Saturday, April 19, 2008

The Charlotte 500, Lap 27: Charlotte Checkers

Affiliated with the New York Rangers, the Charlotte Checkers play their home games at Bobcats Arena (soon to be renamed after Bank of America or Wachovia or some other big bank). The Checkers drew a good crowd and put on a good show, lobbing lots of souvenir t-shirts and such into the crowd during intermissions. The game we went to see was unique in that two penalty shots were awarded, one for each team - some teams go an entire season without seeing a single penalty shot.

Hockey has a surprisingly rich history in Charlotte. It's not quite Montreal, or Chicago for that matter, but there is a fairly extensive history of minor league hockey in the Queen City. The Checkers are worth the price and the arena is easily accessible from all parts of town, plus it's within walking distance of the best parts of uptown Charlotte.

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The Charlotte 500, Laps 25-26: Maddi's Southern Bistro

Maddi's counts as two entries because it is one part art gallery and one part restaurant. I believe the art gallery came first. So you can enjoy Maddi's for art or food, whatever suits your mood.

The art collection consists of everything from painting to pottery and the gallery is small enough to be a quick trip - it's not a museum, after all.

Maddi's Bistro cooks up some great southern food. The fried chicken was the best I've ever had, and I also loved the roasted butternut squash and granny smith apple soup, which contained apple chips and pumpkin seeds. Also, the sweet vidalia onion and thyme hush puppies were excellent. The service was very good and the dining room was light and cheery. It also helped our mood that we had a $25 gift card!

Maddi's is good stuff; I think I'll be back.

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The Charlotte 500, Lap 24: Joel's Asian Grill

I've fallen a bit behind on my posts, partly due to time going so fast and partly due to the fact I keep forgetting the camera. So, in order to move things along, I'm going to due a few posts without pictures.

Tiffany and I went to Joel's Asian Grill off Williamson Rd in Mooresville to celebrate her 34th birthday. Joel's specialty is sushi, which neither of us have had the courage to try, but they also have a decent menu of pan-Asian dishes. The Mongolian Beef was excellent - spicy, as you'd expect, with a strong touch of ginger. Joel's outdoor eating area was perfect for the 75 degree weather and we enjoyed a nice dinner, even with all the kids running around (and that was the only drawback - it seemed like a playground at times).

If you're in the mood for Asian food, Joel's is a good choice.

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