With the decadence of holiday meals, cookie exchanges and gatherings at local restaurants finished, many Lake Norman residents will be looking to sample lighter menu items as a way to whittle away extra pounds, or to simply begin better eating habits for 2011. Here's a look at some of the options.
JD Rockers Subs & Salads
If a salad is what you crave, you can't go wrong at JD Rockers Subs & Salads in Birkdale Village. An open salad bar offers 32 fresh ingredients for the "Make Your Own Salad" option for $6.99. They also offer gourmet salads such as the Mandarin Chicken, a mix of spring greens, chicken, rice noodles, fresh vegetables and mandarin dressing. Other menu selections include gourmet subs, wraps and paninis a kosher style deli, a children's menu and smoothies. Patrons of all ages can take in the musically-themed murals painted by local high school art students while they eat.
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16925-C Birkdale Commons Pkwy.
The Creole House on Main
If the recent cold snap has you wanting to sample heartier options, sample a bowl of gumbo or the red beans and rice with a side of fresh-baked jalapeno and cheese or sweet cornbread at The Creole House on Main in Cornelius. Open daily for both lunch and dinner; the restaurant features a live blues band on Fridays and Saturdays.
20517 N. Main St.
Toast Café in downtown Davidson specializes in offering up a variety of freshly made soups and salads with their daily specials. Drop in for lunch and see which soup will be featured on your visit, whether it's New England clam chowder, tomato bisque, cream of mushroom or black bean. Salads feature a variety of ingredients such as tangy dressings, field greens, walnuts, fresh fruit chicken and blue or feta cheese. If you want something a little heavier, sample the daily quiche or omelette. Toast is also open for dinner with a separate menu Wednesday through Saturday.
101 North Main St.
Brian's Dog House Grill
A new establishment has set up shop in the Rosedale Shopping Center next door to Harris Center. Open for both lunch and dinner, Brian's Dog House Grill features menu items from Buffalo, N.Y. such as Sahlen's hot dogs cooked fresh over real hickory charcoal. Other items include burgers, hand-cut curly fries, onion rings, chicken and steak sandwiches and specialty milkshakes. Open daily 11 a.m. to 9 or 10 p.m. and closed Sundays.
9931 Rose Commons Drive, Huntersville
Killingtons Restaurant & Pub
Known mostly as one of the area's "gastro" pubs, Killingtons, also located in the Rosedale Commons Shopping Center, also has a variety of salads to choose from for those hoping to eat a little lighter. Choose from meatless varieties such as the Killingtons Salad with bib lettuce, goat cheese, candied pecans and strawberry peppercorn dressing or a large Greek salad. Each of the 12 dressings (including fat-free options) is made on-site at the restaurant. For soups, warm up with tomato roasted corn soup or a bowl of spicy chili.