Monday, January 21, 2013

Charlotte, NC

After a week cooped up with two sick boys, the sunshine returned for the weekend. We threw some bags in the car and were off, destination Charlotte, North Carolina. Hmmm, not exactly Lyon, one of our favorite destinations while living in Clermont-Ferrand, but the day turned out to be a welcome reprieve from the mundane tasks facing us at home.

"Grande Disco", which you might recognize from the movie "Hellraiser III" 

The largest city in North Carolina, it is less than a couple of hours drive from Greenville. A major financial center (the second largest by assets following NYC), the headquarters of  Bank of America and the East Coast operations of Wells Fargo are in Charlotte. It is also home to the NFL Carolina Panthers, the NBA Charlotte Bobcats and the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Our first destination was right there in the very center of downtown, Mert’s Heart and Soul.


My husband had heard of this restaurant on one of his business trips, and when our arrival coincided with lunchtime, we knew it was the ideal time to give the place a try. The website had me drooling; “From the award-winning macaroni and cheese, to the sweet, buttery cornbread and shrimp and grits, Mert’s Heart and Soul's southern, Low Country, and Gullah-inspired dishes leave guests with an unforgettable 'home cooked' experience.” It lived up to my expectations; the barbecue was as good as I’ve ever had and the boys had to fight me over the mac and cheese. With some of the friendliest service in addition to delicious food, this is a must-visit restaurant if you’re ever in Charlotte.

Mert's Heart and Soul on Urbanspoon
 
Lauris demolished his vanilla-chocolate cake. I managed to steal a bite (or two), DELICIOUS!

Our stroll through downtown took us past some very lovely public spaces. With fountains and statues every which way we’ll have to come back in the spring when it is a little warmer. I believe I’ll have to find a guidebook, as I was curious as to the history behind some of the pieces.


We had two more stops scheduled for the day, one of which does in fact bring to mind our road trips to Lyon – IKEA! But the shopping was nowhere near as exciting as the big city, except for maybe my new boots… Charlotte, we’ll be back!

8 comments:

  1. It's lovely to get a glimpse inside a city I've never been to from your viewpoint. That's the beauty of blogging! It looks like you had a lovely day.

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  2. I love the perspective in the eat-the-cake photo: new superhero - Cakeater! Able to demolish slices of cake larger than his head!

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    1. Oh, he came pretty close... Luckily for me not quite the whole slice!

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  3. I only live about 2 hours from Charlotte, and I have yet to visit. (Now in our defense, we've only lived her 7 years.) I want to go to the outlets, but I'll be sure to check out that restaurant, too. Thanks for the tip.

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  4. Charlotte is a great city - one I can't wait to get back to also! Your pix are wonderful too.

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  5. Looks like you are well settled back in your life in the US now. Charlotte, North Carolina, I know it from Kathy Reichs books.

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    1. Ah, yes, Tempe Brennan! I knew that, but hadn't thought about it. Maybe there are some sights to see related to one of the books, I'll have to look into that. Thanks for the reminder!

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