All Hail the QC

J'adore summer. Fact. Granted it is hotter than Hades at present but this time of year invites a skip to one's step and the promise of the next pair of months ahead. I always find that optimism and excitement turns on every page that tells the story of summer. This past weekend was no exception. We kicked off our Friday evening uptown. We deviated from tradition and secured an al fresco table at The Wooden Vine. This is a prime spot for enjoying the hum of uptown and serious people watching. I toasted the evening with a refreshing glass of cava. From here we went to a favorite of ours, Basil Thai

If you are looking for supremely delicious Thai food, a great wine list and cool ambience, come here. The owner is a friend and I cannot speak highly enough of this place. I dream of and swoon for their food. After a gorgeous dinner of green curry pork and pad Thai, we met dear friends at 5Church for three substantial rounds of drinks. After this chic spot that offers the Book of War on its ceiling, went to our favorite Irish pub in uptown Charlotte, Connolly's. Carry an ID with you uptown people. There is nothing quite like a bouncer denying entree because they think you don't want to look for an ID. It was in another purse at home, I swear! As people were turning into pumpkins (and we were on the cusp of doing so too), we hung our hats at Cowbell Burger and Whiskey Bar. At 35 years of age, I always like to high five strangers as sounds of revelry issue into the night. Translation, I reward myself when I am out past midnight. 

Tenacity aside, Saturday morning was slow, lethargic business. The sun was shining and begging us to explore. We hydrated and walked south to the city's ultimate foodie destination, Seventh Street Market for our morning joe and latte. As our routine has it, we slowly explored the offerings. Viva Raw, the butcher and the lovely shelves offering quail as well as duck eggs. I adoringly looked at the variety of cheeses at the monger and slowly traced my finger along the glass displaying beautiful cakes and desserts. Many a folks were enjoying decadent breakfast sandwiches and others were savoring crepes. It is no secret that uptown Charlotte is where it's happening on a Saturday. 

We have decided that moving forward, we will be spending more time uptown. What could be better than a pizza from Pure to go and Netflix with a view of her majesty the QC. Our caffeine buzzes in tact, we walked to Romare Bearden Park and onto the ball park where my baseball loving compadre loves to stop and tell stories. We jetted home as the pavement was becoming like lava and the heat a bit too intense to bear. I am so impressed with uptown Charlotte. There is such a pull. The powers that be have done a miraculous job. Granted, I think we could still do with more restaurants and shopping but given the city's projected growth, I am sure it will all come. When I moved uptown from NYC in 2009, things were just beginning to pick up. Nowadays, it is a thriving community. I cannot wait to spend more time here!

From uptown we headed to South End for an early lunch at my very favorite neighborhood spot, Luna's Living Kitchen. Everything on the menu is fabulous. I always vacillate between the living burrito and the fires and stone burger, both of which I asked to be wrapped in a giant collard leaf. This is a fantastic spot to come for a juice, smoothie or meal. Prices are economical, the scene uber friendly and it's just so very cool. I regularly come here for lunch - either with colleagues, pals or a book. It is that great of a space. At brunch, I had a mimosa with the volcano juice, which was the jam and Matthew tried a new variety from OMB. I hedge to bet we shall soon be returning to my favorite bierhaus soon for a certain person to procure this very same beverage again. 

After Luna's you either must grab a peruse and perhaps a glass of vino at Vin Master and then take a squizz around the Atherton Market. This is a quaint, intimate farmers market that sells everything from the freshest of blackberries to fish to beef to eggs to you name it, they have it. I was on the hunt for escarole and went home with a basket of goodies. As I breezily perused, Matthew bought a strawberry mint treat from King of Pops. Happily satiated with arms full of goodies, we headed home to the refuge of our AC. In the afternoon we went to the birthday BBQ of a dear friend's mother. Four hours later, we stopped at the gas station for cold beers, a small tub of Ben & Jerry's and a bag of cheese puffs. Oh what a night.

Bulgogi Korean Grilled Beef
Adapted from New York Times Cooking


1 lb hanger steak 
1 white onion
1 pear
1 inch knob ginger - peeled 
4 garlic cloves
1 green onion - chopped
2 TBS soy sauce
1 TBS sesame oil
1 TBS brown sugar
1 tsp fresh cracked pepper
2 tsp sesame seeds - toasted

To eat:

Lettuce leaves - I used romaine
1/2 cucumber - thinly sliced
2 carrots - thinly sliced
A bunch of cilantro - washed and chopped
1 small tin of bamboo shoots
Sriracha for a bit of heat

Let's Dance

1. Put your meat in the freezer for an hour to allow it to firm. This will facilitate the ease with which you cut the beef into thin strips. 

2. In your food processor please puree the onion, pear, ginger and garlic cloves for one minute. You want a creamy mixture. When finished add this to a large bowl.

3. To the same bowl add the chopped green onion, soy sauce, sesame oil, brown sugar and pepper. Mix until uniform and add your thinly shaved beef to the mix.

4. Once you are ready to cook, add everything to a hot pan. Cook until the meat turns brown and the liquid is mostly evaporated.

5. Assemble your wraps accordingly. According to tradition, these must be eaten in one bite.  Bon chance and enjoy!


No comments:

Post a Comment