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I tried out the Jamaican takeout place that just opened on The Plaza. Unfortunately, I can't remember the name--something with the word "Spice", I think--but it's in between NoDa and Plaza-Midwood, just south of Matheson, and it's brightly colored. Anyway, I enjoyed it, but then I always enjoy Jamaican food. The mac & cheese was spicy and delicious, as was the jerk chicken. And I now have two Jamaican restaurants within walking distance of my house, plus two more within a ten-minute drive. Life has been good to me.

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I tried out the Jamaican takeout place that just opened on The Plaza. Unfortunately, I can't remember the name--something with the word "Spice", I think--but it's in between NoDa and Plaza-Midwood, just south of Matheson, and it's brightly colored. Anyway, I enjoyed it, but then I always enjoy Jamaican food. The mac & cheese was spicy and delicious, as was the jerk chicken. And I now have two Jamaican restaurants within walking distance of my house, plus two more within a ten-minute drive. Life has been good to me.

that is one ORANGE building. the name of the place is "sweet spice" and it's where "teddy's pizza" used to be. i haven't eat there yet... but i hope to soon.

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I also heard bad things about Jaimama. The woman I talked to said she was confused on exactly what kind of cuisne it was supposed to be...was it Caribbean or was it "coastal" (whatever that means)?

I've eaten at Jaimama a couple of times, but the reason(s) are simple -- it was across the street from my street, and it had a great patio. The food was average at best. The patio gets a ++

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Many people think Cheesecake Factory is great and P.F. Changs is real chinese...

Welcome to Charlotte. I presume most of those same people also think Ballantyne is utopia...

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Another great restaurant that isn't new (I think they have been there for 2 or 3 years) but is pretty unknown is Kabab House in the Harris Teeter complex off East Blvd. It is owned by a couple guys from Kuwait and I think someone from Lebannon. I've never had anything from there that wasn't GREAT. Very unassuming place, reasonably priced, great sides, very friendly folks.

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Another great restaurant that isn't new (I think they have been there for 2 or 3 years) but is pretty unknown is Kabab House in the Harris Teeter complex off East Blvd. It is owned by a couple guys from Kuwait and I think someone from Lebannon. I've never had anything from there that wasn't GREAT. Very unassuming place, reasonably priced, great sides, very friendly folks.

Excellent call. Great food and inexpensive.

And now, for something completely different...try Big Ben on Providence Road in Myers Park. The service can be hit-or-miss, but the traditional English breakfast (served with tomato, mushrooms and English bacon and bangers) is awesome and the fish-and-chips dinner is the bomb. So are their desserts. The food is better than most I've even had in the UK (okay, not exactly a high bar to eclipse) :P

The interior gets an A+. The decor is as if you walked into an authentic London bar just off of Oxford Street.

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Just ate at a new restuarant called Taiyo on University City Blvd. next to RJ Gators. I really like this place. It had a very large selection of Sushi. It specializes in Pacific Rim Asian cusine. They had alot of different asian influenced dishes, and some traditional dishes. Ranging from Singapore,Vietnamese, Korean,Thai, Japanese and Chinese. This place reminded me of Cusine Malaysia in Elizabeth area.

Also if you like Vietnamese food and area every in the University area try Pho Real in the Promenade Phase II. Very good quality of food, on par with Van Lang in my opinion.

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Excellent call. Great food and inexpensive.

And now, for something completely different...try Big Ben on Providence Road in Myers Park. The service can be hit-or-miss, but the traditional English breakfast (served with tomato, mushrooms and English bacon and bangers) is awesome and the fish-and-chips dinner is the bomb. So are their desserts. The food is better than most I've even had in the UK (okay, not exactly a high bar to eclipse) :P

The interior gets an A+. The decor is as if you walked into an authentic London bar just off of Oxford Street.

Thanks for that synopsis, SmellyCat. I drove past there a month or so ago and realized that the sign had changed from The Meeting House. I wonder what happened there. Anyway, I will have to check that place out. Question for you though: Is it a vegetarian friendly menu? In that, I mean does it have at least one or two meatless options? Surprisingly, nearly all the pubs and restaurants I've ever been to in the UK have veg options. Most are even so nice as to denote the veg dishes with a little symbol on the menu even.

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I went to Brio yesterday for lunch in the Piedmont Town Center and it was really nice and really good. Made me want to buy one of the condos and live there.

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Thanks for that synopsis, SmellyCat. I drove past there a month or so ago and realized that the sign had changed from The Meeting House. I wonder what happened there. Anyway, I will have to check that place out. Question for you though: Is it a vegetarian friendly menu? In that, I mean does it have at least one or two meatless options? Surprisingly, nearly all the pubs and restaurants I've ever been to in the UK have veg options. Most are even so nice as to denote the veg dishes with a little symbol on the menu even.

I think the only non-meat things on the menu are the salads, and even those are optioned with chicken/steak... the menu is rather limited and very campy-sounding, but the food was good overall, and they have Trummer Pils on tap, which makes everything better.

Other new restaurants: Beantown Tavern out in downtown Matthews by the library - yes, it's waaay out there, but it's in the walkable 4 blocks of Matthews, and the food is very good - esp. the crab cakes imo.

Edited by nmcheese

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The Common Market in Plaza Midwood is opening a wine bar called Swig tomorrow night. So besides having great sandwiches, incredible beer selection, now they'll have a wine bar in the same location.

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I ate at Belle's BBQ last night. The food was good -- the sauces are definitely what made the food. I loved both the spicy vinegar and mustard-based sauces. The hush-puppies tasted like they had been sitting around for a while, though.

The atmosphere, however, was just not condusive to eating. It is still feels like a night club, not a BBQ joint. Belle's is open to the top floor and the bottom floor of Menage, and not all that much was done to the interior to set it apart from Menage. It's like a night club and a BBQ joint combined -- the concept reminds me of those "2-in-1 Video Rental & Tanning Salon" stores you see out in the country. Two totally unrelated places of business under the same roof. It just feels awkward.

I think next time I'll get it to go and walk home to eat.

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Thanks for the review Scott. I was wondering how that combo was going to work. It is a pretty weird setup if you ask me. Maybe they will working on buffering it better.

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Thanks for the review Scott. I was wondering how that combo was going to work. It is a pretty weird setup if you ask me. Maybe they will working on buffering it better.

Does anybody know what the new restaurants in the Piedmont Row condo complex are like? Are they open yet?

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I was wondering if I could ask you all for a favor:

When you're dining out at a new place, please take note of any vegetarian/vegan options they might have. I would love to know which of these new places have said options. :)

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Has anyone been to Verona, the new Italian joint where Hoops & Dreams used to be? They are open now and had a sign out that said that they had a $7.50 pizza/pasta buffet for lunch. No menu outside yet, though.

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I got takeout from Verona the other week. The food was very good. I got the Penne alla Vodka. It was a bit pricey for takeout - around $15. I have to say that, while phoning in my order from their takeout menu, I was imagining the portion to be huge. I was hoping to get two meals out of it, but the portion was only adequate for one. I guess I got too used to getting takeout from Soho Bistro, where I can eat for three days on a single order of sesame chicken.

I went back one night for a drink after a guy at the door coaxed my girlfriend and I into coming in as we were walking back from a McCormick & Schmick's $1.95-menu feast (if you don't know about this, you should). As a bar, which is the atmosphere they are really pushing after 10ish, it is great! It's a very chill spot with a great view of the corner of 5th & Tryon. Good beer on tap, friendly bartenders, good bar atmosphere, and very "locals only" feel. If you live downtown, this is a good spot to check out if you want a laid back bar.

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I went to The Oceanaire last night in Piedmont Town Center. Wow, was I impressed. I got the Cioppino (shellfish stew) and my girldfriend got the Shrimp Scampi, and both were incredible. The amount of shellfish packed into my bowl of Cioppino was unreal -- it reminded me of my trips to Legal Seafood in Boston (where I got their version of the same dish). I also had the clam chowder, and it was, quite honestly, probably the best clam chowder I've ever had. In addition, we were treated to a complimentary appetizer of pickled Herring and (since I mentioned it was out anniversary when making the reservation), we were treated to Baked Alaska on the house, with the whole tableside presentation with fire and everything.

The little extras here add to the experience, too. The inside of the restaurant makes you feel like you are in a 1950's era cruise ship. Every table is outfitted with Old Bay, Sea Salt, and oyster crackers. In the Men's room, you'll find a jar of Barbicide with combs, mouthwash, Old Spice (keeping with the nautical theme), Bryllcreme, lotion, and mints. And the slogan on the wall..."The snot-green sea, the scrotum-tightening sea."

They've only been open since Saturday, but they've got their service down as if they've been doing it for years. We were treated wonderfully by our staff. Our only problem was that we ate too much...it was just too good to stop.

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Thanks for the writeup, I didn't even know about this place. What are the prices like?

Appetizers/Soups/Salads - $7-15

Entrees - $20-40 (or more if you plan on eating lobster)

Raw bar - $1.85/oyster

Not cheap, by all means, but well-worth the money. It ran us $110 before tip, and that was with a free dessert.

http://www.theoceanaire.com/Charlotte/

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I ate lunch one Saturday at a new place called Nolan Kitchen back in August. It is on the corner of Selwyn Ave. & Colony Rd in that little shopping center with all the art gallery's.

I had a burger, one of the best around and they use sea salt and some other spice on their fries. Yummy! I honestly can't tell you much about the other foods but I was seated by the kitchen door and saw lot's of great looking food coming out....

I really like the atmosphere too. The interior design is very relaxing and they have a great patio for outdoor dining.

Anyone else tried Nolan Kitchen?

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