We were shuttled from one strip mall DDD to another. The issue with the tour of Charlotte was always about being consistently full and uncomfortable, which is about where we were when we arrived at Landmark. With a diner you never know what to expect – mainly because the menus are typically haphazard and eclectic. This one being Greek inspired, we were hoping for something like a simple Spanakopita, which is exactly what we were going to receive. Layers of filo dough with feta and cooked spinach in between, with an exciting twist of dill! Being that we had probably eaten at four places up until this point, we were going to settle on a stiff Vodka and soda, our Spanakopita, and a sweet potato cheesecake to wrap things up.
The place was packed for a Sunday night. You know when you get that table within the sea of other tables where people and waitresses are moving in and out around you at all times? That was us – smack in the middle of the diner. Our waitress was 18 (she told us) and was just barely legal enough to serve us liquor. When we started ratting off a few preferences, she said she was going to have to confirm with the bartender (whom doubled as the Diner cashier at the front, with the bar doubling also as the checkout station). That set back the dining experience by a good 10 minutes.
By this point of the day this was likely, the fourth meal of the day, the one before being the Improper Pig where we genuinely ate an improper amount of food in anticipation of going to this location next. We’ve been here since Friday and it is now Sunday evening. A couple days of brewery tours, many MANY DDD’s, and a unruly melodic hardcore show have really done most of exhausting one would like to submit to on any given weekend especially on Charlotte.
Spanakopita is a simple dish. Filo dough is wonderful from so many standpoints, most of which I feel is Baklava because of the pistachio and honey that makes its way into each layer in a prestigious and decadent way. In between layers of Spanakopita though, you have semi-bitter, sauteed spinach and feta cheese which basically never melts. It’s not a prestigious dish nor decadent, nor particularly appetizing. But it is pragmatic and hearty, and I did appreciate how it was done at this diner. For it to be a highlight, I don’t have any words. It seems like Guy was finding more words from the word bank to push through his pleasure than normal to be honest.It was fine – I did like the dill. So why post this. What’s the point of all these DDD’s if you’re just going to have “fine” food.
Well hold onto your pants, because their cheesecake was insane. Almost the best I’ve ever had. Sweet potato cheesecake is freaking awesome. See all that crumbly goodness with creamy goodness? Exactly – it was as amazing of a combination texture, taste, and beauty. Man that was good – smack that on is a DDD-worthy creation. Their whole selection in fact was very much worthy of some to-go’s, but not in the cards for us on that fateful Sunday night.
The last thing to arrive was our Vodka/Sodas, so with no other culinary treats in front of us to necessitate a real whetting of the palate, we basically chugged them and were on our way. We got to take a few snapshots which included me taking a snapshot, and a memoir that stated that this diner was featured on an episode entitled “Fresh and Funky” which I didn’t necessary pick up on either here. Not a slight against fresh, but most diners aren’t exactly farm to table. Made to Order is more appropriate.
Funkalicious. When back at the hotel, we got to eventually wallow in the dumpster that we created – 3 days without room service with crap everywhere and leftover food strewn by the television set (picture not included). We did clean up a lot of it before we left, and left a generous tip. Don’t worry, we didn’t break anything. But there may have been a smear (or shmear) of ricotta on a chair and on the carpet here and there. Got to unwind with DDD on TV and a couple glasses of hotel sangria to wrap up the night. The couple of glasses remained mostly untouched because they were acidic and basically horrible, but the effort and presentation earned a B+ at least. We added too many lemons to it – don’t add lemons to sangria…especially not hotel sangria.