Heidi’s December Restaurant Round Up: Hidden Gems

Hidden Gems – Five Charlotte Area Restaurants to put on your Dining Out Radar

Five HIdden Gems to Put on Your Dining Out Radar

This month I direct your dining out attention to the little places.

Those spots that you just seem to happen across are always a fun find. They might be located in an out-of-the-way strip mall, on an industrial street or in an office complex and your just not sure if it will be worth the time, but then it is and its your own great food find. Happy Days, Happy Days!!!

Here are five on the list of my current  Hidden Gems, 4 new  found places to eat and 1 recently rediscovered.

I love them all and I think, you’ll  love them too! Yesterday, Tuesday Dec 19, 2017 I shared this five finds on WCNC’s Charlotte Today . In case you missed it – here is the video, then keep checking back as I update the post with a few more details and a tasty giveaway – stay tuned!!

 

Two Important Notes to make before we head into the details…

First is that the good folks at The Loyalist Market want you to know that the last day to order one of their beautiful Charcuterie platters for Christmas is Thursday December 20.

Secondly in honor of these 5 hidden gems, we have a giveaway from our friends at Pizzeria Omaggio!! 

Giveaway!!!Simply Email me at Heidi@HeidiCooks.com and tell me you want to enter the giveaway and you could win 2 ($15) gift certificates – for a total of $30 value –  at Pizzeria Omaggio!  With your entry in the giveaway, your name will go into the drawing and you will be subscribed to my monthly email newsletter and to the email newsletter from Pizzeria Omaggio. We think you’ll like what you see and will enjoy hearing from us every month but, if we are wrong, you may of course opt-out from either newsletter at any time. Contest ends Wed. Dec. 27, 2017.

Now lets get back to the wonderful eats at each of these featured Hidden Gems – all great places to enjoy with family and friends, now through the holiday season and on into the new year!

B.Good: Food with Roots –  

With three locations in Charlotte  ( Uptown, Ballantyne and at Stonecrest) this chain out of Boston, does food that is good for you and sources local ingredients as well!  I went to the Ballantyne location, just a phone call away at 980.237.8494.

You may call in to-go orders and you can also order online – get more info online at the website. When you go to pick up or dine in, you’ll see  a big chalkboard map on the wall to tell you what is in season and the names of farms from whom the restaurant is sourcing for the season.

The NC and Sc root sof the local food at B.Good 2

The format is fast casual, but the food is really well done and all made from scratch for a great way to Eat Local at a reasonable price tag.

On the show I shared three of the delicious and good for you salads from B. Good, but  as I mentioned its more than great salad greens here – know they also do excellent burgers and veggies burgers, delicious fries, a killer avocado toast and my favorite– the vegetarian Eggplant Meatballs with Zucchini Spaghetti!  You also gotta love that all of their beverages are made without any type of artificial sweeteners. Its food that goes back to real roots – You and your family will love it!

 

 

Tipsy Burro Saloon & Cantina 

 Located at 2711 Monroe Road, 704. 249.3317, open Wednesdays-Sundays, this a Tex-Mex dive and a bar and the most entertaining place to eat brought to us by the same crew that owns the Thirsty Beaver in Plaza Midwood.

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The pass to the kitchen at Tispy BurroInside look for old signage from Charlotte restaurants gone by, and entire alcove devoted to Elvis memorabilia, all kinds of bric-a-brac and   sitcoms and game shows from the 50s and 60s  on the TV. None of the tables and chairs match, and the pass to the kitchen ( the window where staff picks up orders) is the font end of an old pickup! All that and the food is delicious – look for tacos, burritos and Frito Pie with beef, chicken and pork or vegan and vegetarian alternative proteins if you would  like. The mixers for the margaritas are made from scratch and come with a choice of tequilas. For more info on all that is happening at Tipsy Burro, visit and follow their Facebook page here.

 

The Loyalist Market

Tucked in the Matthews North End District amidst the medical buildings and offices at 435 North Trade Street is Matthews newest and only cheese shop. You can reach The Loyalist at 704.814.9866.  Know that orders for the beautiful charcuterie platters I showcased in the Charlotte Today segment, must be ordered in advance. Remember Thursday Dec 21 is the last day to order for Christmas pickup – but happily you still have plenty of time to plan for New Years!!

Front Door The Loyalsit Market

sandwiches and side salads The Loyalist marketThink meat and cheese cut or sliced to go. and the most beautiful one-of-a-kind, made to order, charcuterie platters you’ve ever seen.

But wait there’s more…Charlotte’s newest cheese shop  also offers  salads and sandwiches to enjoy dining in or wrapped up to go. 

Also on the shelves of this little shop tucked away in  what looks to be a medical plaza is a whole lotta local product – delicious desserts and cookies, mustards, honey, hot sauce, sea salt and more. Visit The Loyalist website here for more info.

inside counter The Loyalist Market 

Pizzeria Omaggio 

Located at 1055 Metropolitan Ave across from Target parking deck at 704.370.0777  

Pizza making station at Pizzeria Omaggio

I’ve shared stories of the oven baked pizza here just after they opened. Its still delicious,and served in an individual pizza sized serving with toppings just like are classically served in Tuscany and Rome. But, the hidden gem at this hidden gem are the soups and salads. Many ingredients are imported from Italy. The chestnut soup, the burrata salad and the pear and gorgonzola pizza are absolutely divine! Wonderful wine list as well! Visit the Pizzeria Omaggio Website here for specials and info on their catering services, too!

And, Don’t forget about this blog post’s special giveaway from Pizzeria Omaggio…Simply Email me at Heidi@HeidiCooks.com and tell me you want to enter the giveaway and you could win 2 ($15) gift certificates – for a total of $30 value –  at Pizzeria Omaggio!

 

 

Chaupaati Indian Restaurant 

Tucked away at 9102 Pineville- Matthews Road in the  Terraces at Park Place shopping center – where the Bi-Lo is located –  just at the I-485 over pass, you’ll find this casual Indian kitchen featuring the  street food of Mumbai as well as popular northern and southern Indian favorites. Call 980.498.1555 for take-out and for info on having your next event catered with fabulous Indian Cuisine; or visit the Chaupaati Website here!

Samosa Chaat at Chaupaati

Dahi Puri Chaat at Chaupaati IndianStart your lunch or dinner with little plates of Chaat, the menu offers a tasty variety of these cold salads or first plate of sorts. My favorites are the Dahi Puri Chaat made with black lentils and potatoes served in crispy little pastry cups and the  Samosa Chaat –  pictured above, this is a classic samosa, smashed and  served in a spicy yogurt and tamarind sauce and topped with all sorts of goodies. Other favorites include classic Saag and Matar Paneer, curries, soups and more.  When its time to order bread, the naan is excellent, but don’t miss the dosa – a large thin, warm crepe rolled up and stuffed with cheese and served with classic condiments – delish!

matta Paneer at Chaupaati

 

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If you loved this Restaurant Roundup of my Five Hidden Gems, share it on all of your social media using the links below – then check out my list of 100+Restaurants that need to be on your Dining Out Radar as published in the 2017 Food Issue of Charlotte Living Magazine.

The Holiday 2017 issue of Charlotte Living is on Newsstands  now, You’ll want to be sure and check it out and then stay tuned for more in the January 2018 Food Issue after the first of the year.

Coming up next week, Five Great spots to brunch in Charlotte…don’t miss it – subscribe to this blog and the post will come right to your inbox…

Cheers and remember to always #TellThemHeidiSentYou

 

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