What a disappointment. I rarely write unflattering reviews, but this place was simply unsatisfying. We walked into Soul Gastrolounge on a weekday. The place was packed. This is usually a good sign, so we went ahead and sat at the bar. We were greeted by a non-caring bartender who simply put the menu in front of us.
The vibe at the restaurant is young. Think Brooklyn hipsters at their worst. We got our wines (think residual sugar) and our menus. I should have known that the food here would be sub par. The diner-like menu boasted a hodge-podge of dishes from eggplant parmesan guacamole stack, babaganoush, bone marrow, fish ceviche…the menu seemed schizophrenic. It violated one of my basic dining rules. If there are too many things on the menu, the restaurant can’t possibly do them all well. The place had great online reviews, so we figured we’d give it a try.
We let our bartender know we were ready to order. He said he would be right with us, and we ended up having to place our order with another bartender…10 minutes later. Our actual server came by 5 minutes after to take our order…you can see things were quickly going downhill.
I ordered the tuna tacos. I saw them sitting at the bar for a while. I guess FOH did not coordinate with the kitchen to make sure that both dishes came out at the same time. By the time our food arrived, my dish was cold. This would be ok,except that the taco shells were fried, and cold fried food is just not appealing. This was a shame, since (on a positive note) the fish inside was quite lovely.
The lemon chicken skewers were fine, but boring. They were nothing special. We could have done so much better at home. We were glad to have ordered only appetizers, headed to the market, and picked up food to make a real dinner. We made oxtail stew and enjoyed the rest of our evening at home.
There were plenty of people at the restaurant and online reviews are great. Perhaps I visited on an off night, perhaps I ordered the wrong items off the menu. It just felt that people were at this restaurant because they wanted to be one of the cool kids. If you want to make believe you’re one of the cool kids, go for it. If you’re into food…I suggest you go elsewhere.
Soul Gastrolounge is located at 1500-B Central Avenue in Charlotte, NC 28205 704-348-1848