Walking into Mert’s is an assault on the senses in the best possible way. Warm and cozy smells, decor and service picked me up gave me a hug like a pudgy old friend. Then she twirled me around to some Motown ditties and sat me down beside some funky bicycle art, brought me a sweet tea and showed me pictures of her grandchildren.

Holy soul food goodness. It was just the best lunch.

Mini cornbread loaves to whet your appetite.

I had the Beef Tips over Yellow Rice special, and John had the Chopped Barbecue. We both had sides of Collards and Mac and Cheese. You know the rules. If Mac and Cheese is on the menu, you order it. 

Another restaurant rule: always get the special. And the mac and cheese. And the collards.

After we ate that, I wanted to stretch big and lie in a sunbeam and have someone rub my belly.

I'm a vinegar or mustard based barbecue sauce kind of girl, but the barbecue at Mert's was pretty darn tasty.

I didn’t want to leave.

So we ordered dessert. It was, and I say this as a self-proclaimed, Ph.D. in church covered dish luncheons, card-carrying member of the “Let’s Eat the Whole Dish so I’ll Stop Thinking About It” Club, the best banana pudding I have ever had. Ever. I challenge you to bring me better banana pudding. Then I will lick that bowl clean and tell you that you are wrong.

Heaven in a bowl big enough to share, but you won't want to.

I’m as serious as a heart attack, y’all. It was great.

I don't know what it was about this shoe used as a hook on the restroom stall door that struck such a fancy in me, but I may or may not have almost fallen in the toilet trying to take a picture of it.

Mert’ s Heart and Soul

214 North College Street

Charlotte, NC








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