Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Welcome to the first dining blog!

Bookmark this spot right now, since I aim to get you news on deals, openings, special stuff and more twice weekly -- and maybe more often. This will be your go-to spot for the latest in Charlotte-area dining, plus observations on new spots and answers to questions. Share your news, thoughts and tips, too.

Some ground rules on comments: Besides the usual (keep it clean, keep it civil, keep it witty whenever possible), please note that this is NOT the place to log complaints about particular restaurants. Tell me about those via e-mail -- -- but this blog focuses on news, and that's how we'll keep it. You can also post questions here, or send them, and/or comments to my e-mail address if you'd prefer that. I'll post replies if they're of general interest. (We're deactivating the Q&A column to consolidate things here.)

Now, on to news…

Nickel & Dine

Deals to check out:

* All month, Nonna's Kitchen (828 E. Morehead St.) gives you a 20 percent discount on sandwiches or salads based on your line of work: Wednesdays, folks in the entertainment and healthcare fields get the deal. Other days: Mondays: real estate and mortgage folks; Tuesdays: lawyers; Thursdays: contractors; Fridays: civil servants; Saturdays: educators. Bring some proof. 704-333-4499.
* Tuesday, April 21, is a red-letter day for dealmongers: It's annual Free Cone Day at all Ben & Jerry's (noon to 8 p.m.), plus it's the first of monthly four-course international nights for $20 at Foskoskies (2121-A Shamrock Drive; 704-535-2220).
New flavors at Ben & Jerry's include Chocolate Macadamia and Oatmeal Cookie Chunk, and the Davidson location will be donating its tips to North Mecklenburg Animal Rescue, which will be on hand with information (and if you'd like to donate to that cause, you can bring blankets, dog crates, strong toys and medicines such as flea preventatives).
Foskoskies will be offering a Greek Easter meal, with choices that include dolmades (stuffed grape leaves), leg of lamb with citrus-basil marinade, grilled chicken, baklava and date-walnut pie with ginger ice cream. The traditional red boiled eggs and skordalia will be shared at tables, too. Wondering about the eggs? Check out this.
* The Palm (Phillips Place; 704-552-7256) offers a three-course $19 business lunch and a $39 dinner that includes entree choices of 14-ounce filet, 9-ounce filet topped with crab or halibut. The dinner offer runs through May, and you need to print the coupon.
* Wolfgang Puck Carolina Bistro (5349 Ballantyne Commons Parkway; 704-708-5802) now has "family nights" every Monday and Tuesday, when a family-style Caesar salad and any two pizzas or pastas from the menu goes for $20. (Also discounted: all wines go for half-price on Wednesdays.)

Jazz and Gardens and Baseball

Now available:
* Uno Chicago Grill (401 S. Tryon St.; 704-373-0085) celebrates a "New Orleans Jazz Festival of Flavors" today through June 7 with decorations, special music and food specials, including a shrimp po' boy, Cajun blackened mahi mahi and, yes, a jambalaya deep dish pizza.
* McNinch House (511 N. Church St.; 704-332-6159) has opened its garden wine bar for the season, serving wines, mixed drinks and nonalcoholic beverages; no reservations are needed, and the dress code is casual. The bar is open Tuesday-Saturday beginning at 5 p.m.
* Go to a Monday night Charlotte Knights home game this season and you can bank on getting a full plate: The park now serves an all-you-can-eat buffet of hot dogs, popcorn, peanuts, nachos and sodas for $19 (that includes your ticket) for adults, $14 for those 3-12. 704-357-8071;

Online tip of the week

Not a dining tip, but a fabulously useful one for all your less-Web-adept friends -- you know, the ones who ask you how to find, say, Helen Schwab's restaurant coverage. Block-save the following and paste it into your address window (for technical reasons, I can't just make you a live link):

Cool, huh? Go to to do one for yourself.

Your turn

A reader seeks the healthiest meals in uptown Charlotte. Got a suggestion? I'd like to put together a list. Comment here, or e-mail me, and I'll cobble together some good news for lunchtimers.


Anonymous said...

Thanks Helen! I never find out about the Ben & Jerry's free cone day in time to do it, but now I have enough time to PLAN! YUMMMMM!

Anonymous said...

Great stuff... but the link to the Palm coupon doesn't work.

Helen Schwab said...

Lax, I fixed it now. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Here is a tip for my favorite.I print out their lunch coupon and it's BOGO FREE right now.I have also done this for dinner,which they are offering ten dollars off two dinners.It's a bargin and it's delecious.