Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Charlotte: Queen City [Day 2 & 3]

After I woke up from dreaming about the fried chicken at Mert's, proceeded downstairs for the 2nd day of the conference that was held at Westin Charlotte. They actually had breakfast catered, buffet-style, but to be honest, I was to groggy to take a picture of it so I'll just start from lunch!

lunch buffet
Some of the items from the lunch buffet. Pretty damn nice O_O.

flank steak with chimichurri sauce
The flank steak with chimichurri sauce and caramelized onions was one very delicious. Chimichurri is definitely one of my favorite sauces out there and theirs was a very solid one at that!

At night after the conference, they had a reception right at the Westin Charlotte so stopped by to check it out.

Like last night, they were serving small plates.

First run: carved turkey with biscuit & gravy, prosciutto, Korean beef.

turkey & biscuit
I gotta say... that turkey was one of the moistest turkey I've ever had! And really, the buttery biscuit was just a bonus.

Prosciutto and the Korean beef. The beef was just... beef sauteed in soy sauce?

korean bbq beef
For the second round, decided to go back and get more of the Korean beef. And after staring at the station for awhile, found out what I suspected was true: beef was just sauteed in the "Korean marinade." Meh, didn't have high hopes that it was gonna be like Korean food in LA, but still, put some more effort, catering company (or Westin)!

This is not edible but all over Westin Charlotte they had a pot filled all sorts of spices that is immersed in oil! They heat up the pot with a burner at the bottom so throughout the hotel you can smell the flagrance from the pots. Amazing. Some citrus peels, cinnamon...

duke energy
Afterwards, decided to walk around Uptown Charlotte again, taking a different route. Duke Energy Center again.

BoA stadium
Saw the BoA Stadium, where Carolina Panthers plays. No wonder there's so many sports bar around the area.

Picture of where I stayed, Westin Charlotte.

tin tin
After walking around a bit, decided to Yelp for a spot and ended up at Tin Tin Box & Noodles, which is this Japanese fast food joint.

hibachi combo
For some reason, "hibachi" is immensely popular in Charlotte, so I decided to check out Tin Tin since they had the highest reviews. Turns out hibachi is just your average teppan.

Went for the Hibachi Combo, which comes with beef, chicken, shrimp, and mushrooms on top of fried rice. It was very... whatevers. Fried rice was sorta cold and the beef & chicken were already precooked. They just heated it on the grill. The shrimp is obviously frozen (no problem with that), but I think it sat in its own thawed out liquid for too long so there's this really fishy taste.

Comes with this "sauce" that people there go crazy for. It's just.. a really mayo-ey sauce with some seasonings.

Should've just ate more fried chicken!

minut yogurt fruit parfait
Next day, woke up not too happy from my second dinner. For some reason the lunch they provided didn't look that appetizing to me so I just got some dessert.

Mint yogurt parfait with fruit. Was good when cold, nasty when warm.

chocolate mousse
Chocolate mousse with hazelnut creme. The little nut cluster at the top was the best part of it. Caramelized sugar + roasted nuts = match made in heaven!

Since our flight was early in the afternoon, we left for the airport early and just chilled. Probably won't be back to Charlotte for awhile, since they switch the location of the conference every year, which is sad since I didn't get a chance to make it out of downtown area for Price's Chicken Coop for the famous fried chicken.

At least I got one fried chicken meal in :P