My favorite food shopping destination here is Cost Plus World Market. It's my place for picking up quirky snacks and sodas, and wine and beer. Here's today's haul:
The only other shopping of interest at this stop is the Mecklenburg County ABC Store. I picked up some rum and vodka.
Restaurant dining at this stop is heavily biased toward chains and fast food. I had a bite at what may be the best of a bad lot: Golden Corral.
It's not the sort of place I'd ordinarily go on my own, but it happens to be my son's favorite place in the world, so I've managed to develop strategies to extract an edible meal from the overflowing cornucopia of mediocrity they serve.
Here are my rules for eating at Golden Corral. First, choose only foods that hold well on a steam table. Mashed potatoes are good, french fries are not so good. Second, choose foods that are at their best when they're inexpensive. Pot roast is good, steak is less good, seafood is right out. Third, choose only foods that are part of the Southern-American idiom. Anything that purports to be Mexican, Chinese, or Italian is very unlikely to be edible. Last, skip dessert. Those cakes and pies look pretty, but they taste of artificial flavorings and corn syrup. It's just not worth it.
Over the next few weeks, I'll move north along the Blue Line, bringing the best of what's available at each stop.