I haven’t seen much of my law school friends since moving to Charlotte (aside from A’s fabulous wedding in Milwaukee), because we all kind of “seized the day” post graduation and are spread out across the country. So I was thrilled when my friend Erik texted me in mid-July saying he wanted to come visit Charlotte and hang out. I met Erik in law school (the summer after 1L year to be exact) and we became fast friends (he’s one of my good friends, aside from the fact that he is a Minnesota Gophers fan, which I try not to hold against him).
So Erik came down south for a Labor Day weekend visit, and boy did we do some eating (and drinking, and other activities). After a weekend chock full of drinks at the Thirsty Beaver and Whiskey Warehouse, late night waffles at The Diamond, a visit to the opening celebration of Romare Bearden Park, karaoke at Jeff’s Bucket Shop, brunch at Heist Brewery, kayaking, beer drinking and tunes listening at the Whitewater Center’s Labor Day party, creme brulee and salted caramel brownies from Amelie’s, and a brief marathon of The OC, we wrapped up Erik’s weekend in Charlotte with a Labor Day lunch at Harvest Moon Grille in Uptown.
We were lucky enough to catch the end of the Labor Day parade marching down Tryon Street and get a table street side under the leafy, green trees (fun fact–Charlotte is one of many cities known as the “City of Trees.” There are such interesting things you can learn about where you live when your friends do Internet research). The set up of Harvest Moon Grille is quaint and relaxing; basically the perfect spot to wind down after a long weekend and have a nice meal before heading to the airport.
Unfortunately, while I really enjoyed the set up, our prime table location, our ability to still order breakfast (I love Federal holidays) and the beautiful weather, the service at Harvest Moon Grille was super slow and underwhelming. While I completely understand holidays can be understaffed, I think we only saw our waitress twice, once to place our order after about a 25 minute wait, and once for our check. The manager on duty, Danielle, was attentive and friendly when she made it to our table, which was more times than our waitress did, but she also seemed preoccupied and spread thin. While the service was slow (and we were lucky we weren’t in a hurry at all), everyone was friendly and it didn’t distract us from the food, which is really what a restaurant should be about.
Since it was a lazy Labor Day, we had our choice of breakfast or lunch (brunch on a Monday is the absolute best thing ever). We decided to stick with breakfast because 11:30am was still on the early side for us (11:30 is early when you have the day off). After perusing the menu for a bit, we couldn’t pick what we wanted, so I let Erik choose two things for us to share: the Grateful Growers Breakfast Wrap and the French toast.
Harvest Moon is an authentic farm to table restaurant–their menu changes seasonally based on available ingredients. They support local farmers and sustainability, freshness and quality drive their menu. Harvest Moon’s farm to table concept was really reflected in the food: it was extremely fresh and tasty. The wrap had a healthy balance of summer veggies, sausage, eggs and cheese and was so incredibly flavorful, I couldn’t put it down. Not one ingredient overpowered the rest; it seems to be the perfect ratio (and I am going to have to get me some Grateful Growers breakfast sausage to make at home, it was so good!).
Our meal was balanced with the sweet, cinnamon French toast; the bread was thick and soaked up enough all the sticky syrup we drizzled over it (the French toast was not the best I’ve ever had, but I did love the fact that Harvest Moon used brioche, because nobody can stand soggy French toast).
We scarfed down our food, switching plates periodically until everything disappeared; and then we bantered back and forth until the check finally came.
I’ve heard a lot of good things about Harvest Moon, so would like to go back to try some of their lunch and dinner choices. While service was a bit subpar, it didn’t ruin my experience, and the food did really overcome any hiccups that the service faced. As an avid supporter of local, seasonal restaurants, I can’t wait to see what Harvest Moon cooks up for fall and winter, and will be back to check it out!
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