Five Favorites for August

HEIDI BILLOTTO FOOD

August 2013 – With so much happening this month and in the months ahead on the Charlotte restaurant scene look for lots of new and exciting news to come. Meanwhile, lots of new dining choices all around town. To kick off the month, here are Five of my favorite new restaurants in and around the Queen City, Charlotte NC.  As it turns out all of these establishments offer family friendly dining, casual attire and are  all family owned and run operations – tell them Heidi sent you and enjoy!

On South Blvd. – Doan Vietnamese -5937 South Blvd. Charlotte NC 28217. 704-733-9077. Delicious, authentic Vietnamese fare. Family owned – delicious food – broths and sauces all homemade. Very reasonable priced. My Top Picks – to start – crispy fried quail and springrolls; for entrees the hot pot service, Pho, Vietnamese pancake, and tofu with lemongrass. Hours – Monday- Thursday – 11 am – 9:30 pm; Friday and Saturday 11 am – 10 pm Sunday 11 am – 8:30 pm Doan's Vietnamese Restaurant on Urbanspoon
Like them on Facebook at Doan Restaurant – they also have a website, but it is written in Vietnamese!

On Albemarle Rd. – Cocina Latina – 5135 Albemarle Rd. Charlotte NC 28210. 704-531-5757 – delicious homemade Mexican fare… from scratch tortillas and therefore fresh hot tortilla chips- all kinds of homemade salsas and sauces – my favorite dish is the Chili Poblano and this wonderful dish is also available in a single serving as a take and bake entrée in the NC foods section at Seventh Street market. On the weekends don’t miss the Barbacoa de Borrego – Mexican BBQ – delish! Hours: Monday – Friday -8:30am – 9 pm; Sat and Sun. 8:30 am – 3 pm.  Blog post updated January 2014 – So sorry to say that this restaurant is now closed.
Like them on Facebook at Cocina Latina

Persis Biryani Indian Grill – in Ballantyne at 14027 Conlan Cir, Charlotte, NC 28277. 704- 817-8198 – across from the resort the only Indian restaurant of its kind in Charlotte. Authentic Indian cocktails and foods team up with some of the best service in town! Lunchtime Buffet – order from the menu in the evenings. Regulars here travel far and wide and with good reason. My Top picks – to start – Chole Batura – A giant white puffed bread with chole masala; and the salt and pepper mushrooms. For entrees – the Biryani; or Aloo Gobhi – cauliflower and potatoes cooked in a blend of tomato & cumin flavor curry sauce – scrumptious – take your waiters advice on the heat level of each dish. Fine Indian food is about flavor not heat, and the waitstaff really knows what they are talking about – so don’t over estimate the level you are able to tolerate. Reservations suggested – and be prompt as they will only hold your table for 10 minutes. Hours – Mon-Thurs: 11:30 am – 2:30 pm; 5:30 -9:30 pm;
Fri-Sun: 11:30 am – 3pm; 5:30 pm -10:30 pm. Persis Biryani Indian Grill on Urbanspoon
Like them on Facebook at Persis Charlotte; or visit http://www.persisrestaurant.com

American Cafe & Lounge in the Clarion Hotel at Carowinds – 3695 Foothills Way, Ft. Mill SC 29708. 803- 548-1158. Truly remarkable American bistro fare in this standard unbelievably in descript hotel restaurant -  not surprising as this hotel restaurant is owned by Luca and Jessica Annunziata of Passion 8 Bistro fame! Everything except the low-fat ranch dressing is made from scratch by Chef Luca and Chef Dan Steel – for lunch try the meatball sub with Luca’s fresh made in house Mozzarella, and homemade marinara and the best meatballs in town! For brunch don’t miss the chicken and waffles with homemade queso – incredible! Brunch on Sundays starts at 8 am and the make-your-own Bloody Mary bar opens at 10 am! Hours: Mon. – Sun. – 8 am – 10 pm; lounge is open late on weekends. American Cafe & Lounge on Urbanspoon
Like them on Facebook at American Café & Lounge

Kabab Je Rotisserie and Grill – 2233 Matthews Township Pkwy. Matthews Nc 28105. 704-845-0707. I received a text on a Saturday night – “obscenely good middle eastern restaurant opened in Matthews 3 weeks ago – Feeding frenzy in progress! How can I ignore that? – My husband Tom and I went to check it all out the next evening and LOVED it all – real Lebanese food made from scratch, by – surprise – an old friend, Yasser Sedak, formally ( years ago ) of Hemingway’s on Monroe Road and Primo in the Eastover neighborhood. Kabab Je is on Hwy 51 in Matthews – in the Costco shopping center adjacent to Starbucks – only open for three weeks – so be patient with the wait staff as they are still ironing out the kinks, but put it on your must try list for sure – everything is fabulous from Hummus and stuffed grape leaves to the grilled lamb and chicken shawarma. Don’t miss the Za’taar “pizza”, the falafel and the chick pea and broad bean appetizer called Ful Mudammas. With a host of baklavas for desert, the tiny cup of Lebanese coffee made with cardamom is the perfect finish. Hours: 11 am – 9:30, 7 days. Kabab-Je Rotisserie and Grille on Urbanspoon
Visit them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/KababJeRotisserieGrille.

That’s all for now – more eating to be done and more posts to come – in the meantime – what are some of you favorite new places in town?

4 thoughts on “Five Favorites for August

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