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Our Charlotte Spots

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Two years ago Adam picked me up in the pouring rain for a date that I didn’t know he knew was a date until he ordered a bottle of wine and kissed me in the car. (I knew it was a date all along.) The rest, as they say, would be history if that history had led straight to a clearly defined indisputable relationship. But it didn’t.

Instead, we dragged each other through one seriously exhausting year of off, on, and all the way to LA before finally landing at “I love you.” He drove me certifiably insane (and straight into the arms of reality TV romance) with his decidedly casual level of commitment. And I, no doubt, attempted to play it entirely too cool, expressing no emotion at all to protect myself from The Fall.

In the end, we got it together. And through it all, we ate. A lot. These are some of our favorite Charlotte date spots.

The First Date: Copper

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Our first date was at Copper Indian Restaurant. Adam had to drive to and run the Virginia Beach Marathon the next morning but we still put away a bottle of wine that night. It’s apparent that we were being polite on our very first date because 1) we had leftovers and 2) Adam let me take them home (above). We went back last night for the first time in two years and mopped up every last drop of sauce with every last bite of naan. No shame.

Favorite Dish: Anything vegetarian.

Brunch & Lunch: Fern

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Fern is probably the best vegetarian restaurant in town. Before Adam, I kind of considered it a “special occasions only” restaurant, but we go so frequently that that designation flew out the window pretty quickly. The chicken-fried tofu & waffles above (top of the post) are from our weekly Saturday morning Fern feast. I look forward to this meal all week.

Favorite Dish: For brunch I get the tofu benedict every single time, and Adam flips a coin for biscuits & “gravy” or chicken-fried tofu & waffles. For lunch we both never pass up the Om burger, but we get it on top of the warm kale salad with crusted goat cheese instead of on a bun.

Brunch & Lunch: Zada Jane’s

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ZJ’s is our friendly neighborhood diner with vegetarian-friendly food. We stroll over there when we are entirely too lazy to anything else.

Favorite Dish: I am terribly predictable and will get the Hummus Frummus salad (with hummus, tabbouli and pita) every time without fail.

Late-Night Post-Yoga Dates: Cowfish and Intermezzo

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These restaurants don’t know it yet, but they are largely responsible for the formation of our relationship. Every Wednesday for almost a solid year we went out for sushi or pizza after Adam’s late-night class.

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These meals are also responsible for what I predict was about a 10-pound weight gain for me over the course of that year.

Favorite Dish: At Cowfish… Build your own sushi (let Adam pick the ingredients because he always makes the best ones), sweet potato fries, any salad with fried or grilled tofu instead of chicken or fish. At Intermezzo… Garden fresh and garden veggie pizzas.

Takeout: Lang Van

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Lang Van’s physical location isn’t anything to write home about (but that doesn’t stop us from eating in, too) so takeout is an advisable option. We do this on nights when all we want to do is wear sweatpants, watch a movie and eat the city’s best Vietnamese food.

Favorite Dish: Shit. Adam always orders… I think we get pecan tofu and and pineapple curry tofu? HALP.

Grab & Go: Common Market

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Never fails for quick sandwiches and snacks on the go.

Favorite Dish: Straight Jacket Soy (no cucumbers, add pickles and avocado). Also a bottle of wine. Also I regularly walk over there to buy a bag of chips and a tub of chickpea salad.

On Vacation: Roastfish & Cornbread on Hilton Head Island

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If you’re ever in Hilton Head and you don’t go out of your way to get to Roastfish, you’ve lost your damn mind. We pretty much plan our entire trip around this restaurant’s hours.

Favorite Dish: SWEET POTATO CORNBREAD. Adam always gets the Ethiopian lentil salad. I get the roasted veggie plate with wild rice pilaf. SWEET POTATO CORNBREAD.

There are many more, but those are our regular haunts.

Adam is under strict orders to never buy me flowers because I’m concerned my cats will die because they eat everything. So he made me these. I’ll keep him. Here’s to another year…

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11 Comments

  1. Great list! I really need to try Fern sometime…soon! 🙂

  2. Sylvia Sylvia

    You take the best pictures. Congrats on special relationship! And I always love your restaurant recommendations. Currently reading Virgin Diet so who knows what I’ll learn about any food intolerance I may have. I suspect eggs just made the list.

    • I’m so bummed because I suspect soy is on my list of NO NO foods. Bleh.

      • I’m a vegetarian and soy and dairy wreak havoc on my stomach, so they’re out. I feel way better without them, but it makes me look like the pickiest eater ever in the whole world. good luck, you really will feel better when it’s all over.

  3. Love! Thanks for sharing… I’ve been daydreaming about taking a road trip to Charlotte – this is just one more sign in that direction 🙂

  4. Caroline Caroline

    Fern is the best! I have only been for lunch/brunch, but love it – especially their coffee! Hope your elimination diet doesn’t reveal anything too restrictive – sometimes, just giving your system a break from potentially inflammatory foods can be enough. Good luck and hope this gives you some good next steps!

  5. Joy Joy

    I’m pretty sure that those are the sweetest flowers ever!

  6. Jen Jen

    You + Adam = ADORABLE! Lonnng before you officially announced your relationship, I had a feeling about you two (okay, so maybe you dropped a few hints, but I like to think that I have a fabulously sharp “matchmaker” mind…so, humor me)! 🙂 Whoops…sorry about emoticon (can’t help it…addicted).

    Also, I totally get the “playing it cool” thing when you are uncertain…but (once you know that it’s the real deal), isn’t it SO much fun to let all that go?

    This is my long-winded way of saying that I am sooooo, extremely happy for the two of you!

    Also, I am suddenly extremely hungry.

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