Lang Van is a Vietnamese restaurant that has been open for over 25 years. It is located near the corner of Shamrock Drive and Eastway Drive in Charlotte, North Carolina. Lang Van serves lunch and dinner every day except on Mondays when closed. Recently, Charlotteans came together and raised over $50,000 to support Lang Van. The owner, Dan Nguyen, was struggling to keep the restaurant afloat during the COVID-19 crisis. Why are residents donating money to help Lang Van?
Lang Van offers over 130 dishes on their menu (prices not current). Customers are certain to find something to enjoy even with dietary restrictions or preferences. Pho and Hu Tieu, Vietnamese noodle soups, can be ordered with a variety of meats and seafood. For those interested in something besides soup, the vermicelli dishes are a great option. If a customer is overwhelmed by the menu, Nguyen is willing to assist. Lang Van receives positive reviews about the freshness and taste of their food on Trip Advisor. However, food is not the only thing that receives high praise at Lang Van.
Nguyen and her employees are focused on taking care of customers. They offer a high level of service to each person whether they choose dining inside or takeout. Nguyen makes every customer feel welcome and appreciated at Lang Van. This sentiment is echoed in a 2017 interview with Nguyen. The main priority for Lang Van's staff is always the customer. Nguyen decided to only allow takeout orders during COVID-19 for the safety of her staff and customers.
During a recent visit, I tried the #43 Hu Tieu Hai San. It is a delectable seafood noodle soup and lighter alternative to Pho. I do enjoy Pho and typically order the #26 Pho Dac Biet from Lang Van. Also, the #2 Goi Cuon (Fresh Summer Rolls) is a nice appetizer to enjoy during warm weather.
While waiting for a takeout order, I watched Nguyen greet multiple customers by name. She brought beers to a few customers while they waited to place an order. Nguyen and her staff made everyone feel welcomed and appreciated. The way Lang Van treats its customers, along with great food, makes it the best Vietnamese restaurant in Charlotte. Also, Lang Van is the highest-rated restaurant in Charlotte on Trip Advisor. I encourage anyone who enjoys Vietnamese cuisine or dining out to visit Lang Van.
Ginbu 401 is a Chinese and sushi restaurant in Charlotte, North Carolina. The restaurant is located at 401 Providence Road. Except for Tuesday, lunch and dinner are served Monday through Saturday. Dinner is only offered on Sunday. A full-service dining area provides seating for guests. Ginbu also offers a consistent take-out and delivery service. Orders can be placed by calling the restaurant directly or through Grubhub.
Ginbu's entree menu features many Chinese favorites such as Hunan and Szechuan. Customers can order any of their dishes with chicken, beef, shrimp, scallops, or tofu. Mixed vegetables are also available with some of the options. I enjoy the Mongolian, 401 Spicy, and 401 Sesame.
Beside Chinese cuisine, Ginbu has an extensive sushi menu. There are multiple choices between maki rolls, hand rolls, nigiri sushi, and sushi platters. My wife and I often order multiple sushi rolls for takeout. Our favorite rolls are the 401 Maki, Green Dragon, Firecracker, and Rainbow. Ginbu is one of the best values in town for sushi. I believe the quality and price are hard to beat for a great sushi meal.
Another reason why my wife and I enjoy Ginbu is their friendly staff. Everyone who works at the restaurant is welcoming, helpful, and greets us with a smile. They offer a consistently high service level with takeout orders. I know my takeout order will be exactly what I wanted with no mistakes. I highly encourage others to try Ginbu for takeout. Their service and food quality will meet and exceed your expectations.
Volo Ristorante is an authentic Italian restaurant located in the Myers Park neighborhood of Charlotte, North Carolina. Volo is run by Italians and opened its doors in the former location of Lumiere. During the COVID-19 crisis, Volo is forced to offer takeout only for its patrons. Since Ashley is a fan of authentic Italian cuisine, we decided to order a takeout dinner.
Volo's current takeout menu contains a variety of salads, antipasti, pastas, and entrees. Among the salad options, we ordered the Bietole (beets, arugula, goat cheese, honey vinaigrette) to share. The salad was a great starter to our meal with fresh ingredients. For an anitpasto, we ordered one of the Eggplant Parmigiana (baked eggplant, fresh mozzarella, tomato basil sauce, Parmesan). We received a generous portion of the eggplant appetizer. The tomato sauce was flavorful and the eggplant was baked perfectly. We enjoyed this dish immensely.
While placing our order, we learned that the squid ink linguine and bucatini are made in house. This information led us to try the Nero (squid ink linguine, shrimp, spicy tomatoes confit) and the Amatriciana (Mancini gregnano bucatini, pork jowl, tomato sauce). Ashley enjoys a good squid ink pasta dish and the Nero did not disappoint. Volo can adjust the spice level to your particular taste. The Amatriciana appears simplistic at first, but contains wonderful flavors and spices. The pork jowl adds complexity to the dish. Either pasta dish is a great option for your next takeout dinner.
Volo also offers a variety of affordable wines by the bottle with takeout orders. We decided to order a bottle of Sangiovese. The bottle we received was a Il Raffaello Sangiovese Di Toscana. It is a young Sangiovese that pairs well with pasta, pizza, and other Italian dishes. We recommend pairing it with a meal rather than drinking by itself.
When we called to place our order, the owner spent over ten minutes on the phone with Ashley. He talked about the fresh ingredients and spices used in their dishes. He also explained their vision and ideal experience for guests dining at the restaurant. After placing our order, he invited us to come visit when COVID-19 restrictions were lifted. We appreciated the time he took to share information about Volo and hope to visit soon.
Ashley and I spent almost two weeks in Italy in May, 2019. We tried a wide range of Italian cuisine throughout the country. Volo's dishes share many similarities with what we ate during our travels. If you are craving the next best thing to eating it Italy, look no further than Volo. We cannot wait to try more items on Volo's menu soon.
Karaage is a Japanese dish where meat or vegetables are coated in potato starch and deep fried. Chicken is commonly used as the main protein. Making Karaage, or Japanese fried chicken, at home is not too difficult. You can make Karaage in your own kitchen by following the below recipe.
Karaage Ingredients for Serving 2 People
Preparation: 20 minutes
Marinating: 1 hour
Cooking: 25 minutes
1. Cut the chicken breasts into bitesize pieces.
2. Put the bitesize pieces of chicken in a plastic storage zipper bag.
3. Mix the sake, mirin, soy sauce, garlic, and ginger in a bowl.
4. Pour the marinade mixture in the plastic bag containing the chicken.
5. Seal the plastic bag and then shake it for 30 seconds.
6. Lay the plastic bag flat in the refrigerator and let it sit for 1 hour.
1. Remove the plastic bag from the refrigerator.
2. Heat oil in a pot or deep fryer over medium heat.
3. While oil is heating, spread out the potato starch on a flat kitchen dish.
4. Coat each piece of chicken in the potato starch.
5. Fry the coated chicken for about 4 minutes until it is golden brown and cooked thoroughly. Flip the chicken pieces halfway through to ensure they cook evenly.
6. Put the cooked pieces on a plate or serving dish with a paper towel to soak up any extra oil.
7. Serve with rice, cooked vegetables, or by itself.
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