Visiting the Balkans



That’s right it says Serbia.  I was as shocked as some of you probably are to find out we had a restaurant in the area that had Serbian dishes.  Honestly I didn’t even know what those might be but it turns out the one I tried was good.

So the place du jour was the Intermezzo Pizzeria & Café.  It’s on 10th St. in Charlotte and pretty easy to get to.  It wasn’t very busy when I arrived and I was seated immediately.  They probably have more seats outside than in and since it wasn’t too hot I opted to sit outside.  The waiter was very nice and we discussed beer to start and I went with a La Fin du Monde from Canada.  He also brought me a sample of the Blanche de Bruxelles which he thought would be refreshing on the warm sunny day.  He was correct.



The outside view was traffic heavy but there were a couple of interesting looking businesses to liven up the scenery.  The coffee place and tattoo parlor were pretty easy to get a bead on but I’m not sure what the White Rabbit is aside from colorful.


I had it narrowed down to two items on the menu and I appreciated the candor from the waiter with his thoughts on the two options. He mentioned that one was pretty plain and not that flavorful.  So I went with the Karadjordjeva and skillet potatoes.

20160528_114951 20160528_115130If you are like me and had no clue what a Karadjordjeva was until now let me enlighten you on this version.  It is a pork cutlet pounded like schnitzel with ham and kajmak cheese rolled up inside, breaded with site made bread crumbs, pan seared and finished with dill tartar sauce.  “Tartar sauce on my pork, that’s crazy” you say?  So did I but figured what the heck and that was a gamble that paid off.  As you can see from the dissection photo there was plenty of ham and cheese rolled up in this thing and with that squeeze of lemon plus the dill tartar sauce the whole thing was very tasty.  I don’t want to give short shrift to the skillet potatoes.  They would have gone great with any meal.  Cooked with a little onion and fried enough to have some light crunch in spots, tender throughout and salted just right so it was a good accompaniment but not competition for the main dish.

Overall I really liked it but for me I think it would be better as an evening meal rather than lunch on a warm spring day.  I will say the pizza smelled good so if I’m back in this neighborhood I think I’ll have to give one of those a try.  My streak of good places to dine continues and if you are interested their web link is below and if you want an interesting fact on Serbia check out Tell Me More.

Intermezzo Pizzeria



A Taste of India



From Japan last week I ventured west to the Indian subcontinent as represented by Chaupaati Indian Restaurant in Pineville, NC.  I’ve been to some other Indian restaurants in town that were pretty good but wanted to try a new one and their subtitle, “Casual Indian Kitchen”, pulled me in.

It’s located in a non-descript shopping center so unless you knew it was there you probably wouldn’t stumble on it.  Fortunately they do have a pretty good website to give you an idea what you’re in for menu wise and to provide directions, see the link at the bottom of the post.

When I arrived there was one person waiting for take out, which is apparently a good part of their business, and the young lady working the counter.  When I told her I hadn’t been in before she grabbed a menu and asked if I’d ever had Indian before.  When I said I had she asked what I liked and proceded to point out some popular choices.  She was very nice, willing to try to help someone pick out a meal they’d like and industrious judging by her activities while I was there.  I settled on the Lamb Chetinad, an order of butter roti and a mango lassi.


20160522_120519When I ordered she asked if I wanted it medium or spicy and to be on the safe side I went medium.  Turned out to be the prudent choice.

The lamb chetinad is a curry made of coconut, chili, masala and other spices with chunks of lamb.  It comes with rice as you can see and the roti sops up the curry quite nicely.  The lamb chunks were very tender and just about melted in my mouth.  The sauce itself was about the perfect spiciness for me and I’m not too proud to admit the spicy would probably have done me in and made the dining experience not nearly as pleasant.  The flavor was very good and the portions quite generous.  At first I thought it seemed expensive but I had two helpings and still took some home so two people could easily share this dish.  Oh and last but certainly not least was the mango lassi.  That was worth the trip all by itself.

It is a sweet yogurt drink with mango and according to the menu it had pistachios as well.  I couldn’t taste the pistachios but the mango was there in force.  It was a bit like a milk shake but not quite as thick.  I could’ve downed a gallon of this stuff.

My verdict is this is a great place to get authentically Indian food of good quality in a comfortable atmosphere.  The menu is extensive enough anyone should be able to find something they could like.

Here is the link to their website and don’t forget to check out Tell Me More for a chetinad recipe and Bollywood dance numbers of course.

Chaupaati Restaurant

Japan in Amber








After skipping a week and being busy as IT support Saturday and hitting the cinema to see Capt. America Sunday, keeping it close to home was an attractive option so I decided to head on over to Amber Buffet & Hibachi to represent Japan.  I’d seen it many times since moving to Rock Hill but the hibachi part filled the bill today.  They were moderately busy at 2:00pm Sunday.  It had the most diverse cross section of humanity I’ve come across on any of these dining experiences.  I guess buffets are the great equalizers.  The dining area was a bit dim and they love some colored lights.  The buffet area was a actually better lit and quite large.

The first thing I hit was the sushi line.  There was a nice selection of pretty basic options and I tried one of each.  You can pick you wasabi and ginger from a big bowl.  It all looked pretty vibrant and the way people were hitting the sushi station they had to be restocking it pretty often although I didn’t see anyone making them.


After that appetizer I ventured down that same line to the hibachi zone.  Here you pick you meat and a few veggies and some noodles if you want and put the plate on the counter and they line them up and grill the contents, put the finished product on a new plate and set it on the other end of the counter.  Nice and easy.  I was kind of surprised they didn’t have any rice there but that may have been to keep from having to clean it off the grill.  Whatever the reason I wasn’t sad to go with the steak, chicken, noodles, fungus and veggies.


After that I perused the buffet lines.  There is a big rectangle with plates of you standard oriental buffet fare and then a couple of lines with salads & vegetables and one with deserts and ice cream.  I did like the white serving plates that gave everything a bright clean look.  I opted for a couple of items from the steamer section and ended the day with some fruit.


On one hand I’m sorry I never went in before now and on the other I’m glad because I could get big as a house if it became a habit.  As buffets go I have to give this place high marks.  The food was good, the staff was friendly, the patrons were well mannered and never once did I see people waiting at an empty spot on the buffet.  I’ll be back but not too frequently.

Here’s the web site and don’t forget to check out the Tell Me More page for a yum yum sauce recipe and a great music video.

Amber Buffet & Hibachi