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Editor's Note: This story is unlocked for everyone to read courtesy of the CRVA, our partner in nourishing culinary exploration for residents and visitors of the Queen City.

January 21, 2022

Where Chefs Eat: Ryan Allen of Barrister’s

This executive chef and budding photographer frequents smaller restaurants


Folks in the restaurant industry know good food, so we want to know where they eat when they’re not cooking. In this series, we ask a local chef, bartender, restaurateur, or waiter to share their favorite restaurants in town and what they order there. This week, we interview Ryan Allen, executive chef of Barrister’s at the Esquire Hotel in Gastonia. This James Madison University graduate favors comforting Southern dishes and low-key spots. 

Lupie’s Cafe, East Charlotte
A Charlotte mainstay serving comfort food favorites in a casual environment
Ryan’s order: Meatloaf, served every Monday

Brooks’ Sandwich House, NoDa
A small roadside burger spot specializing known for chili burgers
Ryan’s order: Double bacon cheeseburger

Jimmy Pearls, food truck
A Virginia-inspired food truck by chefs Daryl Cooper and Oscar Johnson
Ryan’s order: Yock (smoked chicken, tomato broth, collard greens, yock noodles, and Furikake) 

Taipei Express, Myers Park
A Chinese restaurant owned by a mother, father, and daughter trio
Ryan’s order: Crispy spicy scallion chicken

H.A Pigsmith’s Southern Science, pop-ups
A southern takeout service specializing in barbecue, chili, and plantains
Ryan’s order: Green chili and barbecue
Pro tip: Follow @so_science (owner of H.A Pigsmith) on Instagram for his weekly menu drops.

More from this series:

Duke Bread’s Adam Duke
Counter-‘s Sam Hart
Community Matters Cafe’s Ashley Anna Tuttle

Your Farms, Your Table’s Sam Diminich
Para’s Alex Verica

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