I have a few food obsessions. Yes, besides my well-documented love of barbecue, there are some foods I simply cannot go without ordering. Burrata. Scallops. Caramelized onion anything. Housemade bread. Bread pudding. Bread. We all have our trigger foods. How cool would it be to get an automatic alert any time one of the foods you’re craving was offered by a restaurant? Blackberry cobbler, softshell crab, meatloaf. Whatever! That would cut out, like, hours of food research a week. Am I right? That’s why I’m super excited about a new concept in Charlotte called Viddlz Alertz. It’s an online tool that lets you manage your cravings by alerting you when your particular food obession is offered in the area. Plus, the Alertz system displays daily drink and food specials from restaurants and bars you follow (you can also get daily email updates with this info), and the Viddlz app is expected to be rolled out later this month.
Currently, there are 12 restaurants on the site, one of which is J. Sam’s, a newish wine bar in South Park with a great patio and rotating selection of wine, small plates, and desserts. While the small plates menu is itself quite small, the prices are on the high end, a premium that most folks seem willing to pay given J. Sam’s places a high priority on local sourcing. One nice feature: the small plates menu includes a suggested wine pairing for each offering. On my visit, I enjoyed the jumbo seared scallop (pictured above) and the banh mi shrimp spring rolls with caramel shrimp, pickled daikon, and carrot slaw (below) plus a nice glass of Malbec on their awesome patio overlooking the round at Piedmont Town Center–the perfect spot to relax and enjoy the live music of Alive After Five on Friday nights.