When you need a city* fix and can't commit to driving to Charleston, it's best to hit 77 North and go to Charlotte, NC for the day. EJ and I headed out there yesterday for a lunch-and-learn conference. After a couple of client calls we were free to roam the downtown area. Though Google Maps (i.e. our combined ability to properly read Google Maps) failed us once again in terms of getting us to our intended location - Las Ramblas restaurant - it did afford us the opportunity to walk up and down Tryon getting a better sense of the location of popular museums (Mint, McColl) and most importantly for you, my dear shopping-focused readers, the location of Heels.com. Check out that website! How bummed was I to walk by the showroom/distribution center only to realize it's mainly an online retailer and in order to shop in the store I needed to have made an appointment. Next time, Heels.com, next time!
There's a new museum being built on Tryon Street across from Ratcliffe on The Green (which as you may recall I've mentioned in a previous post about shopping in Charlotte) that I thought was striking so I snapped a shot - check out that orange.
After we got a firm handle on what Tryon has to offer, we hopped in our car and drove over to Las Ramblas Cafe. With a name like "Las Ramblas" - a big street that runs through the heart of Barcelona - you better deliver. While the location right next to a Tuesday Morning leaves something to be desired, the interior decor is impressive enough to give you hope. The open kitchen boasts a big brick oven, there are tall bar tables for more casual dining next to the kitchen and bar, and regular tables for more formal seating on the periphery of the space. We took one glance through the menu, however, and were once again skeptical. Mozzarella and tomato salads are not Spanish, and Pan con Tomate was nowhere to be found.
But rather than leaving, we ordered a bottle of Albarino and the following tapas: Artichoke Cakes, Jamon, Manchego, Olives, Patatas Bravas, Gazpacho and Boquerones. Three cheers to everything we ate! It was indeed wonderful. Here's a shot of EJ with the Boquerones dish - great presentation, cierto? (And by the way, don't you just love the word "boquerones?" It's almost as great as "butifarra.")
*Note my definition of "city" here is a city where people walk the streets and there are plenty of sidewalks and shops, restaurants, museums, etc. to accommodate.