Saturday, November 28, 2015

Excited about Eating by Ernie Hiers

This edition of Excited about Eating takes us to The Libertyadvertised as “Charlotte’s First Gastropub” in the South End of Charlotte. The Liberty's interior is well lit and modern, and their food elevates pub fare to another level.

This is only half the restaurant space.
Dora here. The interior was nice and roomy, but check out their patio. Beautiful! Too bad it was a bit chilly to sit outside.
As a starter, we ordered the house-made pretzels with beer cheese and mustard. These pretzels were great, served warm and buttery with just the right amount of salt. They were soft on the inside and paired well with the beer cheese dipping sauce. Our only regret was we didn’t order the larger size.

Dora here. Yeah! We brought Little Man. Why didn't we order the tower? Good thing you can't see the mangled pretzel on the bottom. We dug right in, so excited we forgot to snap a picture! lol. These pretzels were perfect, so soft and fresh. Forget the mustard. Dive right into that cheese. Yummo!

I ordered the Painted Hill’s Natural Crunch Burger. Pimento cheese, smoked bacon, lettuce, tomato, and house-made chips stacked high. This burger was huge and so juicy I had to wipe my face after every bite. The combination of the pimento cheese and bacon worked great together and the added crunch from the chips added a unique feature to this burger.
Painted Hill’s Natural Crunch Burger
Dora here. The Irish Hills Black Angus Pub Burger was heaped with three or four thick slices of meaty bacon, cheese, caramelized onions, herb aioli, lettuce and tomato. Humongous! The aioli and the soft bun makes this burger sing, one of the best burgers I've ever tasted! And the chips? Ohhhhh! Consistently firm, not greasy at all, and seasoned just right. 
Irish Hills Black Angus Pub Burger
The Liberty is kid-friendly, if a tad pricey. The cheese spilled over on the grilled ciabatta, a huge portion (sorry I didn't get a pic!), and hubby stole gobs of fries off Little Man's plate. You definitely get your money's worth on a child's plate, and probably some food to take, share.

Parking may be an issue since The Liberty shares a lot with Tupelo Honey Cafe, also a hopping place. (See our review of Tupelo here) But on street parking behind the CATS station (just beyond the parking lot) is FREE on Saturday and Sunday. Trust me on this. After you eat, you'll be glad for the walk. :)

We rate this restaurant 5 forks out of 5 for a family friendly restaurant serving outstanding food.

The Liberty Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Excited about Eating by Ernie Hiers

This week’s Exciting about Eating journeys to the Peculiar Rabbit, a farm-to-fork gastropub in the Plaza Midwood neighborhood of Charlotte.
This neighborhood pub attempts to make everyone feel at home with their comfortable interior and friendly service.
Dora here. Oops. Forgot to snap a picture of that comfortable, inviting interior. I was so impressed with all the beautiful exterior seating.

While we waited for our appetizer, the server dropped off complimentary scones. Fresh out of the oven hot, the coconut pineapple pecan scones melted in my mouth although I couldn’t really taste the pineapple.
Complimentary scones
Dora here. I’d go back just for the scones! Soft, light and delicious!

The Mexican Street Corn Fritters may be some of the best I’ve ever eaten! Roasted corn on the inside, good texture and golden brown on the outside. The honey-lime cilantro aioli paired perfectly with the fritters.
Mexican Street Corn Fritters
Dora here. Such a wonderful blend of textures with the crisp outside and soft inside, and loaded with corn. Loved, loved, loved the lime aioli. 
Mexican Street Corn Fritters, loaded with corn

The Chicken and Waffles dish was huge! Chicken battered in 12 Herbs and Spices, malted milk waffles, Vermont maple syrup and two soft scrambled eggs. The eggs and waffle took a back seat to the fried chicken. Crispy, tender and moist. Outstanding!
Chicken & Waffles
Dora here. I visited Peculiar Rabbit with a dear friend a few weeks ago, and I enjoyed it so much, I was anxious to bring Ernie back. The last time, I sampled the PR Burger. Awesome, btw, but this time I ordered the Chicken Biscuit. A giant cheddar biscuit with fried chicken breast, American cheese, hot sauce and mayo served with crispy breakfast potatoes. Yum! A tad spicy, which I like, but I preferred to eat the chicken and biscuit separately. The breakfast potatoes were tasty with the perfect amount of seasoning. I wanted to cry that I had to leave some on my plate. Maybe the next time we'll check out that rooftop deck. :) 
Chicken Biscuit

We rate this restaurant 5 forks out of 5 for a family friendly restaurant serving outstanding food.

What about you? Given a choice, do you prefer to sit inside or out?

The Peculiar Rabbit Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Excited about Eating by Ernie Hiers

This edition of Excited about Eating takes us to Pelican CafĂ© Restaurant, situated in a garden of palm trees and flowers in the heart of Fira, Greece. 

Since we were visiting Greece, I wanted to taste an authentic Greek salad. Let me just say, it was great! Piled high with tomatoes, cucumbers, green peppers, olives, capers and onions, all of the ingredients were fresh with just the right amount of dressing. An unbelievable sized block of feta cheese topped the salad, at least an inch thick and almost as large as the bowl. An interesting variation from the American version was the lack of lettuce. 
Greek Salad
Dora here. I’m not a fan of Greek salads, so I went with the “Kipos” salad. More my style with lettuce, corn, grilled chicken and figs doused with a citrus and honey vinaigrette. Delish, and another huge portion!

Not knowing the gigantic portion sizes, we also shared a sandwich, ham and Naxo’s cheese on a white baguette. Just as tasty and plentiful as the salads, but the highlight was the fresh baguette, firmer on the outside and perfectly soft on the inside. I could have made a whole meal just off the bread. 

Dora here. What a beautiful, serene spot to linger over a cup of coffee or catch a leisurely meal. If you visit, make sure to include a stop here. Just give yourself a few minutes before you hop on those cable cars down to the beach. :)

Um, yeah. :)

We rate this restaurant 5 forks out of 5 for a family friendly restaurant serving outstanding food.


During our visit to Ephesus, Turkey, our cruise excursion included an authentic Biblical meal at Cittantica Ephesus Park

Dora here. How fun! Not quite authentic. No feet washing and they provided utensils. Phew! :)

Appetizers included Jacob’s beans (pickled green beans), a block of goat cheese, a garbanzo bean paste (hummus), chive yogurt and leeks. The beans, cheese and yogurt were great. I wasn’t a fan of the paste or leeks. 

The main courses consisted of lamb stew and grilled fish. Now these two choices were outstanding. Never having lamb stew I was a little apprehensive, but to my surprise, it was great. The lamb and veggies were tender, the fish large and chunky, and both tasty and full of flavor.

Dora here. I tend to be a picky eater and a few years ago, I probably wouldn’t have touched anything. But I devoured almost everything and enjoyed the whole experience. It pays to be more adventurous in your eating habits. :)

If this food was served at a restaurant, we would rate it 5 forks.

Where is the most adventurous place you've eaten?

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Excited about Eating by Ernie Hiers

This edition of Excited about Eating takes us to Hickory Tavern in the Northlake Mall area of Charlotte. This sports bar chain restaurant offers a wide variety of menu items from chicken wings to crab legs and steak, although they streamlined their menu since our last visit.
Dora here. Hickory Tavern is one of those go-to comfort restaurants for me. You know what I'm talking about, right? When you're tired, don't really know what you want to eat or you just don't want to cook, Hickory Tavern offers an eclectic variety of choices for the whole family. And with all the big screens located on every wall, you can almost kick your shoes off and just relax. Almost. lol.

As you can see, we're early eaters. Anybody else staring at the clock, ready to eat by eleven thirtyish? No? Okay, that's why we beat the rush. :)
Inside-ample seating around 11:30 on a Saturday, but it gets crowded
The Shrimp Po’ Boy features breaded fried shrimp, lettuce, tomato, pickle, cajun remoulade served on a toasted hoagie roll with a side of my favorite tater tots. I don't often order a Po’ Boy sandwich but after enjoying this one, it might just be back on my items to order more frequently. The shrimp was cooked perfectly, but the Cajun remoulade is what pulled this entire sandwich together.
Shrimp Po' Boy
Dora here. Not sure why hubby's short on words today. Hmmm. Anyway, the Chicken California Sandwich minus the mushrooms and avocado was moist and juicy and tender, and the bun soft and fresh. Delicious!
Chicken California Sandwich
Reminded me why I like this place so much, and I admonished hubby that we need to come back more often. It's just a bit of a drive to make it a regular place. The food seemed to take awhile, but so long as the iced tea kept flowing, not a problem. :)

We would rate this restaurant 4 forks out of 5 for a family friendly restaurant serving great food.

What's your go-to comfort restaurant? What makes it that way?

Dora here. We'll be taking a short review break. Be back on Saturday, Nov 7th. Enjoy the next couple of weeks!

Hickory Tavern Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
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