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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.

February 9, 2023

Where Chefs Eat: The Goodyear House’s Becca Rankin

The dessert artist takes a more laid back approach when dining out

By TM Petaccia

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 food artisan to share their favorite restaurants in town and what they order there.

This week, we interviewed Becca Rankin, pastry chef at NoDa’s The Goodyear House. If you follow either her or Goodyear’s Instagram accounts, you’ll see this rising pastry star’s approach to creating twists on Southern favorites as well as her own innovations – ranging from downhome to whimsical to works of art. When she’s not on the clock, she likes to keep it casual, listing these six go-to spots:

Raj’s Kitchen, University
Indian restaurant focusing street food from all over India
Rankin’s order: Baingan bharta, palak paneer, samosas
“Honestly, bury me at Raj’s. The flavors are insanely bold but so well balanced I could cry,”  Rankin says. “It is pure comfort food to me. You can’t go wrong with any of the gravies or the appetizers. They recently converted to a fully vegetarian menu and I promise you’d never miss the meat.”

The Culture Shop, Belmont-Plaza Midwood

The Culture Shop’s Capo sandwich. TM Petaccia/UP

Wine and cheese shop with a retail selection of local goods
Rankin’s Order: “The Capo” sandwich and any cheeses their staff recommends
“I’m a total sucker for a banana pepper on a deli sandwich and this place does it best. It tastes like summertime and helps me get through the gray winter days when my mental health has taken a nosedive,” Rankin says. “Also, bypass Whole Foods, because this is the perfect place to get cheese and accouterments for your charcuterie boards.”

Wheelz Pizza, Cherry-Midtown
Pizza shop specializing in sourdough crust pizzas

Rankin’s Order: Buffalo chicken pizza, chocolate chip cookie
“I’m on a never-ending quest to find my favorite pizza in Charlotte. I came across Wheelz Pizza several months ago and have become obsessed with their sourdough crust,” Rankin says. “The sleeper hit is their chocolate chip cookies which I go absolutely feral for. They come freshly baked, warm, slightly crunchy outside, chewy gooey inside, and the perfect amount of salt and good quality chocolate. I would do unspeakable things for that recipe.”

Sun’s Kitchen, Wesley Heights
Sichuan-spiced Beijing street foods out of a ghost kitchen
Rankin’s Order: Dan Dan Noodles and Ma-La Wontons
“Most people love Sun’s for their dumplings (which are absolutely delicious), but if you haven’t tried the wontons, you are missing out,” Rankin says. “I pre-game with those and then follow up with the Dan Dan noodles made “numbing and spicy” because, respectfully, there is no other way to live life. ”

The Hobbyist, NoDa
Coffee and bottle shop with pastries plus other grab-and-go items
Rankin’s Order: Cappuccino and various pastries
“I love coffee but for whatever reason, when I turned 30, my body was like, ‘Um, no, queen, didn’t you get the memo? We don’t do caffeine anymore.’ But more often than not, I ignore that hateful messaging and go get a cappuccino,” Rankin says. “It has very cozy vibes in there as well as some of the best pastries I’ve found in a coffee shop.”

Jimmy Pearls, Uptown

Uncle Gene’s Fish Sandwich from Jimmy Pearls. Photo by Kristen Wile/UP

Seafood-forward spot influenced the by its chef/owners’ Tidewater, Virginia roots
Rankin’s Order: Uncle Gene’s Fish Sandwich, collards
“As a born and raised Southerner, I basically have potlikker flowing through my veins and I can only hope it tastes half as delicious as the potlikker from their collards,” Rankin says. “Their fried fish is my love language and you won’t find a better version in the city.”

More from this series:

RedSalt’s Stephen Johnson
The Crunkleton’s Richelle Espinosa-Brewer
Supperland’s Chris Rogienski
Hot Box’s Michael Bowling
Baku and Yama’s Birdie Yang

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