Why You Should Shop at Compare Foods

As someone who spent his college career allowing the variety of VIC specials to dictate his meals for the week, I (along with a million middle-class dads throughout North Carolina) am a Harris Teeter fanatic. With that said, there’s no denying that the Plaza-Midwood location is, um, less than ideal. Yelp users routinely trash the store with a vitriol once reserved for Republican presidential hopefuls (the average rating is 2.5/5 stars) and the 10pm closing time has jammed up the entire neighborhood at one time or another.

So with that in mind, Teeter announced plans to raze the Central location this summer and emerge with a 48,400 square foot, two-story “eco-friendly” monstrosity in 2013. This will no doubt give huge boners to the hearts of the newly minted stay-at-home moms of the neighborhood, but I expect there will be more than a few curmudgeons who start grumbling on social media once the trip to Common Market turns into all the traffic-snarled, frenzied-family “fun” of a Sunday trip to Southpark.

 Yuppieville 1, Historic Neighborhood 0: Teeter gets its Kenny Powers on for any naysayer who whined about the store being “cramped”

But this article isn’t about neighborhood dynamics. It’s an exploration of where the hell one is supposed to shop when the only grocery store in walking distance is out of commission. There’s Trader Joe’s, of course, as long as being within a 100-yard radius of the Met parking deck doesn’t immediately induce hypertension; there’s also the Hood Lion further down The Plaza as well as the Bi-Lo on The Plaza & Eastway (for those who REALLY aren’t trying to run into anyone they know while shopping). I feel my suggestion is superior to all the stores named above and also solves the immediate problem of where to get the best produce NOW since farmers’ markets aren’t exactly in full swing: Compare Foods.

I’ve been a fan ever since I landed here. The first thing that drew me in was their insane 10 for $1.00 price on limes — consuming enough G&Ts before those babies go bad has always been a challenge. And it got better from there. Compare has a vast selection of South & Central American staples (plantains!) that rarely appear in other stores, and since Compare operates under the Galaxy Foods banner, they are able to negotiate better prices for traditional produce items that Harris Teeter et al. consistently jack up the price on.

To give you an example, I stopped in recently at their flagship N. Sharon Amity location (the Independence store, which incidentally used to be a Harris Teeter, has closed). I was able to obtain all the items I needed to make for guacamole hummus/black beans & rice/random shit for under $20:

A week later, I decided to…contrast the prices with the Cotswold Harris Teeter (hey, there’s not a whole lot open when I get off work at 4am). The total for the same items without tax was over $29!

So my advice to you is take a ride, try something new, save some goddamn money, and enjoy this “winter” we’re having!

Brian Harkins is here!

Look at this guy! This is Brian Harkins, ALT CLT’s newest contributor. Yay Brian! He doesn’t know I’m doing this, but here is a picture of him so that you guys can freak him out by recognizing him in the street. I like this photo because it looks like Brian is the absolute last person to leave the wedding.

Brian is a Raleigh transplant who formerly ran Raleigh Gawker. You can find him shilling coffee and pastries to insomniacs at 4am. He’s in a very good position to speak on all things ALT CLT. Jambo, Brian!

Posted in OMG

Don’t cry. We’re right here.

Whoa, ALTCLT readers, easy does it. We apologize for this break in our awesome content, but ALTCLT is still at work. In the upcoming weeks, we’ve got brand new videos coming your way like a dang freight train!:


You’ve driven past it a thousand times. You may have even wondered, “Is that a gentleman’s club, or a bookie joint?” You are wrong on both accounts (we think). Lila, CJ, and a brave team of partying spelunkers explore this dark (and weirdly fitting, blue) Vietnamese pool hall where anything goes.


Charlotte suddenly has more breweries than you can shake a stick at. (Okay, like, four. But still.) NoDa Brewery opened over three months ago and already has a reputation for some of the best brews in town. So what’s up with you, NoDa Brewery?


Remember that time you were leaving Concord Mall and you hallucinated and saw that weird graveyard behind the food court? Turns out you weren’t tripping on anything, dude, so it looks like you got ripped off. Located conveniently next to a dumpster, this mall’s memento mori is a chilling reminder that the food you ate at Mega Wok might actually kill you. Fortunately, there is a Hot Topic right there, so you can probably pick up some angsty  teenager clothes to help show your feelings about it.

Stay with us! And in the mean time, if you have story ideas, interesting photos, or love notes, tip your editors.

Posted in OMG

Local Blogging Guru Proposes via Social Media

Local CLT-blogger and PPL-founder Justin Ruckman may be a familiar name to people in the media and tech industries in Charlotte, but this weekend, he’s getting attention for another reason: just being plain ol’ adorable by proposing to his girlfriend through social media. Cue the collective “Awwwzzzzzz!”

On Friday night, Justin posted this photo on Facebook via the social media app Path, along with the description “Stephanie, will you marry me?”. He tagged his girlfriend in the post, which alerted her to the update while they were at dinner IRL.

Stephanie accepted, and the two plan to wed in late 2012. Checking your phone at dinner: sometimes it’s a good thing!

O Rly?

ALT CLT has no comment on this image; we just wanted to let you know that it exists.








Things You Should Be Doing Instead of Watching Netflix in Bed: Punk Rock Wednesday

Are you sitting in bed right now? Are you chain-watching Arrested Development seasons back-to-back again? Your face is starting to look a little sunken, no?

Punk Rock Wednesday is tonight. You should definitely be there. It starts at 9. You have thirty minutes. No, you don’t have to look all fancy, and let’s be honest, your New Year’s getup is destroyed right now, isn’t it? Luke Stemmerman will rock you into near-oblivion with his awesome punk record collection. Word on the street is that he’s just gotten back from a trip to Kansas, where he buys his records for some reason? Anyway, it’s always a good time.

And when you get there, you should maybe kinda sorta be drinking a Thirsty Beaver Mimosa (“Beavosa”), but only because it’s a dollar. A dollar. Do you know what’s in a Beavosa? Orange juice and Miller High Life, that’s what. That’s like a prison drink and a high schooler’s illegal drink of choice combined into one.*

But if the Bluth family has sunken their money-grubbing claws into you too deep, you’re in luck. PRW happens the first Wednesday of every month! Totally ALT-approved for all you weirdos out there!

*ALT CLT does not condone underage drinking. We’re uh, between lawyers right now, but I’m sure they’d want us to include that. Thirsty Beaver is 21 and up, also.


ALT CLT Meets Occupy Charlotte

Last fall, ALT CLT spent a couple of days with Occupy Charlotte exploring the site on Trade Street, sitting in on meetings, and chatting with Occupiers about their hopes for the movement, community involvement, and politics at local and national levels. This video, featuring commentary from Kelly Williams, James Lee Walker II, and other Occupy residents presents an overview of Occupy Charlotte and its advocates.

One of the ongoing issues in reporting on and negotiating with the Occupy movement is that standard rules of play don’t apply. By definition, there is no governing body, no leader (beyond rotating facilitators), and no official charter. In a climate that runs on outrage and black-and-white politics, the anti-structure and grayscale that define Occupy Wall Street – and Occupy Charlotte – seem to be difficult for much of the 99% to understand.

The nebulous nature of the movement may be its biggest strength, however: it’s much more difficult to defeat an idea than a group of individuals. But it also complicates the group’s ability to denounce the actions of rogue members who do something like, say, burning an American flag (as occurred at the Occupy Charlotte site last week). Today, the Occupy movement is beginning to see a small rift: nine former Occupy Charlotte members are splintering to found a new movement, People’s Coalition of the Carolinas.

The People’s Coalition and Occupy Charlotte could prove to be a complementary pair – People’s Coalition will take a web-only approach, while Occupy Charlotte will continue to inhabit their Trade Street site.

For more information on Occupy Charlotte, check out Rhiannon Fionn’s excellent coverage of the movement at the CLog.

To Help You Get All Weepy Over Your Last Bowl of 2011 Cheerios

Aw, we love this. And we also kind of hate that we love it. Is this video of Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt not the cutest thing you’ve ever laid your eyes on?

And is it not also super weird and awesome that Joseph Gordon Levitt’s apartment looks like, um, my apartment? And probably yours? I’m assuming that it’s not Zooey’s house. There is not nearly enough ironic crochet or birds-on-things for it to be hers.

Happy New Year’s!

Americans, Hide Your Fidge-fridgey-fridgeyators!

Have you heard about the butter crisis in Norway? Dude, they are all out. And of course, American comedians are just laughing about it, like it’s no big deal!  Tommy, a famerse bloggers and celebrities from Norway, is here to teach us a lesson or two in sensitivity.

Tommy, on behalf of the United States of America, I want to apologize for our callousness toward the Norwegian butterpocalypse. What will the little Norway children do without pussycats this Christmas? Normally in situations like this, I pour a 40 on the ground for my homies. But today, to honor all those Norwegians who are going without this holiday season, I propose that we enjoy a state fair staple: fried butter balls. And I also propose that we rename them in honor of the man who taught us a thing or two about laughing at butter. “Tommybøls” has a great ring to it.

Panthers Steal Awesome Play from “Little Giants”

At their game against the Texans this Sunday, the Carolina Panthers pulled an Annexation of Puerto Rico — excuse us, fumblerooski – that resulted in a touchdown by fullback Richie Brockel. Basically, one player is all, I’VE GOT THE BALL!, but the ball is actually just laying there, and the person everyone thinks has the ball is like, SIKE! and then someone scores. See, ESPN? This is why you guys need to pay me the big bucks.


 Here’s the clip from Little Giants (jump to 6:24 for the play).