Lifestyle

Brand New Mexican Restaurant In Charlotte Finds Home In Old Fire House

Charlotte has quite the buzzing culinary scene with new spots opening constantly. But, this brand new Mexican restaurant in Charlotte is on fire! That's because it literally is housed in the historic Charlotte Fire House #2. History Of The Location For This New Mexican Restaurant In Charlotte The Matador Charlotte is on South Blvd. just blocks away from Uptown. And, the setting is super interesting. So, I had to do some digging to research the history of the structure housing this new Mexican restaurant in Charlotte. And, according to AXIOS Charlotte, the space was built in 1958, opening as an update to the original Fire Station #2. The original is located across the street where you might recognize Re Salon & Med Spa today. The city of Charlotte turned the building into a testing and research facility for the fire department. But, the city sold the building in 2015 to SLT Commercial Properties. And, plans began for a mixed use development. So, fast forward to June 14, 2024. And, we celebrated the grand opening of a brand new Mexican restaurant in Charlotte, The Matador, in the historic space. We decided to check it out recently. The Atmosphere And Decor First of all, the decor and atmosphere is really welcoming. It has a rich dark feel, illuminated with tons of mismatched hanging vintage amber and iron lanterns. And, there are countless white votives throughout the restaurant and huge bar. I like that detail, although I wouldn't want to be the person in charge of lighting and extinguishing every one. It's a bit ironic and maybe a nod to the building history to have so much fire in the space. Tequila The Matador is proud of their tequila offerings. Their website for this new Mexican restaurant in Charlotte boasts of their more than 150 tequilas curated from Mexico. And, they even serve their own Private Reserve Tequila from barrels selected after tastings with tequila makers in Mexico. We tried a couple of specialty margaritas from their cocktail menu. My husband ordered something called The Smokey. It was bright, with a hint of sweetness and smokey flavor from the Mezcal. Mine was also made with Mezcal and a blackberry puree. Honestly, I like my husband's choice more. The Mezcal in mine was a bit strong with the smoke almost giving off a slightly burnt taste. But, that won't stop me from trying more offerings next time! And, the presentation is really nice with our favorite Tajin on the rim. The Food At This New Mexican Restaurant In Charlotte Next, when it came to the food, I had a hard time deciding because everything sounded so great. We started with Queso Con Chorizo. Wow, it was soooo good. The three cheese house blend, topped with pico, habanero sauce and queso fresco was enough for a meal. But, for my entree, I finally chose the Chicken Pepita Tacos. The menu described them on corn tortillas. However, mine were on flour, still delicious. The 'griddled cheese' was interesting. It's almost like the cheese was put on the tortilla and allowed to melt and crisp almost like a quesadilla. Then, the huge tacos...you get 2...were stuffed with shredded chicken, guajillo chile sauce, serrano slaw, cilantro pepita sauce, toasted pepitas and tortilla strips. There were lots of fresh flavors coming through. And, I was full after just one. So, I had to bring the rest home, along with the rice and black beans. The hubby ordered fajitas, which he really enjoyed. We're partial to the fajitas at Superica. But, he declared these a strong contender! And, the service was great, especially for a place in its very early opening stages. So, all in all, a positive experience for this new Mexican restaurant in Charlotte. We'll be back to The Matador!

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