Thursday, February 24, 2011

Harvest Moon Grille Restaurant

The Food Baby Bottom Line:   
  • We adore Harvest Moon Grille for their true commitment to local food.
  • The Banh Moon Sandwich 100% deserves it’s place in the list of Charlotte’s best sandwiches.
  • The Grateful Growers Maple Sugar Bacon is ridicu-licious (ridiculously delicious). 
Brianna and I have been in The Food Baby withdrawal. We both traveled for President’s Day weekend (she to Austin TX, I to Gatlinburg, TN) where we naturally acquired lots o’ food babies…but we missed working on our beloved websites, even for a couple of days. So, we had a Food Baby business meeting at Harvest Moon Grille today, which we both have been dying to try. We’ve frequented the HMG lunch truck many a time, but were curious to see what the “brick-and-mortar” experience would be like.

We do know one thing: Harvest Moon Grille is all about the local food…it’s their whole deal, which we love at TFB. On the website, it states that they are not only farm-to-table, but even “farmer to table as Executive Chef and Proprietor, Cassie Parsons, is also the owner of Grateful Growers Farm in Lincoln County.” You really can't beat that.  The first thing I noticed upon walking in was the large sign displaying lists of the local farms from which they source their food. All ingredients at HMG (with the exception of seafood) come from within 100 miles of Charlotte.
The Food Baby hearts local food
The restaurant is located uptown at 6th and Tryon in the historic Dunhill Hotel. The dining room is small, clean, and bright – mostly modern besides the original terrazzo floor. At noon on a Wednesday, the crowd was very banker-lunchy (ourselves included). Brianna quickly settled on the Banh Moon Sandwich, as she had read in a Charlotte Magazine article that it was one of the 41 best sandwiches in Charlotte. I, per my usual M.O., asked our server which dish was her favorite and she quickly responded, “the burgers”. Another server overheard and commented “the pork burger”. At the same time the hostess was walking by and added “ooh yeah, the pork burger”.  My fate was sealed. Grateful Growers Farm Real Pork Burger it is. With a side of brown sugar cured bacon. Don’t judge.
So, my pork burger was good, but not quite life-changing. The meat was really tasty, and somehow seemed very lean to me (perhaps compared to a standard hamburger), but it was missing something. I noticed that the entire sandwich was monochromatic…meat, bun, onion rings…all the same color .  I requested lettuce, onion, and tomato hoping it would add some crunch and color – which did help to a degree. There was a nice goat cheese and red pepper spread on the bun, which was tangy and delish on the bites I could really notice it. My fries were girthy (heh) and pretty greasy. That said, I ate every last one…so who am I to complain about a little French fry grease? Can you say mid-afternoon-food-coma-baby? Yeah, that happened, complete with pants-unbuttoning at my cubicle.

Grateful Growers Farm Real Pork Burger
Last note on my dishes: the bacon was ridicu-licious (ridiculously delicious)! Super sweet from the maple sugar, and thick and smoky…the perfect bendy/crispy hybrid model. I wanted to get serious with this bacon. Like, take it home to meet my parents serious.
I’ll let Brianna tell you in her own words (since they are so much more eloquent than my own) about her absolutely epic Banh Moon Sando:

After seeing this clever play on a traditional Vietnamese-style sandwich in Charlotte Magazine’s Great Sandwich Guide the previous weekend, I knew I HAD to try the Banh Moon Sandwich.  The sando featured slow-braised local pork (from Grateful Grower’s Farm methinks!) topped with a salad of pickled carrots, onion, black radishes and jalapenos and finished with a zingy sriracha mayo.   This tasty sandwich was served on a delicious and rustic baguette-style roll.  The bread was the perfect marriage of crusty and chewy, and the pork was cooked to perfection.  The combination of flavors of the rich pork, the tangy and crunchy vegetable salad, and the spicy mayo was divine.  A word of caution – this is not the neatest of sandwiches (the best ones rarely are) – and I left Harvest Moon with the stains on my shirt to prove it.  A dangerous occupational hazard, but well worth it!  So when (not if) you order this sandwich, I encourage you to use protection! 

As an aside on sides, the menu advertised that all sandwiches would be served with a side of sweet potato fries, which I was highly anticipating.  So I must admit I was a touch disappointed when I found that my Banh Moon was accompanied by a salad instead.  However, it worked out for the best in the end, as the sandwich was very satisfying and filling and the lightly dressed green salad paired nicely. 

Banh Moon - One of the best sandos in Charlotte

While my pork burger was good…Brianna’s Banh Moon was incredible. Well worth the accolades. Harvest Moon Grille has been getting some pretty great press lately, as evidenced here and here. Include us in that list please - The Food Baby approves of locally sourced food, a fabulous uptown location, and mouthwatering Banh Moon and Bacon.   


Harvest Moon Grille on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

  1. Though I have lived here for a while I still consider myself new to the city. This has great info and will force me to go explore my new city.