By the time I finished my dinner at Betty Bombers inside the American Legion Post on Bull Street at Forsyth Park, I was mortified. Mortified about how much I had eaten!
Chef Seth Musler has rocked chowhounds around the city for years. His partnership with Chef Patrick Zimmerman at nearby Butterhead Greens has produced some memorable casual, yet elegant food.
His new project, the World War II–themed Betty Bombers, bring solid bar food within easy reach of downtowners and park visitors.
“Food is a weapon, don’t waste it!” blares one of several WWII propaganda posters that decorates the walls. But food is is certainly not a weapon, and I ate it like an Iowa farm boy who was celebrating the end of rationing.
I sampled crispy wings — two in Thai sauce and two in honey mustard. Both were plump and richly flavored, although I admit a penchant for honey mustard and its balance of spicy and sweet.
My Philly cheesesteak sandwich came on a marshmallow-soft hoagie roll that had been toasted to crispy perfection on the inside. It was the ideal delivery vehicle for a steaming serving of tender beef that had been cooked — and included lots of beautiful little crunchy bits — on the flat top. Grilled onions added sweetness to savory beef juices.
Plenty of melted, gooey cheddar rounded out a sandwich that I ate three times: With my eyes, my olfactory sense and my taste buds.
A side of apple cider laced slaw added coolness, crunch and a satisfying hit of acidity. A passing order of chili cheese fries called out my name, but I passed, preferring to save that experience for the next trip. Expect solid, made–to–order bar food with an emphasis on fresh ingredients.
Meals can be delivered into the Legion bar. Diners in the cafe can choose from a variety of non–alcoholic beverages, including Mexican Coca–Cola, made with real cane sugar.
Current hours are Thursday–Saturday, 5 p.m.–2 a.m. Musler said hours will expand as demand grows.
1108 Bull St. (Inside American Legion Post 135)/ 272–9326
Petit déjeuner anyone?
The popular French carry–out and cafe Papillote, 218 W. Broughton St., is open for breakfast on Sundays beginning at 9:30 a.m. Breakfast foods, then the regular menu all day.
Chef Donnie Simmons catered to the rock ‘n’ roll crowd at Food to Die For in Charlotte, N.C. Now the innovative young chef has assembled a beautifully crafted and regionally sourced menu for Temperance, the beer bar that appears to finally be opening right before St. Patrick’s Day.
I got an eye–popping peek at the menu, which showcases Southern fusion dishes among its entrees like sweet potato pork belly hash, with two slightly cooked eggs and Sriracha hollandaise or a Cheerwine brined grilled bone–in pork chop, with sage and sweet potato bread pudding
Dinner at Cafe Florie
This tiny breakfast and lunch eatery at 1715 Barnard St., is now open for dinner. Like the restaurant’s other menus, this one is simple, but loaded with flavors and a modernist twist on classic Southern cuisine. I don’t know if the restaurant will take a reservation but it would be worth a call — with less than two dozen seats the place is usually packed!