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Good Eats

Our critics' guide to recommended restaurants in Charlotte

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All Around Town

Anntony's Caribbean, 400 S. Tryon St., 704-339-0303; 2001 E. 7th St., 704-342-0749. All locations have different owners. A hint of the tropics; rotisserie chicken with Jamaican jerk sauce, ribs, Paradise Island fish special, curries, and Caribbean styled greens. $$

Azteca, 116 Woodlawn Rd., 704-525-5110; 9709 Independence Blvd., 704-814-9877; 1863 W. Franklin Blvd. (Gastonia), 704-866-7574. A favorite of many, Azteca offers a lengthy roster of flavorful dishes. $$

Brixx Wood-Fired Pizza, 1801 Scott Avenue, 704-376-1000; 225 E. 6th St., 704-347-2749; 16915 Birkdale Commons Pkwy. (Huntersville), 704-894-0044. Home of the MBA program, and the "B" stands for beer. Late night noshing on goat cheese and shrimp pizzas has become a standard. Not complicated, but consistently good. Open late. L, D $$

Fuel Pizza Cafe, 1501 Central Ave., 704-376-3835; 1801 South Blvd., 704-335-7375; 319 W. Trade St., 704-344-1767; 404 S. Main St. (Davidson), 704-896-0200. Hand-tossed New York style pizza with kitschy automobile and gas station memorabilia. Traditional and gourmet style pizzas, calzones, and chicken wings. $$

McAlister's Deli, 4130 Carmel Rd., 704-540-7199; 15201-A John J. Delaney Dr., Ballantyne Commons East, 704-542-0727; 8046-D Providence Rd., Arboretum, 704-752-9665; 19330 W. Catawba Rd. (Cornelius), 704-896-3354. Offers over 100 items including sandwiches, salads, appetizers, plus they do more with a baked spud than you can imagine. $$

Mellow Mushroom, 4422 Colwick Rd., 704-362-5335; 4100-A Carmel Rd., 704-341-8236; 5814 Prosperity Church Rd., 704-875-2418; 1225-A East Blvd., 704-371-4732. An Atlanta-based franchise with a local twist: a large selection of domestic and imported beers. The relaxed atmosphere and variety of pizzas attract all ages. $$

Midtown Sundries, 7715 Pineville-Matthews Rd., 704-541-8117; 3425 David Cox Rd., 704-597-7413; 18626 Harborside Dr. (Cornelius), 704-896-9013; 618 Kenilworth Ave., 704-358-3933. Very popular, festive spot for burgers and wings while watching a wide screen, playing pool, or listening to live music. $$

Restaurant Y Taqueria La Unica, 2801 Central Ave., 704-347-5115; 140 Eastway Dr., 704-597-1699; 1621 Walkup Ave. (Monroe), 704-282-2369. A hybrid offering fast food as well as entrees and most items feature the flavors of Mexico City. Try the sensational al pastor taco. $$

Salsa's Mexican Restaurant, Galleria Village Shopping Center, 1640 N. Sardis Rd., 704-846-3374; Carmel Commons Shopping Center, 6676 Carmel Rd., 704-759-9886. Singles and families crowd this vibrant, friendly dining room to feast on a mix of standard dishes (chimichangas, enchiladas, burritos, fajitas) with a smattering of homemade tastes. $$

The Graduate, 911 E. Morehead St., 704-377-3808; 8334 Pineville-Matthews Rd., 704-543-4020; 2014 Sharon Forest Rd., 704-532-2562. Popular hangouts with college crowd, offering good variety of dishes, subs, sandwiches, calzones and pizza. Try the cheese fries. $

Vinnie's Sardine Grill & Raw Bar, 1714 South Blvd., 704-332-0006; 142 E John St. (Matthews), 704-849-0202; 643 Williamson Rd. (Mooresville), 704-799-2090. You won't find sardines, but at this lively place the after-work crowd gathers to chow down on raw oysters, wings and more. L, D $$

Wolfman Pizza, 10620-A Providence Rd., 704-845-9888; McMullen Creek Market, 704-543-9653; Cotswold Mall, 704-366-3666; 1039-A Providence Rd; 8662 J.W. Clay Blvd., 704-503-3999. Flashy wide-ranging selection of California-style pizza, with everything from the sweet-tangy Maui, to New Mexico, to Shrimp, Pesto and Goat Cheese. Also home of the Howlzone (calzone). $$

Downtown/Midtown

Alexander Michael's, 401 W. 9th St., 704-332-6789. A neighborhood pub in Fourth Ward with domestic and imported beers, burgers, blackened chicken breast sandwiches, and an unflappable staff. L, D $$

Bistro 100, 100 N. Tryon St., 704-344-0515. A decade ago when there were few good places to eat downtown, there was Bistro 100. The kitchen is known for its wood-burning oven and dishes that are decidedly French bistro. Open for Sunday Brunch. L, D $$$

Bravo! Ristorante, 555 S. McDowell St., 704-372-4100. Italian cuisine is the star, and professional singers share the stage as waiters. D $$$

Capital Grille, 201 N. Tryon St., 704-348-1400. An upper end, luxuriously appointed, dark wood, clubby steak house with a national reputation for dry-aged porterhouse and sirloin steaks and large portions. $$$$

Cosmos Cafe, 300 N. College St., Suite 101, 704-372-3553. Popular spot, great for late-night, with a comfortably hip ambience, serving a wide variety of cuisine styles: sushi, tapas, pizza, Malaysian to Middle Eastern, you name it. Clever cuisine in a busy location. L, D $$$

French Quarter Annex, 317 S. Church St., 704-377-1715. Deservedly popular restaurant serves a selection of Cajun and continental foods in the shadow of Ericsson Stadium. L, D $$

Green's Lunch, 309 W. 4th St., 704-332-1786. Longtime uptown favorite for one main reason: Carolina styled hotdogs with chili and slaw. If it's dogs you want, you'll be hard pressed to find better ones. B, L $

Gus' Sir Beef Uptown, 324 S. Tryon St., 704-347-5741. Homespun Gus's is known for "Fresh My Farm" vegetables cooked without grease. If you want to be a Charlottean, you'll have to go for the fried squash. L $

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