The bustling food scene in Dilworth continues to grow with a new Latin concept planning to open in early 2016. Babalu Tacos and Tapas, originally from Jackson, Miss., has taken over the former Cantina 1511 location on East Boulevard. Expect tableside guacamole, salads, sandwiches, tacos and small plates all made fresh daily with local ingredients.
Wine, beer and cocktails will also be a part of the deal here as well as a patio or two to enjoy them on.
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1511 East Blvd.
Queen City Q
Plantation Market in Matthews is now home to the Charlotte area’s second Queen City Q. The original venue is located uptown on 6th Street. Queen City Q has quickly gained steam as a popular barbecue spot in the area, becoming the official barbecue of the Charlotte Knights and adding a satellite operation at BB&T BallPark.
Eastern and western North Carolina-style and South Carolina-style barbecue are served here: brisket, ribs, smoked sausage, chicken and pork, along with sauces made in-house. A number of favorites such as hushpuppies, deviled eggs, Brunswick stew, collards and banana pudding are also on the menu.
Not a meat eater? Order a veggie plate with green bean casserole, sweet potato fries and mac ‘N’ cheese. Make sure to check out the local beers on tap, and wine and bourbon selections, which can be enjoyed on the covered patio rain or shine. Come hungry; you won’t be disappointed.
▪ Queen City Q
3016 Weddington Rd., Matthews 704-334-8437
Provisions Food and Drink
Provisions Food and Drink, sister restaurant to Chef Paul Verica’s Heritage Restaurant in Waxhaw, is now open in downtown Waxhaw. The casual eatery is located on historic Main Street overlooking the train tracks, giving it just the right amount of old-town feel.
Former Heritage sous chef Walter Drozd runs day-to-day operations while Verica oversees the culinary team. The focus here is “fresh food fast,” with ingredients sourced from local and regional farmers. Expect to see Ashe County cheeses, Carolina Artisan Bread of Midland and deli meats from San Giuseppe in Elon.
A peek at the menu finds a roasted chicken salad sandwich with farm fresh mozzarella, basil and tomato served on focaccia, roasted tomato bisque with grilled cheese croutons and more. Customers can create their own soup or salad and sandwich combination as well.
▪ Provisions Food and Drink
107 S. Main St., Waxhaw, 704-256-3642
Uptown’s Hearst Tower will soon be home to Sea Level, a new seafood and raw bar concept from the Damian Dining, the team behind Crepe Cellar Kitchen and Growlers Pourhouse.
Think plenty of fresh, regional seafood dishes, yes, but it’s the oysters straight from the North Carolina coast that will be the star here. For those who don’t do fish, a few non-seafood items will also be on the menu. Sea Level hopes to be open at 214 N. Tryon St. in late November.
Each August, Chuy’s sends a team of restaurant managers to the Hatch Valley in New Mexico to bring back the freshest green chile peppers they can find. The result? The annual Green Chile Festival, returning Aug. 17 at the SouthPark Tex Mex eatery.
Running through Sept. 6, the fest celebrates the green chile harvest in Hatch, N.M., each year. During the three-week promotion, Chuy’s will offer six new menu items featuring the peppers including green chile pork tamales, bacon-wrapped pork rellenos and veggie fajitas. A New Mexican martini made with tequila infused with green chiles will also be featured along with frozen watermelon martinis and spicy cucumber Texas martinis.
Visit Chuy’s during the festival and post a picture of your favorite green chile dish on Instagram tagging @chuysrestaurant with #GreenChileFest for a chance to win Chuy’s for a year.
4310 Sharon Rd., 704-364-3959
A two-story Starbucks is in the works for Sharon Square in SouthPark, with plans to open next summer. Currently home to Dogwood Southern Table, Whole Foods and Corkbuzz Wine Studio, Sharon Square is quickly becoming known for its walkability to retail shops and restaurants.
The Starbucks will be roughly 3,000 square feet at the Sharon Road entrance.
Chipotle Mexican Grill continues its Charlotte-area expansion with the addition of a new location at Carolina Place Mall. Plans call for a late summer opening in the food court between Chick-Fil-A and McAlister’s Deli.
For a complete listing of Chipotle locations, visit www.chipotle.com.
The Scone Shop
Local favorite The Scone Shop is now selling its made-from-scratch scones, baked fresh daily at Nordstrom’s Ebar at SouthPark Mall. Ebar is the exclusive carrier of the shop’s bacon cheddar chive flavor and also carries cranberry orange and spinach feta scones in a larger, 5 oz. size.
The Scone Shop, founded by Fielding Williams in 2007, uses simple ingredients, such as rolled oats, milk and butter, in its handmade scones, found at specialty retailers throughout the Carolinas.
Jenny Brantley is a freelance writer: firstname.lastname@example.org.