Mailbag: Top 41 feedback letters on Comida, soups, Gastonia, restaurant rankings and Republicans

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This is part of an ongoing series titled Mailbag, items readers submit via email or our feedback form. We get a ton of feedback, this is not close to everything (it’s about 2%), but it’s a good sample.


General feedback

“Serious question for your idiotic millennial instagram followers: Why the **** do you click the comment button and then @ your friend instead of clicking the message button and then @ your friend? Multiple choice: A) You’re too stupid to know what you’re doing, B) You’re a ‘LOOK AT ME’ ****job millennial, C) You don’t care that your stupid non-comments negatively impact others because IT’S ALL ABOUT YOU, or D) All of the above. Duh.” – F

“BREAKING: I obtained a copy of the Observer’s daily story budget.
Copperheads✓
Crimes against children✓
Siskey✓
Wells Fargo controversy✓
Driving death✓
Rip local business because someone complained, but don’t do any further reporting✓
Complain about an FOIA request✓
Meaningless recap of email dump from FOIA request✓
Four Panthers stories✓
Cam is great (or Cam is terrible)✓
Pedestrian hit✓
Apartment amenities✓
Hot topic man on the street (but just use Facebook and Twitter comments)✓
Hornets recap on 4B✓
Sports recap of a game that ended two days ago✓
Sports story + sports note on the same topic✓
Misspelled word in headline✓
Bloviating editorial✓
Crush any attempt to foster community by s****ing all over everything✓”
– Deep Throat


In response to: Top 50 restaurants in Charlotte, ranked

“An exceptional distillation of the Charlotte food critic scene – bland, largely lacking in character or originality and dominated by staid, overpriced safety choices. It’s the dining list version of an 2005 Camry.” – A

“Solid list. I admit I was expecting you to pick all the loser hipster places, but you did okay.” – H

“Doesn’t include 300 East!? And does include a food truck? No way!” – A

“When you put Thai taste on this list I have to question the whole list.” – J

“Beef and bottle should be like #48 (not #6)… The first two are my go to restaurants so you did get something right.” – F

“Complete disregard all the great ethnic restaurants along Central Ave., South Blvd., University City, etc. You have a huge range of Middle Eastern, Asian, Hispanic, Caribbean, African and European places that make certain dishes a WHOLE lot better than some of the overrated, overpriced, scenester-friendly joints.” – V

“Cowfish? Just stop. It’s fine for a lunch when you’re shopping and I’m sure it’s great for children with ADD but the food is just that…fine. And anywhere that has a menu only slightly shorter than The Cheesecake Factory’s epic novel should not be trusted. No one can serve Vietnamese spiced pork, Tex-Mex barbacoa, sushi, southern fried chicken, and pasta and crush it all. No one.” – F

“Hard to believe that not one of Augusto Conte’s restaurants made the list of the top 50 restaurants in Charlotte. Luce, Toscana, Mezzanotte and Malabar could all be included. Not to mention the welcoming atmosphere. I often run into Jim Noble at Mezzanotte and he is a pretty good judge on food. – K


In response to: Charlotte’s ever-rising rent now averages $1,115. Here’s what that would get you in 6 other major cities

“Moved down from the DC area and $1,115 there would maybe get you a studio apartment in the worst part of town.” – B

“Do we need to have a quick recap on the 2008 crash and how that can apply to the rental market? Keep building those midrises… eventually supply will outpace demand. 2 months free & valet trash service won’t even get them in the door.” – T

“For that much, just go buy a damn house.” – J

“Charlotte’s not a ‘major city’, so why the comparisons? Sure, it’s ranked 17 and Boston is 22, but it’s not all that and the proverbial bag of chips.” – T


In response to: 2 LuLaRoe-style companies gaining national traction behind Charlotte entrepreneurs

“I absolutely HATE multi-level marketing and all these companies. It makes people view their family and friends as a source of income. It monetizes their interaction. It turns them fake and it is flat out insulting. Being involved in this isn’t a real job and I feel flat out embarrassed for those who get sucked into it and then, all over social media, act like their entire life has changed because of and revolves around, some crap product they’re trying to push.” – E

“So excited to see Fundanoodle on this article! As a local ambassador, it is exciting to watch our growth and to see the difference our products are making in the lives of children.” – A

“Just what the world needs more multi level marketing schemes! I guess the one positive about these two is that when these “ambassadors” can’t sell their inventory they won’t loose so much they can’t pay rent for the next year — I hope.” – C


In response to: Is Charlotte’s Republican Party dead?

“The Charlotte Republicans face a few challenges, but mainly got caught by the anti-Trump wave this time. Aside from that, the local party is basically run by a cadre of old Heather’s on the Charlotte Republican women’s club who rotate in and out puppet chairmen that do their bidding (since they’re some of the only ones who consistently raise money for the party). They’re typically the establishment, chamber of commerce types, who everyone in the party hates but naturally seem to run things because they’re the kind of sycophants who are attracted to power. These people are mostly awful at activating the base and it’s easy to see why (activists can’t stand them).. Lastly there’s a problem with “damn Yankees” moving from their crappy Democrat run cities above the Mason Dixon line coming down here and voting the same way, essentially trying to turn Charlotte into the same horrible place they just moved from.” – S

“The real question should be — Is Charlotte’s election system rigged to Democrats? — For a city with 48% Dems and 21% Reps, the existence of at large seats give the Dias an 83% Dem majority. When most large cities do not have at large seats, shouldn’t ours get with the times and get rid of them?!” – R

“Bye Felicia. 👋” – S

“As one of Charlotte’s independent voters, I would vote Republican more often if they presented more centrist candidates & a platform that actually addressed the real issues with the City. The two biggest issues we need IMO are (1) a plan to reinvigorate CMS, which is in dire need of additional resources, and (2) a plan to deal with improving our transportation network. We’re the largest growing city in the Country, and yet the CATS 2030 plan is a joke. You can’t consistently run on social issues when there are real things that need to be addressed in this city.” – J


In response to: Plaza Midwood failure shows “Sabor Effect” is strong, but Comida will find its niche in new Myers Park location

“Comida will only succeed in Myers Park if everyone there has zero palate or enough margaritas to not care about taste – the food was just terrible at any price point! The “Sabor Argument” is so weak, people enjoy Nirvana’s Indian food and Copper is incredible, yet a whole different price point, amazing that Copper is somehow able to thrive! Wow maybe it is just the food…no, that can’t be it…” – O

“Hey Comida, just don’t go F-ing up Little Spoon. unless you want to add handles to the coffee. I could handle that.” – L

“Yeesh, Ted. Stop trying to make “Sabor Effect” happen. It’s not going to happen. And for the record, we’d hate a Waffle House, too. (Chain. Midwood. Duh.) Poppy’s would kill it, though. Also there’s chatter that people would love to see a mom & pop Indian place in there.” – R

“This so-called “Sabor effect” is something you have dreamed up, but in reality doesn’t exist. The main reason why places like Comida and Southbound are struggling is because the food flat out sucks. There is just no denying this. Also, there are people in Charlotte that aren’t penny pinchers who have no problem paying a bit more for a place like Comida, but that just isn’t going to happen if the food is unacceptable. If your “Sabor effect” was true, then why are places like Bakersfield, Babalu, Cantina, etc. continuing to do good business?” – M

“Yippee, two of the most overrated and overpriced restaurants housed in one location. Usually I just get to laugh in the mornings when I pass seeing all the people paying $20 for a small chicken biscuit and to burn their fingers on a cup of hot coffee with no handle. Now I get to do it at night for all the people paying $30 for some small tacos and a drink.” – L

“Never again compare Selwyn Pub to the likes of Comida. One has been around for decades with a non-pretentious established attitude. The other couldn’t even make it a year in a neighborhood where people look for opportunities to waste their money hoping that they don’t give off a look of being desperately mainstream. – L


In response to: Op-Ed: Light rail development is failing in University City. Here’s why

“The light rail is not a transportation solution that eliminates the need for vehicles. We can’t even say the SouthEnd development is a complete success yet we are looking to replicate it in University.” – J

“There is a LOT of undeveloped/underdeveloped space in this area. I think the potential for a real renaissance of University City is very real.” – M


In response to: 15 most-loved soups in Charlotte, including a soup from Moosehead

“As a fellow soup enthusiast though, I have to let you know that unfortunately all of Dean and Deluca’s soups come in a plastic bag. I found a large piece of plastic in my red pepper soup there one time. I’d also like to give a shout out to Cafe Monte – their French onion soup is delish and they always have amazing soups of the day. Never any plastic in them either!” – R

“My list: Fenwick’s Tomato Bisque, Rooster’s Onion, Myers Park CC Veggie, whatever Chef Trey is making at Customshop,  Whole Foods Chicken Noodle and Oyster Chowder at Rocksalt – B


In response to: Maybe CMS should let parents fix Charlotte’s struggling schools

“Let’s go back to when CMS was a very good school system and busing created integrated schools with a mix of students and a mix of parents that worked and parents that didn’t – thus having more time to be actively involved in the school. We tried to let parents “fix” CMS and all that got us was a complete resegregation of the school system, a poorly performing school district as a whole, and numerous articles and studies detailing how the parents in Charlotte failed at least a generation of kids. I say this as a person in the Myers Park/Eastover/Dilworth area, but maybe let’s not let the parents try to fix our struggling schools and instead simply go back to a system that worked. And then we can all watch as the ‘neighborhood schools’ parents decide to put their kids on a 45 minute bus ride to Latin every morning and reveal the fact that their “neighborhood schools” demand was actually a thinly veiled version of ‘I don’t want my kids going to school with black kids.'” – J


In response to: Poppyseeds Bagels is a contender for top bagel spot

“I remember going there when they first opened. Thanks to them I gained 20 pounds. Lol. Great bagels, staff and especially the owners.” – A

“Their sandwiches and bakery items are delicious too. Pro tip: best potato salad I’ve ever had. – E


In response to: Construction now underway on the RailYard. 100 micro-apartments, 4 restaurants and trendy offices expected to open January 2019 in South End

“Cool the see some variety in apartments coming to Charlotte even if they don’t fit traditional needs.” – B

I’m pretty sure micro-apartment is code for “closet.” – S


In response to: I tried all 4 chilis at Lupie’s. Here’s the deal.

“The veggie has more flavor than southern style. Texas is my fave, though.” – M

“My fav is the cheeseburger with the Texas Chili on it!” – T

“I am from Cincinnati Ohio and lived there for 47 years until I moved here almost 9 years ago and this is not the same chili as Home. Have tried this chili and it was good but not the same as home. Will try the other 3 on next visit.” – C


In response to: Take a look inside The Loyalist Market, a new cheese and charcuterie shop in Matthews

“Totally legit. Seriously good. Their Devils on Horseback make your eyes roll back in your head. I’ve tried to recreate them at home and failed. Also, their ricotta cheese with lemon spread on fresh bread is superb.” – R


In response to: Charlotte Christmas Village will be bigger and better in year two — but still no wooden huts

“Look what’s trying to make a comeback…” – E

“The churches in town do 100x better. How is this in such a high end location with such poor vendor turn out. Even OMB event is a million times better.” – K

“Will I be able to get free quotes on windows and siding from multiple vendors again? That was the best part last year. Maybe I can get some roofing quotes this year.” – S


In response to: You could buy a house for as little as $49,000 in Gastonia’s Loray Mill Village

“Gastonia is on the verge of getting ready to boom. They are building the FUSE entertainment park for Baseball, Concerts and other venues. Also check out Gateway Village. Sleepy Poet, Owl +Ivy, Mad Hatters, Gaston Pickers for antiques. Webb Custom Kitchen is one of the highest rated restaurants even by Charlotte Standards. Historic Downtown Gastonia will soon make use of the Grand Citizens National Bank and transform it into an Art gallery with art studios, a Thermador Cooking School, a Market and a Restaurant. Loray Mills is one of the coolest apartment/multi purpose buildings in the State. And it’s only 25-40 minuets to Downtown Charlotte depending on traffic.” – J

“NO Gastonia sucks. Stay away.” – B

“If you’re gonna live that far west, live in the mill (Loray Mill). The houses are tiny, expensive, and you can’t rent them out as a second income.” – A

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Ted Williams
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Publisher, golfer, dad and magician (seriously).