Fast Cars and Fried Chicken!

Originally published 9/18/11

If Friday night was urban and artsy, Saturday was not! Our plans included the NASCAR Hall of Fame and the Bar-B-Q King! And I could not wait! Yee-haw!

We checked out of the hotel and headed to the Hall. An exquisite facility conveniently located in the heart of downtown at 400 East Martin Luther King, Charlotte, N.C. 28202, the Hall of Fame is an impressive sight!

NASCAR exterior

And let me just tell you, I loooooved this place! It was so much better than any of my expectations! They have done a great job making this museum a place that appeals to long-time fans or to someone like my husband who doesn’t care at all about NASCAR but can appreciate how fun this place turned out to be!

Rather than a dusty old museum where the visitors and the stuff are separated by ropes and glass, this museum is extremely interactive and anything but stuffy!

NASCAR 43

From the very cool display of the evolution of the cars in the series that greets you when you walk in to the excellent film that gets you into the mood as soon as you sit down, this place will draw you in right away!

There was so much to do and see! As we made our way around, we checked out the displays for the actual inductees that gave you an excellent representation of each man’s contribution to motorsports history. We continued our tour and entered into an area where you could choose videos of dramatic crashes and famous fights!

There was memorabilia from all eras of NASCAR history that was definitely worth seeing, and whole sections of the Museum will give you a feel for how things are really done! Hands-on experiences including tire changing, waving the flag from the starter’s stand, and simulating driving experiences in actual Chase cars are just a few of the activities that are offered.

For NASCAR fans, gearheads, or somebody just looking for something different to get into, the NASCAR Hall of Fame has a lot to offer and makes for a really fun afternoon!

After getting in touch with our NASCAR roots, we headed to Bar-B-Q King! Located at 2900 Wilkinson Blvd, Charlotte, NC 28208, this old-school curb service restaurant has been featured on Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives, and we were ready to check it out for ourselves!

BarBQKing

Barbecue, chicken, hamburgers, perch plates or trout sandwiches… Oh, my! I finally settled on the bar-b-q chicken, and it was on! This was a feast! Oh, yeah!

BarBQKing plate

This place is outstanding! And if… if… you have any room left… there is dessert!! Fresh strawberry pie!

BarBQKing pie

When it was all over, we had an outstanding day… fun and fascinating tour of the NASCAR Hall of Fame first… followed by a super delicious meal at the Bar-B-Q King!

Thank you Charlotte for a weekend well done! And thank you to my sweetie who helped make this super fun field trip actually happen!

BarBQKing Mike

Art and Fish Tacos!

Originally published 9/14/11

If you’re anything like me, you have watched those shows like Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives and Man v. Food and said “Boy, I would love to go there.” You might have even started to make your own list of places that you’ve read about… or heard about… and want to check out!

Then a weekend comes or holiday weekend which is even better and you think… “How ’bout now?” “How ’bout a trip to Charlotte or wherever….” You start poking around on the internet and before you know it, you’ve put together a whole tour!

Well, that’s what we did on a Labor Day holiday not all too long ago! Charlotte’s not too far away… there were places to go, things to do, and food to eat! And before we knew it, this field trip had turned into two days of outstanding food and lots of fun!

Friday, our ultimate destination was Cabo Fish Taco, 3201 North Davidson Street, Charlotte, NC 28205, but it turned out to be that and so much more!

We soon discovered that it was also the All Arts Crawl in NoDa that night! The North Davidson Arts District (aka NoDa) is a wonderful collection of galleries, shops and restaurants and a very cool historic neighborhood. After finding a place to park, we hit the street! Bookstores, art galleries, and an eclectic variety of stores… all with their doors open… beckoning us to come inside! We got busy checking out the street vendors, shops, and galleries right away!

Wandering around and checking it all out, it was still a little too early for dinner so we made our way across the street to Fu’s Custom Tattoo.

noda art

What a bonus! An excellent show was opening at the gallery and the artist was actually at work while we were there!!

The folks at the tattoo shop were also kind enough to give us the heads up that we needed to get our names on the list at the restaurant before we did anything else!

There was apparently going to be a wait! And they weren’t kidding! We were lucky enough to get on the list early! A 30-minute wait was all we had to worry about, but by the time we got called, the wait had increased to one hour. (And just so you know, that wait continued to grow… and by the time we left around 9 it was up to two… hours, that is!)

cabo fish taco

The menu looked good… and we were ready to eat! The plates going by us to the surrounding tables looked good! There was an excellent variety of sides available to accompany most dishes. Some of them sounded pretty exciting… jalapeno and cheese mashers, mexi slaw, and nopalito salad … or you could opt for the more traditional black beans and rice, baja rice, or refried beans. Choices! Choices!

We shared the super fresh homemade guacamole and chips. I followed that up with a couple of outstanding lemon grilled tuna tacos. This was one delicious dinner!

cabo fish taco dinner

A casual atmosphere that was kinda noisy with the sounds of folks having a really good time and some excellent food… Cabo Fish Taco is a perfect Friday night destination!

Filled up, we headed back because there was still more to see! From there we decided to check out the arts market that was happening at the Neighborhood Theatre, and it was definitely worth it. Upstairs and downstairs, the place was filled with loads of artists and craftspeople with quite a wonderful variety of wares available for sale!

We were also lucky enough to discover the Rat’s Nest, located at 442 E. 36th St.!

A wonderful assortment of vintage clothes… cowboy boots, dresses, accessories, western shirts, ringer tees, belt buckles, and other funky stuff… this place is definitely worth a peek!

the rats nest

We perused the stores, ate the food, watched the people, and thoroughly enjoyed our Friday night! It was time to head back to the hotel and prepare for a very different Day Two that was soon to unfold!