Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Folks at Steamers love this country

A city ordinance banning businesses from flying more than three flags might be the best thing that happened to Steamers, a cozy sportsbar off Albemarle Road.
I live near the bar, and have passed it numerous times, but I never bothered to stop until Saturday. The bar organized a Red, White & Blue party to show that the nine flags that flew atop the bar were to show patriotism, not draw business. Being forced to remove the flags gave owner Bill Nolan more publicity than the nine flags ever did. His dilemma became fodder for talk radio last week after an article ran in the Charlotte Observer.
On Saturday, I stopped by the bar. Every small pub calls itself a Cheers and this one is no different. Tracy Thomas is the den mother and seemed to know everybody there. Many regulars have gone there for more than a dozen years and friendly newcomers are immediately welcome.
Steamers doesn’t look like much from the outside, but inside it's lined with plasma flat screen TVs that show sports. It’s a Panthers and Eagles bar, but I’ve been assured that even my Redskin-lovin’ booty would be welcome. They have karaoke on weekends. Pool tables, darts and foosball games are in the back. In anticipation of an eventual ban on smoking, there’s an enclosed outside patio with heat and fans.
Steamers serves the typical range of bar food, but get this: Burgers are served on wheat buns!
If you go, ask for Tracy and prepare to find a new place to hang.

Bread pudding war

For the last year, Kitch and I have debated about who has the best bread pudding in the city.
He liked the pudding at Copeland’s. I thought it was okay. He raved about Table’s, but it was petite and pretty. I loathe petite and pretty - give me food. I suggested Fenwick’s. He wasn’t impressed.
Last night, I finally got him to try the bread pudding at Hotel Charlotte at Sharon Amity and Providence. The restaurant gives you a heaping bowl and it’s sooo good.
When the bartender sat the bowl in front of us, Kitch raked his spoon across the top, ate a small piece and said it was good. When he ordered a shot of Grand Marnier, I knew I had won him over.
Our next mission is to find a place to go late night for dessert. I hate feeding a late-night sweet tooth with a McDonald’s sundae.
Who has good desserts and serves until at least 10 p.m.? And what’s your favorite spot for dessert? Post your replies below.