Burrito Loco's staff puts creative twists into their menu of Mexican cuisine, from cremas and pestos to their BLT-inspired chicken tacos. And everything on the menu costs less than $8. Mango-habañero salsa accents the spicy shrimp burrito, and tempura batters the catfish within the pesca taco, which the chefs top with cabbage, salsa, and poblano tartar sauce. Burrito Loco's signature Tacos Loco mingle Monterey Jack and cotija cheeses, adobo-seasoned steak, pico de gallo, guacamole, and chipotle crema. The restaurant nicknamed that taco "the Big Mac of tacos", because Mark "Big Mac" McGwire used to eat 20 of them before games. Burrito Loco also hosts open mic nights on Wednesdays, and drops off dishes from its delivery menu throughout the Mooresville area.
For more than 20 years, the chefs and staff at Turn 4 Pizza have served up hand-tossed pies to the Mooresville community and surrounding areas. Their creative pizzas draw inspiration from auto racing terms, as evidenced by the Caution Flag—a sausage-and-onion pizza set ablaze with jalapeños, banana peppers, and crushed red pepper. On the tamer side of the menu, the Charlotte 600 pie tops a creamy alfredo base with tomatoes, spinach, mushrooms, onion, and chicken. They also sport a build-your-own option, featuring more than 20 toppings that range from meatballs and pepperoni to granulated garlic, mandarin oranges, and pepperoncini. Their specialty dessert pizzas include pies such as the cinnamon-sugar-with-icing pizza, which can also be made race-themed when served on a spare tire.
There’s a sense of presentation that permeates Hanayuki Japanese Restaurant. The bright orange and red colors and geometric shapes that inform the decor are almost plates of sushi writ large—colorful fish arranged with flair sit next to rolls drizzled with zigzagging lines of eel sauce. Dragon rolls contain tempura shrimp topped with eel and avocado, whereas spicy-tuna rolls are packed with tuna, cucumber, and spicy sauces. In addition to sushi, chefs grill entrees featuring both seafood and chicken or beef. They coat teriyaki chicken and steak in sauces made from scratch and mingle shrimp, scallops, and chicken with rice or soba noodles. Amid the elegant trappings of the eatery—wood trim wraps its way around plush booths and flat-screen TVs embedded in walls, and backless shelves offer glimpses of other dining areas—servers deliver consistently friendly interactions along with the beautifully presented food.
Monterrey’s chef, born in the restaurant’s namesake city, populates a menu with traditional Mexican dishes such as chilis poblanos, five kinds of fajitas, and seafood. In the sizzling fajitas ($9.95+), strips of steak or chicken roll up into flour tortillas as soft as a mattress stuffed with daydreams, and chihuahua cheese melts inside two deep-fried poblano peppers ($9.95). Delight taste buds with seafaring dishes such as the camarones al chipotle, where shrimp mingles with vegetables in a creamy chipotle sauce ($12.95), or tackle 10 inches of soft tortilla with chicken or steak, rice, bell peppers, and surfer jargon in the Super California burger ($11.95). Although not covered by this deal, the cantina pours carafes of homemade sangria alongside lime and peach margaritas ($9.50/half pitcher).
The DQ Treat Center offers a cool respite for shoppers tired of fitting-room lines and surly sales clerks. Celebrating its 25th year, the signature Blizzard's chunky charms are as inescapable as ever, with classic candies, such as Butterfinger, Oreos, and Snickers, and other flavor options, including Georgia Mud Fudge, blended to unmatched thickness with creamy soft serve (up to $4.09). The Peanut Buster Parfait (up to $3.79) slathers vanilla ice cream in fudge and peanuts for an appealingly layered delight. This location harnesses the relentless power of the Blizzard alongside the brightly colored grace and dignity of Orange Julius smoothies (up to $5.29) and fruit drinks (up to $3.89) to create a sweet-treat superpower.
In the kitchen at Mario’s Pizza, chefs heap cheese, steak, and sun-dried tomatoes onto oversize New York–style and sicilian pizza crusts. A white pizza covered in ricotta cheese, fresh garlic, and mozzarella reminds taste buds of eating a delicious snowman, and comes in sizes ranging from 10 inches to as large as 19 inches. Baked pasta and sandwiches, such as a philly steak or veal parmigiana, round out the menu.
Start your cruise through Vinnie's menus with the pelagic flavors of one-dozen oysters, blackened and served hot and spicy ($10.99). For diners that are extra-hungry and in need of an odd hat, there's the big combo basket of all of Vinnie's fried delights: crispy oysters, butterfly shrimp, calabash shrimp, and fish fillets ($16.99). Vinnie's original fish sandwich with fries ($9.99) offers a handheld seafood option, not to be confused with the derivative fish sandwich—the chicken club ($8.99). Vinnie's seasoned chefs also put together wraps and entrees such as the shrimp and grits, which fuses ground-corn flavors with ocean-fresh shrimp ($10.99).