Bang Bang Burgers, my #1 burger spot in Charlotte, is launching a sister concept focused on sliders named Bang Bang Bites in South End.
I love Bang Bang’s Black Angus beef burger served on local Duke’s brioche buns. So good.
But because I’m a wimp and scared to make a bad order, I always order their original Bang Bang Burger. Although they sound delicious, I never venture out to order any of their inventive weekly specials.
Enter Bang Bang Bites, their new burger joint featuring 2 oz. sliders. Hooray! Seriously, I’m pumped.
Bang Bang Bites is targeting a February 26 grand opening. Hours will likely be 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
I spent an hour talking with Bang Bang owner Joe Huang in Elizabeth.
Joe is enthusiastic, obsessed with food quality, a culinary school graduate and has worked everything from fine dining restaurants to an airport Chili’s.
“When I opened Bang Bang Burgers in 2013, it had to work because I had no money,” Joe says. “The first year the restaurant lost $15,000, but I didn’t panic because I knew we were putting out a great product.”
Joe’s right. The product is damn good.
The Bang Bang Bites space
Bang Bang Bites will be located in the same complex as Zeppelin and the future Common Market. The exact address of the 2,170-square-foot space is 235 W. Tremont Ave.
The upfit will end up costing Joe Huang close to $600,000. He’s only got one outside investor and financing from BB&T.
Given the success of Bang Bang in Elizabeth, this is an easy investment decision for Joe.
Inside the restaurant, you’ll find a mix of normal tables and high top tables that’ll seat 62. Additionally, there’ll be a take-out lounge to the left when you enter where you can chill while waiting for your to-go order. Outside, you’ll find a rail standing area and patio seating that can fit about 50.
The hottest two tables will be located up a small flight of stairs in the back right corner of the restaurant. The 8-person dining area overlooks the main dining space. It’s raised about five feet.
Bang Bang Bites menu
Most guests will choose from one of these three options (bite = slider):
- 1 Bite w/ chips ($6)
- 2 Bites w/ chips ($11)
- 3 Bites w/ chips ($15)
For a small upcharge, you can substitute those chips for fries or another side item. Additionally, Bang Bang Bites will have four beer taps and thirsty guests can order a beer flight if they’d like to try all four.
The menu is subject to change — and expect sliders to rotate over time.
“Most restaurants do specials to either get rid of product or test; I do specials to test my ideas,” Joe Huang told me. “At Bang Bang, our weekly specialty burgers have allowed me to figure out what people like.”
Pimento Bite – Pimento, Ranch, Fried Pickle
This will be their signature slider. Bang Bang won the Moo and Brew festival in 2015, 2016 and 2017 serving this slider. The pimento cheese is homemade using a blend of American, Swiss and Monterey Jack Cheeses. They also make their own ranch.
Cheddar Bacon Bite – Cheddar, Bacon, Chipotle Ranch
The cheddar bacon burger is a simple slider that’ll have the broadest audience. The chipotle ranch will be a blend of chipotle peppers and ranch. It has a mild spice and smokiness to the sauce.
Caprese Bite – Tomato, Mozzarella, Pesto Mayo
The Caprese was a summer burger special served at Bang Bang Burgers. They make the pesto mayo in-house
Guacamole Bite – Guacamole, Corn, Lime Sour Cream
They serve the guacamole burger at Bang Bang Burgers. The corn is grilled on the cob and made into a salsa. The lime sour cream is made by combining the ranch with lime juice. The guacamole is made daily in-house.
Sriracha Bite – Monterey Jack, Homemade Green Sriracha, Fried Jalapenos
Their homemade sriracha is made with grilled jalapenos, grilled onions and toasted garlic. This will be a spicy but also savory slider.
Fried Mac and Cheese Bite – Fried Mac and Cheese, Creamy Whole Grain Mustard, Bacon +$0.30
Bang Bang makes their mac and cheese in-house. They’ll then cool, shape, batter, bread and fry it to make little mac and cheese “fritters” shaped like a mini hockey puck. The creamy whole grain mustard is a mixture of whole grain mustard and ranch dressing.
K-pop Bite – Kim Chi, Braised Pork Belly, Gochijang Mayo +$0.50
This slider is Korean inspired. It has kim chi that’s sautéd with sesame seed oil and braised pork belly in a Korean teriyaki sauce.
Blue and Bacon Jam – Bacon Jam, Bleu Cheese, Arugula +$0.50
Bacon jam consists of diced onions, garlic, diced bacon, cider vinegar, brown sugar and salt and pepper that’s cooked in a pot 20+ minutes. The blue cheese is mixed with a little bit of ranch dressing to make it stay on the slider better. This slider was a special at Bang Bang Burgers and has a funky sweet, sour, salty, smoky, cheesy flavor.
Non-beef menu items
Crispy Chicken – Pickles, Bang Slaw, Fried Chicken, Bang Sauce
Chicken thighs dipped in tempura batter and seasoned flour. The pickles are homemade.
Fish n Chips – Pickles, Bang Slaw, Fried Cod, Bang Sauce
Similar to the Crispy Chicken, but the chicken is substituted with cod fish dipped in tempura batter.
Crispy Black Bean – Swiss, Pesto Mayo, Arugula (vegetarian)
The black bean burger is homemade, prepared with various vegetables such as zucchini, squash, carrots, onions, mushrooms, jalapenos and black beans. The vegetables are sautéed and then mixed with canned black beans and bread crumbs. For this slider, a 2 oz portion is dipped in tempura batter and placed into the fryer. The pesto mayo is homemade and is prepared with basil, sliced almonds, garlic, extra virgin olive oil, parmesan cheese and salt and pepper.
Veggie Bowl $10 – Mixed Greens, Green Beans, Tomato, Corn Salsa, Cauliflower, Black bean slider, Guacamole dressed with Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Lemon Juice (vegetarian)
This is their only salad. Mixed greens will have arugula, spinach, and a mixture of leafy greens. Green beans are cold and blanched in salty water. Tomatoes are diced. Corn salsa is made from grilled whole corn on a cobb. Cauliflower is fried and seasoned with garlic oil. Guacamole is homemade. The dressing is prepared with extra virgin olive oil and fresh squeezed lemon juice as well as salt and pepper.
Sides at Bang Bang Bites
BBQ Chips – Homemade, seasoned with a blend of spices served with ranch
Sweet Potato Chips – Sliced thin, fried and seasoned with salt and served with maple dip (sour cream, mayonnaise and maple syrup)
Hand Cut Fries
Sweet Potato Fries – Served with maple dip
Green Bean Salad – Dressed with olive oil, garlic and salt and pepper
Roasted Cauliflower – Served with chipotle ranch
Brussel Sprouts – Served with pesto mayo
Will Bang Bang Bites be a success in South End?
Yes. Given the quality product, brand recognition and location, I’d expect it to be popular immediately. Zeppelin and Common Market feel complementary to the Bang Bang Bites concept and all three can draw from the huge weekend crowds at Sycamore Brewing. South End is truly booming right now and feels unstoppable.
Although becoming a huge restaurant group isn’t his goal, Joe told me, “If Bang Bang Bites does well, I may do another. I’m always asking, what can I put in front of people that make then happy?”