For my second installment in the date night series, I actually planned a brunch date at The Dandelion Market followed by a walk around uptown doing an art scavenger hunt. We tend to think of dates as something for Friday or Saturday nights, but it can be a lot of fun to go out at other times of the day as well 🙂
On Sunday morning, we got up at a decent hour (so we could beat the church crowd) and headed out for brunch at the Dandelion Market. It is located on 5th Street in Uptown and is named after a famous outdoor market in Dublin, Ireland. The restaurant is open 7 days a week with brunch starting at 10 am on Saturday and Sunday.
On weekends, when the Panthers are NOT playing, parking is relatively easy to find with most lots at a cheap $5 a day rate. We had no trouble finding a spot within a couple of blocks of our destination as there wasn’t a game or any other major events happening in the city. We arrived at the restaurant before 11 am and were seated without a wait.
The server brought out a basket of biscuits with delicious blackberry jam right away which I was super excited about because by that time I was s-t-a-r-v-i-n-g. We both went with water to drink because we had already polished off a pot of coffee before leaving the house. They offer a few cocktails, mimosas and a make your own bloody mary bar during brunch if you are interested in something a little stronger than coffee (note: alcohol cannot be served until 12 pm on Sundays in Charlotte).
For my meal, I ordered the Greek omelet stuffed with spinach, kalamata olives, and feta, which came with a side of home fries. The potatoes are served in a little skillet with this super-duper ketchup. I asked for the secret to the ketchup and was given a vague explanation of adding Guinness, garlic, black pepper and “other stuff.” My meal was fantastic. I would gladly eat that omelet at least 4 days a week.
Rob went with the Hangover Hash: potatoes, okra, peppers, onions, andouille sausage and an over-easy egg. He also ordered a side of cheese grits. He loved both of his choices, however, I only tried his grits which were cheesy perfection.
My original date plan was to rent b-cycles after brunch and go for a little bike ride, but Rob informed me that you are not allowed to ride on the sidewalks in Uptown, and although he rides his bike to work every day, I am not one for riding on the road as I am a big chicken. So my second plan was to do a sculpture scavenger hunt because I found this cute brochure put out by the Arts and Science Council, BUT I did not print it off before we left because I assumed I could download it to my phone (you know what they say when you assume) well….you can totally download to your phone, only it is really tiny, and when you try to enlarge, everything is so blurry you can’t read the street names. Bummer.
Oh well. We decided to just wander around on our own for a few blocks, and we did happen upon a few sculptures like the Queen in her Garden…
and this stack of books in front of Imaginon…
Then we found ourself at the 7th Street Market, which was actually supposed to be a date all on its own but…what the hell, right? Rob decided he had to order a banana Nutella crepe from Hazelnut creperie (even though it was only about 20 minutes after we left the first restaurant). I was stuffed from my omelet but still managed to eat a few bites because holy cow it was delicious. The market itself is pretty cool, and I think we will still do this date anyway because there was a lot to see and sample. 7th street is the last stop for the light rail, and it literally stops right at the market, so next time we may just take the train and not worry about parking at all!
We did a quick stroll through 1st ward park before heading back to the car as it was near noon and the temperature was definitely picking up. I didn’t even know this park existed before Sunday. It was very cute with the carved animal benches and a fountain that little kids can play in. I would like to come back another day with the little guy, maybe bring a picnic.
All in all, it was a good date, even without the art walk map. Dandelion Market is a good bet for brunch (and likely other meals too), just remember to go a little later on Sundays if you want to imbibe. If you are brave enough to bike the city, you can get info about the B-cycles here. Also, the sculpture walk is likely very cool, and we may attempt it again another day with a PRINTED map!
Once again, I forgot to take a silly couples selfie…so, I give you banana-Nutella crepe!
So, What do you think about having a date “night” in the morning?