What was once merely an outdated bowling alley, 10 Park Lanes has since been transformed into a Montford Dr. entertainment and dining heavyweight. We were recently invited to a sample menu tasting / moonshine tasting event at the newly remodeled bowling alley. After several rounds of moonshine and several courses of food we came to the conclusion.. THIS PLACE ROCKS!
10 Park Lanes is introducing to Charlotte its very first Moonshine Bar featuring an array of flavors from across the region. They’re also featuring 32 different draft beers at the indoor / outdoor bar, but this was a moonshine tasting so we were given six flavors of moonshine to sample:
- Troy and Sons Moonshine
- Cat Daddy Moonshine
- Junior Johnson’s Midnight Moon
- Blueberry Lemonade
- Midnight Cosmo
- Cinnamon Apple Pie
At our table.. the favorite was easily the blueberry lemonade. It was a little sweet, a little tangy and would be way too easy to drink a lot of.
Once the moonshine tasting was completed we were taken to our seats on one of the largest outdoor dining areas we’ve ever seen in Charlotte, and easily the largest on Montford Dr. The outdoor seating patio has been outfitted with several flat screen tv’s, a high-end stereo, an outdoor bar, and they’re planning on featuring live music… not too shabby :)
We couldn’t resist taking a picture of the “Reserved” sign at our table. Its not often we get to see it.. but when we do it puts a HUGE smile on our face.
The food tasting part of our evening consisted of five courses of various menu items. Sliders, salads, apps, entrees, and desserts… by the end of the night our bellies were about to pop.
All of the outdoor patio tables were decorated with a beautiful glass mug / daisy centerpiece and topped with a floating candle. They also had a set of four house made bbq sauces that will blow your freaking mind!!!!!!!
- Chipotle Apricot – A little sweet, kinda fruity, and only a touch of heat.
- Honey Comb – Sweetness on top of sweetness, one of the favorites of the night.
- Piedmont Blond – Vinegar based, smooth, and pretty tangy
- Jalapeno Coffee – Our favorite of the sauces.. didn’t taste the coffee but the jalapeno was banging.
The first round started with the southern style fried pickles and jalapenos. The idea of this dish was to put a twist on the average fried pickle app by contrasting the sweetness of the pickles with the heat from the jalapenos. This dish ended up being an enormous hit at our table. The fried pickles on their own wouldn’t be able to stand up to some of the other heavy hitters in Charlotte (Penguin, Pinkys, etc..) but with the addition of the fried jalapenos.. the whole dish was amplified to a new level.
Next up was a round of P.B.R. Sliders… which we quickly learned didn’t stand for Pabst Blue Ribbon Sliders. Instead its a slider with shaved smoked angus prime rib “P” with local blue cheese “B” and roasted sweet onion “R” topped with a homemade garlic mayo.
The angus prime rib was amazing and despite my immense distaste for blue cheese I really thought these sliders were on point. I would however suggest swapping the slider buns for something with more flavor and swap the crumbles for a blue cheese dressing or spread to round out the flavor and elevate these things to a euphoric level.
After the sliders we tried the smoked pork belly skewers on grilled naan bread. I thought the pork belly and the naan were pretty good and especially loved the light char on the pork. However, it seemed I was the only one that shared this opinion because the rest of our group thought the pork itself needed some work and the dish lacked a crunchy garnish (maybe a slaw?)
The Carolina greens salad came with baby arugola, chopped romaine, artisan greens, candied pecans, dried cranberries, goat cheese, and topped with an herb-shallot vinaigrette. The salad had a lot of flavor and the goat cheese was a nice addition.
Grandmas salad came with artisan greens, smoked gouda, roasted almonds, smoked turkey breast, orchard apple, dried cranberry and topped with a sweet basil jam vinaigrette. This was the favored salad of the night even though it lacked the flavor from the turkey and gouda cheese.
Then we sank our teeth into the fifty-50 retro burger made with a Pat LaFrieda burger blend of boneless short ribs and angus brisket blended with pecan smoked bacon then finished off with romaine lettuce, tomato, pickle, jalapeno smoked bacon and a garlic mayo that’s made in house.
Last week we helped develop Harry’s Grille and Tavern “Top Shelf” burger which was the first burger in Charlotte to feature the coveted Pat LaFrieda burger blend of premium meat. Well… it looks like the exclusive status was short lived because now 10 Park Lanes is featuring its own LaFrieda blend and as to be expected, its pretty freaking amazing :)
The burger itself was super juicy and full of flavor. The addition of the bacon to the ground beef and as a topping for the burger made this a bacon lovers dream.
Next up we had the bbq chicken flatbread pizza with slow roasted chicken, applewood smoked bacon, caramelized onions, fresh mozzarella, smoked gouda and plenty of fresh cilantro. For not being a specialty pizza place, this thing was amazing. The only pizza we have liked more has either come from Mellow Mushroom or been made by us :)
The edges were thin and crispy, the slow roasted chicken was a little scarce but when we found it we liked it, caramelized onions are always a happy addition to any dish for us, the bacon was also scarce but a lot easier to find than the chicken, and the mozzerella / gouda cheese made for the perfect blend.
To finish off the night we had a round of St. Louis cut ribs, smoke shack pulled Boston butt, cream baked cheddar mac & cheese, and Sunday baked beans.
The St. Louis cut ribs left us with mixed emotions. They were perfectly cooked, juicy, and tender. But to be completely honest… they lacked any and all trace of flavor. The ribs were easily the least favorite of the night and from the looks of the other tables around us we weren’t the only ones that thought so. Luckily our critique of the ribs found its way to the guys in charge and they assured us the ribs were still a work in progress.
The smoke shack pulled Boston butt wasn’t much better. Although it was tender.. it was still ridiculously short on flavor and a little dry. Both the Boston butt and the ribs needed some TLC from the various bbq sauces that were on hand.
The macaroni and cheese was better than most of the baked macaroni that we have had so far. It was cheesy and creamy and gooey…what else do you need in macaroni.
The baked beans were delicious. They had just enough sweetness and tang to balance out the rest of the dish.
To finish off the night we were given a dish of home made moonshine pecan pie. We ended up being pretty impressed. The pie had a very distinct moonshine flavor, was perfectly gooey, chocolaty, and nutty. My only complaint was the store bought crust. Home made pie dough is relatively easy to make and would really bring this pie to the next level.
For having its roots in bowling,10 Park Lanes is definitely well on its way to growing itself into a respected restaurant as well. There were some huge hits and some misses.. a couple of things we might suggest they do differently… but for the most part the place rocked and we would easily put our Foodie seal of approval on it.
If you’re looking for a place to go and grab some great food, grab some drinks, and have a great night out with friends or family.. then 10 Park Lanes just became our suggestion on where to go.
If you try 10 Park Lanes and want to tell us about your trip feel free to shoot us an email or leave us a comment below :)