Fresh Thirst: N.C. Beer + First Look at Flatiron Kitchen & Taphouse

For those over 21 out there…in case you haven’t noticed, it’s easier to find NC brewed beer these days.  Local labels are appearing regularly on grocery store shelves like Harris Teeter, and some area restaurants are featuring an extensive, sometimes rotating, list of local brews on their beverage menus.

Be sure to check out the drinks at Harvest Moon Grille, Icehouse and Flatiron Kitchen + Taphouse.  Charlotte Fresh and Hubby’s favorite breweries so far are Highland and Green Man, both out of Asheville, NC, and Duck-Rabbit from Farmville, NC.  But don’t let us dissuade you from your own taste test. There are many great choices to be had, especially as the warmer weather and outdoor party time is approaching.  Let CF know what your favorites are!

In a related story, we recently visited Flatiron Kitchen + Taphouse in Davidson – courtesy of a loved one. The local beer list was a happy sight.  Here’s a snapshot of part of the drink menu:

Part of Flatiron Kitchen's local beer list

Part of Flatiron Kitchen's local beer list

Under new direction from Executive Chef Andres Arboleda since Executive Chef Tim Groody’s departure earlier this year, the menu will be revamped sometime in March. Here’s a partial view of the current menu from the other night:

Flatiron Kitchen's current partial menu

Flatiron Kitchen's current partial menu

Executive Chef Arboleda in action

Executive Chef Arboleda in action

In general, we had a good time, and the food was well prepared, but local-crazed CF would have liked to see more locally-sourced protein on the menu.  When I inquired, I was told the only protein currently from NC was the shrimp, but that as much produce as possible was sourced from local farmers’ markets.

Much to my surprise, when I asked which local dairy the lovely “warm NC goat cheese dip” appetizer was sourced from that evening, the response was that is was from…California. Our own Bosky Acres from Waxhaw, NC and Goat Lady Dairy from Climax, NC would be great local choices if this item stays on the menu.  I fully disclose that I ate a heritage Berkshire pork chop of unknown origin, and hubby had a Double-R-Ranch natural NY strip from Oregon.  Both good, and so was dessert.  In an unusual departure from my focus on the local, I will show you pics so you can see the talents of the Flatiron’s kitchen:

Warm NC goat cheese app - from California - oops

Warm NC goat cheese dip - from California - oops

Heritage Berkshire pork chop - not locally sourced

Heritage Berkshire pork chop - not locally sourced

NY Strip from Oregon, naturally raised

NY Strip from Oregon, naturally raised

Chocolate Peanut Butter cake - yum

Chocolate Peanut Butter cake - yum

With such proximity to the Davidson Farmers’ Market, it would be wonderful if the restaurant’s new menu would incorporate more local inputs, especially protein.  I did inquire with the hostess about future local food plans and was assured that the new menu would feature more local produce as the farmers’ market season comes into full swing.  The Flatiron’s website currently posts the following information on its Sourcing tab:

Flatiron Kitchen + Taphouse is shamelessly and skillfully devoted to sourcing the finest quality proteins and produce available on our fair earth. On this page, we will feature our vendors–the behind-the-scenes folks who farm, fish, and devote their lives to the cause that has become known as “farm to fork”. And yes, we say “cause” because we believe it is not only a healthier way to eat, but a healthier way to live. This should cause great excitement. At the helm of the local movement is Davidson’s Farmer’s Market. The market is open Saturdays year-round. We are proud to be a marquis sponsor of the market for 2011.

Where do we get our protein? From the finest farms and fisheries in the world. Visit SeafoodS.com for more informatoin. SeafoodS.com is owned and operated by Flatiron partner’s Michael LaVecchis and Chad Hollingsworth so you know we get the best of the best.

All signs point in the right direction, especially with the reference to DFM.  Clearly from the pics above, Flatiron cooks great food; we look forward to seeing what creative things Chef Arboleda can do with our locally-raised food at this fine establishment.  In the meantime, I’ll give my local farmer friends a heads-up. (Hint, hint.)

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About charlottefresh

Helping Charlotte find fresh local food. Spread the word.
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