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TRIAL B Y

F I R E

S T A R V I N G

A R T I S T S

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9/30/2010 11:05:40 AM


L T

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LIFE IS MEANT TO BE LIVED. Life is a compilation of moments stitched together with love, laughter and friends. Whether enjoying the nightlife, becoming one with the couch, or jogging in the neighborhood…life is meant to be lived. Check out the newly-completed Southborough, an eclectic mix of architecture, convenience and affordability. Living life. Loving Southborough.

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• Bedrooms on opposite ends of home for privacy. • Each plan comes with private garage! • Balcony size varies per floor. • Same standard finishes as one bedroom flats.

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2 Bedrooms 1580 sq ft (approx) • Living space divided between three levels. • 190 sq ft roof top terrace on the fourth floor. • Additional balconies on the 2nd and 3rd floors. • Hardwood floors throughout, with exception of tiled bathrooms. • Granite countertops and stainless appliances standard. • Parking spot assigned in garage behind homes.

TOWNHOMES from the $260’s 3 Bedrooms 1450-1600 sq ft (approx) • Each plan comes with private garage! • Entry porches and spacious balcony on 2nd level. • Hardwoods standard in common areas. • Carpeted bedrooms, tiled bathrooms. • Granite countertops standard.

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Sales Center Open Daily: 704.374.1252 222 Magnolia Avenue, Charlotte, NC 28203

9/30/2010 11:05:41 AM


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CHIC ONE & TWO BEDROOM CONDOS Located in the heart of the Plaza Midwood neighborhood, The Vyne is a new, gated community with modern design and upscale amenities. We’re talking about bamboo floors, track lighting and granite countertops. A luxurious pool and pet friendly amenities give you plenty of reasons to get outdoors and enjoy some of that fresh air mom always seemed to get so jazzed up about. Just a three-mile bike ride from Center City, The Vyne has got it all

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9/30/2010 11:05:42 AM


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the seen

pictures: catch light studio george lainis

Partygoers collectively wished Enso a happy first birthday, and we were there to celebrate the exotic affair. Naked sushi and nearly topless geishas beautified the inside of Enso owners Erez and Pete’s place, while ninjas prowled the outdoors. VIPs enjoyed special treatment and everyone else was just glad to be a part of the Sept. 16 festivities, wishing Enso many more happy birthdays to come.

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uptown

www.uptownclt.com

9/30/2010 11:05:50 AM


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9/30/2010 11:05:53 AM


the seen

pictures: catch light studio george lainis

The glitterati started Fashion Night Out in 2009 in New York City as an attempt to jump-start the fashion and retail economy. In 2010, Charlotte’s version hit the NC Music Factory in a big way. With a fashion show in the front plaza of the Factory and the after-party at Butter, attendees were treated to a glamorous evening Sept. 9 under a warm summer night sky.

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Presented by:

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October 10.indd 9

9/30/2010 11:06:09 AM


the seen

pictures: catch light studio george lainis

Three hundred people celebrated the grand opening of the 51-story Vue condo tower Sept. 16. Ocie Davis and his band supplied the jazz, Enso and Lucie provided dinner and Amelie’s French Bakery capped off the night with dessert. As the Uptown skyline sparkled in the background, partygoers enjoyed the sunset on the Vue’s eighth-floor activities deck.

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the seen

pictures: catch light studio george lainis

Neiman Marcus had its own Fashion Night Out on Sept. 9 at the SouthPark location. It was an upscale affair with Champagne flowing freely for the fashionistas who enjoyed the runway show put on by one of the nation’s largest luxury retailers.

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THE VUE

NOW OPEN TO AWE.

The state-of-the-art and tallest residential building in Charlotte is now open. The Vue luxury residences offer amenities including biometric fingerprint access, floor-to-ceiling windows with unobstructed views of the Charlotte skyline, top-of-the-line finishes and a staff ready to assist your every need. These contemporary urban residences exemplify the finest in urban living in Uptown Charlotte.

BUILDING AMENITIES: • Biometric fingerprint access security systems to ensure a safe and private environment • 24-hour doorman & resident-only parking garage • Lavish lobby • Fully equipped 5,000-square-foot health club with yoga room • 4,000-square-foot Club VUE Lounge and media room

• 35,000-square-foot sun-soaked amenity deck with junior Olympic-sized pool, tennis/sports court and dog walk, all overlooking Fourth Ward Park and Uptown • Business Center

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VISIT OUR SALES CENTER AT 404 WEST 5TH ST., CHARLOTTE, NC 28202.

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MOVE IN NOW.

9/30/2010 11:06:38 AM


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*

uptown

Katie Levans is a Kentucky-born, Illinois-bred, Carolina transplant with a B.A. in Spanish and an obsession with all things food. When she’s not eating, you’ll find her practicing yoga, completing her master’s in nutrition and writing her food and health blog, sweettaterblog. com. Previously, Katie worked as a writer and editor for 10Best Inc. where she also dabbled in marketing until deciding that freelance writing would be a much more lucrative career. She loves sarcasm.

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Charlotte native Matt Kokenes didn’t have enough to do with a newborn boy at home, so he is now handling sales for Uptown Magazine and, along with a partner, he has formed Trafk Media, a marketing agency in town. He has also jumped back into the writing world and is writing the ongoing serial fiction short story “Duplicity”. Check it out starting on page 52.

Bryan Reed is a man of simple interests— among them, words, records, movies and adjusting to life as a grownup (whatever that means). Since graduating from UNCChapel Hill’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication, Bryan’s been living the dream, working as the assistant editor of Charlotte-based music magazine “Shuffle” and freelancing for several publications, including “Tiny Mix Tapes” and several weekly newspapers across the Carolinas.

Michelle Boudin has spent the last three and a half years falling in love with the Queen City! Born in New York, Michelle grew up in South Florida, but has bounced around the south as an awardwinning local TV news reporter. You can catch her every night on WCNC-TV or find her hanging out with her dog Rocky (a really intimidating maltipoo from the pound).

www.uptownclt.com

9/30/2010 11:06:47 AM


Peter Reinhart is the Chef on Assignment at Johnson & Wales University, which means he does whatever they ask him to do and goes wherever they send him. He’s written seven books on bread, pizza, food and culture. In partnership with Pierre Bader, he opened Pie Town, an artisan pizzeria on Trade Street. And AS if he weren’t busy enough, Peter is also “Uptown’s” contributing food editor.

A man about town with his camera, George Lainis of Catch Light Studio has been photographing people in his native Charlotte for years. From friends’ weddings and parties to family photos for the holidays, his work is creative and diverse, and he’s always looking to show you in the best light. Check out catchlightonline.com for more.

www.uptownclt.com

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* name: Little Shiva species: mutant here for: the smell of ink on paper interests: juxtaposition, transformation, mystery, clarity, the process of becoming, image and design contributions to this issue: table of contents website: littleshiva.com

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After 20 years of pretending to be a technical professional, Thomas Carrig gave it up to pursue his passions of food and wine. He moved to Charlotte to attend Johnson & Wales and discovered the pleasures of southern life while developing a new career. Credentialed in culinary arts, nutrition and wine, Thomas is a personal chef for prominent families, elite athletes and people with special nutritional needs throughout North Carolina.

Photographer Jim McGuire has trouble defining himself in a few words, plus it’s really weird to write stuff about yourself as if you were another person. Basically Jim likes what he does and he still gets excited about going to work every day. He’s pretty good about being on time and doing what he says he’s going to do. His wife Laura, is his rock. Jim’s photographs appear in the fashion section of this month’s issue. jimmcguire.com

Sherry Thien hails from everywhere -- and nowhere -- having lived from New York to Colorado, hitting just about every Midwest state in between. She comes from a family of journalists -- but don’t hold that against her. It made her independent in thought and spirit, quite nosy and serious and silly all rolled into one. She has been writing, editing and “making things pretty” ... er, designing, that is … for print and online since 1995.

www.uptownclt.com

9/30/2010 11:06:50 AM


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Publisher Todd Trimakas Advertising Matt Kokenes 704.944.0551 Executive Editor Sherry Thien Contributing Editors Peter Reinhart (Food)

I’ve tried positive thoughts. I’ve tried living in the moment. I already work like a farm mule and can’t work any harder. I’m ready for the next step. I see the next step as being a full-body, heart-palpitating, fingers-tingling, hyperventilating all-out panic. I’m not really sure what it would accomplish, but man it would feel good. I’ve mulled this quite a bit recently, with the economy being what it is, and I know exactly what I would do. On a warm day – to minimize shrinkage, – I would take off all my clothes, hop on a beach cruiser bicycle and ride screaming down Tryon. To get the most impact out of the experience, I’d probably obey all traffic signals, stopping at each and every red light and yelling the entire time. Hearing my own crazed screams bouncing off the buildings while riding through the Uptown canyon ... I’m thinking that would be mildly therapeutic and would probably end up on YouTube somehow. If you’re thinking to yourself, “You know, I feel the same way, Todd, but I’m just not that extroverted” ... you’re in luck, my friend. I have also developed an introverted option. It involves getting a nice cold drink, something to snack on, a reading light, a thick book (preferably fiction), maybe a blanket and hiding in my dirt-floored crawl space. I would hope to come out when the Dow Jones once again crests above 14,000 and everyone who wants to be

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is gainfully employed. If you are not in a house or don’t have access to a basement or crawl space, you needn’t worry. You could accomplish the same thing by simply crawling into bed, covering your head with your thickest comforter and mentally going to your dirt-floored crawl space – more than likely, you’ll accomplish just as much as if you really were underneath a house. I imagine everyone is going through this same thought process in one way or another. Whether you are gainfully employed by a large corporation or fighting your way through the jungle on your own, we are all experiencing the pain. It’s nice to commiserate now and again, or maybe just to read about it in the pages of a magazine. But if these feelings of pain are foreign to you, and if you’re the one in a million who thinks things couldn’t be better out there, then please keep that to yourself. Because no one wants to hear it anyway. Before I go back to my crawl space, do me this favor: If it’s me or one of your co-workers on that bike riding through Uptown, first avert your eyes. No one I know is going to look good naked while screaming on a beach cruiser. Second, don’t be the person who puts the video on YouTube. Those 300,000 video views aren’t going to help anyone in a second career. ~Todd Trimakas Publisher Todd@uptownclt.com

Contributors Michelle Boudin Thomas Carrig Matt Kokenes Katie Levans Bryan Reed Little Shiva Photography Jim McGuire Todd Trimakas George Lainis Cover Art Todd Trimakas Distribution Sean Chesney Office 1600 Fulton Ave., #140 Charlotte, NC 28205 Contact us at info@uptownclt.com Uptown Magazine is a trademark of Uptown Publishing inc., copyright 2009. All rights reserved. Uptown is printed monthly and subscriptions are $15 annually and can be purchased online at uptownclt.com.

www.uptownclt.com

9/30/2010 11:06:53 AM

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October 10.indd 21 Tranquil_Uptown_1010.indd 1

9/30/2010 11:06:54 AM PM 9/15/2010 3:07:53


>

None More Black ‘Until The Light Takes Us’ Explores the Twisted Roots of Norwegian Black Metal

Nagell, by contrast, denies any involvement, claiming at one point that as Vikernes’ thoughts drifted toward politics, his own moved farther into music, creating a rift between them. But he never directly condemns his contemporaries’ actions, either. The filmmakers’ objectivity is a gift to their ability to let viewers reach their own conclusions, but focuses more on the personalities than the music. The pathology of a character such as Vikernes makes for good drama, but he wouldn’t be nearly so notorious if his black-metal movement hadn’t resulted in an interesting sound. And since the sound left Norway, the music itself has been adopted and morphed into new and vastly more interesting contexts — something the documentary fails to recognize. The focus remains solely on the subset of Norwegian bands directly active during the periods of greatest controversy. In the world outside the humorless documentary, many of black metal’s aesthetic traits, like those of other metal subgenres, are often treated as punchlines, both by detractors and admirers. The often-cartoonish facepainting and unyielding obsession with all things dark, grim or evil quickly gathers the feeling of juvenile and superficial attempts at shock value or of an adolescent pissing contest — one that was taken to violent extremes in Norway. Musically, though, the genre has been adopted to varying degrees by a number of interesting artists. The aforementioned Xasthur’s solitary, depressive take on the genre is a grayscale panorama, in which subtle shadings can offer immense dimension.

Black metal inspires confliction. So does “Until The Light Takes Us,” a documentary about Norwegian black metal, in which filmmakers Aaron Aites and Audrey Ewel go directly to the figureheads of the sound, the style and the controversy of what is arguably heavy metal’s most extreme derivation. Developed in Norway during the late 1980s and early ’90s, black metal was a reaction to what its progenitors saw as a sterilization of commercial death metal. They opted instead for low-grade recording and poor equipment, which gave the early recordings of bands like Mayhem and Darkthrone a brittle, cold and grim feeling — necrosound, as it would come to be known. The monochromatic moods, harsh timbres and broad, sweeping melodies made an impact, not only on metalheads, but have inspired bands as far away from metal as alt-country songwriter Ryan Adams, indie-rock stars Interpol and folk singer Marissa Nadler (whose haunting voice graces the claimed-to-be-final recording of American black-metal recluse Xasthur). But the ideologies espoused by some of the genre’s pioneers — which run a hateful gamut of nationalism, xenophobia, homophobia, racism and anti-Christian sentiments — make it a tougher pill to swallow than even its standoffish sonic approach would suggest. In the ’90s, the original Norwegian scene imploded with a series of deaths (both suicides and murders), church arsons and prison sentences. To both the advantage and disadvantage of “Until The Light Takes Us,” Aites and Ewel dodge editorializing as if it would kill them. Rather, they merely let the cameras roll as figureheads — including the film’s de facto stars, Gylve “Fenriz” Nagell of Darthrone and Varg Vikernes of Burzum (interviewed in prison before his release earlier this year) — explain their music and their motivations as best they know how. We hear Vikernes explain his hatred of American and Christian usurpation of Nordic heritage, laced with currents of anti-Semitism. The camera merely listens; the filmmakers offer neither challenge nor approval. We hear Jan Axel “Hellhammer” Blomberg, exdrummer of Mayhem, extol the murder of a homosexual committed by Bard “Faust” Eithun, the drummer of peer-band Emperor. Again, the camera offers no reaction.

Pacific Northwestern trio Wolves In The Throne Room counter Xasthur’s insularity by adopting the genre’s most expansive and triumphant sounds for their naturalistic Thoreau-meets-Slayer epics. Their vision of black metal evokes the wet, foggy chill of a dark redwood forest, but refuses to wallow in the darkness, and instead embraces the majesty of nature’s magnitude with sprawling 15-minute-plus meditations. The similarly meditative Chicago outfit Locrian injects black metal’s trebly, buzzing guitars and hoarse vocals throughout their lengthy pieces — which also incorporate pensive drones and dynamic noise to build redemptive and mostly instrumental epics. But several times on this year’s superlative “Territories,” the trio goes at black metal full-bore. At one such instance, “Procession of Ancestral Brutalism,” the result is an exhilarating 11-minute upwell of patient, but potent, sonic force. This works much like Horseback’s appropriation of the genre — which I wrote about last month — in creating a sense of struggle and triumph through challenging sounds and dramatic, expansive melodies. For Horseback, the harsh timbres and dark tones serve as an auditory metaphor for the struggle of self-actualization on the excellent album, “The Invisible Mountain.” But no matter how many exciting, fresh, even uplifting contexts the sound might move into, it’s haunted by its origins. I’m forced to wonder if a sound can ever be forgiven for the sins of its fathers, and to question the relationship between art and artist. Trying to appreciate Burzum despite Varg Vikernes’ murder conviction and bigotry is similar to trying to appreciate Mel Gibson’s work as an actor and director despite his bigotry, or Roman Polanski’s work despite his pedophilia. Some will embrace the art and artist, some the art, but not the artist, and others will shun both entirely. I’m not sure there’s a right answer to these questions. I’m conflicted. And so, apparently, is “Until The Light Takes Us.” U

Reach Bryan at bryan.c.reed@gmail.com For samples of these songs go to uptownclt.com

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X

Y

Z

Megafaun – “Heretofore” (Hometapes) North Carolina’s best band returns from last year’s gracefully sprawling “Gather, Form & Fly” with this concise mini-LP, which finds the band both at its most pop-centric (the buoyant Americana pop tune “Carolina Days”) and its most out-minded (the gorgeous 12-and-a-half-minute jazz-jam “Comprovisation For Connor Pass”). Megafaun might paint with all hues, but in their hands, the spectrum is contained and controlled in a singular — and treasured — prism.

The Autumn Defense – “Once Around” (Yep Roc) On their fourth full-length outing, Wilco sidemen John Stirratt and Pat Sansone drive home the soft-rockingest tendencies of their main band, and showcase the mellow-gold songwriting and roots-reverent countrypolitan shine that tugs against Glenn Kotche’s and Nels Cline’s avant-garde explorations in Wilco. On their own, Stirratt and Sansone deliver the oldiesstation goods with smooth twang and honeyed melodies that don’t ask for any bombast.

Sharon Van Etten – “epic” (Ba Da Bing) Brooklyn songwriter Sharon Van Etten doesn’t waste time on her sophomore effort, a surprisingly ample 32 minutes spread over seven songs. But the gravity Van Etten pours into her voice, her viscous, molasses melodies both heavy and sweet, captivate effortlessly. These songs of heartbreak become songs of triumph as Van Etten clears them, delivering each line as though it need never be uttered again — except whenever you’re ready to press play.

Interpol – “Interpol” (Matador) The somber post-punk outfit offers another collection of broad, sweeping melodies and guitar textures. The New Yorkers’ fourth LP is its last to feature bassist Carlos D, and it favors melodic accents taken from influences as far-flung as post-rock (“Summer Well”) and black metal (“Memory Serves”), while building toward the smooth anthemic quality of arena headliners like Coldplay.

Superchunk – “Majesty Shredding” (Merge) Titans of indie rock in the ’90s, Superchunk has since been more of a sporadic thing — until now. This, the band’s first proper album in nine years, is an overdriven shot of gleeful adrenaline loaded with powerful hooks and draped in glorious distortion. Just try to stop humming “Digging For Something.” It’s no small feat. Indie rock hasn’t sounded this good in almost a decade.

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The watch on my wrist, which I was not supposed to be wearing, told me that I had 10 minutes to deliver a perfectly presented plate of veal strudel with a side of sauteed spinach and garlic to a chef instructor who always had high expectations and was not exactly in a good mood. My veal strudel, on the other hand, told me that it needed about nine more minutes in the oven to attain the perfect golden-brown color that would help secure a coveted grade of “Mastered� on my culinary practical exam. I needed to remain calm and cool to pull this off, all while my fellow students were the proverbial headless chickens.

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words: thomas carrig pictures: todd trimakas

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A

s a mature, careerchanging adult in a world of students less than half my age, I often questioned my decision to parachute from the safety of my high-paying, status-filled career as a research and development professional into a second-stage career as an aspiring chef. It all sounded so romantic — I resigned from corporate America to follow my passion. But there I was — in the middle of my practical exam for the course Fundamentals of

Foodservice Preparation at Johnson & Wales University — a 40-something grown man in the midst of children in a state of near chaos. When I walked into the kitchen — they call them “culinary labs” at Johnson & Wales — on practical day, I looked at the white board at the front of the room along with the rest of my peers. It was there that we learned at exactly what time Chef B. expected our finished plate presentations for grading. He was an

old-school chef who trained in Europe and held his students to very high standards and he was very vocal in his coaching. Students were free to choose their own recipes, or to make one from the textbook used for class, as long as the dish featured the cooking technique on which we were being graded. The astute student had two or three recipes ready to roll, depending on what time a finished product was due for grading, as the first three or four students on the list had considerably less

inside the culinary lab at johnson & wales

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www.uptownclt.com

9/30/2010 11:07:22 AM


time to work their magic than did the rest of the class. There on the white board, Chef B. had listed nine names, with times after each name separated by 10-minute intervals. The remainder of the 18-student class would be tested the next day. I was sixth on the list. Thankfully, they rarely followed alphabetical order, which pleased me because it meant I would have plenty of time to work and be able to eavesdrop on five students’ grading to try to determine what Chef B. was liking and disliking on this particular day. To that end, I chose a work station that wasn’t ideal for execution, but was close to where plate presentations were delivered and subsequently scrutinized. For the most part, culinary classes at Johnson & Wales bear no resemblance to the myriad ridiculous, yet highly entertaining, television cooking shows that pit chefs against one another in medieval-style contests of skill under pressure. At some point, the television programming wizards will combine “American Gladiator” and “Top Chef” so that a chef will have to julienne a carrot while a food critic fires hot baked potatoes at him out of a cannon from 50 feet away. Back in the “real” reality, culinary school is a learning environment that is rooted in

*

For the most part, culinary classes at Johnson & Wales bear no resemblance to the myriad ridiculous, yet highly entertaining, television cooking shows that pit chefs against one another in medieval-style contests of skill under pressure.

discipline and organization, except for practical exams. Final grades in culinary classes at JWU are based on a combination of hands-on cooking skills (60 percent) and academic knowledge (40 percent). The practical exams that occurred on the final days of each class accounted for 15 percent of a person’s total grade, but most students approached them as if they counted 100 percent. The practical exam was personal — it was a direct assessment of a budding chef’s skills and it didn’t matter how many points it carried. Indeed, after enduring day after day of disciplined instruction on fundamentals and knife cuts and techniques, these youngsters looked at practicals as a means to release their inner rock star chef. For this test, we were being judged on our baking skills. According to “Culinary Fundamentals,” the 903-page (excluding appendices) text that we had to lug around with our knife kits, “Baking is the method of using dry, hot air to cook food in a closed environment.” In the academic sense, it differs from roasting in that the latter involves searing of meat in fat or oil

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and then cooking it in an oven on some sort of elevation such as a rack or a bed of carrots, onions and celery (called a mirepoix). Once practicals got under way, it did not take very long for the environment in the culinary lab to degenerate. For some reason, rational thought disappeared, along with courtesy and cooperation. Classmates who were so helpful in group cooking just a few days ago would toss your work in progress in the garbage without a second thought. Take Randy, for example — a talent in the kitchen and a nice guy. But when our Fundamental of Foodservice Preparation (FFP, as we called it) practicals began, Randy showed a selfserving, ruthless side that surprised me. I expected the behavior from many others, but not from him. Of the 10 range-top burners available for the nine of us being tested, Randy had quickly taken five of

sauteed spinach. And speaking of diced vegetables, size definitely matters. During our prep work, Chef B. paced the room looking over our shoulders, making sure that if a recipe said to cut the vegetables macedoine — a French term for ¼ inch dice, as my veal strudel required — that each cut was pretty darn close to the specified size. With about six of us crowding to use the five burners that Randy kindly left for us, the quarters were tight, the heat was high and the tension started to build. Beth, not a shy young lady and someone who was easy to imagine in a fast-paced, high-volume restaurant kitchen, started yelling at Randy and informing him that he was several things that can’t be printed in this publication. But he wasn’t budging. Once my veal was cooked, I returned to the safety of my work station to begin crafting my masterpiece. The clamor at

Who is making this damn bomb over here? Chef B. yelled so that everyone in our lab, and the ones adjacent, could hear. It seemed that someone filled a rondeau — a large, deep pan for braising — with four or so inches of oil and had it sitting over high heat until it was completely shimmering and starting to smoke.

them for various sauces and sides he was preparing. I tried reasoning with him and he wasn’t buying it, insisting that he needed all of those burners and, since he was there first, they were his. Complaining to Chef B. was not allowed — we needed to manage everything on our own. Because Randy’s dish was due 30 minutes before mine, I would be OK. I had commandeered one burner already to saute my ground veal with diced onions, mushrooms and fresh ginger. So I needed only two more burners for 15 to 20 minutes to make a sauce and some 30

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the range continued as I allowed my veal to cool. I then tasted it and seasoned it with salt and pepper until I was happy with the flavor. The mild meat was dominant as desired, with the onions and mushrooms offering an earthy support and the ginger lingering in the background, hard to identify but offering a hint of the exotic. I set one of the four ovens to 375 degrees so it would be ready when I needed it, and hoped that someone didn’t change it on me. “Who is making this damn bomb over here?” Chef B. yelled so that everyone in our lab, and the ones

adjacent, could hear. It seemed that someone filled a rondeau — a large, deep pan for braising — with four or so inches of oil and had it sitting over high heat until it was completely shimmering and starting to smoke. Chef called it a bomb because if someone dropped food in there to cook, it would have no doubt splashed all over everyone within five or so feet of the pot. In such a tightly packed space on the range, it could have caused serious burns. “Al was heating the oil, Chef,” someone replied. “Where in the hell is Al?” he yelled, wheeling around to scan the room. No Al to be seen, which infuriated him even more because we were not allowed to leave the room without permission, which Al apparently did not have. The situation was resolved safely, and Al was in deep trouble (which was not unusual). But, worse yet, Chef B. was now totally pissed off and all of us being tested felt the added pressure in what was already a tense room. I had to focus on my strudel. Add beaten eggs to the meat to bind it during baking; this would keep it from crumbling all over when I sliced it. Roll out the dough into a thin, large sheet, no holes, even thickness. Spoon the veal evenly over the dough and roll it up ever so carefully into a perfect log. Take some dough that I set aside and cut it into leaf-shaped pieces to garnish the top of the strudel, giving it that woodsy, rustic look I wanted. Finally, with a pastry brush, apply egg wash, beaten egg and water to the log so that, when baked, it would develop that perfect golden-brown appearance. I was on my way to a “Mastered,” which was a perfect 15 points out of the 15 available. As my strudel baked, I rough-cut some garlic into chunks and diced tomato to cook with my spinach, which would take five to 10 minutes. And because the strudel had a dough wrapping, I did not need a starch side for a nutritionally balanced plate — very shrewd on my part. Everything was falling into place nicely. I looked at my watch. The student

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dress code did not allow jewelry of any kind other than wedding rings. Watches, rings, wrist bands, earrings and the like were banned as possible hiding places for bacteria and other foodborne pathogens. My watch was a runner’s watch, all plastic, able to be sterilized, and safe. So I took a chance and wore it so that I could manage my work flow and ensure that I was ready when my time was up. And that was 10 minutes away at that juncture. I could breathe easy. Randy couldn’t breathe easy. His dish was due. As much

IT’S THE EXPERIENCE! Dr. Bradford L. Picot & Team

As I prepared to pick up the half-eaten plate and clean up my work station, feeling satisfied but also a little bummed, Chef B. wryly smiled and said, “Too bad, the garlic tasted better that way.”

of a prick as he had been for the past few hours, I had to admit that the plate of food he carried past me and placed before Chef B. was a thing of beauty. A whole chicken with a deep-red glaze and aromas that definitely made me think I was in a fantastic Indian restaurant. It was perfectly taken apart and plated with a beautiful side of aromatic rice and cauliflower and a bright appearance that screamed turmeric. It was colorful, nicely arranged and tickled the nose with well-integrated aromas. “What do we have here?” Chef asked as I eavesdropped. “Roast tandoori chicken with Indian-spiced rice and cauliflower,” Randy replied. “Roasted chicken, Randy?” “Yes, Chef.” Chef B. sampled bites of everything on the plate. All of these instructors should be enormous due to the amount of food they have to taste over the course of a day. “This is delicious, perfectly seasoned and perfectly cooked.” He began filling out the evaluation form that listed the criteria for grading, and informed Randy that he was giving him a score of nine. His jaw dropped, as did mine — nine was considered “Developing,” which was not good. It was the lowest category, below “Validated” (considered good) and far from “Mastered” (which was the very top and required that perfect score). Randy no doubt thought his dish would earn “Mastered.” “This is a baking practical, not a roasting practical,” Chef said. “I don’t care how good it is, you did not use the proper cooking technique for this practical.” Ouch. But perhaps justice was served after all. I sauteed my spinach, garlic and tomato while I made a nice red wine and balsamic vinegar reduction for my strudel sauce on a set of burners that was practically empty. With two minutes before I was due, my strudel was looking ready, so I pulled it out, let it cool for a few seconds and sliced up about 10

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pieces, though I would serve only two. Having 10 allowed me to pick and choose the best-looking two for my plate. I piled a nice serving of spinach, which glistened with olive oil and had specks of chunky white garlic and bright-red tomato and smelled awesome. I leaned the strudel slice against the spinach and spooned the sauce onto the slices after practicing on slices that would not make it to the show plate. I was ready on time and absolutely thrilled with what I was bringing to Chef. He tasted, and nodded. And tasted some more. He filled out the evaluation form and I could see that I was acing it. My pride was growing. This guy was tough and everyone knew it. Getting a “Mastered” from him was a big deal. But, alas, the garlic killed me. I intentionally used chunky-cut garlic to keep the rustic motif and Chef B. thought that it should have been uniformly minced to display knife skills — “tasted but not seen” was how he put it to me. The garlic cost me 0.25 points, giving me 14.75 out of 15. “Validated.” Damn. U Reach Thomas at thomas@thomasthechef.com For more info, go to uptownclt.com (NOTE: The preceding account reflects actual events, though the names have been changed to protect the innocent — and the not-so-innocent.) www.uptownclt.com

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a self portrait by greg scott

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the art of the economy At 40, Greg Scott is facing a midlife crisis. He’s not buying a Porsche. He didn’t have an affair with his secretary. He needs a job. And the father of two worries that finding one could mean losing something even more important. As an artist by trade, he may have to leave his passion behind just to keep his family afloat. This choice is something many people in Charlotte are dealing with right now. “I’ve always been an artist. To think about stopping at the age of 40 is unfathomable to me.”

words: michelle boudin pictures: todd trimakas

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G

Greg has made a nice living as an artist for decades. He has two kids in private school, money in the bank and, until this year, never really had to worry about not having a corporate job. He paints ceilings (think modernday Michelangelo) and often nabbed $15,000 a job. But the phone has stopped ringing. “For me, the last half of 2009 is when the work really started drying up. And this year, it became very clear just how challenging the future was going to be. I am trying desperately to hang on.” Instead of painting, Greg finds himself on a very different career path, one that includes no real discernible road at all. “This year I’ve been picking up more and more odd jobs. I’ve done carpentry work, interior decorating. I’ve even taken jobs hanging other people’s art,” he says. Greg admits it’s been humbling. And it has reminded him of his roots. Greg grew up on a dairy farm in Lizella, Ga., about 20 miles outside of Macon. It’s a one-stoplight kind of town with just one post office, one library and one elementary school. And his family farm? It’s just what you’d imagine in rural Georgia. It’s the kind of farm where Greg’s extended family all lived close, built houses on the property and often ended each evening around the same dinner table. His grandmother was

a potter. Not the kind we all fell in love with in “Ghost.” She used the clay from the earth to make her molds. “It seems to me her art came out of the struggle,” Greg says. “I’ve realized all art comes from the struggle. Mine, too. For my grandmother, it was therapy and a way she made her living.” Even though he grew up around art, Greg says that as a child art wasn’t his thing. Instead, he thought he’d take an entirely different path. His uncles were all in the military and he figured he would follow in their footsteps. He enrolled in South Meck’s ROTC program not long after his family moved to Charlotte. He did well, moved up the ranks and was promoted to lieutenant commander. “I had leadership ability. I thought I was headed to the Marine Corps,” he says. But just before graduation, he was sitting in a friend’s living room when something changed – in an instant. “We were all sitting around talking about what we were going to do after graduation. I heard myself say that I was going to be in the military and it was like the world flashed. I realized at that moment my heart wouldn’t allow me to follow that path. My self-awareness turned me into a conscientious objector overnight.” Greg says he was 17 at the time, and it was then he figured out what he wanted to be when he grew up – an artist.

rousso’s flowification 40” x 40”

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He’s never looked back. Never doubted his decision. “I’ve been inspiring people for a long time now, telling them to follow their heart and calling and bliss. So for me to have to drop that …,” his voice trails off. Greg is one of about 50 local artists who have had their work sold in FABO (stands for Fabulous Art Buying Opportunity) cafe. Formerly in NoDa (Charlotte’s historic arts district), owner Amy Aussieker relocated in October to her new home on Selwyn Avenue. The idea for the cafe is that local artists have a place to sell their wares at a reasonable price to Queen City customers. Everything in FABO is under a thousand bucks. But, Aussieker says, it’s still a tough sell right now. “I do think it’s worse. People are spending money, but we really need to get them to spend money on art.” FABO’S bestselling artist is a 54-year-old man with a charming British accent who, for nine days this summer, did hard labor. Noel Fludgate and a partner hung a giant LED screen in Uptown’s Discovery Place. (You know, like the massive ones that adorn Jerry Jones’ billiondollar Dallas Cowboys stadium.) Noel didn’t even know where to begin to put the 30-foot high by 40-foot wide screen together. That’s because he’s never done anything like that before. The former high school teacher admits he really didn’t have any related experience for the job, except to call himself “pretty handy.” Thing is, the job paid $3,000, so he decided to wing it. He does that a lot these days because his real profession isn’t paying the bills. He, too, is trying to avoid becoming a starving artist. “The term is definitely true,” he says. “I have to supplement my income by doing other jobs. I even took a job with my homeowners association to pressure wash the entrance to our subdivision. I teach

scott’s blue portal in thin space

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paul rousso

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art classes at Michaels and the YMCA. I take any job that comes my way now. I used to sell several paintings a month, often for $1,000 each. In August, I didn’t make a single sale. This whole year has been tough, probably the toughest year yet since I decided to paint full time.” Noel moved to the United States from London eight years ago and has lived in Charlotte for the past six. He has been a high school teacher for most of his adult life, but he says his doctor gave him an ultimatum around the time he moved to the Queen City, telling him that teaching translated to a dangerously high blood pressure. He started painting mixed-media abstracts using acrylics, watercolors and oils and found that he actually had a talent for it and could make a living from it. It was 2005 and Charlotte was a boom town. Art was almost considered a necessity. “Even though I was new at it and didn’t know anything about anything, it wasn’t that hard to sell my art because the economy was so good,” he says. But the landscape changed, the economy tanked and now, as he tries to drum up some business, Noel’s passion is hanging on the walls of Nothing but Noodle’s, a hair salon in Matthews and a new fitness club on Selwyn. He has also changed the way he does business. He only paints what he thinks will sell. “Before the economy got bad, I could paint whatever I felt like painting. Now I can’t waste money on supplies … I only paint what I think people would want to hang in their homes.” One of Charlotte’s most prolific and well-known artists, Paul Rousso, has work hanging in some of the city’s landmark buildings – we’re talking the Time Warner Arena, the convention center and the headquarters of the Family Dollar. But talk to him and he sounds as if he’s already given up. “I spent the last 30 to 40 years believing. I believed! Now I know that I’m just screwed and I’m a cliche,” Paul says. A cliche, he says, that comes complete with the disappearing dream home, a dried-up career and a serious case of regret. The 51-year-old used to pull in a salary on par with the executives who regularly commissioned his work. He made a sweet six figures a year, often making $40,000 to $50,000 at a time. The high-profile gigs meant his wife didn’t have to work, his two sons could go to Providence Day School and he could build his million-dollar dream home on what he calls the perfect street in South Charlotte. “I kick myself now,” he says, “but to tell you the truth, I had every reason to believe that I made it.” Paul was not an overnight sensation. But to hear him tell it, he was sensational overnight. He says he became an artist because a pretty girl paid him some attention. He was in the second grade. “I remember the day, when I was 7. The teacher handed out big pieces of construction paper and said, ‘Today were going to draw ourselves.’ All the kids in my class were doing stuff, but I was actually looking in the window trying to draw my reflection. At first, I think she thought I was a weird kid, but then I think she thought I was good. Suddenly I got a lot of attention from her. She was young and pretty and I liked it. From then on, people called me an artist.”

O “

At 19, the artist landed in New York, where he says a friend got him a job designing Robert De Niro’s loft. At 25, he was in charge of one of the biggest ad campaigns at one of Manhattan’s largest ad agencies. But then he said he took a trip to Paris, saw the art he’d studied his whole life and remembered the label he’d so proudly worn for his pretty secondgrade teacher.

I had it all. I was on top of the world. Every cliche a guy my age could suffer through, I had it. Ten times”

“I thought, what ever happened to wanting to be an artist?!” It was 1988 when the jeweler’s son hightailed it back to his hometown. A friend had told him Charlotte was busting wide open and was turning into a financial center with tons of opportunity. Paul rode the wave for almost 20 years. But in May 2008, he says he started to get a bad feeling. By September of that year, it had been four months since he’d sold a thing. His side job doing illustrations for the big real estate developers evaporated overnight.

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“I made a lot of money doing that too, and it just ended. Everything just stopped,” he says. “I mean, everything just stopped.” And so did his journey in the clouds. Paul’s wife had to get a job and became the family breadwinner for the first time. They took a loss on the dream house when they were forced to sell it and they moved into his mom’s old place. But worse, he says, was being forced to pull his boys from the school they loved. Last year, the family’s finances left him no choice but to switch the kids from the comfort of the private school they looked forward to each day to a public school they had never experienced. “The worst night of my life was telling my 12-year-old he’s not going back to Providence Day School. He loved that school.” With his work once in demand and hanging in galleries from New York to New Orleans, the Charlotte native says he never saw the bottom coming. “I had it all. I was on top of the world. Every cliche a guy my age could suffer through, I had it. Ten times,” he says. But forget the economy, Paul blames the Queen City for the end of his reign. “I have been trying to be the big fish in the little sea for the last 21 years. I truly believe I picked the wrong city. This is not an artsy town. There are no collectors here. You cannot become famous in Charlotte as an artist unless you’re doing portraits of ducks, golfers or NASCAR drivers. “I gave up on Charlotte four or five years ago,” he says. “I just stopped even trying.” The last time he says he really made an effort was about a year ago. He scored a meeting with a high-level, much-beloved former banking executive and was hoping the person, who is also an arts supporter, would hook him up with other CEOs who could afford his work. “At the end of it, he said he would help me, and I never heard from him again. That’s when I stopped working.” But Paul doesn’t want to be painted as just a bitter, washed-up artist. He is proud of his newest stuff-on display in an Atlanta gallery. He thinks it’s some of his best work yet.

The only problem is, he’s also pretty sure it won’t sell until after it doesn’t matter. “I think I’m going to be really famous when I’m dead,” he says. “I’m just not willing to cut my ear off.” U Reach Michelle at mboudin@wcnc.com For more info, go to uptownclt.com

rousso’s hydraquition 40” x 40”

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THE VEGETARIAN AT THE BBQ FESTIVAL

matt’s big green egg

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words: katie levans pictures: todd trimakas

o

n four hours of sleep, life can start to look a little hazy. Or maybe it was just the smoke. There I was, at 6 a.m. on a Saturday morning, camped out in a parking lot surrounded by meat-filled grills and a team of unshowered men who, it was safe to assume, were also meat-filled. Sitting there clutching my coffee with almond milk, reeking of hickory smoke and watching the sun rise over the Porta-David (renamed in honor of one of the members of the team), I had to wonder, “What am I doing at a barbecue festival?” On paper (and, perhaps, in person), I make about as much sense at a barbecue festival as Lady Gaga does in pants. Not much. I’ve been a vegetarian for nine years. I haven’t purchased or prepared meat in almost a decade. I assume that pork butt is exactly what it sounds like and, much to my father’s dismay, I won’t even eat seafood. Despite my apparent shortcomings as a barbecue reporter, I was offered and eagerly accepted the job anyway, and for good reason. I may not know the difference between a T-bone and a strip steak, but if there’s one thing I understand, embrace and encourage, it’s obsession. And you encounter a lot of that at an event that requires contestants to stay awake for 24 hours hovering over a hunk of flesh. The care and attention with which barbecue competitors tend to their meat is the kind of behavior I’d reserve for caring for an infant. It’s an allconsuming hobby set aside for the fanatical — and it’s awesome. “I’m a little obsessed with food,” contestant Vic Werany said. “Passion is easy, but obsession, this endless obsession that I have with food ...” he paused, “it’s hard what I do. Barbecue is a mistress you don’t want.”

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arrived at the 2010 Time Warner Blues and BBQ Festival in Uptown Charlotte early Friday evening with a sack of vegetarian snacks and my older, meat-eating brother in tow. I needed an official meat taste tester and knew my brother was an ideal candidate, considering his diet consists of meat, cheese, bread, bourbon and Toaster Strudels. I suppose I also owed him for all those years he had to listen to me stomp up the stairs screaming, “This family has got to stop eating so many cows!” I knew very little about what I was getting myself into, but I also knew that I did not expect the first person I encountered to have a sprawling “Vegan Life” tattoo across his chest, complete with broccoli icon. This would be the first of many unforeseen twists to what I assumed would be an otherwise predictable event. I did know the next 24 hours involved meat. I knew a Porta-Potty would be present. I knew sleep was discouraged. And I knew (from diligent Facebook stalking … er, investigative journalism) that the guy I’d be following around for 24 hours had a giant “CHILI MAN” tattoo across his back. These are all things I’d expect to find at a barbecue event. Vegans, nuns, religious crusaders and shirtless athletes are not, but that didn’t stop any of them from passing through.

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y brother and I walked down South Tryon, past the vendor booths with corn on the cob and funnel cake and by the professional teams with tricked-out, double-decker party trailers and 5-foot-tall trophies, to a lot alongside St. Peter’s Catholic Church where the amateur teams were camped out. We weaved through rows of pop-up tents, corn hole games, smokers and coolers — some filled with meat, most filled with beer — to meet with the team I’d be embedded with for the evening. You may know the tattooed CHILI MAN around Uptown as Vic Werany, the Hotdog Guy who slings wieners from a cart at Fourth and Tryon. A man

vic & matt’s ribs

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with many meat-related talents and often unable to decide which is his best, Vic can be heard referring to himself as the Chili Man, the Hotdog Guy or the Sauce Boss. On this particular night, he was the Sauce Boss for team Fat & Chili. His partner, Matt Hughett, appeared to prefer doing one thing only and one thing well, so he held down the fort as the pitmaster. From my limited knowledge of barbecued meats, I gathered that their responsibilities fit their personalities. When it comes to barbecue, I know that the sauce is the first thing you see. It’s bold and in your face (or on it) and, without a wet wipe, it’s not going anywhere. Vic is this way. He describes himself as talkative, loud, gregarious and boisterous, and he’s not lying. You have to dig a little bit deeper to get to the meat, though, and whether it was prepared properly won’t become apparent until it’s been on a grill for 12 hours and you’ve made it past the sauce. Matt is this way, a little guarded perhaps. He’s quieter and more cryptic than Vic. Though, this is not to say he’s not a perfectly warm and welcoming parking lot host (he was passing out the beer, after all); it’s just that, to overshadow Vic’s personality, it would be quite a feat and likely an overwhelming combination. Together they form Fat & Chili, a perfectly balanced, smack-talking dynamic duo hooked on the hog (and the cow and the lamb) and ready to take home some trophies. They greeted me with open arms and closed grills. Do not, under any circumstances, open the grill. “If you’re looking, you’re not cooking,” Vic says. Barbecue lesson No. 1 … check. Their tent was a bit of a destination within the amateur lot. Past and present competitors stopped by to say hey, to toss around friendly threats and to see what was cooking, literally. The vibe among the amateurs, known as Backyard Grillers, is one of camaraderie first and relentless ball-busting second. They ask questions and share advice about grills, temperatures and

vic werany

rubs. They relive the trials and tribulations of past competitions. They share beer and portable toilets, and they all talk mad shit the entire time. With 37 rib entries and 46 butt entries, they can’t all be winners, but it certainly doesn’t stop any of them from pretending like they will be. “This is where it all happens,” Vic says. “These are the backyard guys, the locals. We’re the draw.” There’s a general sense of divide between the backyard grillers and the pros, a sort of “us” and “them” mentality. But this is not unlike the divide you’d find in any competition where pros 46

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make the big bucks while the amateurs are in it for the love of the game. The pros here are a part of the Memphis Barbecue Network (MBN) and are fighting for a spot at Memphis in May, competitive barbecue’s answer to the Olympics, or “the holy grail,” as Vic describes it. Competitive barbecue is big business, and participating in an event isn’t cheap. When you consider the entry fees, cost of food, equipment rental or purchase and travel costs, things start to add up well beyond the $500 first-place amateur prize. Matt and Vic were lucky to receive 76 pounds of pork butt and

nine racks of ribs from Mark White at Sam’s Club-University City, a company Vic describes as “a big-box store with the heart of a mom-and-pop shop.” And the honey used in many of Vic’s sauces was sponsored by Cloister Honey, which harvests some of its honey from hives atop the Ritz-Carlton on Trade Street. The competition and the money are exciting and important, but it would appear that competitive barbecue is just as much about the journey as the destination. Vic had been prepping for this event for a week. He’d been up since 5 a.m. and wouldn’t see a bed or a shower for another 36 hours. www.uptownclt.com

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matt hughett

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The team was competing in six amateur categories, and they weren’t all about meat: Ribs, Boston Butt, Best Sauce (both tomato and vinegar subcategories), Bloody Mary, Best Booth and “Anything But.” “Anything But” is a chance for contestants to showcase their culinary prowess with dishes containing anything but pork. Entries range from chicken wings and grilled pizza to burgers and even cupcakes. Vic entered his “pride and joy” — souvlaki, which is grilled lamb nestled in a buttered grilled pita and topped off with fresh cucumbers, tomatoes and his famous tzatziki sauce. I had a sample (sans lamb). In a word: Excellent.

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ate Friday night, when the meat was smoking away low and slow in a steady 225-degree slumber for the rest of the evening and the backyard teams had settled in under their respective tents, I got a chance to find out a bit more about these carnivores. Matt has hair like Patrick Dempsey that he assured us is not styled. Vic looks like Luke from “Gilmore Girls” (I can’t possibly be the first person who has drawn this comparison) and is covered in 12 different Dr. Seuss and Shel Silverstein tattoos, including a ring of Whos around his right bicep and Yertle the Turtle down the length of his torso. Both are 44, married and fathers to young children. “My kids think I’m famous,” Vic says about being recognized as the Hotdog Guy around town. They both love what they do and, it would appear, do only what they love, as Vic makes a living with his hotdog cart and Matt is “prematurely retired.” They’ve toyed around with the idea of going pro, but according to Vic, “this is a hell of a lot more fun.” Vic shared a little medical history with us and, like the obsessive, diehard, lunatic meat-lover that he is, he had actually been competing with three intestinal hernias. Yes, three. He didn’t let this slow him down, but he did stop every once in a while to

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carefully tuck his intestines back where they belong, assuring me each time that he was “not doing anything gross.” He delayed his surgery so he could compete in the event. “I wouldn’t have missed this for the world,” he says. We took a minute to sample Vic’s eight specialty sauces, each sharing a common (but top secret) base formula and accented with unique ingredients such as merlot, honey, cinnamon and cherry juice. They were all good. Really good. I asked where I could buy them. “They deserve to be on the shelf,” he says, “but I can’t afford to get them there.” It’s a shame. The MerlotBQ would be lovely over tofu. As the night crept further along into the wee morning hours of Saturday and the guys started discussing the intricacies of salt variation by region, I slipped away to catch a few hours of sleep in my own bed. Perhaps I cheated on my assignment just a bit. But, if it counts for anything, I didn’t shower before turning around and heading back a few hours later. I slept with my windows open as a result.

T

he next morning, the backyard lot looked like the aftermath of a successful fraternity party. Beer cans and sleeping men were strewn about the ground. Those who were awake were sipping beer. Breakfast of champions. “If I look like I slept in a parking lot last night,” says Matt, beer in hand, “it’s because I did.” He slept flat on the ground with little more than a rug between him and the pavement. Vic passed out upright in a chair for about an hour. Vic and I headed over to the Bloody Mary competition, which, oddly enough, was being judged by runners from the 5K Hog Jog. Because nothing goes better with an early morning run than vodka. “This is the whole reason I signed up for the race,” says liquor-happy racer Zeke Watkins, Bloody Mary in hand. After the last runner-judge-drunk was served, we headed back to camp, where I packed up my

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things and said my goodbyes. The day was just beginning, but my time in Meatland was over. It was my two-year anniversary, after all, and my boyfriend had a big, secret vegetarian night out planned. I was a little sad to go. The guys had grown on me, but unfortunately so had the smoke. I decided against spending a second day marinating in meat smoke and opted instead for a hot shower and a nap and left the carnivores to do what they do best: Serve meat to the masses. According to the guys, they had a line of hungry festivalgoers wrapped around their booth. They say it was the food. I say it was their crowd appeal.

I

stopped back by the awards ceremony on my way to dinner only to learn that my home team didn’t walk away with any awards this year. In the short time I was with them, they’d already won over another fan, but they only placed 32nd in Ribs and 22nd in Boston Butt. I obviously can’t speak to the quality of their final products, but I can say that what Fat & Chili lacked in awards this year, they made up for in charisma. People are drawn to their tent, and they have an impressive way of making everyone feel welcome, even a lone vegetarian in a sea of meat. Vic even invited me to come have a soydog at his cart, which I will do. I can’t say I’ll be converting into a meat eater any time soon (or ever), but I did appreciate Vic and Matt’s dedication to their craft. They may not have won this time, but there will most certainly be a next time for Fat & Chili. In fact, if Vic has his way, he won’t stop competing in barbecue events until you pry the grill tongs from his cold, dead hands. “We’re gonna die on the road, cart behind the truck, doing the Chili Man thing and selling hotdogs,” he said. U

Reach Katie at katierlevans@gmail.com For more info, go to uptownclt.com

the crowd at the 2010 time warner blues and bbq festival

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DUPLICITY

words: matt kokenes pictures: todd trimakas

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The older couple emerged from the billowy white exhaust cloud like two phantoms in my rearview mirror. Two active baby boomers with expensive-looking track suits and strong legs were making big strides toward where I sat parked with my engine running. Each wielded an eager black Labrador retriever that tugged them down the street. It was the first time I’d used the heater since March, and my car had that funny smell. Stella was supposed to be here any minute, and I checked my watch again, and then looked over and surveyed our lot. It didn’t look good at all. The only thing that had happened since the tear-down was taller grass.

* Duplicity is an ongoing fictional series. Any similarity to actual people or events is purely coincidental.

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he initial optimism and pride of the oversized wooden beacon sporting building permits and clever contractor logos was gone. The faded sign looked tired and disinterested and waist-high weeds had nearly consumed it. It reminded me of some Mayan pyramid long abandoned and overtaken by jungle. When the couple approached the car, I rolled down the window. “Good morning!” they said in chorus, straining to keep dog paws away from my door. “Hey, guys!” I said, looking down to the two dogs. “You picked a beautiful morning to take them out for a walk.” “Yeah, finally some cooler weather,” the woman beamed. She had to be approaching 60, but a surgeon with a sharp scalpel and some talent had rolled back the clock. She had the cheeks of a 45-year-old. Her husband looked like a former college athlete – one of those retired guys who can still jump out of his La-Z-Boy and kick your ass. Steam evaporated off of his body in the morning sun. “Bill Reed,” he said, extending his hand. “And this is my wife, Anne.” “Gus Kaminsky.” The pair tried hard to show no emotion as each scanned my lot, as though only noticing it for the second or third time ever. There’d been no activity since a backhoe had crushed the modest brick ranch home that had sat there since 1951. The rush of commuter traffic off in the distance was growing louder by the minute, and Bill finally broke the ice. “We’re glad to have you in the neighborhood and looking forward to seeing your new house,” he said. “You guys think you’ll break ground soon?” When he said this, I was surprised to hear just the slightest tinge of fatherly concern. Pretty tame actually, considering that there were lions and tigers hiding in the patch of jungle where my new home was supposed to be. I had braced for a much more prodding tone from concerned neighbors. The headlights from Stella’s gray Acura appeared from around the corner, and she zoomed up and parked on the street behind me. The two labs jerked Bill and Anne over in her

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direction. She smiled politely but kept her oversized sunglasses firmly in place. I always thought they made her look like a bug, or some kind of 1970s disco star. “Hi, I’m Stella,” she said, sliding the bug glasses to her forehead, and abruptly extending her hand to Bill and then Anne as if she were reaching from across a long table in a conference room. It was instantly apparent to me that she was upset, but Bill and Anne never had a clue. Just like everyone else who crossed paths with Stella, they were instantly enamored. “And who are these two cuties!” she said, kneeling down and ramping up the charm. “That’s Riley and this is Belle.” “They’re beautiful.” “How do you guys like our new house?” Stella said, forcing a laugh and sweeping her hand across our Mayan ruins. In addition to being in great shape, Bill and Anne were perceptive as well. They picked up on Stella’s sarcasm and frustration and prepared to resume their walk. “Oh, believe me,” Anne said, nodding toward Bill, “we know what it’s like dealing with builders. We had a guest house built six years ago and it was a total nightmare. We had construction workers at our house for over two years. Port-aJohn in the driveway and all. ” “I’m surprised Crown is moving so slow,” Bill said, pulling Riley into a heel position. “They’ve done several other homes in the neighborhood, and they’re usually pretty good.” “We know it’s going to look phenomenal,” Anne said, smiling and gently nudging Bill back on their morning walk. “It was really nice to meet you both.” Stella stood and contemplated the weathered sign as the couple walked away. “It isn’t going to be phenomenal, though, is it, Gus?” Her voice began to waver as she fought back tears. The charming woman was gone now and in her place stood a sad little girl who would have to keep waiting for the pony she’d been promised. “Stella, this is actually a blessing in disguise,” I said, delivering my well-rehearsed line perfectly. “We can get a much better deal on an existing home right now. New construction doesn’t really make sense in this market anyway.” A boxy, white landscaping truck towing a large trailer pulled up in front of the house next door, and four small men with crisp, green uniforms began removing lawn equipment. “Gus, this house was going to be something special that we created together,” she said, looking at me for the first time since she pulled up. “This was going to be our home where we were going to raise a family.” The landscapers throttled up their smoky machines into a deafening ensemble.

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“Look around you, Stella,” I said, getting frustrated. “There are plenty of other good places to live around here. Some really nice ones. Look around you!” I shouted over a persistent leaf blower. I knew she’d be disappointed, but this was crazy. Sure, we weren’t going to be able to build a new 4,500-square-foot house anymore, but we weren’t moving to the Doral apartments. “Gus, have you had any interviews? Any new leads? I mean, there has to be another finance job somewhere in this town. I mean, we do live in a banking and finance center, right?” She replaced the disco star sunglasses and walked back toward her car. Tears slid from behind her dark glasses into the morning sunlight as she pulled up beside me. “You guys have fun in L.A.,” she said, tilting her chin in my direction. “Let’s just talk about everything when you get back next week.” “Talk about everything,” I said. “What’s that supposed to mean? “Talk about what?” But she had already rolled up her window and waved goodbye as she sped away to join the other commuters in their gleaming convoy toward Uptown Charlotte.

w

“What we really ought to do is ride down to Tijuana for the weekend. Mexicans in white lab coats hawking OxyContin on every corner. Donkey shows. Cheap Mexican strippers and tequila. It’d be a lot more fun than playing putt-putt on freaking Catalina Island.” The four of us had landed at LAX only two hours before, and we were already knocking back drinks with Will at Barney’s Beanery in West Hollywood. Ian and Dave pounced on first-class upgrades and had taken full advantage of the perks. Ian’s eyes were already wild as he tore into his third big glass of Jim Beam. We all subtly ignored his suggestion, as the trip had already been planned for two months, but Ian had only just begun to sell his fantastic idea to the table. “Seriously, what sounds like more fun?” he insisted, pounding the table like a red-faced preacher. “Mexican hookers with pockets full of Vicodin, or three days with a bunch of dudes on Gilligan’s Island.” “Man, you know it’s already all set up,” Will patiently explained again. “We’re going to Catalina to play golf and go fishing. No donkey-riding Tijuana hookers in white lab coats.” “Sorry, bro,” he grinned, rolling his eyes. “Whatever, Will. We’re going to go shoot a game of pool.” Dave and Sal collected their drinks and followed Ian over to the pool table. We liked Barney’s because the scruffy L.A. staple is

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devoid of L.A. pretentiousness. Will had gone through a crushing divorce in 2007 and had jumped at a job transfer to Los Angeles. Every time we came out to visit, we’d start the night there with grandiose plans of conquering Tinseltown, but would always end up closing the place down. It was late Friday afternoon and a giant orange sun had begun to sink into the Pacific Ocean. From the jukebox, Jim Morrison screamed light my fire, while well-inked L.A. hipsters swaggered in and filled up the few remaining tables in the place. In the corner, two bony kids gripping golden bottles of Miller High Life peered into a Galaga arcade game. “You ready, Gus?” Will said, stretching out in the worn vinyl booth. “Ready for what, two nights in a Mexican jail cell?” I laughed, nodding toward the pool table, trying to avoid his question. Ian had already recruited two new friends to join their billiards game – two more cute young girls who probably ditched their hometown in Alabama somewhere to come out to L.A. to be famous movie stars. They sipped their drinks through tiny straws and listened carefully to his sermon. “Yeah, I’m ready,” I said, turning back to the table. “Ready to get going at another firm and get some money rolling in. Get back to business as usual, you know?” “The past couple of months have been rough. Stella freaked when I told her we weren’t going to be able to build the house,” I continued, coughing on a big gulp of draft beer. “Yeah, Ian said something about that. Man, she’ll get over it,” he reassured me. “Women get their heart set on stuff like that and melt down when it doesn’t happen. So you sell the lot and buy a house down the street. Big deal. It’s not like she’s wearing your ring because you pull down obscene paychecks and drive a Range Rover.” “Of course not,” Ian slurred. He had walked up and was standing at the end of the table grinning with an arm around each of the two girls from the pool table. “Stella doesn’t care at all about things like security and a roof over her head,” he jeered. “She’ll stay with Gus no matter how broke he is.” Across the room, Dave chalked up his cue while Sal began racking up another round. I dreamed about breaking Ian’s nose right there in the bar. A giant glorious puddle of blood on the floor and a subsequent escort to the sidewalk by two burly bouncers. “Gus, relax, dude, I’m just busting your balls. You look like you’re going to cry,” he said, grinning. “Hey, these guys know about a keg party right up the road from here.” Thirty minutes later, we did find a keg party under way. Dozens of 20-somethings crawled like ants all over a pinkstucco bungalow perched on a steep hillside in Laurel Canyon.

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They had built a homemade waterslide out of plywood, carpet remnants, plastic sheeting and lawn irrigation equipment, but only a few booze-fueled die-hards were still charging up the hill and sliding down through the chilly fall night into the swimming pool. My friends had followed the college co-eds and their bag of blow into a back bedroom like four groupies, and I soon found myself alone by the pool amid a carnival of strangers. “You want to go up there and smoke this with me?” A tall, skinny girl with sad eyes motioned to the top of the waterslide platform where there was a rickety wooden bench assembled with two-by-fours and scraps of particle board. She held out a small glass pipe and I could immediately smell its premium, sticky green contents. “The view’s really nice,” she enticed. Two drunken, pumped-up gym rats yelled through the canyon for maximum dramatic effect, as they tumbled back down the waterslide and splashed into the pool like two killer whales at SeaWorld. “Sounds good to me,” I said. She was right. The view of the city from the top of the slide was spectacular. Twinkling lights shimmered across the entire valley as if a bucket of diamonds had accidentally been dropped from the sky. At the pool below, raucous laughter erupted from a swirling sea of red plastic solo cups. “So, you said you’re here for a bachelor party?” she said, politely exhaling a giant cloud of smoke from the side of her mouth. “Yeah, my bachelor party, actually.” Below, I could see Will, Sal and Dave walking around the pool looking for me. Their East Coast garb made them easy to spot among the crowd of surf shorts and T-shirts. “We’re supposed to take the ferry over to Catalina tomorrow morning to play golf and do some fishing, although we just might end up face-down in a ditch in Tijuana,” I smiled, exhaling an even bigger cloud of smoke up into the night sky. “Either way is fine by me, I guess,” I said as I leaned back on the bench, the glittering lights below now beginning to blur. “It’s just nice to get away from home and see the forest through the trees for a couple days. You know what I mean, Tracy? It’s Tracy, right?” I could hear the echo of my own words trail behind me, as I turned toward her in slow motion. “Actually, there’s an even better view of the forest from up there,” she winked, grabbing my hand and pulling me toward a large flat-rock shelf surrounded by a dark cluster of cedar trees anchored another 100 yards up the canyon. U

Happy Boss’s Day!! ~ From the ladies at Westminster Presbyterian Child Development Center

Reach Matt at matt@uptownclt.com For more info go to uptownclt.com

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MIX&MATCH October 10.indd 58

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pictures: jim mcguire | jimmcguire.com clothes: earth angel hair: mandi english makeup & styling: scott weaver models: wilhelmina-evolution | evolutionmt.com rappers: majah, lil east, dooley the movie, cater location: studio 1212 | studio1212.info

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Winner of the 2010 Members Circle of Distinction Design Challenge

Charlotte’s best kept secret Find out what the rest of the country is talking about photography: Weinmiller, Inc.

our new show room: 826 hawthorne lane / 704.377.6304 / www.reaching quiet.com

creation

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Dining and Nightlife Guide AMERICAN Alexander Michael’s – $ 401 W. 9th St. 704.332.6789 BlackFinn – $$ 210 E. Trade St. 704.971.4440 Camilles – $ 1518 E. 3rd St. 704.342.4606 Cedar Street Tavern – $ 120 N. Cedar St. 704.333.3448 Champions – $ 100 W. Trade St. - Marriott Hotel 704.333.9000 Comet Grill – $ 2224 Park Rd. 704.371.4300 Cosmos Cafe – $ 300 N. College St. 704.372.3553 Dressler’s – $$$ The Metropolitan 704.909.6295 East Boulevard Grill – $ 1601 East Blvd. 704.332.2414 Ember Grille – $$$ 601 S. College St. WestinHotel 704.335.2064 Fenwick’s – $ 511 Providence Rd. 704.333.2750 Fox and Hound – $ 330 N. Tryon St. 704.333.4113 French Quarter – $ 321 S. Church St. 704.377.7415 John’s Country Kitchen – $ 1518 Central Ave. 704.333.9551 Lebowski’s Neighborhood Grill - $ 1524 East Blvd. 704.370.1177 Nix – $ 201 N. Tryon St. 704.347.2739 Pike’s Soda Shop – $ 1930 Camden Rd. 704.372.0097 Presto Bar and Grill – $ 445 W. Trade St. 704.334.7088 Providence Café – $ $ 829 Providence R d. 704.376.2008 Providence Road Sundries – $ 1522 Providence Rd. 704.366.4467 Rock Bottom – $ 401 N. Tryon St. 704.334.2739 Selwyn Pub – $ 2801 Selwyn Ave. 704.333.3443 Simmons Fourth Ward Restaurant – $ 516 N. Graham St. 704.334.6640 Something Classic Café – $ 715 Providence Rd. 704.347.3666 South 21 – $ 3101 E. Independence Blvd. 704.377.4509 Stool Pigeons – $ 214 N. Church St. 704.358.3788 The Gin Mill South End – $ 1411 S. Tryon St. 704.373.0782 The Graduate – $ 123 W. Trade St. 704.358.3024 The Penguin – $ 1921 Commonwealth Ave. 704.375.6959 The Philosopher’s Stone – $ 1958 E. Seventh St. 704.350.1331 The Pub – $ 710 West Trade St. 704.333.9818 Thomas Street Tavern – $ 1218 Thomas Ave. 704.376.1622 Tic Toc Coffeeshop – $ 512 N. Tryon St. 704.375.5750 Union Grille – $ 222 E 3rd St. – Hilton Towers 704.331.4360 Vinnie’s Sardine – $ 1714 South Blvd. 704-332-0006 Wild Wings - $ 210 E. Trade St. 704.716.9464 Zack’s Hamburgers – $ 4009 South Blvd. 704.525.1720

A M E R I C A N M OD E R N 131 Main – $$ 1315 East Blvd. 300 East – $$ 300 East Blvd.

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704.343.0131 704.332.6507

Bentley’s on 27 – $$$ 201 S. College St. Fl. 27 704.343.9201 (Charlotte Plaza Building) BLT Steak – $$$ 201 E. Trade St. 704.547.2244 Bonterra Restaurant – $$$ 1829 Cleveland Ave. 704.333.9463 Carpe Diem – $$$ 1535 Elizabeth Ave. 704.377.7976 Coastal Kitchen & Bar – $$$ 222 E. 3rd St. 704.331.4360 Custom Shop – $$$ 1601 Elizabeth Ave. 704.333.3396 Fig Tree – $$$ 1601 E. Seventh St. 704.332.3322 Lulu – $$ 1911 Central Ave. 704.376.2242 McNinch House – $$$ 511 N. Church St. 704.332.6159 Mimosa Grill – $$ 301 S. Tryon St. 704.343.0700 Monticello – $$ 235 N. Tryon St. – Dunhill Hotel 704.342.1193 Pewter Rose Bistro – $$ 1820 South Blvd. 704.332.8149 Ratcliffe on the Green – $$ 435 S. Tryon St. 704.358.9898 Zink – $$ 201 N. Tryon St. 704.444.9001

ASIAN 88 China Bistro – $ 1620 E. 4th St. 704.335.0288 Basil Thai – $ 210 N. Church St. 704.332.7212 China King – $ 128 Brevard Ct. 704.334-7770 China Queen Buffet – $ 127 N. Tryon St. Ste 3 704.377.1928 China Saute – $ 2214 Park Rd 704.333.1116 Creation – $ 1221-A The Plaza 704.372.2561 Cuisine Malaya – $ 1411 Elizabeth Ave. 704.372.0766 Dim Sum – $ 2920 Central Ave. 704.569.1128 Eggroll King – $ 8907 Steelechase Dr. 704.372.6401 Emperor Chinese – $ 337 S. Kings Dr. 704.333.2688 Fortune Cookie – $ 208 East Independence Blvd. 704.377.1388 Fujiyama – $ 320 S. Tryon St. 704.334.5158 Fuse Box – $ 227 W. Trade St. 704.376.8885 Ginbu 401 – $ 401 Providence Rd. 704.372.2288 Great Wok – $ 718 W Trade St. Ste M 704.333.0080 Hong Kong – $ 1713 Central Ave. 704.376.6818 Indochine Asian Tapas Lounge - $ 210 E. Trade St. 704.688.0078 Koko – $ 6609 Elfreda Rd. 704.338.6869 Monsoon Thai Cuisine – $ 2801 South Blvd. 704.523.6778 Orient Express – $ 3200 N Graham St. 704.332.6255 Pho An Hoa – $ 4832 Central Ave. 704.537.2595 Pho Hoa – $ 3000 Central Ave. 704.536.7110 SOHO Bistro – $ 214 N Tryon St. 704.333.5189 Thai Taste – $ 324 East Blvd. 704.332.0001 Taipei Express – $ 731 Providence Rd. 704.334.2288 Tin Tin Box & Noodles – $ 101 N. Tryon St. 704.377.3223

Zen Asian Fusion – $ 1716 Kenilworth Ave.

704.358.9688

BAKERY Cloud 9 Confections – $ 201 S. College St. Suite 270 Great Harvest Bread – $ 901 S. Kings Dr. Amelie’s Bakery – $ 2424 N. Davidson St. Nova’s Bakery – $ 1511 Central Ave. Panera Bread – $ 601 Providence Rd.

704.334.7554 704.333.0431 704.376-1781 704.333.5566 704.374.0581

BARBECUE Art’s Barbecue – $ 900 E. Morehead St. 704.334.9424 Jolina Tex Mex & BBQ – $ 500 S. College St. 704.375.0994 Mac’s Speed Shop – $ 2511 South Blvd. 704.522.6227 Rib Palace – $ 1300 Central Ave. 704.333.8841

BREAKFAST Art’s Barbecue – $ 900 E. Morehead St. 704.334.9424 Coffee Cup – $ 914 S. Clarkson St. 704.375.8855 Einstein Brothers – $ 201 S. Tryon St. 704.332.4015 Einstein Brothers – $ 1501 South Blvd. 704.333.4370 IHOP – $ 2715 E. Independence Blvd. 704.334.9502 Monticello – $$ 235 N. Tryon St. – Dunhill Hotel 704.342.1193 Owen’s Bagel & Deli – $ 2041 South Blvd. 704.333.5385 Tic Toc Coffeeshop – $ 512 N. Tryon St. 704.375.5750

BRITISH Big Ben’s Pub – $ 801 Providence R d.

704.334.6338

CAJUN & CREOLE Boudreaux’s Louisiana Kitchen – $ 501 E. 36th St. 704.331.9898 Cajun Queen – $$ 1800 E 7th St. 704.377.9017

C A R I B B E A N Anntony’s Caribbean Cafe – $ 2001 E. 7th St. 704.342.0749 Austin’s Caribbean Cuisine – $ 345 S. Kings Dr. 704.331.8778

CH I N E S E 88 China Bistro – $ 1620 E. 4th St. 704.335.0288 Vanloi Chinese Barbecue – $ 3101 Central Ave. 704.566.8808 Wok Express – $ 601 S. Kings Dr. 704.375.1122

CO F F E E S HO P S Caribou Coffee – $ 100 N. Tryon St. 704.372.5507 Dilworth Coffee – $ 1235 East Blvd # B, 704.358.8003 330 S Tryon St, 704.334.4575 Dilworth Playhouse Cafe – $ 1427 South Blvd. 704.632.0336

Einstein Brothers – $ $ - 201 S. Tryon St. 704.332.4015 Einstein Brothers – $ 1501 South Blvd. 704.333.4370 Java Passage – $ 101 W. Worthington 704.277.6558 Jump N Joe’s Java Joint – $ 105 E. Morehead St. 704.372.3217 La Tea Da’s – $ 1942 E. 7th St. 704.372.9599 Nova’s Bakery – $ 1511 Central Ave. 704.333.5566 PJ’s Coffee & Lounge - $ 210 E. Trade St. (Epicentre) 704.688.0366 Port City Java – $ 214 N. Tryon St. (Hearst) 704.335.3335 SK Netcafe – $ 1425 Elizabeth Ave. 704.334.1523 Starbucks – $ 545 Providence Rd. 704.372.1591 Starbucks – $ 101 S. Tryon St. 704.374.9519 Tic Toc Coffee shop – $ 512 N. Tryon St. 704.375.5750

DELI Adams 7th Street Market – $ 401 Hawthorne Ln. 704.334.0001 Art’s Barbecue – $ 900 E. Morehead St. 704.334.9424 Blynk – $ 200 S. Tryon 704.522.3750 Common Market – $ 2007 Commonwealth Ave. 704.334-6209 Dikadee’s Deli – $ 1419 East Blvd. 704.333.3354 Dogwood Cafe – $ 138 Brevard Court 704.376.8353 Fresco Cafe & Deli – $ 3642 Moultrie St. 704.376.5777 Grand Central Deli – $ 101 N. Tryon St. 704.348.7032 Great Harvest Bread Co. – $ 901 S. Kings Dr. 704.333.0431 Groucho’s Deli – $ 201 N. Tryon St. 704.342.0030 Halfpenny’s – $ 30 Two First Union Ctr. 704.342.9697 Jason’s Deli – $ 210 E. Trade (Epicentre) 704.688.1004 Jersey Mike’s Subs – $ 128 S. Tryon St. 704.343.0006 Jersey Mikes Subs – $ 2001 E. 7th St. 704.375.1985 Jump N Joe’s Java Joint – $ 105 E. Morehead St. 704.372.3217 Laurel Market South – $ 1515 South Blvd. 704.334.2185 Leo’s Delicatessen – $ 1421 Elizabeth Ave. 704.375.2400 Li’l Dino – $ 401 S. Tryon St. 704.342.0560 Matt’s Chicago Dog – $ 425 S. Tryon St. 704.333.3650 Owen’s Bagel & Deli – $ 2041 South Blvd. 704.333.5385 Philadelphia Deli – $ 1025 S. Kings Dr. 704.333.4489 Phil’s Tavern – $ 105 E. Fifth St. 704.347.0035 Rainbow Café – $ 400 South Tryon 704.332.8918 Reid’s – $ 225 E. 7th St. 704.377.1312 Ri-Ra Irish Pub – $ 208 N. Tryon St 704.333.5554 Salvador Deli – $ N. Davidson St. 704.334.2344 Sammy’s Deli – $ 1113 Pecan Ave. 704.376.1956

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Dining and Nightlife Guide

Crave the Dessert Bar – $ 501 W. 5th St. 704.277.9993 Dairy Queen – $ 1431 Central Ave. 704.377.4294 Dolce Ristorante – $$ 1710 Kenilworth Ave. 704.332.7525 Luce Ristorante – $$ 214 N. Tryon St. – Hearst Plaza 704.344.9222 Monticello – $$ 235 N. Tryon St.– Dunhill Hotel 704.342.1193

Open Kitchen – $ 1318 W. Morehead St. 704.375.7449 Pasta & Provisions – $ 1528 Providence Rd. 704.364.2622 Portofino’s Italian – $$ 3124 Eastway Dr. 704.568.7933 Primo Ristorante – $$ 116 Middleton Dr. 704.334.3346 Cafe Siena – $$ 230 N. College St. 704.602.2750 Salute Ristorante – $$ 613 Providence Rd 704.342.9767 Terra – $$ 545-B Providence Rd. 704.332.1886 Villa Francesca 321 Caldwell St. 704.333.7447 Volare – $$ 1523 Elizabeth Ave. 704.370.0208 Zio Authentic Italian – $$ 116 Middleton Dr. 704.344.0100

ECLECTIC

L AT I N

The Melting Pot – $$$ 901 S. Kings Dr. Stuite 140-B 704.334.4400 Therapy Cafe – $ 401 N. Tryon St. 704.333.1353 The Fig Tree – $$ 1601 E. 7th St. 704.332.3322

Cuban Pete’s – $ 1308 The Plaza

Sandwich Club – $ 525 N. Tryon St. Sandwich Club – $ 435 S. Tryon St. Substation II - $ 1601 South Blvd 1941 E. 7th St.

704.334.0133 704.344.1975 704-332-3100 704-358-8100

DESSERT

F R E N CH Terra – $$ 545-B Providence Rd.

704.332.1886

GREEK Greek Isles – $$ 200 E. Bland St. Little Village Grill – $ 710-G W. Trade St. Showmars – $ 214 N. Tryon St.

Dish – $ 1220 Thomas Ave. 704.344.0343 Mert’s Heart & Soul – $ 214 N. College St. 704.342.4222 Blue – $$$ 214 N. Tryon St. 704.927.2583 Intermezzo Pizzeria & Café – $ 1427 E. 10th Street 704.347.2626

MEXICAN 704.347.2184 704.333.5833

704.333.0063 704.370.2824

I TA L I A N Carrabba’s Italian Grill – $$ 1520 South Blvd. 704.377.2458 Coco Osteria – $$  214 N. Tryon St.–Hearst Plaza 704.344.8878 Dolce Ristorante – $$ 1710 Kenilworth Ave. 704.332.7525 Fig Tree – $$$ 1601 E. 7th St. 704.332.3322 Hawthorne’s NY Pizza – $ 1701 E. 7th St. 704.358.9339 Intermezzo Pizzeria & Café – $ 1427 E. 10th St. 704.347.2626 Luce Ristorante & Bar – $$$ 214 N. Tryon St. – Hearst Plaza 704.344.9222 Mama Ricotta’s – $$ 601 S. Kings Dr. 704.343.0148

October 10.indd 66

M E AT & TH R E E

704.444.9000

INDIAN Copper – $$ 311 East Blvd. Maharani – $ 901 S. Kings Dr.

704.910.5233

Cabo Fish Taco – $ 3201 N. Davidson St. Johnny Burrito – $ 301 S. Tryon St. La Paz – $$ 1910 South Blvd. Phat Burrito – $ 1537 Camden Rd. Salsarita’s – $ 101 S. Tryon St.

704.332.8868 704.371.4448 704.372.4168 704.332.7428 704.342.0950

M I DD L E E A S T E R N Kabob Grill – $ 1235-B East Blvd. Metropolitan – $ 138 Brevard Ct.

704.371.8984 704.333.5175

O U T DOO R D I N I N G Big Ben’s Pub – $$ 801 Providence Rd. 704.334.6338 Cans Bar – $ 500 W. 5th St. 704.940.0200 East Boulevard Grill – $ 1601 East Blvd. 704.332.2414 Ember Grille – $$$ 601 S. College St. - Westin Hotel 704.335.2064 Ri-Ra Irish Pub – $ 208 N. Tryon St 704.333.5554

Sullivan’s – $$$ 1928 South Blvd. The Corner Pub – $ 335 N. Graham St.

704.335.8228 704.376.2720

PIZZA Brixx – $ 225 East 6th St. 704.347.2749 Donato’s Pizza - $ 718-A West Trade St 704.714.4743 Domino’s Pizza – $ 343 S. Kings Dr. 704.331.9847 Fuel Pizza – $ 214 N. Tryon St. 704.350.1680 Fuel Pizza – $ 1501 Central Ave. 704.376.3835 Hawthorne’s NY 1701 E. 7th St. 704.358.9339 Latta Pizza – $ 320 S. Tryon St. 704.333.4015 Papa John’s Pizza – $ 1620 E. 4th St. 704.375.7272 Picasso’s – $ 214 N. Church St. 704.331.0133 Pie Town – $$ 710 W. Trade St. 704.379.7555 Pizza Hut – $ 901 S. Kings Dr. 704.377.7006 Rudino’s Pizza & Grinders – $ 2000 South Blvd. - Atherton Mill 704.333.3124 UNO Chicago Grill – $ 401 S. Tryon St. 704.373.0085 Villa Francesca 321 Caldwell St. 704.333.7447 Zio Authentic Italian – $ 116 Middleton Dr. 704.344.0100

Quiznos Sub – $ 127 N. Tryon St. 704.374.9921 Quizno’s – $ 320 S. Tryon St. – Latta Arcade 704.372.8922 Roly Poly Sandwiches – $ 317 S. Church St. 704.332.6375 Sbarro – $ 101 S. Tryon St. 704.332.5005 Simply Subs – $ 212 S. Tryon St. 704.333.0503 Smoothie King – $ Epicentre - 210 Trade St. 704.979.6911 Smoothie King – $ One Wachovia Center 704.374.0200 Spoons – $ 415 Hawthorne Ln. 704.376.0874 Woody’s Chicago Style – $ 320 S. Tryon St. - Latta Arcade 704.334.0010 Zack’s Hamburgers – $ 4009 South Blvd. 704.525.1720

S E A F OOD Aquavina – $$$ 435 S. Tryon St. 704.377.9911 Cabo Fish Taco – $ 3201 N. Davidson St. 704.332.8868 Capital Grille – $$$ 201 N. Tryon St. 704.348.1400 Fig Tree –$$$ 1601 E. Seventh St. 704.332.3322 LaVecchia’s – $$$ 225 E. 6th St. 704.370.6776 McCormick & Schmick’s – $$$ 200 South Tryon St. 704.377.0201 Outback Steakhouse – $$ 1412 East Blvd. 704.333.0505

Q U I CK B I T E S

SOUTHERN & SOUL

Bojangles’ – $ 310 E Trade St. 704.335.1804 Boston Market – $ 829 Providence Rd. 704.344.0016 Burger King – $ 310 E. Trade St. 704.334.3312 Chick-fil-A – $ 101 S. Tryon St. 704.344.0222 Chicks Restaurant – $ 320 S. Tryon St. – Latta Arcade 704.358.8212 Church’s – $ 1735 W. Trade St. 704.332.2438 Dairy Queen – $ 1431 Central Ave. 704.377.4294 Domino’s Pizza – $ 343 S. Kings Dr. 704.331.9847 Fuel Pizza – $ 214 N. Tryon St. 704.350.1680 Fuel Pizza – $ 1501 Central Ave. 704.376.3835 Green’s Lunch – $ 309 W. 4th St. 704.332.1786 Mr. K’s – $ 2107 South Blvd. 704.375.4318 Papa John’s Pizza – $ 1620 E. 4th St 704.375.7272 Pasta & Provisions – $ 1528 Providence Rd. 704.364.2622 Pita Pit – $ 214 N. Tryon St. 704.333.5856

Lupie’s Cafe – $ 2718 Monroe Rd. 704.374.1232 Mert’s Heart and Soul – $ 214 N. College St 704.342.4222 Price’s Chicken Coop – $ 1614 Camden Rd. 704.333.9866 Savannah Red – $$ 100 W. Trade St. 704.333.9000 Marriott City Center

S P A N I S H Sole Spanish Grille – $$$ 1608 East blvd.. 704.343.9890

S T E A KHO U S E Beef & Bottle – $$$ 4538 South Blvd. 704.523.9977 Capital Grille – $$$ 201 N. Tryon St. 704.348.1400 Chima – $$$ 139 S. Tryon St. 980.225.5000 Flemings - $$$ 210 E. Trade St. 704.333.4266 LaVecchia’s – $$$ 225 E. 6th St. 704.370.6776 Longhorn Steakhouse – $$ 700 E. Morehead St. 704.332.2300

9/30/2010 11:08:25 AM


Dining and Nightlife Guide Morton’s – $$$ 227 W.Trade St.- Carillon bldg. 704.333.2602 Outback Steakhouse – $$ 1412 East Blvd. 704.333.2602 Ruth’s Chris – $$$ 222 S. Tryon St. 704.338.9444 Sullivan’s – $$$ 1928 South Blvd. 704.335.8228

S U S H I Enso – $$ 210 E. Trade St. Fujo Uptown Bistro – $$ 301 S. College St KO Sushi – $$ 230 S. Tryon St. Nikko – $$ 1300-F South Blvd. Pisces – $$ 1100 E. Metropolitan Ave. Room 112 – $$ 112 S. Tryon St. Ru-San’s Sushi – $$ 2440 Park Rd.

704.716.3676 704.954.0087 704.372.7757 704.370.0100 704.334.0009 704.335.7112 704.374.0008

T A P A S Arpa Tapas – $$$ 121 W. Trade St. Cosmos Cafe – $$ 300 N. College St.

704.372.7792 704.372.3553

V E G E T A R I A N Blynk – $ 200 S. Tryon 704.522.3750 Dish – $ 1220 Thomas Ave. 704.344.0343 Something Classic Café – $ 715 Providence Rd. 704.347.3666

V I E T N A M E S E Pho An Hoa – $ 4832 Central Ave.

704.537.2595

B A R S Amos SouthEnd – $ 1423 S. Tryon St. 704.377.6874 Apostrophe Lounge – $$ 1400 S. Tryon St. 704.371.7079 BAR Charlotte – $ 300 N. College St. 704.342.2557 Big Ben’s Pub – $$ 801 Providence Rd. 704.334.6338 Buckhead Saloon – $ 201 E. 5th St. 704.370.0687 Cans Bar – $ 500 W. 5th St. 704.940.0200 Cedar Street Tavern – $ 120 N. Cedar St. 704.333.3448 Connolly’s on 5th – $ 115 E. 5th St. 704.358.9070 Cosmos – $$ 300 N. College St. 704.375.8765 Coyote Ugly – $ 521 N. College St. 704.347.6869 Crave the Dessert Bar – $ 501 W. 5th St. 704.277.9993 Dilworth Bar & Grille 911 E. Morehead St. 704.377.3808

Dilworth Billiards 300 E. Tremont Ave. 704.333.3021 Dixie’s Tavern 301 E. 7th St. 704.374.1700 DoubleDoor Inn 218 E. Independence Blvd. 704.376.1446 Ed’s Tavern 2200 Park Rd. 704.335.0033 Evening Muse 3227 N. Davidson St. 704.376.3737 Fox and Hound – $ 330 N. Tryon St. 704.333.4113 Hartigans Pub – $ 601 S. Ceder St. 704.347.1841 Hawthorne’s NY Pizza – $ 1701 E. 7th St. 704.358.9339 Howl at the Moon – $ 210 E. Trade St. 704.936.4695 Jillian’s SouthEnd – $ 300 E. Bland Street 704.376.4386 Loft 1523 – $$ 1523 Elizabeth Ave. 704.333.5898 Madison’s – $$ 115 Fifth St. 704.299.0580 Morehead Tavern – $ 300 East Morehead St. 704.334.2655 Mortimers -$ 210 E. Trade St. 704.334.2655 Phil’s Tavern – $ 105 E. Fifth St. 704.347.0035 Picasso’s – $ 214 N. Church St. 704.331.0133 Pravda – $$ 300 N. College St. 704.375.8765 Presto Bar and Grill – $ 445 W. Trade St. 704.334.7088 Ri-Ra Irish Pub – $ 208 N. Tryon St 704.333.5554 Selwyn Pub – $ 2801 Selwyn Ave. 704.333.3443 Stool Pigeons – $ 214 N. Church St. 704.358.3788 Suite – $ 210 E. Trade St. 704.999.7934 The Attic – $ 200 N. Tryon St. 704.358.4244 The Corner Pub – $ 335 N. Graham St. 704.376.2720 The Forum – $$ 300 N. College St. 704.375.8765 The Gin Mill – $ 1411 S. Tryon St. 704.373.0782 The Penguin – $ 1921 Commonwealth Ave. 704.375.6959 The Pub – $ 710 West Trade St. 704.333.9818 Thomas Street Tavern – $ 1218 Thomas St. 704.376.1622 Tilt – $$ 127 W. Trade St. 704.347.4870 Town Tavern – $ 200 N. Tryon Tremont Music Hall – $ 400 W Tremont Ave. 704.343.9494 Tutto Mondo – $ 1820 South Blvd. 704.332.8149 Tyber Creek Pub – $ 1933 South Blvd. 704.343.2727 Vinnie’s Sardine – $ 1714 South Blvd. 704.332.0006 Whiskey River – $ 210 E. Trade St. 704.749.1097 Wild Wings - $ 210 E. Trade St. 704.716.9464

WINNER!

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PISCES

Drink Specials Nightly

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Serving until 2am (Thurs-Saturday) Sunday, 4:30pm-10pm ½ Price Bottles of Wine Every Monday

1100 E Metropolitan Ave.. Suite 120 Charlotte NC 28204

Free Parking 704-334-0009 www.piscessushi.com

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Holt Parham 704-464-2262

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UptownMortgageHQ.com NMLS ID 40551

1447 S. Tryon St., Suite 301 at Bland St. LYNX Station

October 10.indd 67

9/30/2010 11:08:25 AM


JOIN US FOR OUR OCTOBER OPEN HOUSES

open house dates: Oct. 2,3,9,16,17,23,30,31 12-4pm

October 10.indd 68

9/30/2010 11:08:28 AM


Uptown Magazine October 2010