The Charlotte restaurant scene is quickly growing and it seems that people in Charlotte, as well as other cities, are starting to take notice. Long gone are the days where dinner options are limited. There are so many restaurants in the city now that simply choosing where to eat on a date or with friends becomes a lengthy discussion. With so many options, it’s easy to pass over some of the places that should be getting more credit.
Enter Fūd at Salud. Fūd at Salud is tucked away in the back of NoDa at North Davidson and 36th Street. It’s a small sandwich shop that opened in April of 2015 when the owner of Salud Beer Shop expanded the store by taking over the adjacent space. Salud is an impressive beer shop stocked with rare bottled and canned craft beers as well as an ever-rotating selection of craft beer on tap including local brews from Charlotte.
Fūd at Salud went from just an idea to a reality quickly. Owner Jeff McElwee told me that he and Salud Beer Shop owner Jason Glunt first met when they both worked at Cowfish. After Jason came to Jeff with the idea of opening a unique sandwich shop next door to Salud, Jeff quit his job eight days later to begin working on the new concept. After Jason mentioned visiting a brewery in Michigan that served peanut butter and jelly sandwiches made with waffles, it became clear that this would be the inspiration for the menu.
It’s hard to miss the waffle sandwich creations listed on the menu at Fūd at Salud. The original and best selling (with over 2,400 sold in just eight months) is the “Chicken and Waffles.” This heavenly creation consists of creamy chicken salad mixed with candied walnuts and bacon sandwiched between two waffles and drizzled with maple syrup. Believe me when I tell you that this sandwich is out of this world. It’s hands down my favorite item on the menu and after eating here several times and trying other dishes, I always seem to come back to it.
Jeff says he gains inspiration for the “waffle-wiches” by simply walking through the baking aisle. Rice Krispies and Marshmallow Fluff between two waffles? Yes, that’s been a thing at Fūd at Salud. Other waffle creations include the “Jason Gi-ham-brie” made with Windy Hill cider, reduced peaches, brie and ham and the “Frambella” made with homemade raspberry beer jelly and NoDa Brewing Coco Loco Nutella.
I love Fūd at Salud because they strive to do things in the kitchen that no one else in Charlotte is doing. Jeff told me that his ideas are weird and off the wall. He says “Our food is great for drunk people, 5-year-old kids and people who just like good food. There’s freedom to try whatever we want.” I’m not sure which of these categories I fit in but I’m sure it’s at least one of them.
Although their waffle-wiches are amazing, Fūd at Salud serves much more than that. You can also find custom salad and sandwich creations on the menu inspired by people who live and work in the NoDa neighborhood as well as cleverly named menu items like the “Michelle O’Banh-Mi.” Daily specials are also added to the menu, which seem to be another area where Jeff and his team experiment with ingredients.
When asked about the future plans of Fūd at Salud, Jeff says that for now they’re focusing on customer service and quality of food. A new apartment complex is opening next to the shop in March, which should bring in a steady influx of hungry young people. There may also be plans to add a food truck to the Fūd at Salud brand in the next year or two. What’s better than waffle sandwiches? Waffle sandwiches on wheels.
I’m personally surprised that I don’t hear more about Fūd at Salud. The food is unique and made with quality ingredients. The staff is always friendly and helpful. Being located next to a beer shop with hundreds of craft beer options doesn’t hurt either. I highly suggest trying Fud at Salud if you haven’t yet. Maybe after seeing this, they’ll name a waffle-wich after me. “The April” sounds like the perfect addition to their already epic menu.