“Dishing with Buff Faye” is partly named after my favorite restaurant “Dish” in Plaza-Midwood. This quaint place makes everyone feel like you’re eating at home with family. I love the chicken dumplings, potato poppers and key lime pie. And yes, as a size queen, or queen of size named Buff Faye — of course, I love all kinds of food. So for this column, I want to share my 10 favorite eats in the Queen City. These places are fit for a drag queen or any lady who likes to brunch.
Pinky’s Westside Grill
1600 W. Morehead St., Charlotte, NC 28208
All I can say is Ding Dong Chicken. Yes. I live for it. A chicken sandwich with peanut butter. By far one of the best things I have ever tasted. In addition, they have some of the best fried pickles and crab puppies.
200 E. Bland St., Charlotte, NC 28203
Ultra-hip, ultra-cool Mexican restaurant situated right beside the light rail in Southend. I fell in love with this place and their menu is out of this world serving a large variety of tacos – Korean Beef, Baja Fish, Seared Tuna, Bang-Bang Fish and more. Grab a shot of tequilla and tacos for you and your special someone.
1911 Central Ave, Charlotte, NC 28205
I am a big fan. Its an ultra-hip pizza joint that had gender neutral bathrooms long before the HB2 controversy. This hot spot hosts Buff Faye’s Drag Brunch and they use home-grown, fresh ingredients. Guaranteed it’s some of the best pizza in the Queen City — and you can even dip your pizza crust in honey. Yummy!
1537 Camden Rd., Charlotte, NC 28203
Long before there was Chipotle or Qdoba, there was Phat Burrito. And there is nothing like this original classic. The location is full of character and a rich history since 1998 when the doors opened. I love to drop by for lunch. The salsa is the best and you can’t beat the freshness of the ingredients. Service is always top notch too.
Tupelo Honey Café
1820 South Blvd., Charlotte, NC 28203
Nothing could be more scrumptious than a biscuit and honey. Tupelo Honey is the classic brunch place. Their menu boasts of Southern goodness and flair. My favorite is the Fried Chicken & Biscuits and the classic Fried Green Tomatoes. Nom. Nom. Nom. Plus the management has a track record supporting transgender employees — allowing staff to wear clothing that they self-identify in waiting tables.
1220 Thomas Ave., Charlotte, NC 28205
Like I said, Dish makes you feel at home like you’re eating with family. So much of their food reminds you of what your Mom or Grandma might cook. My favorites are pretty much anything on the menu — but you have to try the potato poppers.
1535 Elizabeth Ave., Charlotte, NC 28204
Occasionally I like to get all dressy and go somewhere for a nice glass of wine and a lovely evening of dining. Carpe Diem is my special spot to go. The food is exquisite and the restaurant is gorgeous. Located off Elizabeth, the food is always fabulous. If you want my menu pick, I suggest the pork chops. Definitely a must go.
McKoy’s Smokehouse and Saloon
4630 Old Pineville Rd, Charlotte, NC 28217
I know it sounds a bit rough. But put on your cowboy hat, biker boots or leather gear and drop in to experience McKoy’s Smokehouse and Saloon. The big furry guy who runs the place is so kind — and so are all the servers. Plus, the pot roast is better than any I have ever had. The wings aren’t bad either.
300 East Blvd, Charlotte, NC 28203
You’re not queer if you have not heard of 300 East. It has been around for over 25 years off East Boulevard inside an old historic home. I recall it as one of the first places where I felt comfortable dining out with my husband. Great for a business lunch or a special occasion.
Toast Café Dilworth
2400 Park Rd., Charlotte, NC 28203
Who doesn’t love sausage, French toast and hash browns?! I know I do. Toast Café is a great breakfast and brunch locale. Always busy and hopping these days, the service is quick and the food is delightful. Give it a try once and you will be back for more.
Yeah. I could probably come up with another 10 favorite eats — pretty easily. But for now, this will give you some new places to go with friends and family. Tell them that Buff Faye sent you — who knows, you might get a discount or at least a big smile. Oh yeah, if you’re buying, you can call me for lunch or dinner too!
DRAG TIP: Always tip your server. Karma is a bitch!
SHOUT OUTS: Don’t forget Halloween is around the corner. So much going on… be sure to reserve your space for Buff Faye’s Halloween Drag Brunch on Saturday, Oct. 29 at Pure Pizza. Limited space.
— Buff Faye calls the Queen City her home and loves men who cook dessert (plus she loves to raise money for charities). Find her at your favorite bars and hot spots. And don’t forget her monthly Saturday night shows, Sunday drag brunch and regular Friday night party bus. Learn more at AllBuff.com. Follow on Twitter @BuffFaye