Montford Drive is fast becoming a true restaurant row here in Charlotte. The latest place to open in the former location of the Press Box is called Brazwells Premium Pub.
What a difference being opened by seasoned pros makes. Tom Wicker and Britton McCorkle have been around Charlotte and know the business; between the two of them they have been involved in the French Quarter, Yellow Rose Tavern, and Vinnie's Raw Bar. The experience really shows.
While the place is brand spanking new it feels welcoming and comfortable from the moment you walk in. The patio out back, the long bar all of the attention to trim and décor make it feel familiar like a place that has been here for years.
Right out of the box they are knocking it out of the park with some great food. A few stand out dishes are the wings, crispy with enough heat to get my attention without requiring first aid, a spring roll filled with fried shrimp and andouille sausage and crab cakes, 5 mini crab cakes chock full of lump crab meat and little else gently coated with panko bread crumbs to add crispness and still allow the crab to be the star of the show. Those are just some of the appetizers. Entrees include some amazing burgers all served on a really nice Kaiser style roll. The Metheny Burger with Swiss, mixed grilled bell peppers, caramelized onion and mushrooms was a table favorite. The buffalo chicken sandwich was another standout. It’s a breaded and fried chicken breast tossed in buffalo sauce and topped with blue cheese crumbles, loaded with big flavor and crunchy texture. Both served with top notch fresh cut French fries.
Mrs. G. was delighted with the Pear salad. I can’t blame her it was a big bowl of mixed greens topped with candied walnuts, crumbled goat cheese and sliced pears. The house made citrus vinaigrette dressing blew her away. Chef Ryan who was trained at Johnson and Wales makes all the dressings and sauces in house. He is turning out some great stuff and making constant improvements as he gets customer feedback.
Most new places seem to bumble around when they first open but Brazwells has their act together. Cases in point are the servers. Everyone seems totally on the money, knows what they are doing and is in a great mood. You never feel like an intruder like in some other places. The servers actually seem happy to see you. Guests are made to feel welcome and are treated with friendly, attentive service.
Great atmosphere, food and service makes for a sure fire success. With out even advertising yet the place is drawing crowds. This is the real deal take it from the Godfather of Lunch.