Hickory · Lincolnton · Mooresville · Myrtle Beach · Restaurants

The Best of Restaurants: Soups

Soups are a wonderful judge of a cook.  I love a restaurant that serves a homemade soup packed with flavor.  Here are some of the best I’ve tried.

Clam Chowder from Fresh Chef in Mooresville.  Creamy and clearly made with love.  The best clam chowder I’ve ever eaten.

Lobster Bisque at Fourk in Hickory, NC

Broccoli Cheese Soup from Croissants Bakery in Myrtle Beach.  Clearly homemade, creamy and cheesy.

Chicken Salad Croissant, Broccoli Cheddar Soup & Ambrosia Salad

Tomato Basil Soup from Fatz in Lincolnton, NC

Whiskey Chicken Gumbo at Citrus Diner in Denver, NC

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Charlotte · Cornelius · Hickory · Mooresville · Morganton

Best of Restaurants: Italian

Is there anything more comforting that good Italian food?  So many offerings, but so few get it right.  These do.

Pollo Rosa Maria at Carrabba’s in Hickory (I know it’s a chain, but it is awesome!)

Veal Ossubuco from Fiamma’s in Charlotte

Parmesan Chicken from Alton’s Kitchen & Cocktails in Cornelius, NC

Pollo Florentine at Caruso’s in Mooresville

Gnocchi from Root and Vine in Morganton

Asheville · Charlotte · Davidson · Hickory · Mooresville · Restaurants · Santa Rosa Beach

Best of Restaurants: Seafood

Seafood dishes remind me of vacation.  We always go somewhere near a beach and the first thing we do is hit our favorite seafood places.  Here are my favorite dishes, some are even inland!

Seafood Risotto from Standard Oyster Company in Hickory, NC

Bouillabaisse Marseillaise at Aix en Provence in Charlotte

Fried Soft Shell Crab from WP Kitchen + Bar in Charlotte

Crispy Oysters at Kindred in Davidson, NC

Raw Oysters at Steamboat Grill 30A

Rock Shrimp at Wasabi in Asheville, NC

Buffalo Shrimp at Big Daddy’s in Mooresville, NC

 

Black Mountain · Charlotte · Gastonia · Huntersville · Mooresville

Best of Restaurants: Asian

Mary Ashley makes sure I get plenty of opportunities to eat Asian food.  She wears me out on it.  Upside is that I know where all of the good spots are 🙂

Pink Volcano Roll at Joe’s Asian Grill in Mooresville, NC

Crunchy Roll from Jia Asian Fusion in Gastonia, NC

The “Prime Time” Filet and Lobster Roll at The Cowfish in Charlotte, NC

Dumplings & Tom Yum Noodle Bowl at Kung Foo Noodle in Huntersville, NC

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Spicy Crab Roll from Sake Sushi

Pad Krapraw at Thai House in Gastonia

Ginger and Garlic Miso Ramen at Ramen Soul in Mooresville, NC

Chicken Hibachi at Hasaki Grill in Charlotte, NC

Crab Rangoon Roll at Monsoon in Mooresville

Asheville · Charleston SC · Charlotte · Cornelius · Davidson · Destin · Isle of Palms · Lincolnton · Morganton · Savannah

Best of Restaurants: Appetizers

Appetizers are my very favorite part of the meal.  Not a big commitment, you can be adventurous and not break the bank.  Here is a list of my favorites:

Spinach and Artichoke Crostini from Crafted Southern Speakeasy in Lincolnton, NC

Caramelized Gnocchi from Aria Tuscan Grill

Fried Green Tomatoes at Huey’s Southern Eats in Isle of Palms

Mert’s Soul Rolls at Mert’s Heart and Soul in Charlotte

Homemade Lime Tortilla Chips served with Pineapple Mango Salsa from Caterer extraordinaire Food Junkie

Spinach and Artichoke Dip from Food Junkie

Filipino-style Pork Eggrolls with Spicy Apricot Dipping Sauce from Food Junkie

Funghi Repieni at Caruso’s in Mooresville

Peirogies from Twisted Oak Bar and Grill in Statesville, NC

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Manchego Skillet at Tybee Island Social Club in Tybee Island, GA

Warm Pimento Cheese & Jumbo Lump Crab Cake  from Tupelo Honey in Charlotte, NC

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Oysters Rockefeller at the Oak Steakhouse in Charleston, SC

Shrimp Flatbread from 5 Church in Charlotte, NC

Stuffed Portabello Mushroom at Chillfire Grill in Denver, NC

Beggar’s Purse with Cream Cheese and Salmon, Rock Shrimp & Fried Calamari with Vegetables from Wasabi in Asheville

Smoked Tuna Dip from Louisiana Lagniappe

Prime Rib Stuffed Mushrooms from Alton’s Kitchen and Cocktails in Cornelius, NC

Escargot with Lemon and Sweet Pea Risotto from Flatiron Kitchen and Taphouse in Davidson

Crispy Pork Rinds with Pimiento Cheese and Valentina Hot Sauce from Root +Vine in Morganton

Mooresville · Restaurants

Restaurant Review: Pomodoro’s in Mooresville

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Pomodoro’s is an Italian restaurant tucked into a shopping center in Mooresville.  From the outside, the restaurant looks unassuming, but go on inside.  It is actually larger than you would think.  We arrived at 5:30 pm on a Saturday evening and were seated right away.  As we were leaving an hour or so later, there was a line.  Come early!

This restaurant has a ton of booths.  They are straight backed, and looked to be kind of tight.  I requested a table since my fused ankles don’t do well trying to get up from the booth.  There were only a few in the back, which won’t be a big deal to everyone, but it was to me, so I mention it.  The hostess graciously made the change for us with little fanfare.

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We got a couple of appetizers for the table and both were done very well.  The first was the Salt and Pepper Fried Calamari.  These are served with marinara sauce for dipping.  They were seasoned perfectly, breaded lightly and fried quickly until just done.  There was not a tough ring on the plate.  If you like Calamari, these are done well.

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We also got the Bruschetta which was different than I’d had before but so delicious.  The bread slices were toasted with olive oil and encircled the pile of sweet tomatoes dotted with basil, parmesan cheese and kalamata olives.  All of this was drizzled with balsamic vinegar.  I was expecting the bites to be tangy, as I’ve had before, but they were actually very sweet.  I loved it.  It was easily my favorite appetizer.  Also pleasing was how crispy the bread was.  The olives provided just enough salty bite to make it all work.

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All of our meals came with a Garden Salad.  This salad was huge!  It came with a mixture of lettuces, tomatoes, black olives and shredded mozzarella cheese.  All of their dressings are homemade (yes!) and I had the Ranch.  It was delicious!  The salad was maybe even my favorite part of the whole meal, so fresh and delicious!  And I normally don’t like tomatoes, but the one on our salad was canned, and tasted perfect.  I’m not sure if they were out of fresh tomatoes or if that is just the way they plate the salads, but it was wonderful!

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My entrée was the Veal Marsala.  I hate to report that it was terrible.  The marsala sauce was very sweet and the veal was chewy and inedible.  I asked for a serving of marinara sauce for my spaghetti noodles just to be able to finish the pasta.  I would not recommend this dish to anyone.   However, everyone else had dishes that they loved, so I am still going to recommend this restaurant.  Just skip this dish.

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My friend got the Sirloin Steak con Gorgonzola and said it was amazing.  It was grilled to a perfect medium and served atop a creamy Gorgonzola sauce with steamed broccoli and pasta on the side.  It looked wonderful!

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My other friend had Zuppa di Pesce which was a soupy tomato broth filled with sautéed shrimp, clams, mussels, scallops and calamari over fettuccini noodles in a soup bowl.  Though the broth was a bit watery on top, the seafood was cooked perfectly.  Also, my friend discovered that when she dug from the bottom is was much more flavorful as the garlic bits and spices seemed to gather at the bottom.  So, if you get this, and you should, make sure you scoop from the bottom to the top every now and again to distribute all of the goodies.

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Lastly, my husband got a simple pasta dish of penne pasta with meatballs and marinara sauce.  He raved about this dish.  The marinara was so flavorful and well spiced, it needed nothing.  The meatballs were tender and huge!

We will definitely be back to Pomodoro’s for another visit very soon.  The prices were very reasonable and you get a lot of food for your money.  This is truly a hidden gem.

Pomodoro's Italian American on Urbanspoon

Mooresville · Restaurants

Chopstix in Mooresville, NC

After picking up a Radon monitor for my husband in Troutman, the kids and I were starving, but didn’t want to drive all the way into Mooresville proper for some lunch.  We spied Chopstix as we were coming down Doolie Road, and decided to give it a try.  What a wonderful discovery!!

We started with an appetizer called the Chopstix Combination.  It had 2 Chicken Satay skewers, 2 fried dumplings and 3 spring rolls.  The Chicken Satay was marinated and glazed with coconut cream and served with a sweetly savory peanut sauce that was like the tastiest and smoothest peanut butter I’ve ever eaten.  The fried dumplings were full of spicy ground meat and were crispy on the outside.  The spring rolls were also delicious.

Chopstix Combination: Chicken Satay, Spring Rolls, Dumplings
Chopstix Combination: Chicken Satay, Spring Rolls, Dumplings

My entree was the Pad Pik Paow with Shrimp.  It was a stir fry of shrimp, veggies and flavored with basil leaves and chili paste.  It was spicy and cooked well, but I would have liked a little more of the delicious sauce to drench my rice with.  My kids both got the  Kei Krob which is a battered and deep fried chicken cooked in a Thai sweet sauce mixed with sliced ginger and crushed peanuts.  I was surprised at how delicious this was!  It is possibly the most delicious sweet chicken dish I’ve ever had.  It had such a balance between the sweet sauce and the savory elements of the dish.  That is an easy dish to get wrong, with a sauce to cloyingly sweet.  It is perfect here.  The red curry with chicken is creamy and spicy and is loaded with crisp vegetables and tender chicken.  It’s yummy even the next day!

Red Curry Chicken
Red Curry Chicken
Pad Pik Paow with Shrimp
Pad Pik Paow with Shrimp
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Kei Krob

This has become one of our favorite restaurants in Mooresville!

Chopstix Thai Restaurant on Urbanspoon