How is it that New Year’s resolutions ruin everything? You wake up Jan. 1 and you’re supposed to let go of everything you crave: Netflix binges, rich foods, fancy drinks (or all drinks), time on the couch. At least for a week.
If you’re planning to start the new year strong by eliminating indulgences, you might as well end this year strong by indulging. Yes?
Here are 10 Charlotte indulgences to relish before your New Year’s resolutions take effect:
(1) Fried chicken at Haberdish
If you opted out of the fried cauliflower steak, you’re that person who wants to order the whole fried chicken. Go ahead, take a bite. Add a splash of house-made habanero sauce and stick your glinting, copper spoon into those creamy kale grits, too. (I’ll pretend the cauliflower steak was 100 percent health-conscious.)
Haberdish: 3106 N. Davidson St.
— Rémy Thirstin’ (@remythurston) December 19, 2016
(2) Penne Alla Vodka at Mama Ricotta’s
Penne pasta, sautéed pancetta, pepper vodka/spicy tomato cream sauce. Sounds like poetry. No big deal if you accidentally-on-purpose order the family size dish while you distractedly swirl a hunk of fresh bread in olive oil.
Mama Ricotta’s: 601 S. Kings Dr.
(3) Cocktails at The Punch Room
I don’t even remember what I had the last time I was here, other than that it involved gin and absolutely no wine. That’s how good bartender Bob Peters is.
The Punch Room: 201 E. Trade St.
(4) Chocolate Chip Flapjacks at Famous Toastery
A steaming mug of coffee just looks sad without chocolate. Even if the sun has barely come up.
(5) Spiced Molasses Café Crème at Amélie’s French Bakery
Whipped cream may not blend well with your Whole 30 diet, but it blends beautifully with spiced molasses simple syrup, espresso, milk and candied ginger. I’m thinking a meringue cookie, too. Purely for aesthetics.
(6) Giant pizza slices at Benny Pennello’s
Ah, the late-night drunchies that lead to carbs twice the size of your face. The December specials are the Bacon Jalapeno slice and the Bruschetta slice.
Benny Pennello’s: 2909 N Davidson St., #10
(7) Chocolate Birthday Cake at Kindred
There’s just something in the chocolate here. Even when I’m too full from holiday party hors d’oeuvres, I can’t help shoving my fork into the sprinkle-encrusted white icing. Bonus if it actually is your birthday.
Kindred: 131 N. Main St., Davidson
(8) Pimp’N Fries at Pinky’s Westside Grill
When you don’t feel like eating your veggie chili with a spoon, you just add it to your fries. Topped with homemade pimento cheese melted over seasoned waffle fries.
Pinky’s Westside Grill: 1600 W. Morehead St. and 9818 Gilead Road, Ste. B-101
(9) Five Cheese Queso Fundido at Cantina 1511
Three classic cheeses meet queso blanco and cotija cheese. Because one type of cheese isn’t enough. And who eats dry tortilla chips with their frozen margarita?
Cantina 1511: 4271-B Park Road and 7708 Rea Road
(10) Expensive juices at Living Kitchen
I’ve had the Zinger. The Tree of Life. The Gateway to Green. The Purple Rain. I’ve sipped the juices. I’ve chugged the juices. I’ve shelled out $9.50 per 16 oz. more times than I’d care to count. I wish my bank account was this healthy.
Living Kitchen: 2000 South Blvd.
See you in 2017 when we all fall off the resolution bandwagon. I’m giving it two weeks.
Photos: Justin Driscoll