I spent this past weekend in Charlotte, North Carolina. I have driven through Charlotte a zillion times, but have only actually been to the city once and it was only for an hour or so. I was looking forward to the entire weekend there.
The best part about visiting a new city for me is discovering the food!! Greg even helped me with this by looking up some places to eat. I was extra surprised when he named a place called Energy Cafe. Sounds like my kind of place (maybe my food habits are rubbing off on him after all). Not to mention it has a 100% rating on Urbanspoon. I had never seen that before.
When we got to the cafe, it was dead. The only thing keeping it alive were the bright lights and vivid colors on the walls. Just standing inside the place will energize you, no need for the food. Wait, who am I kidding? Always a need for good food.
It doesn’t necessarily look great when a restaurant doesn’t have any customers inside, granted it was in between normal meal times (2:30pm) and located in the middle of the business district. So the local workers had already come and gone during their lunch break, leaving the restaurant free to be enjoyed by Greg and me.
All of the ingredients were colorful and fresh. There were plenty of options between salads, wraps, sandwiches, snacks and even smoothies.
I had the Signature Salad- bed of greens topped with grilled chicken, apples, mandarin oranges and walnuts. Plus sliced red onion per my needy request 🙂 This all sounds great, but the selling factor of this salad for me though was the raspberry vinaigrette dressing. It never gets old. Any menu item listing raspberry vinaigrette as an ingredient automatically catches my eye.
The box the salad came in looked small and shallow from the outside. I was worried my order wouldn’t be enough to satisfy my empty stomach from the car ride into the city. I was wrong. Looks can be deceiving and that is definitely true in this case. The salad was more than enough and the variety of toppings and flavors did not leave me unsatisfied (as can sometimes be the case when I order salads).
Greg got the Southwestern Turkey Wrap- turkey, black beans, corn, guacamole, red peppers, tomato, mixed greens, cheese and a chipotle ranch dressing in a whole wheat wrap. As if THAT wasn’t good enough, they grill it for you to heat it up and add those beautiful grill marks on top.
I was jealous. But I have been working on not stealing bites of Greg’s food when mine is perfectly fine. So I let him have it all to himself.
When we finished our meals, I saw the most exciting sign I have ever seen.
WHAT!?! How kind of them!
Then I went to get a bowl to eat my free yogurt out of…but there were no bowls. Or cups. I don’t even know what you call these:
But you can be sure Greg and I took advantage of the tiny container and filled it with as much cookies and cream frozen yogurt as we possibly could.
We went to a couple of other restaurants in Charlotte, but nothing spectacular. An Italian restaurant here, a sports bar there. Those were good, but Energy Cafe is definitely somewhere I would go to again. It is a great place for a light lunch. Even if you only get a bite of frozen yogurt with your meal, it’s worth it.