Dining scene: Top rankings for 2 restaurants – plus 6 openings

Dining scene: Top rankings for 2 restaurants – plus 6 openings

Looking for new dining destinations? Our growing global restaurant scene has highly ranked choices and several new additions.   No. 1 rankings King Fish Poke and Le Kabab Grill both scored No. 1 rankings this fall from local media. Coincidentally, the two restaurants are neighbors at 350 McCullough Drive in the McCullough Commons center at North Tryon Street and East W.T. Harris Blvd. WCNC says that King Fish Poke is No. 1 among “Charlotte’s 4 favorite spots to find affordable Japanese eats.” Another University City restaurant, Hanaya Garden, is No. 4. MORE LeKebab Grill came in tops on Trip Advisor’s list of Middle Eastern Restaurants. Le Kabab also received 4.5 stars on Charlottesgotalot.com.   Favorites for football fans Not a Panthers fan? You’ll find plenty of Chicago Bears buddies at the Wild Wing Café – University and the Dallas Cowboys crazies at the Mallard Creek Hickory Tavern, says charlottefive.com in its new list of “best spots to watch NFL games in Charlotte, no matter which team you support.”   New places to try These six new restaurants offer authentic flavors from Turkey, Mexico, the Mediterranean, Carolinas Low Country and 1950s Charlotte! Leo’s 49 Deli & Bar – 7801 University City Blvd. A taste of Charlotte circa 1950 has been reborn in University City, at Leo’s 49 Deli & Bar.  MORE Mi Pueblo Mexican Grill – Mi Pueblo offers much more than the classic Mexican fare, thanks to Jesus and Maria Ruiz. 7003 University City Blvd. near IKEA. MORE Peno Mediterranean Grill – Peno is new to University City and Charlotte but already a hit in its hometown of Wilmington. In The...
Historic uptown deli is reborn at Leo’s 49 Deli & Bar

Historic uptown deli is reborn at Leo’s 49 Deli & Bar

A taste of Charlotte circa 1950 has been reborn in University City, with the opening earlier this year of Leo’s 49 Deli & Bar at 7801 University City Blvd. Owner Angelo Spero has recreated and updated the foods that people enjoyed for decades at the original Leo’s Deli on Elizabeth Avenue near uptown. And Spero definitely knows the Leo’s Deli menu. He owned the old deli for more than 20 years.   Dishes spanning the decades The new Leo’s offers many of the classic deli sandwiches and dishes – like corned beef on rye; a Hebrew National hot dog served with chili, cheese, onions, slaw and mustard; and New York cheesecake! Diners will also find plenty of contemporary fare, too, like loaded potato skins, sliders and quesadillas. Thirsty? The full bar will take care of that.   A bit of University City dining history, too The location for the new restaurant has an historical twist of its own. The building was the longtime home of the Sandwich Construction Co. There was a time in the late 1980s through mid-1990s when the Sandwich Construction Co. restaurant was THE place to eat and hang out with NASCAR teams.   Yelp readers rate Leo’s Leo’s 49 Deli and Bar scores Yelp rating of 4.5 by 17 reviewers. “Excellent service and food. So many choices!” wrote Donna on Oct. 10. “A great find! I ordered the fried pickles and medium wings, and both were delicious,” wrote Hillary on Aug. 24. “A lot of people don’t know this place exists. That’s a shame – because it’s great. Not only is it one of the...
Mi Pueblo opens at Belgate Center near IKEA

Mi Pueblo opens at Belgate Center near IKEA

Mi Pueblo Mexican Grill has opened in the Belgate Center at 7003 University City Blvd., near IKEA. This regional chain of restaurants began 20 years ago in Winston Salem – the realization of a longtime dream by Jesus and Maria Ruiz. Mi Pueblo now has 10 locations statewide, offering a broad selection of lunch and dinner entrees. Diners will find the usual Fajitas, burritos and enchiladas, along with vegetarian dishes, seafood dishes such as Camarones Acapulquenos (shrimp cooked in Mi Pueblo’s special sauce) and numerous chicken and beef dishes. University City’s Mi Pueblo is open for lunch and dinner. Breakfast will be added soon, the website says.   Visitor reviews Yelp visitors have given the new restaurant a 4-star rating across 18 reviews. “The menu has a ton of options and there were some great bar offerings, as well,” Wrote Meleah on Oct. 18. “The poblano was crazy spicy and really good.” “Chips arrived warm. Salsa was spot on. Entree was superb, and I especially loved their Pantherita!” wrote Melanee on Nov. 25.   About Mi Pueblo Mexican Grill 7003 University City Blvd. near IKEA. Directions 980-299-6107 Open 11 am-10 pm Mondays-Thursdays; 11 am-10:30 pm Fridays-Saturdays; 11 am-9:30 pm Sundays Website Yelp...
Peno Mediterranean Grill brings popular formula to UCity

Peno Mediterranean Grill brings popular formula to UCity

Peno Mediterranean Grill is new to Charlotte but already a hit in its hometown of Wilmington, where it was named Best of Wilmington for Mediterranean food three years running. Veteran restaurateur and Peno founder Jamal Haddad sought to replicate his childhood kitchen in Lebanon. Peno offers a wide range of Gyro sandwiches, Gyro Bowls, wraps, salads and platters. Peno recently began expanding, with new restaurants along the NC-SC coast and, most recently, in University City. Peno opened in October at The Arbors shopping center on Mallard Creek Church Road. Yelp reviewers have fallen in love with the UCity Peno. “Thoroughly impressed! The food the service the prices the portions! Everything was excellent!” wrote MickeyBlue on Nov. 7. “This is one of my favorite spots to eating in charlotte!! The food is amazing and the atmosphere is great,” wrote Syed on Nov. 22.   About Peno Mediterranean Grill 2115 E. Arbors Drive, Suite 190. Directions 980-224-9791 Open 10 am-9 pm Sundays-Thursdays; 10 am-10 pm Fridays and Saturdays. Website Yelp...
Great reputation precedes opening of Seafood Connection

Great reputation precedes opening of Seafood Connection

Most new restaurants struggle to bring in a crowd and establish their reputation. Not so with Seafood Connection. That’s because chef and owner Jamie Walker has delighted diners for years with his Low Country-style seafood – long before he found a permanent restaurant home in University City. Seafood Connection opened in July at 630 University Center Blvd., overlooking West W.T. Harris Boulevard near I-85.   How popular? How popular is this place? Well, its Thanksgiving Sunday Seafood Brunch sold out in three hours, and Facebook says the Seafood Connection page has more than 44,000 likes! Yelp’s list top 10 seafood restaurants in charlotte ranks Seafood Connection at No. 3, and it’s only been open 5 months. How did Walker build this reputation? Through a pop-up restaurant. He started by serving food in parking lots, and then later at a church. For a brief time, he shared space with another restaurant on Albemarle Road.   Seafood Connection makes headlines You can learn much more about Seafood Connection and Jamie Walker from these three news reports. “Menu Hopping: Seafood Connection” – Spectrum News Charlotte, Oct. 12, 2018 “5 things you need to know about Seafood Connection” – Charlotte Agenda, April 24, 2018 “Is the best seafood in Charlotte served in a church parking lot?” – Charlotte Five, Nov. 1, 2016   About Seafood Connection 630 University Center Blvd., near McCullough Drive and West W.T. Harris Boulevard. Directions 980-498-6908 Open 11 am-9 pm Thursdays-Saturdays and Sundays 11 am-7 pm; Sunday brunch served 11 am-4 pm or until the food runs out. Website Yelp...