In honor of FRIDAY (hallelujah!), here are three flash reviews of restaurants I’ve dined at this month:
MERT’S HEART AND SOUL: Serving southern soul, low county, and Gullah-inspired dishes, Mert’s has been a common stop for visitors in Charlotte for over ten years. When I hear “Mert’s,” I instantly think of their amazing cornbread: sweet, cakey loaves that arrive at the table hot from the oven with a side of softened butter. Inside the restaurant, the quirky southern soul decor creates a fun environment, and it is a perfect reflection of the food. Some of my favorite dishes at Mert’s are the mac and cheese and the Carolina chopped barbecue pork sandwich, which comes on a hearty potato roll. The banana pudding is infamous, and believe me it lives up to the hype. Don’t forget to save room for cake!
EDDIE’S PLACE: Opened in 1997, Eddie’s restaurant serves both American cuisine and New Orleans style cajun entrees, including muffaletas, po-boys, gumbo, red beans and rice, and their famous she crab soup. In addition to the full bar and lunch and dinner service, Eddie’s offers all-day breakfast. The breakfast menu includes standard morning fair plus a build-your-own three egg omelet. It’s a flat $8.95 for as many toppings as your heart desires. Get the eggs, get the potatoes, but don’t miss ciabatta french toast–it comes lightly toasted, chewy, and dusted with powdered sugar.
BAJA SOUL TAQUERIA: Three words: MEXICAN STREET CORN. Baja Soul is a small, unassuming restaurant on the backside of Birkdale Village in Huntersville. The menu is relatively small (when compared to other Mexican restaurants) and focuses primarily on the tacos. Taco options include beer battered shrimp, carne asada, adobo roasted pork, mahi mahi, tuna, and my two personal favorites: the yucatan shrimp and gringo chicken. Do not pass up the Mexican street corn–it’s served with cilantro aioli and a slathering of queso fresco.