A look at Mert’s

A look at Mert’s
By “Helen Schwab, food critic” 
The Charlotte Observer

Memo: First Bite offers an opinionated peek at, not a full-fledged review of, a restaurant opened in the past month or so, based on one meal.

THE FOOD: Folks call this food everything from Southern to Soul to Home Cooking, but “good” will suffice. To everyone who frequented James and Renee Bazzelle’s tiny former restaurant, Georgia on Tryon: It’s OK! The food’s still good! Fried chicken, salmon cakes, grilled pimento cheese, fried catfish, greens, mac & cheese, candied yams, corn muffins: It’s all here, plus burgers and fab iced tea. The late-night menu, served from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m. Friday and Saturday nights, features frittatas, omelets, hot cakes and eggs with sides – like a pork chop.

THE LOOK: The stunning new look (Shook Design) and vastly larger space made me nervous – would this mean a $10.95 vegetable plate? (No! It’s $3.95.) But there’s no doubt this is slick: Carefully “distressed” walls; intense lavender and eggplant colors to go with a black-white-multi checkered floor; cool art (love that rearing bicycle behind the – is that a butterfly?); gorgeous photographs. 

THE SERVERS: Warm and knowledgeable in T-shirts and smiles, ours were quick and careful. (Renee Bazzelle acknowledges a rough first couple of weeks, service-wise: She hadn’t anticipated the rush.) My only complaint: “Hi, I’m So-and-So and I’ll be your server.” Here, that hurts.

WHO’S THERE AND WHAT THEY’RE WEARING: Business folks and people with kids, white shirts and T-shirts; a cross-section.

QUIRKS OF NOTE: “Mert” was Myrtle Lockhart, a regular at the Bazzelles’ first place who came to be family. She died in January.

DETAILS: 200 N. College St.; 342-4222. Open 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays; 5 p.m. to 3 a.m. Friday and Saturday nights.


Read more here: http://events.charlotteobserver.com/reviews/show/16834-review-merts#ixzz148byjn1P#storylink=cpy


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