I had lunch at Smalls on Elizabeth Ave in Charlotte yesterday and was impressed. The space is stark and fairly small but I liked the look. I don't know if noise would be a factor if all the tables were full but we were the only people eating except a couple at the bar.
Granted this review is based on one visit and a very small food sample but the place has real promise! The menu had a bunch of things I wanted to order. Our very capable server told me that everything but the ketchup is made in house.
My lunch mate and I shared the “Mulled Pear, Arugula, Butternut Crème Fraiche, Roasted Walnuts, Spiced Citrus Vinaigrette” salad ($8.) The pear was stuffed with about a tablespoon of the crème fraiche and acted as a nice compliment to the slightly bitter arugula.
I ordered the “Smalls Steak Burger: House Ground Hanger Steak, Leidys Double Smoked Bacon, Blue Cheese, Amish Potato Roll with Pommes Frites” ($9.) The burger was delicious and cooked perfectly. The roll was soft enough to chew but firm enough to hold the juice from the meat. I’m not sure I’ve had a hanger steak burger before but it works great and you end up with a burger with real beef flavor. The accompanying fries were fabulous, crispy with herbs and grated parmesan on top of the pile.
The beer list features North Carolina brewers. I’m looking forward to trying more from the menu.