The experienced and familial off-site caterers of All Ours Catering fête sweet-tooth owners and event celebrators with a plethora of customized treats freshly baked on the day they are ordered. Reserve your crafted confection that feeds 20–25 people for a variety of occasions, from birthdays to holidays and kitten-to-cat graduation parties. Like bird-egg egos, cakes are fragile and require special handling and care, so professional dessert wranglers take caution when arranging them on banquet-room cake stands or hovercraft dining-room coffee tables. Cakes can be customized by flavor, color, design, and any other personal preferences.
Pamela Howard recalls her wedding day with a hint of ruefulness. It was a humid, overcast August afternoon in Lake Wylie, and a sudden flood the night before knocked out the power. Guests were sweating. The cake was melting. And her event planner was panicking.
Now an event planner herself, Ms. Howard remembers this experience every time she sits down with clients to arrange everything from intimate catered dinners for two to extravagant weddings. “Things are going to happen,” she acknowledges. “But how you handle the unexpected as a professional—that’s what really makes the planner shine.”
For her part, Ms. Howard strives to ensure her events go off without a hitch by working closely with clients. She discusses their inspiration for their event face-to-face, and delves into their favorite foods, colors, flowers, and music. She’s gone to great lengths to make events successful, from tracking down a classical violinist at the last minute to recruiting a veritable army of servers to cater a celebrity’s 300-guest banquet. “Your job is to keep the client happy,” says Ms. Howard. “And you always have a plan B . . . even if that just means praying for a sunny day.”
Feeding the discerning palates of the local community for more than 25 years, Great Wall of China South earns its longtime success with a sweet and savory smorgasbord of meat and vegetarian dishes. Inside the eatery, grandiose fish tanks and candles emit a soft glow on tables, from which plated Chinese fare wafts its spiced decadence and helps customers make decisions from the extensive menu offerings. Culling tastes from land and sea, chefs top pepper steak with onions, dunk chicken in sauces such as teriyaki, and marry dishes of shrimp and broccoli under the watch of their proud parents. Lavish Sunday lunch buffets line up the eatery's popular dishes in a sampling of eats that give guests ideas for what to order on their next visit.
Dive into the flavor ocean with LaVecchia's extensive menu. Surf-and-turf appetizer options include the tips and grits (grilled tenderloin with gorgonzola, caramelized onion, and red-wine shallot gravy, $8) with a half-dozen fresh blue point oysters ($12). Then set your sails for the house specialties, such as a Carolina Crabcake dinner (two cakes with seasonal vegetables and buttermilk whipped potatoes, $26), the stuffed jumbo shrimp, loaded with lump crab and boursin cheese, along with vegetables and buttermilk whipped potatoes, bacon, tomato, basil, and lobster beurre blanc ($24), or the USDA-prime 20-ounce bone-in ribeye, seared to marbley perfection and served on a bed of pure joy ($37).
The Taste of Charlotte unrolls a five-block red carpet of family-friendly merriment, presenting culinary celebrations from area restaurants, live music, and myriad entertainment options. Use the coins to score smoky samples from 2010 Best of the Taste winner Outlaw BBQ Shack or a decadent delight from Divine Pies Bakery (restaurant samples range from one to three coins). Take shelter from stampeding herds of street performers at the Tavern, in which hardworking taste buds can treat themselves to soothing sips of New Belgium beers and Twisted wines, including pinot grigio and moscato (beverages range from two to four coins).
Bakery on site! Dogs welcome. All natural, fresh baked treats. Great toy selection. Collars and leashes. Natural grooming products. Do-it-yourself dog wash! Made in the USA and eco-friendly products. Raw, canned and kibble canine diets. Holistic supplements. Natural bones and chews. Diners and bowls. Crates and beds.