Saturday (7-29-17) Karen and I headed downtown Charlotte to take advantage of local events. Out first stop was Lucky Lou’s for a 5-buck burger. CLT Burger Week ends tomorrow. Thirty-five restaurants offer their best burger for patron judging and the price was right. This burger got our vote for BEST.

Sherri at Lucky Lou’s served up their specialty, a Pimento Cheese Burger with kettle chips and Jalapeño Beer. She also shared an awesome story about no longer being welcome in Walmart. #CLTBURGERWEEK

Our next stop was Midwood Country Club for the 1st Annual Hometown Tomato Festival. The proceeds are donated to “100 Gardens” where they teach students in regional schools how to grow food using aquaponics. Very cool and oh so green.

Home tomato growers offer their ‘maters’ for tasting by the crowd, which votes for the best of the crop by putting money in their jars. The growers donate a portion of their take to 100 Gardens.

Our favorite growers were Vandora and Coy Furr who served up some killer tomatoes.

I had no idea there were such a huge variety of tomatoes. These were just a few of the itty-bitty, bite-sized tomatoes.

There were Marianna’s Peace, Cherokee Purple, 1884, Earl’s Faux, Black Beauty, Pearly Pink, Mortgage Lifter and the list goes on and on. Many had pedigrees over 100 years old and some were accidental discoveries, like the 1884 found growing wild in a pile of debris after W. Virginia’s 1884 flood.

Larger tomatoes in all shapes, sizes and colors make a great pic.

In North Carolina the perfect Tomato Sandwich consists of white bread, Duke’s Mayo and fresh tomatoes.

Only the basic ingredients go into making the perfect “Mater Sandwich.”

Karen and I agreed that this was the best tomato sandwich we’d ever eaten.

The Tomato Festival was near the area dubbed NoDa in Charlotte, which is short for North of Davidson. While we were here it made sense to check out the NoDa Brewery and sample a taste flight.

Karen and I shared a flight of NoDa’s finest. Perfect for washing down sweet tomatoes.

For the first time in weeks it was not ‘hotter than ‘blue blazes’ in Charlotte and our final stop for the day was the Blue Blazes Brewing Company. BBBC was celebrating their 100th beer with a live band and Texas Bar-B-Q.

The 100th Blue Blazes Brew was their “Smores Blond Ale” served complete with chocolate around the rim. Yum!

Archie and Karen shared stories about real Texas Bar-B-Q and their love for Ranch Style Beans, which is all Archie serves.

Charlotte’s historic streetcars connected uptown with the west end neighborhoods in the early 1900s. Lakewood Trolly Inc. is attempting to revive the trolly service using the same route. “Old No. 85” is the last remaining original streetcar and was restored and put into service between 1995 and 2002. A bike path runs adjacent to the old tracks now. Maybe someday soon I’ll get to ride a trolly for a brew at Blue Blazes.

These old trolly cars sit in the parking lot at Blue Blazes Brewing Company. Restoring them looks hopeless.

We didn’t have to travel far to meet interesting people, learn a lot about tomatoes and enjoy some craft beer today. Charlotte has a lot to offer and we plan to keep taking advantage of that for as long as we live here.  



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