Weekend in Charlotte

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Nancypalooza
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Re:Weekend in Charlotte 2009/04/18 23:22:50 (permalink)
I think scrapple is a more Pennsylvania-area specialty?  I dunno, guys, is it livery?
#31
sizz
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Re:Weekend in Charlotte 2009/04/18 23:57:09 (permalink)
..............is livermush and scrapple the same thing?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2HIpRRxta4w

post edited by sizz - 2009/04/19 00:04:52
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buffetbuster
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Re:Weekend in Charlotte 2009/04/22 14:41:22 (permalink)
Saturday March 28, 2009 cont.
 
After relaxing at the hotel for a few hours, I met my friend Lisa, who was nice enough to drive up from Columbia, SC.  Lisa and I used to work together and were so close, I was even in her wedding!  Our first top was Price's Chicken Coop

I have been wanting to eat here for years and was very happy to finally get my chance.  In 2005, my cousin Johnny and I were in Charlotte and even though we knew it was closed (it was over a holiday weekend), we still drove by to see the place.  Although we have certainly seen worse, it was not in a good neighborhood.  Imagine my surprise to see how different it looks now.  Either the area has been transformed or my own perceptions have changed drastically.  Most likely a combination of both.
 
Since it was just a few minutes after they opened at 10:00AM, we walked in and were waited on immediately.  The nice woman helped us figure what we wanted and quickly handed us our food.  It seems we were in and out in no more than three minutes.
 
Interestingly, the ouside box has the complete menu on it. 

Considering we had only seconds to look at while we were inside, it was nice to actually have a few minutes to check it out.  That can only help me be more prepared on future visits.
 
Here is our 1/2 chicken mixed dinner. 

We started with the sides first.  The very creamy, mayo cole slaw was quite good.  But the tater tots brought back too many bad memeories of school cafeteria meals for me to take them seriously.  And the roll seemed too prefabricated, like something from a fast food joint.
 
Luckily, the fried chicken was much, much better. 

The golden skin had a wonderful crunchy skin. But the inside meat was shockingly juicy and flavorful.  This is some seriously fantastic fried chicken!
 
Since there is no seating here, you are on your own.  I remember from the review that some sit on the grassy hill next to the light rail that runs across the street.  But since it had rained recently, sitting in the wet grass was not a good option.  So we just went ahead and ate off the hood of my car rental.  Lisa snapped this photo of me. 

I have no clue what that strange look on my face is for.  Maybe we should have a caption contest.
 
I did grab a small sweet potato pie while I was there, but it was rather forgettable.  A couple of sweet teas completed the meal.  My advice is to go to Price's for the chicken and forget the sides.
 
Price's Chicken Coop
1614 Camden Road
Charlotte, NC
704-333-9866 
 
Despite being my friend, Lisa can't possibly keep up with me food-wise.  Good for her!  Since we needed to kill some time before eating again, we headed to Charlotte's Discovery Place and saw the IMAX movie about the Grand Canyon.  Spectacular scenery!  But on the way, we were driving through a neighborhood and Lisa spotted a couple of kids walking a really cool looking dog. 

Considering the size of this Newfy, who was walking who is open to debate.  I had no idea that Newfys could be brown, too.  Anyway, we obviously stopped to take the photo and hopefully we didn't scare the kids too bad with our excitment over seeing their dog.   
post edited by buffetbuster - 2009/04/22 14:47:22
#33
The Travelin Man
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Re:Weekend in Charlotte 2009/04/22 16:26:48 (permalink)
The kid obviously recognizes you from your adventures on roadfood.com.  I think he has a look of fear on his face because he is afraid that wanderingjew might be in the car with you and he doesn't want to have to explain his love of meals regionally inappropriate to Charlotte.
#34
CajunKing
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Re:Weekend in Charlotte 2009/04/22 16:54:55 (permalink)
Nancypalooza

(whispering)  My birth certificate says (gulp) San Francisco, CA.

 
SAN FRANCISCO {in my best voice imitating the pace salsa commerical} 
 
Don't feel bad Nancy, mine says Chicago. " />


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CajunKing
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Re:Weekend in Charlotte 2009/04/22 17:04:00 (permalink)
Chris

In ALL your travels you have never had a fried bologna sandwich from the G&R Tavern in Waldo, OH???

If not let me know when you are in the area I will meet you for the best fried bologna snadwich.

#36
ayersian
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Re:Weekend in Charlotte 2009/04/22 18:04:07 (permalink)
CajunKing

Chris

In ALL your travels you have never had a fried bologna sandwich from the G&R Tavern in Waldo, OH???

If not let me know when you are in the area I will meet you for the best fried bologna sandwich.

CajunKing, I hadn't even heard of the G&R until this thread.  But heck yeah, you got it!  Actually, I'll call you for other meals, too, but I'm always on the lookout for fried bologna.  Thanks man!   Chris

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buffetbuster
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Re:Weekend in Charlotte 2009/04/23 08:05:19 (permalink)
ayersian-
Although I think of the bologna sandwich as a Southern thing, the one at G & R Tavern in Waldo, Ohio is clearly the best I have ever had.  Now, THIS bologna is thick cut,

maybe a solid inch 1" thick.  And the sweet pickle, onion and mustard prove to be the perfect toppings.  This is a place you have to get to at least once.  Luckily for me, it is only about three hours away.
#38
carolina bob
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Re:Weekend in Charlotte 2009/04/23 09:18:02 (permalink)
buffetbuster, that fried chicken at Price's looks mighty good. But how come your friend didn't snap that picture while a light rail train was passing in the background? Electric railroads ( trolleys, rapid transit etc. ) are a passion of mine, and I plan to ride the Charlotte light rail when I'm down there next month. I might stop at Price's for a chicken sandwich, but my "main" lunch that day has got to be at the Beacon down in Spartanburg SC ( I love that place! ) 
#39
cecif
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Re:Weekend in Charlotte 2009/04/23 09:45:25 (permalink)
CajunKing

Nancypalooza

(whispering)  My birth certificate says (gulp) San Francisco, CA.

 
SAN FRANCISCO {in my best voice imitating the pace salsa commerical} 
 
Don't feel bad Nancy, mine says Chicago. " />


OY! What's wrong with San Francisco?!?!?!?!

I am a 6th generation Californian, proudly born in San Francisco at Mt Zion Hospital. As were both my parents, brother and all aunts/uncles.

Besides, California has fantastic food, especially the Bay Area... and isn't this a FOOD website?! Nancy, honey, what is NOT to be proud of...?!?!?!?!?! 

I can think of 20 places I'd love to go get something to eat in the Bay Area right this second... there might be a greater concentration of great food there that any place else I know (as much as I adore NOLA, Memphis and Nashville... among others).


#40
Nancypalooza
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Re:Weekend in Charlotte 2009/04/23 10:27:40 (permalink)
Oh ceci, the boys are giving me crap about not being a real Southerner.   (which might be like a little bit true)  I'm right proud--how can you not be proud of coming from the prettiest city in the country?
#41
ann peeples
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Re:Weekend in Charlotte 2009/04/23 10:37:24 (permalink)
I think the look on your face,BB, is amazement at the wonderfully fried chicken-despite the sides!!!
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Re:Weekend in Charlotte 2009/04/23 11:08:24 (permalink)
Saturday March 28, 2009 cont.
 
Had Lisa not been with me, I undoubtedly would have eaten lunch at Bill Spoon's BBQ.  But trying to select a place I thought she would enjoy more, we ate at Lupie's Cafe

instead.  We braved the rain and ran inside and one of the first things I noticed was this fun sign.

Even though we were well past typical lunch time, they were still quite busy.  No problem, that just gave me a few minutes to look at the menu board

hanging over the counter.  Considering I wanted to try just about everything, I had a good feeling about this place.
 
In a very short amount of time, we were led to our table.  Now there are two dining rooms here at Lupie's Cafe, divided by a short set of stairs.  Our table was on the landing next to the stairs, so that we weren't really in either room.  Kind of a strange place, but this is a busy restaurant and space is at a premium.  This did not prevent us from receiving excellent service.
 
I had been leaning towards ordering chili, but when Lisa announced she was getting the Texas chili, this allowed me to go in another direction.  Her Texas chili (sorry about the lousy photo)

was heavy on the meat and spices, with very little sauce at all.  Beans, onions and cheese are all optional and she chose to take all three.  This chili was quite hot, but that did not hide the terrific spicy beef flavor.  She would have preferred more sauce, but I thought it was excellent.
 
Since I am in North Carolina, I again started with brunswick stew. 

First of all, the portion size was way bigger than I had anticipated.  This thing was practically a meal unto itself.  It also didn't seem to be quite as sweet and not as much pork as what I ate the night before.  Still, a fine meal starter.
 
As good as the burgers in the Michael Stern review look, I can't pass up a place that specializes in Southern vegetables.  So I went for the three vegetable plate. 

The corn tasted fresh, as in not out of a can and were seasoned well.  But corn to me rarely tastes much different from place to place.  Now, green beans, that is something I truly love, especially done right in the South.  And these pork infused green beans were wonderful.  On a normal plate they would have been the star.  But the mac & cheese was nothing short of spectacular.  Soft and loaded with cheese, this is what every mac & cheese should aspire to be.  Both Lisa and I went to town on the mac & cheese until it was gone and it left us yearning for me.  Along with the version at Gray's Brothers Cafeteria in Indiana, this is the best I have ever had. 
 
Not being a cornbread fan, I barely touched mine, although Lisa enjoyed hers with her chili.  A couple of sweet teas, frequently refilled, were our beverages.
 
Although we were both stuffed, I couldn't possibly pass up a place well known for their banana pudding. 

And this was truly great banana pudding.  CajunKing, if you haven't been here yet, get in the car and start driving now, because this place is worth it.  Just the perfect mixture between fresh banana slices, sweet banana filling and vanilla wafers.  My only complaint was the portion size was immense and the two of us together couldn't finish it.  Of course, it didn't help that we also tried the chocolate eclair pie,

which reminded us more of a pudding.  Soft, super sweet and in a much more manageable portion, this was also a winner. 
 
If you haven't guessed yet, I loved Lupie's Cafe, which was clearly the best meal of the trip.  We saw some burgers and nacho plates go by our table that had us thinking we ordered the wrong things, depite how good our own food was.  I already can't wait to go back.
 
Lupie's Cafe
2718 Monroe Road
Charlotte, NC
704-374-1232
 
Lisa was running out of time before she had to head back home.  After she exchanged some shoes at the mall, I dropped her back off at her car.  It was great to see my friend again!
 
I went back to my hotel to relax for a while.
post edited by buffetbuster - 2009/04/23 11:13:57
#43
ayersian
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Re:Weekend in Charlotte 2009/04/23 11:44:38 (permalink)
buffetbuster
ayersian-
Although I think of the bologna sandwich as a Southern thing, the one at G & R Tavern in Waldo, Ohio is clearly the best I have ever had.

Buffetbuster, I was just telling CajunKing that this is definitely the thickest bologna sandwich I've ever seen.  Clearly, the South (folks, correct me if there is a better place) is a bit deficient in the thickness department when it comes to fried bologna.  Or maybe I just haven't found the right place.  The G&W is a must-stop for us on our summer tour.  Hopefully my photo will be as mouth-watering as yours!    Chris

#44
buffetbuster
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Re:Weekend in Charlotte 2009/04/24 13:30:02 (permalink)
Saturday March 28, 2009 cont.
 
After a high quality nap, I woke up ready to eat.  Imagine that!  So I braved the still pouring rain and drove to Old Hickory House.  Here is the outside of the building

through the rain soaked windshield.  The interior was not very well lit and I didn't get very good photos here.  But the interior is decorated with a western theme and each of the booths had one of these little covered wagons

as a lamp.  Even better, there were some nice piggy signs hanging around including this fun print.

 
The menu offers all kinds of different combos of beef and pork,

but this is North Carolina, so I concentrated on the pork.  I tried to order a chopped pork barbecue sandwich, which comes with two sides plus I would pay for an extra side.  The waitress thought for a minute and suggested the barbecue plate, which comes with three sides.  But then she hesitated and said, "But then you can't make a sandwich".  She thought once again for a second and said, "I'll just bring you an extra bun for free".  All of this was appreciated and my sweetheart of a waitress really took good care of me.
 
Once my food arrived, I immediately started on the thick and soft Texas toast. 

I'm not generally a big bread guy, but I love Texas toast dipped in bbq sauce.  And the partly sweet/partly vinegary bbq sauce they have here is terrific and addictive! 
 
Here are the three sides,

which came in small manageable portions.  I assumed the slaw would be NC barbecue slaw, but it was finely chopped and more mayo/creamy.  Quite good.  The brunswick stew, which had a real tang and with plenty of meat, was even better.  The best side was the wonderful baked beans, in which was loaded with plenty of the bbq sauce and had a strong smoky flavor.  The pork

itself was okay, but nothing special and not nearly as good as the sides.
 
Old Hickory House
6538 N. Tryon Street
Charlotte, NC
704-596-8014
 
I headed back to my hotel to watch some of the NCAA basketball tournament games.
post edited by buffetbuster - 2009/04/24 13:35:54
#45
Nancypalooza
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Re:Weekend in Charlotte 2009/04/24 17:04:56 (permalink)
I'm just catching up--I thought the mac and cheese from Lupie's was the best thing on their menu too, and I didn't try their banana pudding but I won't make that mistake again.  It would pass my dad's test for a slice in every spoonful.  I didn't care for the chili as much but then it was pretty spicy for me.


#46
brentk
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Re:Weekend in Charlotte 2009/04/24 19:03:55 (permalink)
I have never been a big fan of the BBQ at Old Hickory House.  As can clearly be seen in the photos, that ain't North Carolina BBQ.  Looks more like Georgia style to me.
#47
jellybear
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Re:Weekend in Charlotte 2009/05/08 08:30:34 (permalink)
Why do People ruin BBQ by smothering it in sauce?
#48
buffetbuster
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Re:Weekend in Charlotte 2009/11/02 08:59:36 (permalink)
I am trying my best to complete some of the many unfinished trip reports I have lying around.  Hey, this one is only from March!
 
I stayed in my room to watch college basketball, with special interest in the Pitt-Villanova Elite Eight matchup.  Despite a furious late rally to tie it for my Panthers, a Villanova bucket at the buzzer was the game winner.  I was very disappointed, but looking back on it now, nothing was going to stop the Tarheels this year.  They were just too good.
 
Needing something to cheer me up, I decided to go out for a late night meal.  Something open late and close to my hotel was preferrable and I settled on Bar-B-Q King.  Cousin Johnny and I ate here about five years earlier and we weren't particularly impressed. 
 
Bar-B-Q King is strictly a drive-in.  You pull up to one of the slips, check out the menu

and place your order through the speaker.  A few minutes later, the car hop brings your food out.  By the way, this place looks great at night with all the neon.

I got my food and took it back to the hotel.
 
The greasy, crispy, tangled onion rings got a thumbs up.

The pork barbecue sandwich was a revelation!

This is what I had on my previous visit and didn't like, but this was an excellent sandwich.  Extremely moist, tender chopped meat in a nice vinegary red bbq sauce.  Note the slaw on the sandwich, which I always enjoy.
 
Wanting to try lots of different things, I also ordered a 1/2 Fried Shrimp plate.

The french fries were nothing special, but the finely chopped cole slaw was quite good.  The fried shrimp

were big, lightly coated and were delicious.  Who would have guessed you could get such good fried shrimp in Charlotte?  Needless to say, my opinion of Bar-B-Q King has completely changed and I'm so glad I gave it another try.
 
[link=http://www.roadfood.com/Restaurant/Review/139-139/bar-b-q-king]http://www.roadfood.com/R...w/139-139/bar-b-q-king[/link]
 
After eating, I called it a night.
#49
EatingTheRoad
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Re:Weekend in Charlotte 2009/11/02 09:30:32 (permalink)
That neon sign is great. I love the addition of slaw on the pork sandwich. I'm a huge proponent of slaw on most anything...it's kind of like what chili is for others (although I'm becoming more of a chili fan). I like the crunch and bite that the cabbage adds, the textural addition is always nice...chili doesn't have that benefit. Plus then you get your veggie serving taken care of
#50
TJ Jackson
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Re:Weekend in Charlotte 2009/11/02 10:28:09 (permalink)
My favorite three meals in Charlotte have been

1) Coffee Cup

2) Penguin Drive-In (which really isnt a drive-in)

3) Frankies (a somewhat corporate-looking place serving very good americanized italian dishes) which is just south of downtown Charlotte

I should probably give Lupie's and Price's another chance - was not impressed with either

Has anyone been to this rather suspiciously named place?
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/473482
#51
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Re:Weekend in Charlotte 2009/11/02 11:19:15 (permalink)
Sunday March 29, 2009
 
You never know how or when you are going to get a good Roadfood recommendation.  A few years earlier, my cousin Johnny and I were dining at Bridges Barbecue Lodge in Shelby, NC.  The fact that I was taking multiple photos of my pork barbecue tray and sweet tea attracted the attention of the young couple at the booth next to us.  Once they realized that this obviously deranged person with the camera was not a danger to their kids, they started up a conversation with us.  We explained the idea behind Roadfood and they seemed very interested.  They even told us that we absolutely had to go to Tony's Ice Cream in Gastonia.  I filed it away for the next time I was in the area.  Today was that next time.
 
I liked Tony's Ice Cream even before I left on the trip when I saw that not only are they open on Sundays, but they open as early as 10:00AM.  Just a few minutes after ten, I pulled up to find a very crowded parking lot.  Are all of these people here to eat ice cream this early?  If so, I am impressed!  But, as soon as I opened my car door, the smell of sizzling country ham and biscuits was overpowering.  Now, I knew why everyone was here.
 
Tony's is a big brick building, with an attractive curve in the brick work.

Sitting outside is a sign

reminding you they have been in business since 1915!  As soon as I walked, there was a long line of at least 15 people waiting to place their order for hot foods.  Since I had originally come here for the ice cream and there was no line for that, I grabbed a couple of scoops.  Tony's has a large roster of available flavors.  I settled on a scoop of the grape

and one of the peanut butter ripple. 

As you can see, they give you a sheet of wax paper with your ice cream, which is unusual, but it came it handy when it came to dealing with the inevitable spillage.  Since all the seats were taken, I ate it in my car.  The ice cream was on the hard side (which I prefer) and subtley flavored.  Not the best ice cream I've ever had, but still very good.
 
I started the engine to my car, but there was no way I could leave without trying a ham biscuit.  Upon reentering, the line was now mostly gone.  I placed my order at the register and just a feminutes later, my sandwich was passed out through the window into the kitchen.  I grabbed my sandwich and unwrapped it in the car. 

Oh, that wonderful smell!  The biscuit was still very hot and though mostly soft and crumbly, had a crunch in some places.  The country ham was plenty salty, with that rugged chew that makes country ham stand out.  Excellent ham biscuit!  The only complaint was that there could have been more ham on there, but considering it was only a couple of bucks, it was fine.
 
Now I could leave fulfilled!
 
[link=http://www.tonysicecream.com/%3C/a%3E%3C/font%3E%3C/a%3E]http://www.tonysicecream....%3E%3C/font%3E%3C/a%3E[/link]
post edited by buffetbuster - 2009/11/02 11:26:45
#52
sizz
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Re:Weekend in Charlotte 2009/11/02 11:26:19 (permalink)
buffetbuster

I am trying my best to complete some of the many unfinished trip reports I have lying around.  Hey, this one is only from March!
 

 
Bar-B-Q King  
and place your order through the speaker.  A few minutes later, the car hop brings your food out.  By the way, this place looks great at night with all the neon.


I thought that sign looked familiar................... nutin new under the sun....
I
#53
EatingTheRoad
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Re:Weekend in Charlotte 2009/11/02 12:00:21 (permalink)
A few years in the making....impressive. I love Tony's logo, very creative.     
#54
buffetbuster
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Re:Weekend in Charlotte 2009/11/03 11:15:51 (permalink)
Sunday March 29, 2009 cont.
 
It is hard for me to come to this area of the world without a visit to Bridges Barbecue Lodge in Shelby.  The fact that they are one of the few bbq parlors to be open on Sundays also makes this very easy.
 
Lots to like about this place.  First, they have a classic old 1950's style sign out front. 

They also have a pig (not a real one, it probably wouldn't stay up there) on the roof.

Out back, you can see the wood and the chimney.
 
The only thing we were missing is some smoke pouring out.  As do many bbq parlors in the South, Bridges is filled with porcine decorations.  Some are cute, like this case

of delicate figurines.  Others are well, bizarre, like this sign

on the men's bathroom.  Their catering vehicle

is also painted up nicely.
 
When you are seated, you are given a pink slip of paper,

which acts as your menu.  You simply circle what you want and the waitress collects it.  As always in the South, I was drinking sweet tea.  And even if you are dining alone, here you still get a whole pitcher,

which is fine with me.  This is good, strong sweet tea.
 
Since I had come here straight from Tony's Ice Cream, I didn't have my full appetite.  So, I ordered light.

The chopped pork bbq,

which you can see comes with the vinegary barbecue slaw right on the sandwich, is excellent!  And for a bbq parlor, Mama B's cheese pimiento sandwich

was quite good, too.  It was like a super charged grilled cheese.  A large cup of extra bbq sauce comes with the meal, but is almost unnecessary.
 
Service at Bridges has always been exceedingly friendly.  If you can't tell, I am a big fan of this place.
 
http://www.roadfood.com/Restaurant/Review/192-192/bridges-barbecue-lodge
 
By this time, I was very full and needed to do some sightseeing before the next meal.
post edited by buffetbuster - 2009/11/03 16:41:06
#55
Nancypalooza
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Re:Weekend in Charlotte 2009/11/03 11:29:32 (permalink)
I think my friend Michele just went there; there's a brewery nearby?  That pimiento cheese looks scrumptious!
#56
buffetbuster
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Re:Weekend in Charlotte 2009/11/03 11:31:39 (permalink)
Nancy-
Did she like BBL?  More than just about any other bbq parlor I can think of, this place just seems frozen in the 1950's.  And I mean that in a good way.
#57
Captain Morgan
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Re:Weekend in Charlotte 2009/11/03 11:59:17 (permalink)
BBuster,  if you have more pics like these,

GET TO WORK!

This is great stuff.  It's funny when I was studying the pink
menu, I said I'd definately get a pimento cheese sandwich
to go....I love those things.
#58
NC Cheesehead
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  • Total Posts : 158
  • Joined: 2009/09/22 16:00:00
  • Location: Indian Trail, NC
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Re:Weekend in Charlotte 2009/11/03 12:42:36 (permalink)
Nancypalooza

Can I attempt to buy back my credibility with this find?  Yankees in SC need no longer despair of not having their favorite pork byproducts available.  This was taken in the cooler at the Farmers' Shed, Lexington SC: http://www.flickr.com/photos/nancypalooza/3449413859/


Nancy,

I grew up on Braunschweiger Liver Sausage and have been very tempted to try some liver mush.  I loved fried liver sausage sandwiches as a kid.  This transplanted "Yankee" wants to know how similar it is.
#59
Nancypalooza
Filet Mignon
  • Total Posts : 3778
  • Joined: 2004/06/17 14:39:00
  • Location: Columbia, SC
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Re:Weekend in Charlotte 2009/11/03 12:54:35 (permalink)
Cheesehead I can't tell you--I don't really eat any of that stuff, not even the scrapple.  Once Ort. Carlton is all mended up and back on the boards, he's the guy you should talk to.

Cliff I think she really liked it--said the meat was good.  I'm gonna have to go looking through her pictures to jog my memory.  She was on a brewery tour with some other WFM people and they actually took their leave at the brewery early to get to this place before it closed.
#60
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