Soul Gastrolounge – Charlotte, NC
Y’all. I can’t tell you how happy I am to find Soul Gastrolounge in my new home of Charlotte. Moving from Chicago, one of the things I missed desperately was the plethora of amazing food right outside my front door. Don’t get me wrong, the food in Charlotte is good and there are lots of yummy BBQ options, but let’s be honest, it’s no Chicago. Soul Gastrolounge is definitely up there with some of the best Chicago hot spots.
Located in the hipster-filled Plaza Midwood, Soul Gastrolounge is somewhat hidden and tucked away on the second floor of a strip of stores, restaurants and bars. They don’t take reservations, so be prepared to wait at the bar where you can sample their delicious craft cocktails (the Tito’s Cucumber Mule is my personal fave.) It’s a small plate style menu so you can sample lots of different dishes – my absolute favorite. There are a lot of Asian influences on the menu including an enormous sushi selection but there are also dishes that have Greek and Italian influences as well. Below are some of my favorites from my recent meals there, although I’m still slowly but surely working my way through the menu!
Asian glazed pork belly tacos in flour tortillas with watermelon salsa: Can you say heaven? These are heaven. It may sound like an odd combination but the flavors are incredible. The watermelon is tart and tangy and the pork belly is sweet and salty.
Korean BBQ wings fried and tossed in a gochujang BBQ sauce and scallions: I love any type of Korean BBQ. These wings are super spicy and jam-packed with potent flavor.
Red Dragon Roll – Tempura shrimp, tempura salmon and cream cheese topped with spicy tuna, poki tuna and crunchy onion: This is my all time favorite sushi roll. It’s the best flavor combination. The crunchy onion adds an unexpected flavor and texture and the tuna is amazingly fresh.
Dancing Tuna – Seared Tuna and avocado topped with spicy tuna, jalapeno, tobiko, finished with sriracha mayo and wasabi mayo: A close second to the Red Dragon roll, the Dancing Tuna roll is also delicious. I love the subtle heat from the jalapeno and the wasabi mayo.
Bean Town Roll – Tuna, salmon and avocado topped with spicy shrimp, green onion, fish roe and crunchy onion: This was one of their specials when we dined there. It was fresh and delicious with lots of different textures and flavors.