Early this Sunday afternoon as I rolled out of bed with the sting of sunlight in my hungover head my roommate, Andy, suggested we go out for brunch. Unshowered and regretting the pack of cigarettes we each took to the face last night we hopped in the car and headed to Tavern on the Tracks, a local bar that is known for its killer Bloody Marys. Sunglasses on and slumped against the door in the thick Charlotte heat we made the short drive down Tryon St. We walked up to the front doors across the inviting patio but despite my protests, even my affinity for outdoor seating was overwhelmed by the sheer force of the humidity. Into the poorly-lit bar we went and took two seats in the smoking section. A decision our hangovers would soon lead us to regret.Tavern on the Tracks Facade & Patio
After a few minutes in the relief of air-conditioning our ginger-haired and down-to-earth waitress, Julia, arrived. We immediately ordered two of their widely-praised bloody marys and took a moment to peruse the brief brunch menu tucked into the back of the menu under the beverage selection. Almost immediately, Andy chose the “filet and eggs” pressuring my reliably indecisive nature. I was waffling between the filet and eggs (mmm….filet) and the breakfast wrap (ham, eggs, cheese, and sundried tomatoes). After a few torturous minutes on a very uncomfortable stool I settled on the wrap and took the first sweet sip of my Bloody Mary. This perfectly-spiced concoction comes garnished with two olives and a pepper and what I believe is a blend of lawry’s, salt, and old bay on the rim, a long stalk of celery (beware the limp-dick celery, very disappointing) and is present at almost every table in the restaurant. This is the best bloody mary in Charlotte. Hands down.
Almost Empty Bloody Mary

A reasonable amount of time later (Tavern has been known for inexplicably long periods of waiting without a server in sight) our food arrived and we began to dig in. Andy, staring down at his plate at what was clearly NOT a filet joked that he, “would have ordered ‘sirloin and eggs’ too, they didn’t have to trick me into it by calling it filet.” In addition to the old bait-and-switch filet trick, the hash browns that come with most of their breakfast options are actually home fries. Those tricky bastards. They are some ridiculously good home fries, I’m just sayin’ I wish restaurants in Charlotte would learn that french fries, hash browns, and home fries are all three different things. Just because it’s a potato doesn’t make it a french fry.

Once I decided the intense wave of nausea by which I was overwhelmed at the sight of food had passed, I took a chance on my breakfast wrap. Deeeeeelicious. The wrap itself has rosemary in it and the sun-dried tomatoes were so flavorful it all just exploded in my mouth. The tomatoes definitely make or break this little guy and it also comes with a half-plate of home fries. YUM. Of course I was so hungover I felt like I was going to boot after every bite, but I’m pretty sure that was self-inflicted and had no relation to the quality of the food. Pretty sure, anyway.

Tavern Interior By the time Andy and I finished the dark bar had mostly emptied as brunch was winding down. Generally satisfied, but not particularly overwhelmed (except by the Bloody Marys, of course) we sucked down the last drops of spicy goodness and headed back out into the boiling humidity and made our way back home.

Conclusions

Food:3
Cocktails:5
Service:3
Atmosphere:2.5
Price:4
Overall:3

And here are Andy’s ratings…

Food: 3.5
Cocktails: 5
Atmosphere: 2
Service: 3
Price: 3
Overall: 3

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