DNC attendees looking to take a bite out of Charlotte can sample the city’s signature eats
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (August 20, 2012) – DNC attendees hungry for some local flavor should sample some of Charlotte’s most prized dishes when the event heads to town September 3 - 6. It’s these sophisticated Southern eats that are putting the destination on the foodie map. The city’s had help from culinary institution Johnson & Wales University, which moved here in 2004. Now more than 60% of its graduates are staying in Charlotte enhancing the culinary scene. Add renowned chefs like Jim Noble and inspired flavors in its food and spirits and DNC visitors will want to savor every last bite.
− With the DNC closing in, Chef Cassie Parsons of Harvest Moon Grille realized the city was lacking a signature dish they could lay claim to. After all, where would Charleston be without shrimp n’ grits or Philadephia without a cheese steak? The bistro challenged Charlotteans to concoct the winning recipe that best represented the flavor of the city. The winner? The Belly Bun Sandwich, where the belly meets the bun. A pork belly sandwich served on a corn cheddar biscuit.
− After opening its doors 24/7 in the spring of 2008, Amelie’s French Bakery has a loyal following. But nothing has quite captured the hearts of its fans like the salted caramel brownie, which The Pioneer Woman, blogger and Food Network chef, emphatically renamed “Stick a Fork in Me. I’m Done.” Other Amelie’s treats were even spotted in the train car scene of The Hunger Games, which was filmed in and around Charlotte.
− Any “best sandwich in the city” accolade obviously sparks a taste test to see if it lives up to the hype. The Growlers Pourhouse Reuben in NoDa delivers with unconventional ingredients like sauerkraut doctored in-house with rehydrated juniper berries and housemade dressing made with Sriracha. The “best sandwich” honor bestowed by The Charlotte Observer claims “it ups the ante on each ingredient, leaning to lushness at every opportunity.”
− North Carolina boasts more craft breweries than any other state in the American South. Charlotte’s hops are among the top with seven breweries in operation. Among the favorites are Birdsong Brewing’s Jalapeno Pale Ale and Olde Mecklenburg Brewery’s Captain Jack Pilsner, named for local hero Captain James Jack, who carried the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence on a dangerous journey to the Continental Congress.
− Founded in 1977, Bojangles’ Chicken n’ Biscuits is a Queen City institution famous for its “Cajun” spicy fried chicken, made-from-scratch buttermilk biscuits and Southern sweet tea. DNC visitors on-the-go can choose from dozens of Charlotte locations for a speedy yet satisfying Southern meal.
− Chef Jim Noble’s King’s Kitchen is more than a popular restaurant in Center City where you’ll find Charlotte’s who’s who sitting down to a traditional “meat and three.” Its mission employs those in the community usually considered unemployable; people out of prison or rehab or young people at high risk of dropping out of school. Through the restaurant, they’re armed with life skills and job training. And they serve up a mean helping of favorite Aunt Beau’s Pan-Fried Chicken.
− Attached to the Mint Museum Uptown, Halcyon makes mouths water with seasonal, “farmhouse-chic” dishes. But in addition to the food, their cocktails are turning heads because of resident Mixologist Maggie Ruppert’s inventive libations. Take the Wine n’ Shine for instance, which blends locally made Cheerwine soft drink with bourbon-soaked cherries, NC moonshine, apple brandy from nearby Asheville and orange bitters. As for other unexpected cocktail ingredients, look for housemade bread and butter pickles, ham hock stuffed olives or locally made muscadine wine to show up in your glass.
− Price’s Chicken Coop never ceases to dazzle food fans with its addictive fried chicken. It’s awed the Food Network, Travel Channel, Bon Appetit, Gourmet and Esquire over the years. Lenny Kravitz even says, “That’s my joint.” But the South End establishment stays true to its 1960s roots (cash and carry-out only), which remains part of the draw. Expect a line out the door when visiting.
− Michelle Obama said it herself, North Carolina has “great barbecue.” Must-haves for delegates include biker bar Mac’s Speed Shop in South End, known for its award-winning beef brisket. Close to the convention district in Center City, look for options like City Smoke’s low and slow-cooked pork, ribs and brisket or Queen City Q’s blend of Eastern and Western NC barbecue styles.
Looking to learn more? Log on to www.charlottesgotalot.com for more visitor ideas on ways to explore Charlotte beyond the DNC’s events.
About the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority
The Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority (CRVA) works to ensure the visitors and events that choose Charlotte have a positive experience. Our responsibilities include destination marketing through Visit Charlotte and management of Charlotte’s public assembly facilities, which include the Charlotte Convention Center, Time Warner Cable Arena, Bojangles’ Coliseum, Ovens Auditorium and the NASCAR Hall of Fame. CRVA’s mission seeks to leverage its hospitality marketing and management expertise to maximize the impact of the Charlotte region’s economy, creating opportunities and jobs for the community.