Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Chuy's Charlotte: Talk & Taste

My foodie heart was broken when Zink closed its doors last year and I have not been able to bring myself to try Chuy's, a tex-mex restaurant that went into the empty space. I had so many great memories at Zink that I was afraid that the replacement would not be as good. The mixed reviews only fueled my preconception.

I love being proven wrong.

A few weeks ago, I was invited to a Talk & Taste event with fellow Charlotte foodies. We were treated to all the salsas on the menu (and one that isn't!), samples of specialty margaritas, and full entrees. The food was great, but the attentive service was what won me over. The fact that everything is made from scratch, daily, made it difficult not to instantly become a fan.

Below are all the noms that we got to enjoy:

Getting sauce-ducated.

New Mexican jalapeƱo margarita

Blackberry Margarita

Sangria (made with tequila!)

"Big as yo'face" beef burrito

Chicken tortilla soup. Amazeballs!

My lovely date, Katy of girl and the good.

There's no photographic evidence of the amazing tres leches cake because my husband and I devoured it before it could be documented.

Huge thanks to Gwen and everyone at Chuy's for a great night!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Nearby Eats | Sakura Japanese Restaurant (Gastonia)

You never forget your first time.

I was fourteen and my friends urged me to try it. After some coaxing, I put it in my mouth and grimaced. I'm sure I wasn't the first to do so.The cucumber and imitation crab were not new to me, but the seaweed, avocado and cold rice were. Add the wasabi and soy sauce and it was quite the experience.

salmon hand roll, spicy tuna, octopus sashimi, tuna sashimi
Jam Session (NoDa Brewing)

Sakura, hidden in Phase 4 of Franklin Square, was the first sushi restaurant in Gastonia. For me, it holds memories of prom dates, best friends, and special occasions.

The restaurant still looks the same as it did when it first opened. The menu recently received a makeover and it's...jarring. Thankfully, the food remained the same.

My favorite menu item (outside of sushi) is the pecan crusted grouper. Get it! The sashimi has never disappointed either and the spicy tuna roll is my all time favorite.

If you ever find yourself in Gastonia, Sakura is a must and won't break the bank.