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North Carolina

Rock Bottom Brewery ~ Charlotte NC

After visiting the Billy Graham Library and Birthplace, we headed into Charlotte to find our hotel, before heading off to the Historic Rosedale Plantation. We were starving and grabbed the first restaurant we had saw, with parking in front of it. Yes, we will admit it, we were in a hurry to eat and run, and not miss our 3:00 tour!

We headed into what turned out to be Rock Bottom Brewery. A brewery? Ugh. So not our type of place, but alas, they had a lovely patio and it was a gorgeous day, so we headed to an outside table on the pleasant, covered patio.

Our waitress brought our menus and we quickly told her we want salads and LOTS of UNsweet tea. Lots of it. We were famished and dehydrated - out chasing history all day!

Dave chose the Blackened Chicken Salad with greens, Roma tomatoes, slices of a delicious blackened chicken, along with raisins, sunflower seeds, chopped egg and blue cheese crumbles, with a light balsamic vinaigrette dressing. He loved it.

I opted for the Chicken Waldorf salad, a little unsure, but it sounded good. It was beyond good - one of my FAVORITE salads. One of the joys of eating out on a trip is finding something just a little bit different, a new way of preparing food, chopping. slicing or making a meal really come alive. I am all about the flavor when I teach cooking classes and write recipes and this salad delivered all of it! Shock!

What was so great about the Chicken Waldorf? On a bed of greens and arugula, a mound of the most tender roasted chicken ever. Not some goopy mayonnaise icky concoction, it was light and perfect on a balmy summer day, sitting on their patio, watching Charlotte slowly meander past on the sidewalk. Each bite had a selection of the other ingredients, SLICED red grapes (brilliant - perfect flavor, won't roll off salad and down the road, juicy yummy bites of goodness!!) dried cherries (oh happy day) candied walnuts and the perfect apple touch - DRIED apples! Add a little rich Gorgonzola cheese and you have a practically perfect salad, perfect for a warm day in the Queen City!

The meal was fabulous - beyond what I expected for a chain restaurant! Standouts were the sliced grapes and using dried apples on an Waldorf! Oh, happy, reapeatable day!

All in all, we had a lovely time, despite our waitress being a bit slow. The family next to us had her hopping the whole time and she must have had inside tables and considered us low maintenance? Not sure. They had also just reopened so perhaps it was a training day - we are not quite sure. We had to have the manager take our money! Either way, the food was FABULOUS in an understated, easy way and we made it to the 3:00 tour at the Historic Rosedale Plantation, about 3 miles up the road!

So the next time you need a quick lunch and you are in the heart of Charlotte, by 7th and N. Tryon, stop by Rock Bottom and tell them the people at LivingHistorySites.com sent you! Yes, corner of 7th street is the 400 block of N. Tryon!

Rock Bottom Brewery, 401 N. Tryon, Charlotte, Uptown Fourth Ward, NC, 28202, 704.334.2739

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