Sunday, June 28, 2009

Best of Merry Oaks: Restaurant secrets

From the Merry Oaks neighborhood newsletter, here's a list of restaurants and bars that Merry Oaks neighbors nominated as best–kept neighborhood secrets. The spots range from NoDa to South Boulevard, but they're all easy to reach from Merry Oaks and other nearby neighborhoods.

This list is alphabetical, with details on why people nominated each place, in their words. Because the list is about best–kept secrets, you won't see some neighborhood favorites like Lang Van at 3019 Shamrock Dr. or Lulu at 1911 Central Avenue, but you will see neighbors' endorsements of some less well–known places.

In addition, the newsletter's listing included favorite things that didn't involve food or drink. I'll share those later. Get a PDF of the newsletter here under community pages if you just can't wait.


Ben Thahn, 4900 Central Ave.: Tofu hot pots, yellow pancakes with the most beautiful herbs and lettuce you will ever see, fresh mango appetizer. Mai, Kwong and family are so welcoming.

Dish, 1220 Thomas St.: Best dessert: Chocolate pecan pie. Also nominated for its comfort food.

Intermezzo Pizzeria, 1427 East 10th St.: Mushroom pizza and the roasted vegetable pizza.

Landmark Restaurant Diner, 4429 Central Ave.: Best French toast. (Also mentioned recently by Charlotte Observer columnist Tommy Tomlinson for 2 a.m. omelettes.)

Las Delicias bakery, 4405 Central Ave.: Great tamales (chicken, pork, or cheese) and you can get them wrapped in banana leaves or corn husks. Authentic, delicious and cheap. In the back, so you have to ask for them.

Las Margaritas Mexican restaurant, 4426 Independence Blvd. (near Sharon Amity): BEST churros, super cheap. You get a plate of six yummy, warm, cinnamon-sugar dusted churros for under $2.

Laurel Market South: 1515 South Blvd. Owners are Merry Oaks residents. Awesome sandwich shop, fab beer and wine selections.

Petra’s Piano Bar and Cabaret, 1919 Commonwealth Ave.: Super fun to go hang out and hear live music.

Portofino's: 3124 Eastway Drive, in Eastway Crossing Shopping Center: The calamari and inexpensive wine by the glass. Also, pizza and seafood specials.

Revolution Pizza and Ale House, 3228 N Davidson St.: Pizza spot in NoDa has the best pizza in Charlotte (so says one neighbor. I'm sure this claim could be controversial, given the pie competition locally.)

Sub Station II, 1941 E. Seventh St.: (corner of Seventh and Pecan) Best tuna salad.

Taqueria La Unica, 2801 Central Ave.: Near intersection with Logie Avenue. Best taco.

The Thirsty Beaver, 1225 Central Ave.: (tiny spot near the railroad tracks) Fun to hang out and hear jukebox and live music.

Zada Janes: 1601 Central Ave. The Bunnys Rancheros and a wonderful breakfast menu in general, and the best salad, named Noda Salad.

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