Excited about Eating by Ernie Hiers

This edition of Exited about Eating is back in the US at Amelie’s French Bakery in the NoDa (North Davidson) Arts District of Charlotte. This bakery, that also serves a variety of sandwiches, salads and other specialties, is a go-to place to quench not only your sweet tooth, but also your savory cravings.

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Amelie’s French Bakery in NoDa

Dora here. You can say that again. Wait until you catch a glimpse of their dessert counter. Yowza!

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Fun, eclectic interior. Order at the counter

I ordered the Provence B.L.T with Red Potato Salad and because I had no idea what a Tartine was, a Ham & Gruyere Tartine. The B.L.T. was served on a crispy baguette with loads of bacon, lettuce, and mayo that combined for the perfect bite, crispy on the outside and loads of flavor on the inside.

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BLT with Potato Salad

The Tartine is actually an open-faced sandwich. The baguette was blanketed with ham and melted Gruyere cheese.

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Dora here. Talk about gooey and cheesy delicious!! We could’ve made a meal on the tartine alone! But we didn’t. ūüėÄ

The Strawberry Candied Almond Salad called to me. Because you know I’m all for salads with fruit, right? Yum! I added chicken for protein and my mouth exploded with flavor with the almost-sweet balsamic vinaigrette and the crunchy candy almonds. Yum! My only negative about this dish would be that it was entirely spring mix (Ernie calls them “weeds”). I would’ve preferred romaine and should’ve asked for the switch.¬†

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Strawberry Candied Almond Salad with Chicken – YUM!

Still Dora, the interior is eclectic and homey, like a family dinner, with all sorts of conversations flowing and swirling around you. Can you spot my sweetheart in this pic? xo

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Homey and eclectic

Still Dora. What’s up with the big guy? He petered out at the best part. lol. Of course, we couldn’t pass by that bakery case without ordering dessert–awesome marketing ploy on their part, don’t you think? The Monkey Bread (Ernie’s choice) looks sickeningly sweet, doesn’t it? But so not! So delicate, it reminded me of an apple fritter without the chunky apples. And that’s a coconut macaroon next to it. I admit to being disappointed that it wasn’t dipped in chocolate at first, but one bite of that chewy ball of coconut made up for it. Mmmmm.

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Monkey Bread, Coconut Macaroon, Chai Tea Lattes (iced and hot)

Amelie’s definitely made it on our “must go back” list.

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Everybody lines up in front of this extensive dessert case to order. Like you could resist, right?

We rate this restaurant 5 forks out of 5 for a family friendly restaurant serving outstanding food.

Amélie's Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Excited about Eating by Ernie Hiers

This edition of Excited about Eating takes us north to the City of Salisbury and to Palms Cafe. 
This local neighborhood eating establishment offers breakfast, a large variety of sandwiches, and specialty coffees. You must order at the counter (no trouble seeing the menu, it is written all over the walls) and the food is brought to your table.
I chose the New York, New York hot sandwich, roast beef, corn beef, pastrami & turkey stacked high with Swiss cheese, 1000 island dressing served on grilled rye bread with a side of homemade potato chips. Hearty and filling, the different meats mixed well with the dressing. The chips were seasoned well and firm enough to dip in the ranch dressing. Overall, great!
New York, New York hot sandwich
Dora here. The Mandarin Orange Chicken Salad offered a generous portion of chicken salad, fresh greens, cucumbers, sunflower seeds and mandarin oranges with a sesame oriental dressing.¬†I’m pretty picky about salads. I don’t like a lot of extra stuff, and this salad worked for me. The chicken salad was creamy, sweet and delish! I enjoyed the texture of the sunflower seeds, and the oriental dressing rocked! And what a value at less than $8! That leaves a little extra for dessert, right? Especially since I had my heart set on that Palms Java shake…
Mandarin Orange Chicken Salad
The Palms Java shake was a mixture of espresso, java chocolate chips and vanilla Gelato. I would have liked the shake to be a little thicker. 
Palms Java Shake
Dora here. I’m with Ernie on this one. I expected the shake to be thicker and more coffee flavored, but, hey, Gelato and coffee…:sigh: thick, thin, who cares? Nice way to cap off the meal.¬†

Palms Cafe is one of those comfort restaurants, the kind you go to after a long day and don’t really know what you want. They have a menu with options sure to please everyone.

We rate this restaurant 4 forks out of 5 for a family friendly restaurant serving great food.

What’s your go-to restaurant for comfort food?

Palms Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Excited about Eating by Ernie Hiers

For this edition of Excited about Eating¬†we visited Smoke Modern Barbeque¬†located in Huntersville’s¬†Birkdale Village.¬†


This ultra-modern restaurant is not your normal BBQ joint. With the contemporary, industrial style decor, you would expect a much higher priced menu.

Now I like to consider myself somewhat of a BBQ connoisseur, with my BBQ hobby of judging KCBS events. So when I visit a BBQ restaurant, I expect tournament quality meat, cooked to perfection with the right amount of smoke. I was not disappointed at this restaurant.

I planned to share with our grandson, so I could sample a variety of meats. I chose the Smokin’ Q Combo with pork spareribs, beef brisket, and smoked sausage with sides of mac n cheese and my favorite, tater tots. The ribs were perfect, not fall-off-the-bone overcooked, like so many BBQ restaurants, but with the right amount of pull and full of juice. The brisket was lean and tender, smoky, and definitely not dry. The sausage was a little spicy and full of favor.  

Smokin’ Q Combo – 3 meats, Ribs, Sausage & Brisket

Dora here. A little spicy? Yowzers! That sausage was pop-your-eyeball spicy! Phew! One bite and our grandkiddo nibbled on the brisket and ribs instead. lol. 


Wow! So many items to choose from on their menu, it was difficult to pick just one. The Summer Strawberry Salad was just the right choice for lunch. With two of my favorite fruits, strawberries and pear sticks, how could I go wrong? Piled high with grilled chicken (shrimp was also an option), almonds and melt-on-your-tongue goat cheese and coated with balsamic vinaigrette, this salad was light and fresh. Delish!  

Summer Strawberry Salad

Can you believe that even with three of us eating only two meals, we still brought home two boxes of leftovers?


No debates over this, folks. 5 forks all the way!

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