When my wife and I dine in Uptown Charlotte, we often have Essex Bar & Bistro near the top of our list. Essex is located at 101 S. Tryon Street Ste 13 in the heart of Uptown. Indoor seating options include regular tables, high tops, and a private dining room. Outdoor patio seating is also available for food and drinks. The restaurant offers a large selection of alcoholic beverages at affordable prices. Their food menu includes a mix of many cultural dishes such as falafel, steam buns, and coconut curry seafood dishes. One other part of their food menu that may seem surprising is the sushi roll list. Essex has expanded their sushi roll list over time to include a nice mix of varieties.
My wife and I have been to Essex at least five times and we always enjoy ordering the Warm Brussel Sprout Caesar. The delicious dish contains shaved brussel sprouts mixed with caesar dressing, parmesan, and croutons. Another dish we typically order is the Coconut Curry Mussels. The mussels are served in a coconut curry and sundried tomato sauce along with naan. I enjoy dipping the naan in the remaining broth after eating the mussels. Other popular choices among friends include the Butter Chicken, Lamb Kefta Sliders, and Pork Belly Steam Buns. I have tried a sushi roll and thought it was quite tasty. There are enough options on the menu to satisfied anyone's food craving.
One main reason for dining at Essex is their very affordable alcoholic beverage pricing (in regards to Uptown Charlotte). Essex always has a few wines by the glass for under $10. Wine bottles are also reasonable when looking at the markup. The only negative thing I can say about their wine list is that they tend to run out of the more popular wine options. My wife and I have tried ordering wine off the menu only to learn that they were out of stock. This has happened on three separate occasions. Fortunately, they offer enough affordable options that were are able to choose another wine.
If you are planning to dine at Essex during a show or special event downtown, I highly recommend making a reservation on Open Table. Essex is a popular spot; especially, during weekend events in Uptown. I recommend giving the restaurant a try for your next dinner or happy hour in Uptown.
The Belk Theater at the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center is the premiere theater in uptown Charlotte to attend Broadway shows. Located at 130 N. Tryon Street, Belk Theater is surrounded by restaurants, bars, and other forms of entertainment in uptown. The theater hosts multiple Broadway shows, concerts, speakers and other events. While Belk Theater hosted many Broadway shows for 2018 including The Lion King and The Book of Mormon, the most anticipated show to come to Charlotte this year was Hamilton.
Belk theater offers multi-level seating with tiered ticket pricing. There are a few impaired viewing seats along the sides of the theater. I would not recommend purchasing any seats available with impaired viewing. If you purchase seats further in the back, consider bringing glasses or wearing contacts to see everything and everyone on stage. Each level has their own bar area and bathrooms. Bars are open before the show and during intermission. One great tip is to pre-order your intermission snacks and beverages for pickup. This saves precious time during intermission instead of waiting in line for the bathroom and bar. Pre-orders are arranged by last name and require a receipt or photo ID for pickup.
I was fortunate enough to purchase reasonably priced tickets through CarolinaTix for one of the Hamilton shows. Blocks of seats were released daily for purchase while Hamilton was in Charlotte, NC. Hamilton is an amazing show with incredible writing and creativity. It was the best written show I have ever seen. There is a reason why shows sell out even when tickets are twice as much as any other Broadway production. I highly recommend going to see Hamilton if you enjoy Broadway productions and want to see the best show currently on tour.
Flour Shop is a gourmet American style restaurant located on the backside of Park Road Shopping Center in Charlotte, NC. They opened for business in January of 2018. The inside of the restaurant centers around the open air kitchen where you can watch the owner make pasta or see meat cooked over an open flame. As of November 2018, Flour Shop offers Open Table reservations for guests. I recommend you take advantage of Open Table since the restaurant is quite popular. Outside the back of the restaurant is a nice patio for drinks and food with casual seating. The true magic happens at the bar with the kitchen in front and your favorite date to the side.
Flour Shop is open for dinner Monday through Saturday from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. My wife and I went for during during the week and waited around 20 minutes for bar seats. Their drink menu is larger than the dinner menu. They offer a lovely wine list along with mixed cocktails and craft beers. There are many wines available by the glass that you are welcome to try before placing a drink order. Many local craft beers are on draft. You will surely find a drink of choice during your visit. My favorite choice for dinner was the Napa, California Cabernet Sauvignon pictured.
The dinner menu contains about 17 different food choices between appetizers and entrees with a few specials as well. While the options are somewhat limited, the taste and quality of them is very high. We enjoyed the mussels appetizer special with a tasty red sauce containing chucks of pork. For dinner, we decided to order two entrees and share them.
Flour Shop makes their own fresh pasta. I encourage you to try at least one pasta dish during your first visit. My wife has been to Italy multiple times and believes the pasta at Flour Shop was just as good. She ordered the Strozzapreti with shrimp, breadcrumbs, and pistou pasta. It was a great choice and they were even able to make it without butter.
Our server highly suggest we try the Barbecued Spanish Octopus with chorizo, potato puree, and saffron broth. He said it has been a staple on their menu since opening. This dish was the best Spanish octopus dish we have had in Charlotte. The pieces were large and flavorful along with the chorizo. The egg and potato pulled everything together nicely. The broth of the dish has an olive oil base. I especially enjoyed eating the puree soaked in the both between bites of the chorizo and octopus.
It is rare for my wife and I to order desserts when dining out. However, my wife really likes olive oil cake and wanted to try it. She has enjoyed it immensely in Italy, but is usually disappointed when she has it in the United States. After one bite of the cake, she was praising its moisture and flavor. She said it was the best olive oil cake she has ever had outside of Italy.
We thoroughly enjoyed every dish ordered at Flour Shop as well as the wine. I wholeheartedly recommend you make plans to visit Flour Shop for your next date night or dinner outing with friends. I know my wife and I will be back again before Christmas to experience more of the menu and cozy atmosphere.
Online streaming of anime shows has evolved over the last few years thanks to Netflix and Hulu. The library of shows to watch on both platforms is incredible in both quality and quantity. In the past, the only legitimate way to watch new Japanese anime shows was to wait for them to either air on American television or release on DVD. Thankfully, Netflix and Hulu have helped to bridge this gap for American audiences. One fact worth noting is that each streaming platform offers a differentiated assortment of shows.
The quality of shows on Netflix is amazing. The streaming service offers fantastic shows such as Full Metal Alchemist, Gurren Lagann, and Soul Eater (a great choice for Halloween binge watching). You could spend many days watching highly rated shows. Netflix also offers exclusive shows and original anime content. Devilman Crybaby is an example of an original anime show on Netflix. In addition, Netflix has exclusivity distribution rights for a few shows. Some of the better Netflix exclusive shows are Knights of Sidonia and Ajin: Demi-Human. The only complaint with Netflix's offering of shows is the lack of newer episodes available. If you want to see new episodes of popular anime shows, you need to look else where.
The major benefit of using Hulu is to watch the latest episodes of your favorite anime shows. Hulu does an amazing job airing new episodes of popular anime shows like My Hero Academia and Attack on Titan. Hulu is able to simultaneously release weekly episodes as they air in Japan. Adding shows to your watch list will allow new show notifications to appear. Beyond new shows, Hulu offers a generous catalog of great shows from past and present. The amazing Hunter X Hunter and Cowboy Bebop are just two examples of Hulu's premier shows available. It is hard to find weakness in Hulu's anime offerings.
There are anime shows available on both Netflix and Hulu. For example, One Punch Man has been available on both platforms. You may not miss out on some shows by only having access to one streaming service. If you were to have to choose between Netflix and Hulu, it would be hard not to recommend Hulu as the service of choice. With access to new weekly content and a huge catalog of past shows, Hulu comes out ahead of Netflix. However, you should get Netflix if you are interested in some of their exclusive shows and other shows not available currently on Hulu. Either way, it is a great time to be an anime fan with so much content included with an inexpensive monthly subscription.
I had the opportunity to take out-of-town guests to Bang Bang Burgers in Charlotte's Southend neighborhood. The Southend location opened in March of 2018. The original Bang Bang Burgers restaurant is located in Charlotte's Elizabeth neighborhood. Both locations are open 11am to 10pm daily. The signature dishes at Bang Bang Burgers are their double patty gourmet burgers. A great burger starts with its ingredients. Bang Bang Burgers uses artisan breads and quality meat to craft multiple burger options. They also have a few non-beef sandwich options as well as salad bowls. Their burgers and sandwiches come a-la-cart with optional sides such as fries and onion rings.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words. I would have to agree that the photograph of the Seoul 2.0 with fries speaks for itself. This delicious burger option comes with a beef patty, pork belly, burger toppings, and a spicy mayo sauce. The french fries are also very good and a recommended add-on. For those interested in something with less calories, Bang Bang Burgers offers a few different salad bowl options. The one pictured below is a Salmon Bowl. I was informed that the quality and taste was great.
When it comes to beverages, Bang Bang Burger offers non-alcoholic fountain beverages and craft beer. I was pleasantly surprised to see local craft beer available on draft. The prices were reasonable for food and drinks considering the quality of food served. There is a side room for people to gather and a nice front porch for outside seating. My guests enjoyed Bang Bang Burgers for lunch and would definitely return again. I recommend you visit Bang Bang Burgers on your next Southend adventure for a casual and tasty meal.