We’ve had some business of late down near the Arboretum, the shopping center of shopping centers in South Charlotte. Between basketball games down Providence and dentist appointments off N.C. 51, we’ve made more than a few swings through the Chick-fil-A.
But I can see from my car window that there’s more exotic fare to enjoy. So I called on a few moms who are Arboretum regulars to give their endorsements of restaurants that serve more than delicious fried chicken sandwiches. Here they are:
Located: Around the corner from Omega Sports.
Vibe: Sit down but casual. Usually you can seat yourself but if they’re busy, a hostess will step in. Just write your name and size of party on a pad of paper at the front door.
The Food: This Cajun food is delicious! Ask for spicy, and you might think you're in NOLA. My favorite is the blackened fish, salmon or Mahi, although it’s hard to resist the Tabasco chicken fingers. Don’t ignore the sides, especially the green beans and cuke salad.
Fun fact: Great for adventurous kids who want to get a taste for Cajun. Good beer choices too (for mom and/or dad). - Nan Howard
Located: In the back part of the shopping center, along a restaurant row of sorts.
Vibe: Laid back, no-frills atmosphere. It's a noisy place so kids fit right in.
They are not known for super-friendly service, but the delicious food and
casual setting make up for it when you're in the mood to try something
different. Place your order at the counter and pick a seat - the staff will
eventually find you and bring you your drinks and food.
Food: Traditional Greek food - think grape leaves, gyros, kabobs & falafels. The Gyro Platter is a favorite - served with fries, Greek salad and pita. Bringing picky eaters with you? There's a Kids Menu that serves up grilled cheese, chicken fingers, and hot dogs.
Fun Fact: There is a great outdoor seating area, and even though it looks out to a parking lot it's the perfect spot to nibble on hummus and let your kids try a little taste of Greece. - Mandy Ravin
Located: A couple doors down from Michael’s.
Vibe: No dark mood lighting at this Italian restaurant. It’s breezy and cheerfully noisy - but not in that counter service, oodles of noodles sort of way. You feel like you’re upping your dinner game when you go here.
Food: Lots of legit Italian dishes (love the spicy marinara pastas). The pizza is that chewy, greasy, totally New York joint kind. Love.
Fun fact: My kids always order the butter pasta. Boring, yes. But it keeps them happy while I sip the house red wine.