Weekend Foodie Warriors- Take 12!
Hello hello, again, Foodie Friends 🙂 Hope you had a fantastic Memorial Day weekend! In this edition of Foodie Adventures, I’ll be taking you on a tour of my favorite haunts from my college days at UNC Charlotte after a recent trip back to the Queen City on Saturday! 👑
My favorite pizza place near campus was absolutely Toppers. They were open until 2-3 AM, satisfying the late night pizza craving, and the best part was you could put up to 9 toppings on one pizza, including different cheeses and sauces. Sometimes they even had unlimited topping nights 😍
They only used Wisconsin cheeses and higher quality meats, and their thin crust pizza is definitely one to beat. You don’t usually think of pizza as needing dipping sauces either, however, they had amazing sauces to go with their pizzas (so all you Papa John’s garlic butter lovers- listen up). This was our favorite spot, and especially for me being lactose intolerant, they would put light cheese on my pizza and I was always very happy. I haven’t been back to UNCC in 2 years, so this trip was amazing for me and the pictures don’t do the pizza justice.
Picture #1: Our lunchtime spread, BBQ wings included. Picture #2: My pie with nine toppings- Mozzarella (Light), Cheddar (Light), Asiago (Light), Roasted Garlic, Peppers, Mushrooms, Spinach, Thick Sliced Bacon & Pepperoni. Picture #3: Buffalo Mac and Cheese Pizza. Yes, you read that right. Picture #4: BBQ Boneless Wings.
Le Kebab Grill
This is one of the best Mediterranean restaurants in the University City area. I’ve grown up loving this region’s food ever since my parents introduced it to me as a young child. Syrian, Lebanese, Turkey, and Greece are just some of the countries in the area, to name a few.
This place has been in the university area for at least the last four years and it’s an awesome staple when you want some really fresh, yummy food. Pictured below are their Hummus (chickpeas, tahini, garlic, lemon, olive oil), Tabbouleh salad (cracked wheat, parsley, tomato, onion, lemon, olive oil), and Pita bread, all handmade in house or locally sourced. I brought back 32 oz. of each for my family and saying we dove right into it is an understatement…I’d be surprised if there’s any left tonight 😂
Definitely a must visit if you’re in the area!
Going to college and meeting so many people with different tastes and cultures was an amazing experience for a foodie like me. I remember my junior year of college, my one girlfriend invited me to this restaurant to try it out and I was hooked!
Pho (pronounced “fuh”) is a staple in Vietnam and is a savory beef broth based soup with rice noodles, veggies, and fresh herbs. A mixture of charred onions, star anise, ginger, and cloves combine with other spices to enhance the flavor of this delicious and hearty soup. All versions are topped with sliced onions and cilantro!
The picture above is a bowl of Pho, with rare eye-round steak, well-done flank steak, meatballs, tripe (very typical ingredient [cow stomach], however, I subbed this out with chicken), and beef tendon.
Pho is only one of the three soup dishes they make here. Hu Tieu (pronounced “hoo-tyoo”) is another signature dish of Vietnam. It’s a noodle soup made from a pork, chicken, and seafood based stock. There are many meats and noodles to choose from, which all get topped with sliced & fried onions and cilantro.
Hu Tieu- combo includes sliced chicken, calamari, shrimp, BBQ pork, crab, fish balls, and ground pork.
If you like ramen, I highly recommend you check this place out. The bowls are huge and the food is so comforting, like a hug from a loved one ❤
Cabo Fish Taco
NoDa, Charlotte, NC
Two things this place is famous for – its tacos, and its margaritas. Guy Fieri, the man himself, even raved about the taco I ate, The BBQ Mahi Mahi Taco, so check out his video and hang tight for that picture below!
I get a lot of the restaurants I check out from Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives, so being able to go somewhere that was Food Network tested, tried, and approved was super exciting to me when I first visited! I’ve taken visiting friends, family, and told strangers about this place ever since, and the quality and imagination behind their specialty and daily tacos has yet to diminish.
Picture left: Homemade corn salsa with the house Queen City Margarita – El Jimador Silver tequila, blood orange purée, triple Sec, and their house mix with a splash of Sprite. Picture right: BBQ Mahi Mahi Tacos (“Grilled Mango BBQ Mahi-Mahi with Mexi slaw, tomato, guacamole & mixed cheese, finished with our Cilantro White Sauce”), Tavarua [pronounced ta-va-roo] Tuna Tacos (“Blackened lemon rubbed Ahi tuna in a Kiwi-Pineapple Fajita Sauce, stuffed with fresh greens, tomato, guacamole & mixed cheese, topped with our Honey Wasabi Sauce”), and Avocado Pasta Salad (a ridiculous combination of spicy guac, pico de gallo, cilantro, and cold pasta), rounded out my plate.
This is by far the best taco place in Charlotte that I’ve eaten at and have honestly judged all the other taco places I’ve been to based on Cabo’s caliber and quality. Best variety of fish tacos you can get outside of Cali! MUST visit for anyone driving through or living near the Queen City.
*BONUS* Amelie’s French Bakery & Cafe
NoDa, Charlotte, NC
No trip to NoDa would be complete without a stop for dessert at our local 24/7 French Bakery, Amelie’s, located a few streets down from Cabo Fish Taco. The quirky French inspired decor is a delight for the eyes as much as the food is for the stomach. Their cafe drinks are great too, with a local coffee and tea selection to pair with your pastry or dessert of choice.
Their Almond twice-baked croissants and Raspberry Rhubarb danishes are super flaky and moist, and the Chocolate Mousse Shots are a must try for any die-hard chocolate fan. They’re famous for their multitude of macaroons – Strawberry Chiffon, Cookie Dough, and Lavender Lemon are just a few of the many seasonal flavored versions that greet you as you walk in the door – along with Marie Antoinette on the ceiling, of course!
Whether it be 10 am or 2 am, this is a must try place if you’re in the area 🙂
How was your weekend Foodie Friends? What’s your favorite restaurants or haunts from your college town? Sound out in the comments below or let me know your suggestions of where I should try next. As always, feel free to like, comment, and share 🤗