You might be surprised to find out that Fud at Salud's Jeff McElwee was always a pancake kind of guy. But he doesn't seem to show bias in the kitchen, where he crafts countless amounts of what's been dubbed as "wafflewiches" at Salud Beer Shop in NoDa.
The kitchen opened in April of 2015 after an expansion. Now known as the "Fud Dud," McElwee credits his creative concotions to trial and error. The menu has five wafflewich mainstays — the Chicken and Waffle wafflewich being the most popular — and each week there's a "waffle of the week."
For Salud's upcoming Four Year Anniversary Party on March 19, McElwee plans to cut four's out of waffles and use the scraps to make a waffle-style bread pudding.
"We want to keep doing different, weird and creative stuff because Charlotte is turning into a cool little foodie spot," says McElwee.
Creative Loafing: In what ways have you incorporated beer from local breweries into menu selections?
Jeff McElwee: We use three local breweries for three of our permanent menu items. For the beer cheese and pretzel appetizer, we use Birdsong Brewing Company's Jalapeno Pale Ale with the cheese and that comes with a Dukes pretzel. One of our waffles is called the Frambella. I take a raspberry fruit beer and make a jam out of it. Then we mix it with Nutella that's mixed with Noda Brewing Company's Coco Loco. Then, there's the Jason-Gi-Ham-Brie with Windy Hill Peach Cider that we blend with peaches. Then we put that between two waffles with ham and brie.
What inspired some of the names of the wafflewiches and sandwiches?
I love pop culture and I love this neighborhood. The Jason-Gi-Ham-Brie is named after a baseball player whose name is Jason Giambi. The You're Killin' Me Smores wafflewich comes from a line from The Sandlot. The Intimidator gives a shout out to Dale Earnhardt. The Kimmie Gobbler is named after Kimmy Gibbler of Full House. We also have another portion on the menu called the neighborhood favorites and those are just names from people who work at different restaurants and businesses around the neighborhood and people that come in frequently.
Any changes coming up?
Hopefully, within the next month, we'll be open seven days a week for breakfast.The neighboorhood needs a good breakfast spot and with The Daily Press relocating, we'll offer French press and coffee and some light stuff like fruit and parfait, too. We just started a BYO [build your own] breakfast burrito at brunch on Sundays. We're taking the French toast waffle out for a spin now and we have another one called the waffle rancheros.