CIAA Weekend [Charlotte]

Downtown Charlotte, North Carolina

 Last weekend I traveled to Charlotte, NC to help celebrate Desmond’s, my frat brother, 25th birthday. Coincidentally this weekend also happened to be one of the most anticipated events on the east coast, the 2015 CIAA Basketball Tournament. The Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association is an NCAA Division II conference historically known for HBCU’s. Likewise, CIAA Basketball Tournament is celebrated not just for the love of sports, however, it is also celebrated for the spirit evoked through a series of concerts, day parties, and night life events.

Downtown Charlotte

EpiCentre (Downtown Charlotte)

As the weekend approached my friends and I visited the EpiCentre to go to the Coors Light day party hosted by Young Jeezy.

Coors Light Day Party
Coors Light Day Party

Just as expected, the event was a great turnout and nice event to meet and greet other visitors partaking in the CIAA festivities.

My frat brothers and me

Later that night we went to a “dress to impress” event located at the Charlotte Marriott City Center

6 hours prior to event (Charlotte Marriott Center)
30 minutes after the event (Charlotte Marriott Center)

Overall the food eaten in Charlotte was pretty good! Having lived on the east coast before, I was pretty familiar with the local fast-food favorite Cook-Out. Likewise, when I reached Charlotte I wanted to dine in at a local “mom & pop” type restaurants for a more genuine approach of travel and well….just all around good food!


Wayyy better than IHOP!
French Toast


The Original Pancake House was an authentic breakfast diner that was excellent for people who needed to rejuvenate after a long night of partying, hence the various cups of water!


Yes the name surprised me too…

For lunch I visited an interesting spot called “Bang Bang Burger” per request of Mike (frat brother/ resident of Charlotte). The vibe inside was pretty cool due to the low dimmed lights and tranquil mood.

But that’s not what mattered most!

Classic “Bang Bang Burger” w/ fries

What mattered most was that this place had one of the best burgers I have ever had (which says a lot about someone who’s from a major city like Houston). The homemade bun and “well done” cheese burger couldn’t have been anymore authentic in terms of it’s preparation and taste. The fries were excellent as well, not too sweet and not too salty; just right.


Mert’s Heart & Soul

Mert’s was a nice restaurant located about a block away from the aforementioned EpiCentre. This historical restaurant known for their Soul Food had a vast array of choices to choose from off of their menu.

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Beef Ribs, Mac & Cheese, & a side of Collard Greens with diced tomatoes and onions (sorry i forgot the cornbread!)

Mert’s definitely lived up to the hype. Prior to finishing this food I had to consciously think about how long I would be in a food coma upon arriving back to my place of sleep.

Downtown Charlotte

Overall the weather and travel accessibility of this city was great. Restaurants and events weren’t so wide spread and the local businesses were happy to serve to out-of-town visitors such as ourselves. I would definitely recommend this city to anyone looking to make a quick get weekend get away.

Charlotte…you will be missed…

Time Warner Cable Arena

– RW

* All photos were taken by members of Product of Society LLC*