But I'm betting some readers remember rather a lot of the places that aren't, too, and so I'm sharing some highlights from the book (courtesy of reader Alex Coffin) here. Feel free to comment with your reminiscences, and I'm particularly interested in which ones you love that are still operating.
The 1985 book's dining-out section begins: "Charlotte's restaurants offer food from every continent (Antarctica excepted, of course) for every palate, pocketbook, mood, and time of day."
Well ... Casablanca counted as the sole African representative, with Egyptian mango juice getting special note. Others listed by cuisine were Rheinland Haus, Nakato's, Royal Palace, House of Hunan, Chez Daniel, Raga, Silver Cricket, La Paz, Nickleby's, Riccio's, Mangione's, Papa Gallo's, Giorgio's and La Tache, plus "American" winner The Diamond.
Subcategories included: Cheap all-you-can-eat: Fish Fare. Cajun: A.W. Shucks and Hotel Charlotte. Elegant seafood: The Fishmarket. Oysters: Calabash Cove. Soul food: Coffee Cup and Mildred's. Southern family-style: Laura's Rozzelle House. Cafeterias: McDonald's and Barclay's. Barbecue: Lexington No. 1, Smokey Joe's (both in Lexington) and Rogers and Spoons in Charlotte. Best imported barbecue: Papa Doc's Pig Palace and Old Original. Fish camps: Lineberger's, Mitchell's Fish House, Pat and Mick's Family Fish House (out of town) and Riverview Inn and Hide-A-Way Inn in the Charlotte area. Barbecue and fish camp: Gus Purcell's. Kosher deli: Leo's.
Then there are odder titles : "No-Surprises Steak House": Ranch House, and "Wholesome Fresh Fare": Pewter Rose (its first incarnation, at Spirit Square, not the current South Boulevard one).
"Mood" recommendations included: View: Slug's 30th Edition. Romantic hideaway: The LampLighter. Late-night people-watching: Knife and Fork. Gracious ladies' lunch spot: Eli's on East. Place to hang out with the old guard: The Townhouse. Place to see a newspaper person miss a deadline: D 'n 'P. Place to take a business client to lunch: Barley & Rye. Neighborhood jock hangout: Kenilworth Cafe. Old Charlotte dining spot: The Epicurean. "Far from the Madding Crowd" sanctum: The Chateau. Uptown downtown hangout: Jonathan's Uptown. Place to get cozy: Proposition XLV. Place to pretend you're a hillbilly: Po' Folks. European Cafe: Cafe Society. Songs with your supper: Zarrelli's.
And by-dish suggestions mention pizza at Carlo's, margaritas at Casa Gallardo, grits at San Remo, moussaka at Anderson's, lemonade at Wad's, fries at the Red Blazer. Thankfully, we still have several of those in particular: fried chicken at Price's, cooked vegetables at Gus' Sir Beef, hot dogs at Green's Lunch and onion rings at South 21.
What do you remember best, and which of the ones still around do you patronize?
(And for some terrific old photos, check out this.)