Monday, August 24, 2009


Foskoskies.... now say that 3 times fast! Anyways - before heading out on a night on the town, my friends and I decided to hit up Foskoskies - a small hole-in-the-wall place in the Plaza/Midwood area.

We arrived around 6PM on Friday and at the perfect time as 5 minutes later there was a line of people waiting outside the door (which means it has to be good....). We sat near the front of the restaurant right by the "Specials" wall. There were about 7-8 specials ranging from homemade meatballs to seafood to dessert and the menu overall carries a down-home Southern flare with fried chicken to turkey pot pies to crab cakes. Our server came and seemed down-to-earth and was part of our table. We gave our drink and meal orders - my friend and I both ordered the boneless fried chicken breasts served with a honey pecan sauce and our other friend ordered the homemade meatballs. While we waited, we were delivered hot yeast rolls with room temperature butter that melted and glazed over the rolls. The rolls were probably the best 'free dinner rolls' I have had in a long time.

Not long after, our food arrived. My plate was nicely presented - two chicken breasts nicely fried (no grease) with the honey pecan sauce, a broccoli casserole and rice. I cut into the chicken and didn't even need to use my knife. It was moist and hot and very tasty. The honey pecan sauce was good but became overpowering after the 4th-5th bite (I did ask for it on the side and it was not). The broccoli casserole was warm when I got to it - it has a perfect mixture of broccoli and cheese and no additional seasoning was needed. As for the rice - it was just regular white rice so I barely paid attention to it except to use it as a mop for the chicken and broccoli. My friend who ordered the dish also enjoyed it. The friend who ordered the homemade meatballs received about 5 huge meatballs (made of beef and Grateful Growers sausage) and served on top of the penne. The meatballs were tender and juicy and filled with the perfect mix of Italian-like seasoning and hint of the sausage. From the looks of it - there was way too much penne and the presentation could have been a little more but overall it was tasty. My friend did not finish her meatballs.

The service overall was great. The server came over, as well as the owner, on various times to ask about refills and how our meals were. 5 ghosts for them! The atmosphere was cute - an 'old bar/restaurant' look however it seemed hotter in the restaurant than outside and I was sweating while I was eating - 2 ghosts. As far as the food - I really enjoyed it. Again, the honey pecan sauce was a little overbearing near the end but I just scraped it away... and yes, I did ordered it on the side and it came out on top of the chicken. With this in mind, the overall flavorness of the food that required no additional seasoning and the melting texture - I give the food 3.5 ghosts - for a total average of 3.5 ghosts.

2121 Shamrock DrSte ACharlotte, NC 28205
(704) 535-2225

Monday, August 17, 2009

Wolfman Pizza

Some friends mentioned Wolfman's Pizza and said it was the greatest pizza ever... hmmmm sounds like a challenge. I went to Wolfman's on Sunday hungry hungry hungry. We were seated promptly and was greeted by a friendly server... ordered drinks and apps (Styx - which are breadsticks with their homemade sun-dried tomato pesto, artichoke dip and marinara sauce). From reviewing the menu, they had pizzas that pretty much covered any appetite and taste - regular pepperoni, chicken, veggies, cheeseburger, potato - as well as sandwiches and pasta. We decided to settle for the 12 inch Led Zeppelin (Italian sausage, roma tomatoes, roasted red peppers, red onions, fresh mushrooms, black olives, jalapenos, fresh garlic and mozzarella cheese) - might as well go big or go home!

Once we placed our order, the Styx (you get 6) arrived and they arrived HOT. The steam was coming off of these breadsticks which had seasoning (tasted like some garlic, oregano and some other hints of Italian seasons) baked on top. The outside of the stick was crisp and it was moist on the inside. Also with the styx, you have the dips. My favorite was the artichoke dip. This was a cup of cheesy goodness. You could taste the artichoke while you pulled yards of melted Parmesan cheese. The sun-dried tomato pesto was also good. The dip was nicely balanced between the flavor of tomatoes and not too oily. The marinara was also good and was set aside to be used as a crust absorber.

About 10 minutes of finishing the appetizer, the pizza arrived. This pizza appeared to be chock-full! I could tell right away it was bubbly, cheesy goodness but also noticed that the crust was wet and a fork would be needed. I took a slice and placed it on my plate - ready to dig in. I noticed that the slice had an abundance of the veggies... the tomatoes and red peppers were chopped similar and looked identical on the pizza. The only way to tell them apart was the tangy taste of the red pepper compared to the sweet tomato taste. The red onions and jalapenos added a nice 'kick' and a crisp to the pizza - which was needed since the crust was so wet and moist. The Italian sausage was good and the fennel could be tasted throughout. I was glad that the sausage didn't overpower the pizza as the meat sometimes does. The veggies were definitely the fore-front of this pie. The outer crust was crusty and flavorful as my pieces had garlic and some melted cheese on them. Pairing the crust with the left over marinara and tomato pesto - it was a treat. I still do not know why the pizza was so wet and soggy for the most part. I am assuming the pizza crust was too thin. It was not too 'saucy' so I am thinking maybe the veggies must have cooked and drained their juices... just a thought.

Overall, the service was great. They were on-top of things and provided many refills. They get 4 ghosts. As far as the food - the Styx app was great and the sauces were full of flavor. The pizza was good but not the best I have had - if only the pizza was not so wet. I give the food 3 ghosts. Overall, Wolfman Pizza gets 3.5 ghosts.
The price was reasonable - for the Styx, pizza and two drinks and tip ~$25.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Senor Tequila Cantina Grill

I am a sucker for Mexican food - I will admit. I have actually been there before but wanted to write unbiased and not have my previous experiences effect my experience.

I decided to go at a non-peak time (2PM) for lunch and was able to seat myself right away. The waiter came by and brought my menu and fulfilled my drink order. During that time, another waiter brought some chips and salsa. The chips were cold and seemed that they have been sitting out for a while and had no flavor (i.e. salt, crispness). The appearance of the chips also seemed to be store-bought chips and not homemade chips that most Mexican restaurants make. The salsa was pretty good but not as flavorful as I have tried at other restaurants. 10 minutes must have passed until the server came to take my order (and I was one table out of three). I ordered the Senor Tequila Lunch Special from the lunch menu and it consisted of a burrito, taco, chicken flauta and cheese quesadilla. I asked for beef for the burrito and taco. At this time, I had finished my drink and it took about 5 more minutes for the server to come and refill my drink. 15 minutes later - the food arrived.

At first glance, the food seemed like it was worth waiting for... however, the food was at a 'room temperature' and my chicken flauta was actually shredded beef and the cheese quesadilla was beef... I guess a beef burrito and taco means to make everything beef. Since I have already spent more time there waiting than eating, I decided just to dig in. The burrito was simple - stuffed with beef and topped with cheese and red sauce. I will say that the beef was pretty flavorful and tasty - however, it could have been warmer than the room temperature. Next, was the taco - topped with lettuce and cheese. The taco was as expected and the bottom of the shell was greasy - which is common with the 'beef taco.' I dove into the 'chicken' flauta next... this was served with a red sauce. The red sauce was definitely needed as the shredded beef was dried out and again - not warm at all. I choked those down only to start on the 'cheese' quesadilla. The flour tortilla was cooked nicely with the right amount of cheese. I was on beef overload at this point so I basically ate the around it. Again - the server lacked the drink refills and dining follow-up.

Overall, the service was sub-par and the food was adequate - but not great. Especially being one of three tables, I would have expected better - including hot food. I was disappointed that I ended up with Beef everything instead of my original order (and what was described in the menu). Like I said, I am trying to let previous visits not sway my review - but I will note that service before was terrible. On this visit - service gets 1 ghost. Food has been a little better previously but on this visit - I give it 2.5 ghosts. Overall - an average of 1.75 ghosts and I will round up to 2 ghosts... It should not be too difficult to deliver what the customer asked for. Again, I could have asked them to correct it but after waiting already - I was hungry and ready to eat (and the 'store-like' tortilla chips did not satisfy my wait). I will also mention that the menu/meal is overpriced for what you get.

If you want some great Mexican - try El Valle (see previous review). They're spot on.

Senor Tequila Cantina Grill
6414 Rea Rd
Charlotte, NC 28277-2528

Monday, August 3, 2009

Cheese Mo'z

Over the week I tried Cheese Mo'z while out running evening errands. My spouse and I met up with another friend who wanted to try this new restaurant. It recently opened in May on Rea Rd in a nice little 'farm' community setting (along with some others - Cosmo's, Sweet T's). The Cheese Mo'z menu flaunts their 'coal fired' meals that are cooked at ~800 degrees.

We were seated on the patio and we had various servers walk by. About 5 minutes of sitting down, we were finally greeted and placed both our drink and meal orders. We ordered Cheesy Bread as an appetizer, which is coined as their signature foccacia bread with garlic, fresh herbs, smoked mozzarella and provolone cheeses and served with kalamata olive tapenade. I am not sure what is so signature about it - it was basically a piece of bread with some melted cheese on top - something I could made at home with Trader Joe ingredients. The olive tapenade did not look or taste like any other tapenade I have eaten. Both the bread and tapenade lacked flavor and I was not impressed by this dish. This was only the beginning of disappointment for the evening.

We ordered the following entrees:

Me - Five Cheese Calzone - Packed with mozzarella, ricotta, provolone, romano and parmesan reggiano cheeses, fresh tomato sauce and oregano - and I added pepperoni and mushrooms.

Spouse - Salmon Artichoke pasta - Oven-seared cedar plank salmon served on penne rigati pasta tossed with artichoke hearts, fresh oregano and homemade tomato sauce.

Friend - Small pepperoni pizza

I guess it was good we ordered an appetizer as it took about 20 minutes before any of the dishes were brought out. Mine and the spouses were first... The calzone was a big roll of black dough (we were warned of the coal... but the entire thing black?). The spouse's dish was not what was ordered - instead - it appeared to be spinach pasta. The spouse asked if this was the salmon and the waitress said she thought it was and left. (Keep in mind - the friend has yet to be served).

The spouse kept reviewing the dish and trying to find salmon and asked the waitress again - believing this was not the correct dish. The waitress said - "It was what was given to me." Also at this time, we asked where the small pizza was... A third time around, the spouse said that this clearly was not the salmon dish - the waitress - looking as if we were putting her out - marched back to the kitchen only to return with the 'correct dish.' No apology for the incorrect dish. Again - we asked where the small pizza was - and again - given an excuse ("the kitchen is backed up")... I would think that since all the orders were placed at the same time, the kitchen would receive the orders at the same time - weird how the kitchen seems to be backed up for just a small pizza. About 15 more minutes have passed at this point.

I decided to cut.... I mean saw... into the calzone. One bite and it was just a mess of dough with no flavor (unless you count burnt calzone a flavor). The cheese wasn't cold but didn't seem to be cooked all the way through and had a doughy aftertaste. There were a few pieces of pepperoni and hardly any mushrooms. I probably could have gotten a better calzone at Pizza Hut at this point. I didn't even finish the black ball of dough. What a shame. 20 minutes later - the small pizza came... Now, back to the salmon pasta - there was about 3-4 small pieces of salmon on dried out pasta. Seems like they cooked it, let it stand for about 20 minutes and then served it. The dish also lacked sauce and from what I tasted of it - it also lacked any type of flavor. This dish was also not finished. As for the small pizza, my friend took one bite and asked for a to-go box since it came 20 minutes into the meal.

Sorry Cheese Mo'z - this place is terrible and it will be very hard for me to go back. The service was slow and appeared to be 'put out' and drink refills hardly occurred. I needed all the water I could to choke down what I did eat. I give the entire place 1 ghost. If anyone has had a better experience, please let me know.
Don't waste your time.

Saturday, August 1, 2009


A few weeks ago, I was out and about and met a woman and son who were handing out flyers for their new restaurant - Kavkaz. I spoke to the woman - who is one of the owners of this family-owned restaurant - and learned it was a Mediterranean/Russian/Eastern European cuisine. This place sounded up my alley - plus I love trying new places! I told the woman I would come check it out soon and when lunch time arrived today - I knew it was time.

Kavkaz is a small little restaurant located in Stallings right off 74 east. The outside has a nice little patio, however, it faces the Stallings water - but still cute. On the inside, you are welcomed by a friendly, family staff who is eager to serve! My group (including my spouse and another couple) were seated and our drink orders were taken right away. From reviewing the menu, there was a good mix of cuisine and reasonable prices. Everything looked good and interesting to try - it was hard to make up my mind! The menu was also user friendly as it defined all the dishes served. The table ended up ordering the following:

Appetizer - Lahmajoon - minced beef and spices on a lavish bread made as a pizza
Me - Beef Kabob sandwich with a blinchik, or beef crepe
Spouse - Chicken Kabob sandwich with potatoes
Couple - Blinchiks, Khinkali (beef stuffed dumplings) and fried potatoes

While we waited, we were served fresh made bread and olive oil for dipping. The olive oil had spices which made the overall flavor of the bread very tasty. Within 10 minutes, our appetizer arrived - surprisingly a nice size. The Lahmajoon had 3- 6 inch 'pizzas' that were easy to split among the table. They were nice and hot and a mouth full of flavor. The minced beef was perfectly spiced and the lavish was nicely toasted - no burnt edges noticed! This dish made us all excited about our meal - and the smells from the kitchen added to our eagerness.

Our meals came shortly after we polished off the Lahmajoon. I traded half of my beef kabob sandwich with my spouse so I could try both the beef and chicken. Both kabobs were delicious. The beef and chicken were both tender and was wrapped in the lavish bread with tomatoes, lettuce, cucumbers and onion with a nice light sauce. The flavors all complimented each other and it was a nice and light dish. Next, the blinchik. This is the reason to dine at this restaurant. The crepe was lightly fried with a nice amount of beef - again perfectly seasoned. The blinchik was not greasy at all and had a nice crisp. It was served with sour cream - but it is not needed. The couple also raved about their blinchiks as well. I did not try the Khinkali - as I will save that for the next visit - but was told they were also very good. The fried potatoes are steak fries - and served as a 'tower' - presentation is everything!

The service was very good - drinks were refilled on a regular basis and the table was cleared timely after each course. I was so full I could not try the dessert - but that too seems like it would be wonderful.

In the evenings, the restaurant has belly dancing and hookahs. Beer and wine is served throughout the day with various choices from Eastern Europe. Russian MTV is shown on the tv in the dining room, which is a good conversation piece.

The service and food both get 4 ghosts. For two drinks, the appetizer, and two meals - plus tax and tip - our meal was ~$32. This is a great little restaurant and I hope it succeeds. This place is worth the trip - so go check it out!