Pass by Slice's unassuming brick and glass facade, and you're likely to be drawn in nose-first. The appetizing scent of freshly made pizza and toasty, oven-baked subs could make any mouth water. And that's before the eyes have even had a chance to ogle the crispy, thin-crust or thick-Sicilian-style pies, each covered in delectable toppings such as italian sausage, peppers, olives, and pepperoni. The sandwiches, meanwhile, come stuffed with savory fillings like chicken parmesan or meatballs and marinara. And, if the sights and smells aren't enough to whet your appetite, the menu also includes appetizers like mozzarella sticks, fried pickles, and wings that can be smothered in a choice of a 11 sauces or stuffed inside a calzone.
The Charlotte Museum Mile pits speed demons against stamina studs in a 5,280-foot foot race to be crowned the fastest man and woman in Charlotte. After being divided into applicable heats based on age, gender, and hair-growth velocity, racers will set off on their 1 mile of sweat-stained glory, passing local sights that include the McColl Center for Visual Art, Discovery Place, and Spirit Square. The foot-friendly racecourse rewards runners with a high-five and hamstring-heavy finish at the Levine Avenue of the Arts. Speedsters can then replenish spent fuel reserves by nibbling on one of Icehouse's eclectic array of appetizers ($4–$10).
Dark woods punctuated by electric-blue accents decorate the inside of Icehouse, where diners pair casual American classics with one of more than 200 beers. Throughout the space, complimentary WiFi and 20 flat-screen televisions and complimentary WiFi keep diners informed on the latest game scores, while upstairs a billiards loft entertains them during commercials. On nice nights, the crowd heads outside to the 100-seat covered patio for Carolina pulled pork sandwiches, sampler platters of sliders, and wings in one of seven sauces.
When their daughter, Kai, was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, Tracy and Patrick Watkins knew they needed to provide her with as much love and care as possible. They quit their jobs as engineers and launched a bakery named after their little girl and her favorite treats. In the kitchen at Kai’s Kookies and More, the couple ices custom sugar cookies by hand, transforming circles into edible basketballs and rectangles into festive American flags, all of which can be dipped into house-brewed coffee or bundled into baskets, boxes, or bouquets. Sweeter than a kiss from Cap’n Crunch, mangoes and strawberries fill several varieties of cupcakes and 3-inch cheesecakes.
In addition to packing their display case with handcrafted confections, Tracy and Patrick supply desserts to eight local restaurants and four Monkey Joe's bounce playgrounds. Visitors can also book Kai's for special events such as tea parties and international summits disguised as children's birthday bashes.
Cylindrical lights cast artful shadows on golden walls while amber drapes evoke waterfalls of pure honey. Patrons just entering The Wine Loft's warm, glowing lounge find seats on a wall-length leather sofa and begin eyeing neighboring feasts of small plates. Shareable boards are scattered with Italian antipasto, charcuterie, and Mediterranean accouterments, all begging companionship from more than 40 wines by the glass. "I also have 100 wines by the bottle," the waitress says, seeing the customers scanning the bar. She drops two menus and cocktail napkins onto the black-lacquered table. Each item's description flickers against lit tea candles. Jazz music gives the room a velvety pulse. "We'll have the Japanese pumpkin ravioli and shrimp and blue-cheese pastries,” says one of the diners. “And as for all these wines, I think we'll need a few more minutes."
For a quarter of a century, 300 East has satisfied Charlotte's cravings for seasonal American fare. A grilled gorgonzola-stuffed filet mignon hugged by apple-smoked bacon and cushioned by buttermilk mashed potatoes ($22) highlights the dinner menu. Diners also congregate for the black-bean-and-green-chili-chicken tortilla loaded with brown rice, monterey-jack and cheddar cheeses, avocado, lime crema, and house-made salsa ($9–$11).