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Unpretentious Palate


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September 4, 2018

Who we are, and why we’re here

Meet your new restaurant resource, complete with reviews, industry updates, and everything you want to know about the Charlotte food scene

Unpretentious Palate’s founder, Kristen Wile. Alyssa Ruane/Unpretentious Palate

Welcome to Unpretentious Palate, a digital food and drink publication based in Charlotte, North Carolina. We’re so thankful you’re reading this, because that means like us, you’ve been seeking consistent food and drink coverage you can trust. Sure, there are options out there. But good food coverage takes experience, and is expensive. Some publications can’t afford it; others let paychecks or page views determine what places get good coverage. Neither benefits the reader—so we’re doing things differently.

We’re trying something new. We believe that restaurant reviews should be written after multiple anonymous restaurant reviews, not a free meal. We believe that Charlotte needs more food criticism as the restaurant scene becomes overcrowded. We believe that those who work in our restaurants should have a resource to follow their industry. We believe that our readers should spend their hard-earned money at places that deserve it.

Who, exactly, is we? Well, it’s mostly Kristen Wile, former food editor and editor of Charlotte magazine. Her tenure there turned the magazine into one of the most respected food voices in town. It’s also her husband, Jon, who you’ll see helping out outside of his day job. It’s our developer Ken Smith, a former Washington Post colleague of Jon and Kristen’s. As a fellow journalist, he’s made sure that in building the site, the reader always comes first. Alyssa Ruane helps us out on social, and Laurie Lawrence has done our logo and branding for us.

We’re going to do things the old-school way on a new platform, with no advertising. You’ll get the latest news on food, wine, and cocktails in town, either on our site or in a weekly newsletter. You can also rely on us as a resource to help you plan your nights out, whether you’re at home on your computer or on your phone while you’re out and about.

Our events calendar will be full with wine dinners, food festivals, and charity dinners. Use our restaurant finder when you can’t decide what you’re in the mood for, or can’t think of a good spot for an occasion—special or not. And if you’re still stuck, our weekly Concierge post will answer questions you’ve emailed us throughout the week.

We’re also going to throw member-exclusive events, including restaurant previews, cocktail events, and themed dinners. Our first event is in the works, and you won’t want to miss it.

We believe that what we’re offering is so valuable, it shouldn’t be given away for free, so we’re asking for $8.99 a month. You’ll get two months free if you purchase a one-year subscription. (See all of our subscription plans here.) We know your palate with thank you. We’ll cut through the buzz to give you the honest truth. We know our bad reviews could mean a restaurant’s failure, and that’s a big responsibility. We don’t take that responsibility lightly, which is why we do our research. Read more about how we review restaurants here.

We’re your best foodie friend, one you can trust to recommend what’s good and steer you away from what’s not. We’ll celebrate the good, and be honest about everything else.

We hope you’ll join us! Subscribe today.

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