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The Critic's Apprentice recommends Rock Bottom Brewery

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For the lunchtime business crowd or evening game crowd, Rock Bottom Brewery (401 N. Tryon St.) offers a fine menu without digging too deep into the pockets of patrons -- and it is my favorite of all restaurants in town.

Two reasons for this are the in-house brewed beers: Southern Flyer Light Lager and Sweet Magnolia Brown Ale. These, along with four other brews, and a choice of their hand-crafted personal pan pizzas makes the Rock the place of choice for watching games. These pizzas cost less than $11 and arrive with quality toppings such as sundried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, asiago cheese, and creamy spinach and can easily feed two.

Starters such as calamari, bruchetta with smoked tomatoes, and pepper jack nachos -- all less than $10 -- arrive in such large portions, any can serve as an entrée. But the best entrée is the grilled mahi mahi fish tacos with avocado remoulade, black beans, and Spanish rice. With a price of only 11 bucks (at lunch), these tacos qualify for a steal in any book.

Monique Gaines is a junior at Johnson & Wales University majoring in Culinary Arts and Food Service Management.

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