I was thrilled that my daughter, Peyton, and I were invited to attend one of Charlotte’s gourmet food tours in NoDa, a premier arts community. The 12 person NoDa Food Tour, which stands for North Davidson Art District, was led by a knowledgeable and friendly guide, Jon. Our 3 hour tour included stops at Noda’s local restaurants which offered a sampling of the flavors for this part of Charlotte. We sampled creative dishes from: Heist Brewery, Amèlie’s French Bakery & Cafe, King of Pops, Revolution Ale House, Füd at Salud, Boudreaux’s, and NoDa Company Store.
My Noda Food Tour- Charlotte, North Carolina
#1- Heist Brewery
Our tour began at Heist Brewery, an impressive venue opened in 2012 at the Highland Mill. The General Manager shared stories of Charlotte’s only Craft Brewpub with us while we sampled the goods. For drinks, I selected the High-five beer, but traded with Peyton for her Brockwell cocktail. Heist prepared a variety of fantastic flatbreads for us. My favorite was the duck flatbread, but the rest of the group was divided between the Buffalo Chicken (chicken, celery, blue cheese, hot sauce) and Mediterranean (olives, cucumber, tomatoes, red onion, feta, tzatziki).
#2 Off-site samples of Amèlie’s French Bakery & Cafe
We were treated to dessert, Salted Caramel Brownies and a choice of a crispy Palmier cookie or a decadent Macaroon, from Charlotte’s most popular bakery, Amèlie’s French Bakery. These pastries are incredibly famous as they not only starred in the Hunger Games Catching Fire, but also President Obama gets a monthly shipment of them. I concur that these sweet treats were righteous!
#3 King of Pops
The King of Pops is a local neighborhood popsicle stand. The company is based out of Atlanta, Georgia and their ads appear in many Southern food magazines time and time again. I had the Southern popsicle, a mix of lemonade and sweet tea, but the group favorite was the lemonade basil. They were a perfect and refreshing treat on such a hot day.
#4 Revolution Ale House
At Revolution Ale House, we sampled 4-Cheese Fried Ravioli’s, a Hummus Plate with vegetables and pita chips, and Ciabatta Bruschetta. They were all very good and this may have been my favorite stop. Our Bruschetta was topped with simple ingredients (diced tomatoes, Parmigiano Reggiano, and balsamic reduction), but the taste was big and bold. I could have eaten the entire plate! The Revolution Ale House is a fun restaurant offering 44 beers on tap, sports on TV, and Trivia every Wednesday. Vegan and Gluten Free options are also available here.
#5 Füd at Salud
When we reached Füd at Salud, the temperature outside was nearly 100 degrees. Inside the restaurant, it was nearly the same. Our group chose a booth at the front of the restaurant. While the food is served in one half of the establishment, the other is a thriving bar scene that connects in the back of the restaurant. They prepared Chicken & Waffles for us, a Southern favorite. The chicken salad used on the waffle is filled with candied walnuts and bacon, a super delicious food combination. I found the chicken salad to be scrumptious, but the waffle, soggy and uneventful. Next time, I would to try the Frambella, a waffle sandwich with brie cheese and ham.
#6 Boudreaux’s Louisiana Kitchen
As we neared the finish line of our tour, we stopped by Boudreaux’s Louisiana Kitchen, home of cajun classics. I was excited for this stop, but unlike all of the other establishments, nobody came to speak or make us feel welcome. After a lengthy time, we were given a plate of what appeared to be Jambalaya Pasta with baskets of cornbread. The pasta was tasty, featuring incredible flavor combinations, but not at all what I would have expected them to serve us. This was a very heavy meal and it did not work well with a 3 hour walking food tour in the hot sun.
#7 NoDa Company Store
Our final stop was the NoDa Company Store, where the staff was very friendly. They poured us their house made Sangria and paired it with local items that are sold in the market, such as Queen Charlotte’s Pimento Cheese and Butter Crackers. Yum!
The NoDa Food Tour is a great bang for your buck. Jon was full of knowledge and shared some valuable history about Charlotte with us. He also gave us a sheet in the beginning which listed all of our stops and what food we would be having. I found this perfect for taking notes on. We had a diverse group of restaurants to visit and the size of the group was manageable.
Well done Tour de Food for a great job of orchestrating and running your prompt tours. My NoDa Food Tour was so eventful that I will certainly schedule another one the next time that I am in Charlotte.
Note: This NoDa Food Tour takes place every other Saturday at 12:30 p.m. and includes a walking tour to 5 different restaurants and specialty shops.. Price for this tour is $50 per person (prices vary based on tour length). Other food tour choices include Historic South End, Uptown and Davidson.