Brooks’ Sandwich House just might serve the best quick cheeseburger and fries in all of Charlotte. Without question, the Brooks burgers are fresh and filling, the fries are salty and wedge-like, and the soda selection is distinctly North Carolina-centric.
We visit so many restaurants, both old and new, that it took us a long time to try out this one, which has been open since 1973. It’s almost a certainty it won’t take us nearly as long to return here.
Our cheeseburger was composed of clearly hand-pattied beef and melty cheese, with a taste that left no doubt it had just come off a hot grill. We opted for the chili, mustard and onions toppings, which Brooks’ considers “all the way,” and they were a perfect complement. We ordered a single patty, but the restaurant offers doubles as well as toppings of bacon for the most ravenous carnivores.
The fries were wonderfully salty, a feature my wife Molly especially enjoyed. They were also hot, and they were more like potato wedges than regular-cut French fries. We loved the crunchy outside and potato-y inside they offered.
My wife ate a bologna sandwich for her main course, which is often one of her favorites at mom-and-pop restaurants across our region of western North Carolina. The bologna was grilled perfectly, not dry but also not too greasy, full of flavor and just thick enough. Molly said it couldn’t have been much better.
In addition to burgers, the menu offers many other traditional grill-shop favorites such as hot dogs, chicken filets, fish sandwiches and even the regional delicacy livermush. As for drinks, you’ll likely find sodas that are among favorites in the region, including Cheerwine and Sundrop. It’s a fairly simple menu, but that’s what’s often delightfully characteristic of small old-time shops like Brooks’.
It’s important to note that Brooks Sandwich House only accepts cash payments and that it’s a walk-up restaurant that offers free parking (very helpful in the city, where it’s often helpful to ride the public light-rail service) and a few picnic tables (when COVID restrictions don’t apply) for customers.
Even though there’s no dining room, we still expect you’ll at least briefly speak with a few very-friendly folks while you’re ordering or eating. We ate in our car with the window down, and on the way out of the parking lot we started a conversation with another diner, a man from Raleigh who told us he’s considering moving to Charlotte because he considers it a more happening city than the state capital. He indicated that places like Brooks’ represent the best of the food scene that Charlotte has to offer.
We couldn’t agree more. We’ve eaten at joints young and old all over the Queen City, and we haven’t set our tastebuds on a burger and fries any more delicious than what we ate at Brooks’ Sandwich House. It’s a great place to eat and an iconic foodie spot that shouldn’t be missed!
NOTE: We would be remiss to neglect to mention that the Brooks’ Sandwich House family has continued its service with heavy hearts since its namesake owner Scott was shot and killed outside his restaurant in December 2019. It has long been a truly local restaurant and staple of the community, and Brooks’ continues to carry on Scott’s spirit of good food and caring service.