The second the weather drops below 80 degrees in Charlotte, it can only mean one thing: fall of 2020 is here — or at least our idea of it. It may not be sweater weather just yet, but the mood still calls for pumpkin, apple cider, and any kind of local comfort food you can cozy up with. Here are some standout seasonal menu changes from Charlotte restaurants, breweries, bars and bakeries hitting menus this fall.
Fall Food Menu Additions
Pumpkin Pancakes served with maple cinnamon butter and candied pecans
My idea for the perfect autumn brunch is double fisting pumpkin pancakes and a pumpkin chai latte from Easy Like Sunday. This brunch spot opened its doors in the ParkTowne Village across from Park Road Shopping Center in February. They are located at 1600 E. Woodlawn Road, in suite #100, and are open for takeout and inside dining Wednesday through Sunday from 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
El Beaux: Pork shank cajun boudin breading in chicken skin, corn butter, sun-dried tomato gravy and a pickled okra chow-chow made in-house.
Full disclosure: I’ve held a serving job at Leah & Louise since it opened in March, so I’m comfortable recommending the right menu items here in Queen City Nerve, as I would if you were to come to the restaurant and ask me.
Traditionally, boudin features pork liver and/or pork heart along with scraps of pork meat from just about any part of the hog combined with vegetables such as onions, celery and bell peppers, plus cooked rice to produce the filling. Chef Greg Collier opted for using pork shank, a.k.a pig elbow, to bring the newest dish for this Memphis-style juke joint to fruition. Leah & Louise is located in Camp North End at 301 Camp Road and is open for dine-in and takeout on Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday from 5-10 p.m, and 6-10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. They welcome walk-ins every Wednesday and Thursday evening. Planning to come during the weekend? Make sure to make a reservation first via Resy.
Tallarín Saltado: Sauteed chicken breast, red pepper, Aji pepper slices, red onion, tomato slices, linguine, soy sauce, ginger and green onion.
Inspired by Asian fusion cuisine, the Tallarín Saltado is a stir-fry dish designed by Peruvian founder Chef Bruno Machiavello that uses authentic ingredients combined with Asian influences, a style of food called Chifa which is a culinary fusion of Peruvian and Chinese cooking traditions. Check out Viva Chicken’s ode to fall at one of their four locations in Charlotte: Waverly, Ballantyne, Elizabeth and Park Road.
Fall Drink: Cocktails
North Carolina Apple Cider: Old Forester single barrel bourbon, topo spiced rum, apple cider, fall syrup, and lemon.
If you’re looking for a way to stay warm this fall, Dot Dot Dot owner and mixologist Stefan Huebner’s has you covered with the newest addition to the so-called speakeasy’s seasonal cocktail menu. The Prohibition-style dining room and craft cocktail bar are open Thursday through Saturday from 5-11 p.m. Make sure to hunt for the Dot Dot Dot logo from the back lot of Park Road Shopping Center at 4237 Park Road. Reservations and walk-ins are welcomed, though reservations are encouraged due to current capacity restrictions.
Fall Drink: Beer Releases
Pull up to the bar looking for some of these craft beer seasonal favorites from local breweries.
- Gordgeous: Pumpkin ale brewed with allspice, cardamom, cloves and freshly shaved whole ginger root
- Roaring Riot: Rye Pale Ale brewed with rye malt
- Pumpkin Latte Blonde: Blonde ale brewed with fresh spices, real vanilla, and house-roasted coffee
- Samoa Donut Good Morning Vietnam: Blonde ale brewed with locally roasted Ethiopian coffee beans from Enderly Coffee Roasters and Madagascar vanilla beans
Fall Drink: Coffee & Espresso
- Brown Buttered Maple Latte
- Black Sesame Caramel Latte
Lincoln’s Haberdashery in South End answers the question: What if you could have it all? Along with coffee, guests can grab to-go beer, handmade bread, or food off of their lunch and breakfast menus. They’ve created a cozy atmosphere perfect for sipping on a warm latte and pretending to be productive while you people-watch from 6 feet apart. Lincoln’s Haberdashery is located in Factory South at 1300 South Blvd. and is open Monday through Friday 7 a.m.-5 p.m. and 8 a.m.-5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
Black Forest Latte: Espresso, a house-made dark chocolate sauce with a hint of cherry and spice, your choice of milk, and a cherry on top.
Undercurrent currently has two locations: in Plaza Midwood across from Common Market at 2012 Commonwealth Avenue and in Optimist Hall at 1115 N. Brevard St. Both coffee bars offer an array of espresso drinks, loose-leaf teas, and pastries. Stop in at their Plaza location Monday through Friday 7 a.m.-5 p.m. and 8 a.m.-5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. While you wander the stalls of Optimist Hall to grab your caffeine fix every day 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
Seasonal Pastries & Fall Flavors
Pumpkin Spice Cupcake: Topped with cream cheese icing and dusted with pumpkin spice
Fall is in full swing in the form of a cupcake at Suarez Bakery. It goes without saying that pumpkin spice is the quintessential addition to any seasonal menu. Suarez Bakery offers online ordering and curbside pickup at 4245 Park Road for indulging in all of your pastry needs. Stop by Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. or Sunday from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
- Olive Oil & Tangerine doughnut
- Apple Fritter
- Cinnamon Maple Bourbon doughnut
- Malted Maple Twist
- Blueberry Pancake doughnut
Hot-baked take: Maple donuts don’t get the recognition they deserve. Pepperbox Donuts opened their first brick-and-mortar location in South End last year and specialize in creating yeast-raised, sometimes vegan donuts that are the perfect balance of light, airy, and savory. Pepperbox is located at 1010 W. Worthington Ave., Suite 150, and is open Sunday to Thursday 7a.m.-4 p.m. and 7 a.m.-9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.
- Pumpkin Spice Whoopie Pie
- Apple Turnovers
- Sweet Potato Cranberry Muffins
- Assorted French Macarons: Apple Pie, Créme Brulee, Pumpkin
Pumpkin spice, apple pie, and sweet potato — that’s like a fall triple threat. The family-owned bakery offers a selection of traditional and gluten-free pastries, coffee, and sandwiches for dine-in, takeout, or delivery. Sunflour Baking Company is open daily from 7 a.m.-4 p.m. Get your sweet tooth fix at one of their three bakeries in Charlotte: Ballantyne, Elizabeth and Dilworth.
Stay tuned as this piece will be updated as necessary throughout the rest of fall. Stay up to date on Queen City Nerve’s latest food stories.