Monday, October 18, 2010

Shelby Fall Festival and Livermush Expo

Shelby Fall Festival and Livermush Expo on the Court Square Shelby, NC 28150

Dress up and be a part of the children's costume parade in Uptown Shelby on the Court Square. Enjoy games, treats and crafts for children of all ages. Friendly dog and cat pet parade, face painting, pumpkin painting and photos with your pet or just you. The Carolina Raptor Center will be here with birds of prey. (rain date October 31.)

Taste Shelby's famed livermush and learn new recipes. Mack's Livermush will be selling their famous livermush sandwiches. Cooking demonstrations, recipes and more. Annual Livermush Poker Run! Bike registration opens at 10am.

End at Art of Sound Music Festival and join in the party!

Here's my take on it -

Friday, October 15, 2010

Dear Charlotte Observer - PLEASE READ Kathleen Purvis


I reviewed Prickly Pear several weeks ago and you followed soon after.  I read your review - which was in contrast on many of the same items.  Your joy with the Tres Leche cake being a perfect example of bland and boring in my opinion, to wow and wonderful in yours.  Now today I see you went to Big Daddy's.  I am glad you like the candy shop as you exitted, but did you really try the food?  It's a landmark - yes.  It's very popular still - yes.  The food is average and nearly all is fried.  At what point can that be a genuine positive?  The Lancaster family has done great things for barbeque in the surrounding area, as well as a wonderful job with Jeffrey's near Exit 33.  Big Daddy's needs a big update.

For future reference, please let me know the next one of my reviews that you feel like contradicting.  I would love to be there with you when you eat so I can see you in action.  I have read your column for years and I am genuinely surprised at the direction it is going.

Have a wonderful weekend.  Get some rest.  I have only just begun.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Brunch + Ballantyne = Village Bistro

Heading into the Ballantyne area of Charlotte Sunday, we started scoping out places to eat.  We passed the Big View Diner and thought that was our place.  It was big, retro, and on our way.  It had our interest.  As we made our way back and stopped, the parking lot was half full.  We entered to find that the wait was 30 minutes.  It was 10:35am on Sunday, so it is a busy time.  There were at least 12 tables empty and that was a huge issue for me.  There were 6 or 7 families ahead of us, to which those tables would have handled nicely.  Something was broken and I was not staying to find out.

As we made out way back toward 485, we stopped in the large shopping area off Ballantyne Village.  Google maps on the iPhone searching brunch found Village Bistro.  It was 100 ft from where we parked.  That was convenient.  As we pull the door, it's 10:45 and it opens but it's empty.  Come to find out, they open at 11.  We were greeted promptly, seated and asked to be patient as they get the buffet set up.  The waitress came quickly to get the drink order and explain their features.  Let me stop and say that I am impressed that the door was unlocked early and they were honest to say they were still setting the food.  I would much rather wait for someone being upfront and kind, than wait for a place that can't get tables reset and somehow that affects me negatively.

The buffet had the usual suspects, with plenty of fruit, a fruit punch, eggs, bacon, etc...  There was prime rib, a crazy fun omelet menu, strawberry crepes, pancakes for every imagination, eggs benedict, the list goes on.  For $13.95 adult and $8.95 child, it was a great deal - especially for the area.

I had my wife and daughter with me so I was sure we could try a little of every single thing on the menu.  Sure enough, we did.  In fact, I tried to order almost everything myself to make sure I did not miss a thing for this review.

Prime rib with horseradish sauce - nice.  Eggs benedict using prosciutto in place of Canadian bacon/ham - exceptional.  Vanilla cream cheese filled crepes with strawberry drizzle - excellent.  Salami, mozzarella, roasted pepper and prosciutto omelet - yum.  Caramelized banana pancake - very good.  Regular syrup is a little let down, expecting a more caramel-style syrup or topping.  Corned beef hash with over easy egg - oh my yummy.  Bacon was crisp without burnt, scrambles eggs were moist but not runny.  Fruit was fresh cut.  Coffee was very good and on the strong side - loving it.

I would hard pressed to find anything I did not like.  If I had to pick one weak item it was the pancake.  It was good by almost any one's standard, but everything else was so far above the mark, this was the lowest item and still tasty.

It is unlikely that we will try to go into Big View again, but I promise we will be back at the Village Bistro.

Village Bistro at Ballantyne on Urbanspoon

Friday, October 1, 2010

For the FIRST TIME EVER is starting the month with a BIG offer.  90% off TODAY ONLY. 

Use the promo code WOW and load up.  $25 certificates for just ONE DOLLAR!!!

Remember they are good for 12 months. 
Stock up today!