Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Charlotte: Queen City [Day 1]

For 3 years already, I've missed Halloween, but in return, I got to travel to HK, Taiwan, and China. I was super bummed out this when I found out I would not travel to Hong Kong like in the years past. No Far East work trip means no delicious Asian food in my belly :[

But, I was sent to Charlotte, North Carolina at the beginning of November. I've only been to the South twice, so I was definitely excited about going there. However later I found out that all the meals would be catered so all the attendees of the conferene would not have to worry about food. It's good in that it is all taken care off, but bad since that sorta prevented me from having to sample of what Charlotte has to offer.

I've split my posts about Charlotte into two parts. Definitely not as much fooding compared to what I usually do on these trips :P

Had to take the red eye flight out of LAX to Dallas, then to Charlotte. Travel time: 15 hours. I was pretty cracked out when I got to Charlotte.

By the time we got to the Westin Charlotte for the conference, they had already finished serving lunch, so I just grabbed two cupcakes and went to work. Peanut Butter Chocolate cupcake & Red Velvet. DAYUM they were so GOOD cupcakes. Super moist.

choco cupcake
Best one was definitely the Chocolate Ganache Chocolate cupcake! Moist chocolate cake filled with chocolate ganache, then topped with dark chocolate cream and dark chocolate piece. Chocolate x4!

mint museum
After the first day concluded, there was a free cocktail reception sponsored by Lowe's at the Mint Museum, an art museum, so decided to go and check it out.

Open bar! First time trying a Yuengling. I know it is one of those old school breweries in the US. I remember the first time I heard about Yuengling, I thought it was a new Chinese brewery haha.

View from the patio of the Mint Museum at the 4th floor.

Breckler Museum of Modern Art. Too bad I didn't get a chance to check it out.

View of the Nascar building and Westin Charlotte, the hotel where the conference was held and where I stayed.

The crowd at the reception.

Carving station being set up!


okra gumbo
Okra gumbo. Southern influence with the okra.

NY Prime rib with horseradish sauce, egg bread roll, and the okra gumbo. Pretty nice for a "cocktail reception!"

Okra gumbo. Not a huge fan of okra but it was not bad!

Some cheesy hors d'oeuvres.

Had to go back for seconds, but made my self a sandwich this time! :D

Mediterranean flatbread with goat cheese, sweet peppers, figs, spinach, and caramelized onions. Very tasty and surprisingly light.

Crudites with seasoned salt! Crudites are raw veggies to dip in sauce, vinaigrette, or salts.

Himalayan pink salt, fire salt, and Sonoma sea salt. Himalayan pink salt is the purest salt on earth. TBH can't really tell the difference but I liked it cause it was weird sampling pink salt weird haha. Fire salt tasted like sea salt with some pepper powder mixed in.

bbq pork sliders
Pulled bbq sliders. Sadly this was the only BBQ I had in North Caroline. The funny thing is that Charlotte is actually not known for BBQ even though Carolina BBQ is famous.

Bow tie pasta with butternut squash, arugula, and shiitake mushroom with sage cream sauce. Wasn't that tasty after it got cold.

fresh chip
Fresh chips with seasoned salt was great though!

Afterwards, decided to walk around Uptown Charlotte for a bit and right outside Breckler Museum is a shiny silver statue of Sungod made out of mirrors!

Now... for those of wondering why I got so excited about a statue, it is because at UCSD, there is a Sungod statue by the same artists, and the Sungod is a very symbolic statue at UCSD.

A sign commemorating the Battle of Charlotte.

After walking around a bit, I got a little hungry so decided to stop my Mert's for some Southern cuisine!

Mert's, one of the highest rated restaurant in Charlotte, according to Yelp :P

brown bag
Brought it back to the Westin. Was gonna sit down and eat but decided to order to-go rather than sitting there like a loser HAHA.

fried chicken dinner
Fried quarter leg chicken entree!

whole cornbread
Cornbread... not gonna lie... it was pretty damn bomb, especially with the sweet butter!


fried chicken
Fried Chicken!! Seriously it was so good. No sauce needed.

Super moist. I was afraid of the skin, which is one of the best part, becoming soggy on my walk back from the restaurant but it was still crispy! Amazing.

I thought I wasn't that hungry but I probably could've ate 4-5 more pieces. It was that good!

Candied yams. Not that sweet, lots of spices.

mac & cheese
Mac & cheese. Yelp reviews raved about it... but I don't know... I've had better hahah.

bite size
The cheesy crust was definitely the best bite.

Ended my night with a bottle of IBC Root Beer.

Not gonna lie thought, it was nice not having to worry about looking for food but it does take the fun out of traveling. I still dream about that fried chicken... in fact... I'll probably start a fried chicken adventure, like the one I did for tacos awhile back haha.

Happy Turkey Day!


scott davidson said...

Wonderful colors and organic natural forms. Reminds me of a painting like Rainy landscape, by Russian painter Kandinsky,, that I saw at, from where one can order a canvas print of it. Really good place to browse the painter’s work and other work similar to your style of painting.