Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Last chance for Tournament Time!



Update: Post any additions before midnight March 5. Thanks! (And remember, no anonymous posts will be considered.)

The Observer’s annual Tournament of Food approaches, timed as it always is, to conclude during the NCAA basketball championships, April 5-8 this year. This year, our lucky seventh, arrives on the heels of (in order) wings, pizza, fries, burgers, sandwiches and barbecue. So what better to do than appetizers?

We’ll take your recommendations for the best appetizer in the Charlotte area – barring wings (did ’em and don’t want to repeat, even though it is the 50th anniversary of Buffalo wings, we’re told) and fries (did ’em) and nachos (just ... no) – in the comments below (BUT NO ANONYMOUS ONES). The appetizer should be a sharable one, in the spirit of something you might actually eat while watching a tournament together. So ixnay on the foie gras and single-scallop fare, but have at the dips and the fried things and ... well, probably more fried things.

Then we’ll take the top 12 (I get my own four spots) and create a 16-app tournament bracket.

You’ll vote and we’ll taste and finally, a panel will determine a grand winner.

And you saw where I said "no anonymous ones," right? Thanks! Two were posted before I remembered to add that note -- barbecue shrimp at Cajun Queen and e2 wood-oven-roasted oysters -- so if you want those in, someone with a name, please comment.

68 comments:

Kellie K. said...

I have to nominate the BBQ pork hush puppies at The Liberty. They're for sharing, in theory, but I try to eat as many as I can before anyone else gets a chance. Just thinking about them makes me mouth water. Mmmm...

Molly said...

Pork Tacos at Nolan Grill

Poppy (Project Gadabout) said...

The Antojitos Platter at Cantina 1511. The last time I had it, it featured pig wing carnitas. Every time I go in the platter has different options. The variety gets me to try new things. I only wish I wasn't snowed in. Cantina food would be awesome on a day like to day.

MichelleLCrist said...

I know Sullivan's is a chain, but we love their Cheesesteak Egg Rolls! So Yummy!

131's Double Dip is always a winner!

Passion8 Bistro's Calamari Cubano is top notch as well!

Linda said...

Great game watching appetizers:

Cantina 1511 Guacamole and Chips

Brio's Bruschetta

Nolen's Zucchini Chips

Cate said...

yes to wood fired oysters at e2

devils on horseback at peculiar rabbit

poutine at the liberty (but maybe that counts as fries)

SD said...

Fried pickles from Alexander Michael's with a Baby Maker from Triple C!!

ScottCLT said...

Pepper Jack Cheese Sticks at All American Pub. Ridiculously good!

Frazer Dobson said...

Either the crispy quail at Lang Van or the grilled artichoke at 131 Main, both superb starts to a meal.

Helen Schwab said...

Via email to me, so we can keep these all in one place (and people can echo, if they want to have a thing included):

"The shrimp kisses at McCormick and Schmick's are divine and the jalapeno poppers at Midwood Smokehouse are awesome."

and

"Here's an appetizer that's different and should be included in your tournament bracket: the pulled pork empanadas with root beer bbq sauce and sour cream dip at Speakeasy Ale House in downtown Concord. We love them!"

Unknown said...

Deviled Eggs and Sugared bacon at Bricktops in Southpark. All I can say is AMAZING!!!!

Jay F said...

BBQ Shrimp at Cajun Queen

Russ said...

Bonterra's BBQ duck spring rolls and fried lobster tail.

Greg Tart said...

I nominate the Blackened Ahi Tuna Nachos from the COWFISH!!!
They are RIDICULOUSLY DELICIOUS!!!

Anonymous said...
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Russ Penderson said...

Pimento cheese stuffed jalapeno poppers from The Lodge are the best thing in the world.

Kevin Gavagan said...

Do the Hummachos at Letty's count,their not really nachos,but they are delicious.

Central stack at Lulu, not the easiest to share,but my wife and I always manage.

Goat cheese crustini at Intermezzo.

Blasted brussel sprouts at Crepe Cellar.

Fried pickled green tomatoes at Leroy Fox

Pork belly, bone marrow or chicken liver pâté in a jar at block and grinder, really anything at block and grinder.

Margaret said...

Sir Ed's Jerk Chicken Quesadilla (also available as nachos, but you said no nachos...)

Pamela Grundy said...

The sashimi tuna tacos at Soul Gastrolounge.

Jason Tognarina said...

I nominate the "warm Brussel sprouts" salad at Flatiron kitchen + Taphouse in Davidson

Alex Brener said...

Not nachos but the "dirty south nachos" at soul gastro lounge:

Fried chicken skins, pimento cheese fondu, and jalapeño pickled okra.

Laurie A. said...

Guacamole made table-side at Azteca on Woodlawn. Simple, fresh, customizable, delicious!

Hw said...

Fried cheese at moosehead grill. Period.

Elizabeth said...

Thai peanut calamari at Dressler's!

Jack Jones said...

I nominate Bonefish Grill's (yes, yes I know it's a chain) Bang Bang Shrimp; and for those non-crustacean eaters, the Shiracha Chicken. Creamy, spicy sauce, crisp breading. Yum!

Anne said...

Ahi Tuna Nachos at Cow Fish

craigt said...

The corn bread at 131 Main is a meal unto itself, so you better share it.

John Osterberg said...

Bruchetta Brio #1

chips and mango salsa at Maverick Rock Taco #2

Greek salad at Greco Fresh Grille best salad appetizer

Kim said...

The trio of spreads at Ilios Noche

Ric D said...

Move over fried pickles. Fried hot Italian cherry peppers from ANGELA'S. I'm a fan of the whole dang menu but you wont find them on it. This delicious app. is kind of a "secret menu" item. Wayyyy too delicious to keep hush about. Finger food? Check.

And

Move over bang bang Shrimp. Buffalo Shrimp from MCKOY'S. I recommend em fried & Barbalo (BBQ/Buffalo sauce) Warning: big portion, no excuse not to share this app. but a fork is required.

Carol K said...

Duck Confit Cigars at Epic Chophouse, Carol K

Carol Kirk said...

Angry Lobster and Fried Green Tomatoes at Chillfire

Carol Kirk said...

The Mozzarella Grill at Epic Chophouse, yum

Carol Kirk said...

The Stuffed Georgia Hushpuppies at the Mimosa Grill

J. Brown said...

Pesto Brie fries at Crepe Cellar!

Ashley K. said...

Pesto Brie fries at Crepe Cellar

Maggie Jaynes said...

Potstickers at Ni Fens in Shelby, NC

mullnc50 said...

Potstickers at Ni Fen in Shelby, NC

The potstickers are delicious and the dipping sauce is AMAZINGLY delicious...A MUST HAVE!!!

Devon said...

Ni Fen Potstickers in Shelby for sure!!!!!

Mary said...

Ni Fen in Shelby has amazing potstickers!!! I nominate them.

Tiffany Maurycy said...

Tot duo at Fran's Filling Station for sure!

J. Brown said...

For sure, the Crepe Cellar Brussels Sprouts - delicious, healthful, wonderful.

Angela said...

Warm Goat Cheese Dip at Mama Ricotta's. I have been eating this at Mama's for at least twenty years. Love it!

FS Food Group said...

The bacon Wrapped Jalapeños at Midwood Smokehouse are Droolworthy!

Lisa Hill said...

Wood oven roasted oysters at e2 emeril's eatery

Andrew Chapman said...

Crepe Cellar Brussels Sprouts! The best!

Melissa said...

Zucchini fries at Leroy Fox!

Lucygooserton said...

I second the Blasted brussel sprouts at Crepe Cellar. Kinda like popcorn at the movies - if we're sharing, I'd like to know ahead of time so I can order accordingly.

Matt White said...

Mellow Mushroom's Pretzel Bites with Beer Cheese! They're not on the menu but if you ask, they'll make them. We like the Pretzel Bites because they're great for sharing and the Beer Cheese is DELICIOUS!

bluang3lbby said...

Gotta have the crab rangoon dip or the sweet and spicy thai cucumbers from Cowfish.

Close 3rd would be the fried pickles from Bad Daddy's.

Much have items every time I go.

Sterling O. said...

Tot duo at Fran's Filling Station! Consistently amazing.

Bill Reynolds said...

Fran's Filling Station is where the great food and friends are at!!!!!!!!!!!! YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT YOU ARE MISSING OUT ON.......

Tina Hayes said...

My husband and I love Cantina 1511 Sidewalk Antojitos and Pig wings Carnitas. The flavors are amazing! The atmosphere and service at Cantina delightful!

Stacey Robinson said...

The Hummus from Kabab Je Grille and a strong second is Volcano Queso from Paco’s Tacos

Julie Brame said...

Love! Love! the Potstickers in Shelby at Ni Fen!! Super YUM!!! its our go-to anytime of the day :)

Mike said...

Wow! Ni Fen in Shelby has the BEST Potstickers!! :) they r PERFECT everytime!!

Matt P said...

Pulled pork spring rolls at New South Kitchen in the Arboretum

Unknown said...

Blasted Sprouts at Crepe Cellar. I had these years ago for the first time--One of the first to put this awesome vegetable front and center in Charlotte.

eva said...

omg THE BACON WRAPPED TOTS AT FRANS FILLING STATION... AMAZING.. GREAT PLACE TO HANG OUT ..FOOD IS OUT OF THIS WORLD GOOD... SERIOUSLY GO!!!!

Ric D said...

Fried hot cherry peppers @Angela's Italian restaurant are now available on their new menu. So much for a "secret menu item" but I suggest you try. And, Fried Calamari one of the best in Charlotte.

Kelly Arteaga said...

Definatly the bacon wrapped tater tots at Fran's Filling Station! Best thing on a stick you'll ever have. Get the Tot Duo for both the maple glazed regular tots and the Jalepeno bacon sweet potato tots. Sweet potato tots? Yes indeed.

Stevie said...

North Carolina Bison Meatloaf Sliders at Ember Grille at The Westin Charlotte! DELISH!! Chipotle cheddar + truffle ketchup = yum!

Todd said...

Wood Oven Roasted Oysters from E2 - a fave!

Pat R. said...

Fried banana pepper rings at Duckworth's. Crab hushpuppies at Pinky's. Fried pimento cheese balls at Whiskey Warehouse.

Brandon said...

Pretzel at VGBG

Lisa Hill said...

Queso Compuesto at Chuy's
Garlic Parmesan Fun Guys with Beer Cheese and Red Sauce
Bacon wrapped tator tots at Fran's

Mike Daniels said...

Queso Compuesto at Chuy's AMAZING!

Kianne Hilburn said...

Yes, Chuy's Queso Compuesto is THE BEST queso dip in town. It's there regular queso with a scoop of guacamole, ground beef and pico de gallo on top. Yummy gooey goodness!