I am a carnivore. I’m not proud of it. But I do love a good burger. And while Summertime is the right time to burn some ground beef on the George Foreman, I still prefer seeking out my burgers somewhere on-the-road in the Carolinas. Here are my 5 picks:
In Charlotte and Raleigh, I am a fan of Bad Daddy’s Burger Bar. Their Classic Southern Burger, topped with chili, American cheese, relish, mustard, and slaw, is a winner … but be sure to ask for plenty of napkins. I also enjoy the basic (and I mean basic) cheeseburger at O’Malley’s Pub in Raleigh. Basic…cheddar cheese…lettuce, tomato, pickle, mustard (no mayo) … and a side of onion rings. Oh, and a pint of Guinness. Perfection.
We all grew up with those words resonating out in the backyard. As grownups in the Sunbelt, especially the Piedmont Crescent Corridor, which is I-85 from the Triangle, Triad, Charlotte, and Upstate South Carolina regions, we all better be ready.
What I’m talking about is that we’d better be readying our sustainability plans when it comes to water, air, transportation, sewage and trash.
According to the US Census, Charlotte’s population grew by 19,600 from mid-2010 to mid-2011, ranking ninth in the country for gains. Both the Triangle Region and the Charlotte Region grew through all past recessions. Why? Cost of living being 93 percent of the national average is a huge plus. Cary, N.C. grew by 3.24 percent, Raleigh by 3.1 percent and Charlotte by 2.7 percent in one year. The incoming migration to the Carolinas is very diverse and bodes well for our future.
As usual, it has started off as a great season for concerts goers. My husband and I started our concert season with Van Halen at Time Warner Arena on April 25 – loud and awesome as usual. We were lucky to see them since the rest of their tour has been cancelled. That same week, we attended the Sugarland concert at Verizon Amphitheater and especially enjoyed the audience interaction. On May 17, we were back at Verizon withStyx, REO Speedwagon and Ted Nugent, and bought Jimmy Buffet tickets while we were there.
The Carolinas have many great venues for concerts, with both indoor and outdoor. And there is certainly no shortage of North Carolina artists.
Albemarle native Kellie Pickler played Charlotte on April 20. The former American Idol contestant was raised by her grandparents and cites her grandfather as a major influence in her life. Her sixth place finish was a springboard for her career, which included her biggest hit “Best Days of Your Life,” which she co-wrote with Taylor Swift and reached No. 9 on the Billboard Charts. When I saw Kellie perform in Erie, Pa. about four years ago with Sugarland (yes, I’ve seen Sugarland four times), she was a very sincere and enjoyable performer.