Friday, December 2, 2011

Friday Fave or Fail ... 300 east

Happy Friday friends!

It's that time again... Friday Fave or Fail... today we have a FAVE! I only have winning things to say about 300 East, the brilliant, cozy spot in the heart of Dilworth (Charlotte, NC). But first, let me update you on that bruschetta chicken we talked about on Thursday! Here are the results: Chicken was tender and tasted great...the carrots were amazing, slightly crunchy still and definitely took on the flavor of the tomato and basil... the potatoes were completely unnecessary and I'm sorry I told you to put them in there... if you happen to be making this today for dinner tonight because you were waiting to hear whether it was worth it or not, make it for sure... just leave the potatoes out. They weren't bad, but they weren't good. I put them in there to make the meal a little more "manly" for my hubby, but they just didn't add anything good to the mix. My apologies. :) At least we know for next time! NOW... on to bigger and better things....

Going to 300 East is an experience. It's not just eating out at a great restaurant. It's an old, quaint house that's been up fitted to serve no more than 100 people really unique "comfort food." When I say comfort food though, I don't mean cheap-y ingredients stretched to make a giant, starchy meal... I mean really filling and CREATIVE twists on comforting food. It's gourmet without being staunch. It's filling without being crappy. It's innovative and beautiful but there's something for everyone. Let me show you what my family and I had at our last visit to give you an idea of the variety and creativity.

To start: Roasted Red Pepper, Tomato Soup... smooth, creamy, vibrant red pepper flavor and the perfect start to a fall meal. Not sure I've ever had a better tomato soup. (them there are fightin' words, i know)
(mmm oh my gosh)
Other Starter because we can't help ourselves... it's the best thing on the menu: Baked Goat Cheese with Roasted Garlic & Sun-dried tomatoes
(and a 300 East tradition, Red Oak to polish everything off)

 Jordan's Seared Ahi Tuna Salad with sesame dressing, wasabi and shoyu glaze.... OUTSTANDING! I don't even like ahi tuna... sad I know, but this I could eat.
Mom's... which is my favorite thing on the menu... Black Bean & Green Chile Chicken Tortilla... served open faced with everything you could possibly imagine wanting on a giant crispy tortilla of black bean goodness.
 (LOOK at that thing!)
Dad's Barbeque Special... they don't have this every night, probably because it's too amazing. Also served with jalapeno cornbread.... what could be better?
 Brent's Special Fish... I actually can't remember what this was called...? Not wahoo and not mahi mahi but some flaky, delicious grilled white fish. Jordan swears that EVERY time you go, you should just order the special fish because it's bound to be the best you've ever had in your life. I have to say, this was TIED with the best I ever had in my life, which was in Aruba (sorry babe, not Sydney). Really, even if you're not a fish person... if you're a FLAVOR person, their fish specials will blow your mind. This was served with some incredible tangy light sauce over a bed of peanut noodles. Oh my gosh.
 And mine... oh mine.... I'm a sucker for falafel. But most every restaurant I've been to that attempts falafel FAILS with a big flop. Not 300 East! Kristine Schmidt (the head chef), you have MASTERED the art of a perfect, spiced and delicious black-eyed pea falafel. WELL DONE. I'm a fan for life. Also the Tzatziki is perfect. Literally perfect. Also pita is my favorite thing in life, you know I have a separate stomach just for good pita. Just look at that pita. Ugh.
Oh, you're still somehow interested in dessert, even after all of this savory eye candy? Ok let me show you what we had!

First, their Warm Callebaut Chocolate Brownie with vanilla ice cream, chocolate and caramel sauces... a classic. You can never go wrong with a warm brownie and ice cream...? Why change a good thing? And second, the most creative dessert I've had in a long time... Basmati Rice, Tapioca and Quinoa Creme Brulee, served with cinnamon almond tabouli and a quinoa cookie, all dusted with powdered sugar. Maybe you're thinking, "gross! what? that's not dessert!" Well friend, you're thinking wrong and being closed minded. Think again. Think, "yes! something creative and different and maybe not so sickeningly sweet!" You will be pleasantly surprised with how simply delicious this strange combination of three ingredients is. Besides, who cares what the filling is... the top of the creme brulee is TOASTED SUGAR... anything would be good with toasted sugar on top, I'm sure of it. :)
Even Lulu had a great time at 300 East!
 (no, that wasn't a 300 East dog treat... although I wouldn't put it past 'em!)

So I don't feel the need to write anything more about this place, really. Just go! Make a point to get adventurous one night this week... hmm say, tonight? It is Friday after all... and GO to 300 East. You will not be disappointed.

Have a GREAT rest of your Friday!

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