Charlotte’s burgeoning culinary landscape is a subject I often ponder whilst engaged in deep meditation and introspection. I yearn to witness a fresh cohort of epicurean artisans gracing the Queen City with their gastronomic creations, deserving of its discerning denizens. My affection for the fine people of Charlotte, especially the vibrant Black community, is unwavering, yet alas, our recent foray into the culinary milieu left much to be desired.
Our sojourn led us to La’Wan’s Soul Food Restaurant, a humble establishment ensconced at 7520 S Tryon St #19, Charlotte, NC 28217. Regrettably, it did not ascend to the apex of our gastronomic pursuits. Our culinary odyssey embarked with the Beef Tips Entrée, accompanied by sides of cornbread, cabbage, and pinto beans. The pinto beans, while passable, failed to attain the zenith of Southern pinto excellence, due to their obstinately firm texture and an absence of the customary mélange of aromatics—onions, garlic, and even bell peppers—coupled with the unadorned seasonings of salt, black pepper, and smoked meats that bestow a smoky, savory, and earthy opulence upon these legumes.
The cornbread, on the other hand, bore a demeanor, flavor, and texture akin to a rogue hockey puck masquerading as a baked bread, a culinary felony that should never have seen the light of day. Its transgressions were irredeemable to both me and the ancestors. The cabbage, exhibiting a pleasing texture and mild flavor, emerged as the solitary beacon of hope in this culinary misadventure.
The Beef Tips, alas, suffered from a bewildering identity crisis. Served atop an insipid mound of mashed potatoes, this dish evoked the impression of an unholy union between North Carolina and China, inebriated and unwittingly sharing a bed, only to raise a child that loathed its progenitors. An incongruous Asian flavor intruded upon the Southern-style beef stew, creating a jarring dissonance on the palate.
Subsequently, we encountered the baked chicken—a tragic affair indeed. The chicken’s texture was akin to aged leather, with bones disengaging from the protein with alarming ease, as if escaping from its parched clutches. Flavor, regrettably, eluded this poultry relic, rendering it drier than the arid deserts of ancient Egypt.
The grilled pork chop, in stark contrast, presented a tantalizing flavor profile, cruelly juxtaposed against a texture so recalcitrant that not even two NFL linebackers in a tug of war could cleave it in twain. This grievously diminished the potential for true gustatory delight. The accompanying mashed potatoes, permeated with excess water, were reminiscent of potatoes harboring secret aspirations to metamorphose into watermelons.
The sweet potatoes deviated from their customary holiday spice-infused splendor, instead adopting the melancholic flavor of an orphanage’s Dickensian kitchen. It was nigh impossible to discern the rationale behind such a culinary creation. As for the mac and cheese, it was a blasphemous affront to our culinary forebears. Overcooked pasta, disintegrating upon the gentlest prodding, conspired with the absence of flavor to create a lamentable rendition of this beloved dish.
Finally, the fried chicken, the pièce de résistance, was an abomination of such magnitude that it rendered Taylor Swift’s culinary endeavors as if she had hosted a fried chicken soirée on a Friday night. The grease, pooling with abandon, threatened to overshadow what semblance of Taylor Swift’s flavor did manage to persist.
Charlotte’s Black residents, whose culinary discernment knows no bounds, deserve a veritable banquet of gastronomic excellence. It is my fervent hope that La’Wan’s Soul Food Restaurant shall endeavor to rectify their culinary missteps by scrutinizing their food preparation procedures and enforcing recipe standardization, ensuring a consistently high standard of quality. We eagerly anticipate the opportunity to revisit this establishment, in the fervent hope that our experience shall be transmuted into one more befitting the esteemed palates of Charlotte’s epicurean connoisseurs. To the curious reader, I implore you to embark on your own culinary pilgrimage and ascertain the veracity of our account. To check this space out for yourself, the establishment may be reached at (704) 665-7225.