Last fall, Sweet Lew’s BBQ co-owner Lewis Donald bought Dish, an 18-year-old diner in Plaza Midwood that specializes in Southern comfort food. Since then, he’s tweaked the menu and spruced up the space, but also kept a lot the same.
“I don’t want to change the history of Dish, I want to honor it, I also want to put forward a new culture at Dish,” says Donald. “We are going to continue to embrace everyone, especially families in the downstairs dining room while making improvements to the bar and patio to support the nightlife crowd in Plaza Midwood.”
This week, the diner reopened after a week of renovations, which included a fresh coat of paint and the installation of a massive mural in the back patio by SHE Originals, an artist based in Germany who grew up in Plaza Midwood.
“Everyone asks ‘Why Dish?’ and I’m an old-school guy,” Donald told the Agenda after purchasing the space last September. “I didn’t want to see it go away or swallowed up by developers or be changed into a God-forbid chain. … They’ve been around 18 years, and I can’t wait to say we’ve been around 50 years — we don’t have enough of those in Charlotte.”
The menu: With the addition of brunch, Donald has kept the menu largely the same. He has all of the recipes that have come out of the Dish kitchen over the last 18 years, and he says they plan to “keep dishin'” the dishes customers are used to. Recently, head chef Vance Houser has added a few new dishes, including:
- Pickle plate ($8.75) — seasonal vegetable selection pickled in-house, the salad of the day, a biscuit, and a deviled egg.
- Spicy fried chicken salad ($11.99) — chicken breast on top of mixed greens with tomato, red onion, and shredded cheese.
- Smoked turkey club ($9.39) — avocado, lettuce, tomato, bacon and onion jam, and dijon aioli.
- Pork flat iron ($13.99) — served with bacon-caramelized onion, Cheerwine jam, mashed potatoes, and your choice of a side.
Brunch: The biggest change has been the addition of weekend brunch, which is served from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. The menu includes brunch favorites like biscuits and gravy, vegan and gluten-free pancakes, French toast, and a tomato biscuit casserole.
Bar: The back bar area got an update and a few new cocktail menu items. Dish is also expanding its late-night offerings to include live music and more.
Patio: The biggest addition to the patio is a multi-wall mural by SHE Originals. A shorter fence was also installed to make the patio feel more open, plus Donald added outdoor heaters.
“Dish is more than just a diner, it’s a gathering place for any time of day whether that be brunch, lunch, dinner or late-night for a beer,” says Donald. “We want everyone to feel welcome at Dish, that’s one thing that will never change.”
Location/hours: The exact address is 1220 Thomas Avenue. Hours are 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday-Friday; 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday; and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday. Brunch is 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.