Bar Marcel is a European-inspired restaurant located in Charlotte's SouthPark neighborhood. They are open for lunch and dinner Monday through Saturday. Currently, they are only open for dinner on Sunday. Their lunch and dinner menus overlap some of the pastas and plates offered. Bar Marcel features a full bar serving beer, liquor, wine by the glass, and a bottled wine list.
Ashley and I went for dinner with family and friends to Bar Marcel during Queen's Feast. We ordered items featured on the special menu that were also found on the regular menu. On the stuzzichini dinner menu, we tried the Beet & Burrata Salad, Crispy Brussels Sprouts, Wagyu Beef Carpaccio, and Charcuterie Board. All three choices were delightful. Our group collectively chose the Beet & Burrata Salad and Crispy Brussels Sprouts as the top choices.
For the main course, we ordered a few different dishes. I ordered the Tagliatelle featuring shrimp, capers, kale, brodo, cured lemon and chive. It was very good pasta dish that I would order again. My wife ordered the Agnolotti with truffled potato, braised rabbit, brussels leaves, carrot, gouda, almond, and garlic butter. She enjoyed her dish, but thought the Tagliatelle was a better pasta choice. Other individuals in our group ordered the Seared Salmon and Grilled Pork Tenderloin. They enjoyed their entrees and would order them again in the future.
As for alcoholic beverages, we ordered cocktails and a bottle of Spanish wine. The cocktails were well-crafted and enjoyable. While I also enjoyed our choice of wine, I found their bottle prices somewhat expensive. We had a hard time deciding on a bottle that was reasonably priced and not featured as a wine by the glass. Overall, everyone had a wonderful experience and enjoyed their meals. We all agreed that Bar Marcel was worth the trip. I would recommend Bar Marcel for an intimate dinner with a partner, spouse, couple, or to celebrate a special occasion.
The Mighty Meeple is a hobby store located across the street from Concord Mills at 8440 Pit Stop Court NW #180. They are open seven days a week with reduced hours on Sunday. Meeple sells board games, trading card games, miniatures, and other related tabletop gaming products. There is ample gaming space inside the store for playing all varieties of tabletop gaming. You can find a schedule of weekly events on their website or by contacting the store directly.
Meeple is known around the local area as a premier store for the Magic: The Gathering trading card game. They sell packs, singles, deck sleeves, and other related products. I regularly attend their Tuesday evening Standard format event. They also offer Friday Night Magic and special weekend events. I have gotten to know many local players by visiting the store.
In addition to gaming space for MTG, they offer multiple tables for other tabletop games such as Warhammer 40,000. You can find players using the tables every Saturday. Meeple sells painting supplies and miniatures sets for players to build their armies.
Meeple is well-staffed by employees with a passion for gaming. They are friendly, knowledgeable, and able to answer questions about many tabletop games. The employees also manage gaming tournaments held weekly. Events typically start and end on time without issue. In addition, I find the store and bathrooms clean each time I visit. This is hard to accomplish on a consistent basis. I would recommend anyone near Concord, North Carolina to make a visit to Meeple.
The Queen City Anime Convention is a three-day event centered around anime, cosplay, video games, and other Japanese related themes. This year, the event was held at the Sheraton Charlotte Hotel in Charlotte, NC. It took place from August 9th, 2019 through August 11th, 2019. My brother and I attended the convention on Saturday. I was approved to run a Japan travel panel at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday as well. We decided to stay most of the day and attended other panels, special events, the video game room, and the marketplace. According to the event staff, over 4,000 people attended the convention this year.
Austin and I began our day in the parking garage next to the hotel. The convention offered a discounted rate of $5 to park all day. We quickly went through registration and obtained our badges for the day. QCAC improved their registration process from the previous year. I used the Fan Guru event application to figure out where my panel room was located. This app was very helpful navigating the halls and keeping track of events I wanted to attend. After a quick check-in at Con Ops, I was ready for my panel at 11:00 a.m.
My panel was a success with 42 attendees and great questions from the audience. I was able to present and answer questions with five minutes to spare. The only bad part about my panel was the room size. All of the 32 seats were taken. but 10 additional attendees had to stand across the back wall. The room size issue was a reoccurring problem throughout the day.
After my panel ended, we went next door to see if Austin could participate in the speed dating event. Unfortunately, the demand far exceeded the room size and slots for participants. This created confusion and logistics issues for the event. Ultimately, Austin and I left the area to check out the dealer's room. We checked out some of the dealers among a crowd of people. After walking the room one time, Austin, bought a handmade craft for $12.00. I was tempted to buy a t-shirt, but the styles did not interest me enough.
Later on, we attended the Samurai vs. Ninja panel hosted Samurai Dan. This panel was featured a series of questions to decide if you acted like a samurai or a ninja. Dan did an excellent job entertaining and engaging the audience. I could tell why he was a featured guest host for multiple panels. I recommend attending one of his panels at a future convention. After the panel ended, we tried to get in line for the Cosplay Circus Show. Unfortunately, the line wrapped far around the convention hall. When we realized the main event room was too small to hold all of the people in line, we gave up and went to the gaming room.
I got a chance to play the Initial D Infinite 8 arcade machine. I was able to beat the first rivals race before giving another person a chance to play. Austin and I tried to find a fighting game station available, but they were taken by tournament participants. We ended up walking to the Social Media Breakdown for Cosplayers panel. My hope was that we could learn something even though the panel started 30 minutes prior to our arrival. Much to my surprise, the panel either ended early or did not start at all. With nothing else going on, we went back to the main events room to try and catch part of the Cosplay Circus Show. There was still a line of people waiting to see the show. The room was at maximum capacity forcing volunteers to use a one-in-one-out system. Ultimately, my brother and I decided to take a break until the next scheduled special event.
We got in line about 4:20 p.m. to see the None Like Joshua Rap Show. Unfortunately, the Cosplay Circus Show ran almost 30 minutes past the scheduled time slot. While we did see the show, it started close to an hour later than scheduled. None Like Joshua put on a great performance and it was the highlight of our day at QCAC. After the show, Austin and I decided to end our day at the convention. We had planned to meet Ashley for dinner at Sea Level. While our day was met with unexpected demand and delays, we did have a fun and enjoyable experience. My brother and I enjoyed interacting with other attendees and found the volunteer staff extremely friendly. It is exciting that QCAC continues to grow rapidly as a summer convention in Charlotte, NC. Hopefully, I can attend and present again at QCAC in 2020.