Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Mattie's Diner...More Time Killing

How did we spend our Thanksgiving break?  Besides, wandering through graveyards, eating in the same French restaurant two days in a row, taking pictures of ourselves and baking pumpkin pies?  Driving up and down the interstate, of course.  Picking up kids.  Dropping off kids.  Waiting for kids.  And then, yes, you guessed it!  Waiting some more. 

We spent several hours Friday evening in The House of Blues in Myrtle Beach while Brandon saw his beloved rapper, Mac Miller, in concert. Okay, the guitar player strumming 70's classics in the dining room was interesting enough especially since he had a voice that could imitate every famous musician out there but the restaurant part was really average.  We finally arrived home safely at 2 am.

Saturday morning, already tired, we began the challenge of driving to West Virginia to pick up our three younger children and drop Brandon back off at the dorm.  The final straw was when we realized that we would have to find another way to kill several more hours Sunday evening. The plan was to stop off in Charlotte on the way home from West Virginia after an early morning jaunt to Petersburg~a town so tiny that if you blink, you could miss it.  Did I mention we spent a lot of time driving??!   Emily and Aaron were seeing the same rap artist at the Fillmore Music Factory.  This guy should have been paying me this week-end!

The reason I share our crazy, mixed up, ultra-confusing, exhausting few days with you?  Mattie's Diner.  As we dropped the older two off at the concert, we had no plan.  We simply knew that we had a good three hours to fill.  Stephan was absolutely hoping for something involving food....since at 13, he has become the bottomless pit that is a teen-age boy.  In the middle of the parking lot for the Music Factory was a diner.  Not just any diner.  Mattie's Diner.  Score!

It looks funky, doesn't it?  It was not just retro on the outside.  The inside was just as unique....

The interesting part about this diner is that it was originally constructed in 1948 by the Foder Dining Car Company in Newark, NJ.  The first location of this famed building was in Cranford, NJ.  In 1955, it was moved to Bound Brook (still in NJ) and it became the Bound Brook Diner.  In 1996, it was featured on the front cover of the book Jersey Diners.

Jump to 2001.  An article was written that stated Charlotte would never be a "real" metropolitan city until it had a 24 hour diner.  Enter Matt King and Steve Estes and a dream and a lot of ambition.  They got the diner moved to Charlotte and with a huge amount of family man-hours, hard work and dedication to an idea, the Bound Brook Diner became Mattie's Diner.  And, that is where we chose to spend a few hours while waiting on our two kiddos to get out of their concert across the street.

Not only does this restaurant have an interesting "attitude", it really has a great menu.  The kind of menu that will please just about everyone.  Breakfast all day.  Eggs.  Cereal.  Omelets.  Typical diner food.....lots of sandwiches, burgers and hot dogs.  Platters.  Salads.  Milkshakes.  Deserts.  See what I mean?  You would be pleased.  Jeff enjoyed a bbq sandwich and his all-time favorite side....buttered corn.  Stephan ordered a huge burger covered in hot sauce, bacon, cheese and jalapenos and then proceeded to drink enough caffeine to keep him awake the ENTIRE trip home from Charlotte...

I had a tuna melt with sprouts and tomatoes on rye with some diner fries and enough coffee to keep me entertaining, the babbling, wiggling Stephan and driving the car back home.

All in all, we had a great dinner in a retro-diner with a super friendly staff.  My posts are usually about Charleston's great restaurants but I couldn't pass up sharing this one.  It is so unique.  The staff was ultra-friendly even so late at night.  The food was quick and hot and fresh and the coffee was fantastic!  If you are spending some time in your car and might need a place for a bite to eat, pull off in Charlotte and mapquest yourself to:
Mattie's Diner
915 Hamilton Street
Charlotte, NC  704-376-1020

Mattie's Diner on Urbanspoon
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