Hoosier breaded tenderloin sandwich – sought by Midwesterner Eric Linne.
▪ Lefse flatbread, thuringer sausage, potato sausage – Wisconsinite Heather Brown wants to know.
▪ Grandma Brown’s Baked Beans, Zwiegle’s hot dogs – Upstate N.Y. favorites missed by Debora Savage.
▪ “I would love to get my hands on some quality chouriço and Portuguese sweet bread!” pleads Jenna Thompson, who grew up in New England where Portuguese immigrants shaped regional foodways.
Finally: “So what’s the explanation for so many of these being off of I-77 and in Matthews?” queried UNC Charlotte prof Eric Hoenes.
Out at the edges of the Charlotte metro, new subdivisions are popping up like wild onions in spring. Newcomers are more numerous, longtime locals even rarer, than in more established in-city areas.
Tom Hanchett is consulting historian with Levine Museum of the New South: Tom@HistorySouth.org. Don’t miss the Food from Home section of the museum’s “Cotton Fields to Skyscrapers” exhibit.
Matt’s Chicago Dog, 19732 One Norman Blvd., Suite 330, Cornelius, 704-892-5005; 435 S. Tryon St., Suite 140, 704-333-3650, www.mattschicagodog.com.
Lebowski’s Neighborhood Grill, 1524 East Blvd., 704-370-1177, www.lebowskisgrill.com.
Crossroads Grill, 5250 Old Charlotte Highway, Indian Trail, 704-238-1221.
Bisonte Pizza Co. 1381 Chestnut Lane, Matthews, 704-821-8003, www.bisontepizzaco.com.
Amalfie’s Pasta ‘n’ Pizza, 8542 University City Blvd., 704-547-8651.
Maddy’s Fatty’s Bakery & Café, 19905 W. Catawba Ave., Suite 105, Cornelius, 704-439-0996, http://maddysfattys.com.