The Southern Gourmet is hosting weekly tastings on Saturdays from noon to 4 p.m. in August. Randy and Crystal Provance own the catering business and small eatery in the Greylyn Business Park.
Next weekend's menu features an array of gourmet nibbles including orange-scented hummus, feta and artichoke cheese tortes, Asian chicken won tons, and hunter meatballs in cabernet sauce.
The Aug. 30 menu features desserts including cappuccino brownies, coconut cupcakes, Key lime squares, banana pudding and chocolate croissant bread pudding.
The Southern Gourmet is at 9101 Monroe Road, Suite 110, just off Independence Boulevard. Details: www.thesoutherngourmet.net or 704-849-7646.
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Mexquite, quick and casual
Mexquite has opened at the Shoppes at Ardrey Kell, 16646 Lancaster Highway, Suite 101.
Owner Freidy Ramirez is part of the family that owns more than 10 Monterrey restaurants in the Charlotte region, the first of which opened 19 years ago.
“We've now decided to do a different concept, with quick, casual and fresh food, similar to Qdoba, but more authentic,” Ramirez says. “We have burritos, quesadillas, salads and specialties including a Mexican sandwich with carnitas (pork leg) that has been a good seller so far.”
Mexquite is open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday. Details: 704-542-1344.
Renovations at McDonald's
The dining room at the McDonald's restaurant at the Arboretum shopping center is open again after a short renovation project.
Fish and chicken
Boneheads Grilled Fish & Piri Piri Chicken will open soon at Stonecrest.
The menu features fresh, grilled chicken and fish, with sides including seasoned rice, zucchini strips and sweet potato fries.
It will be at 7926-E Rea Road, next to the Flying Biscuit. Details: www.eatboneheads.com.
Ruth's Chris appetizer platter
Ruth's Chris Steak House now offers a bar trio appetizer platter with full-size portions of three popular items: stuffed mushrooms, barbecue shrimp and fried calamari.
The price is $14.50, and the platter is available 5-8 p.m. weekdays.
They're also offering a special fixed-price summer celebration menu for two- and three-course meals with four entrée choices any night of the week for $89, plus tax and gratuity.
The restaurant is at 6000 Fairview Road.
‘Very Vera Brunch'
The Ballantyne Resort will host a “Very Vera Brunch” Sept. 20 at 11:30 a.m. with speakers, a fashion show, silent auction and an exclusive gift for attendees. There also will be exclusive Vera Bradley shopping at 10:30 a.m.
The event kicks off Breast Cancer Awareness Month, with proceeds to benefit the Charlotte affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure and the Vera Bradley Foundation, which supports breast cancer research.
Cost is $100 per person. Advanced reservations are required; 704-248-4078.
Ride the Caffeine Highway
Grab a cuppa Joe-to-go at Caffeine Highway, which will open at the end of the month at 8710 Krefeld Drive off Independence Boulevard.
It's a drive-through coffee shop with easy access to Sardis Road and Independence.
O'Leary's Irish Pub to open
O'Leary's Irish Pub will open around Labor Day weekend, says Carrie McNeil of developer Crescent Resources.
The pub will be at the Shoppes at Ardrey Kell off Lancaster Highway.
A Starbucks two-fer
Starbucks has a new special for customers who visit twice in the same day.
Go in after 2 p.m. and get a 16-ounce cold drink for $2 when you present a receipt from a morning purchase on the same day.