Last weekend Rich and I went to the Charlotte food festival, The Taste of Charlotte. We’ve gone almost every year since moving to here in 2007. It’s a great way to try out local eateries without dropping a lot of cash. I have to say my favorite food to try is always the BBQ and the bakeries. Charlotte has so much great BBQ and every year I like to try a few brand new restaurants. My favorites from last year were Mac’s Speed Shop and Amelies French Bakery, two of Charlott’es most delicious destinations, so I was really looking forward to see what tasted great this year!
Food is in order of how it was eaten not how great it was.
1. Garland Jack’s Secret 6 BBQ Sauce
Even though this BBQ sauce is sold in grocery stores it is actually one of the best sauces I’ve had. It’s sweet and rich with a wonderful molasses undertone and comes in six different varieties. We both tried different flavors and they tasted great!
2. Polka Dot Bakery
The Polka Dot Bakery was my favorite shop of the day! Their portion size was perfect, the cupcakes left you feeling full, but without a crazy sugar high. We started out with the Red Velvet cupcake. It’s light and fluffy with just the right amount of richness. I really liked that they weren’t dyed to brightly and that the flavor was what stood out. Then we moved on to the amazing and I really do mean amazing strawberry cupcake. The strawberry icing tasted like a freshly picked strawberry with a wonderful rich smooth consistency. The cupcake was studded with real bits of strawberry and had a wonderful light flavor. These are definitely my new go to cupcakes!!!!
3. Hickory Tavern
You could smell the Hickory Tavern Sliders all the way down the street. The meat had a wonderful spice blend mixed into it, and I loved the simple use of fresh sliced onions, ketchup, and mustard on burgers served a perfect medium rare!
4. Carolina Ale House
We decided to try the wings from the Carolina Ale House after seeing another couple munching on them; they just looked so good, and they were not a disappointment. The outside of the wings were spiced with herbs, not with heat, but rich wonderful flavor, and the creamy dipping sauce made for a wonderful accompaniment. The wings were extremely juicy and defiantly warranted the included wet wipes. Rich loved the Go Get Messy logo and made sure I got it in the picture.
5. Artisan Munchies
Artisan Munchies have been a long time favorite of mine. The have sugared cashews, and pecans, but my favorite is always the hot almonds covered in warm brown sugar, they melt in your mouth and are absolutely addictive. I ate the entire paper cone in about 20 minutes!
Sauceman’s chopped pork was wonderful, it was flavorful and rich and the accompanying coleslaw was creamy and light with the slightest bite. They specialize in authentic Queen City BBQ that is smoked for hours over a mix of hickory and oak wood to create an amazingly rich flavor in their pork. I can’t wait to check out their restaurant in Historic Southend.