Leroy Fox likely isn’t going to be the first choice of restaurant for most vegans and vegetarians. Leroy’s is, after all, known for fried chicken, fresh seafood, and Angus beef hamburgers. However, we can’t always pick the restaurants we go to. And if you have trendy friends, or if you live or work near the Cotswold area, at some point you’re going to wind up at Leroy Fox.
And as always, the question for Charlotte vegetarians and vegans is, “Do they have anything I can eat?”
Leroy Fox is located in the space where Hotel Charlotte Restaurant operated for 31 years. Hotel Charlotte, in turn, was built and decorated using items scavenged from the original Hotel Charlotte (which really was a hotel, built in 1924 and imploded in 1988). Leroy Fox has made some significant changes to the structure. It’s lighter and brighter, with multiple TVs and enclosed patio. Leroy’s retained certain elements of Hotel Charlotte, including the original hotel doors and bar. The result is a very warm, friendly vibe. Walking in, you get the impression the restaurant has been around forever – a sharp contrast to Charlotte’s many brand-new, cookie-cutter chain restaurants.
Service has also been outstanding the two times I’ve been. Leroy’s calls its servers “vixens” and “Leroy’s Foxes” but these women were not dumb. Both waitresses were very knowledgeable about the food. They were able to answer my questions about dairy and eggs and recommend a vegan salad dressing. My friend has diverticulitis, and cannot eat food with seeds – tomatoes, pickles, sesame seed buns, etc. The waitress was able to answer her questions as well.
Now, back to the question, “Is there anything we can eat?”
Vegetarians do have a few options.
There’s the requisite Black Bean Burger ($11). Seriously, is there some Charlotte restaurant ordinance that mandates every restaurant have a black bean burger as its token vegetarian offering? This version has black beans, quinoa, and walnuts and comes with sliced jalapenos, pico de gallo, and a cilantro creme fraiche. It sounds yummy and a vegetarian friend really liked it. Unfortunately, even if you leave off the creme fraiche, it’s not vegan.
You could also order a Sideways Plate of three side items ($9). Side items include green bean casserole, macaroni and cheese, cheesy grits, mashed potatoes, seasonal veggies, and side salad.
Fryers are used interchangeably for fried items like Cajun Shoestring Fries, fried chicken, and fried fish.
There’s also several vegetarian appetizers – Hot Pretzels ($8), Pimento Cheese ($7) and Seaside Heights Nachos minus the steak ($13). You’ll probably want to avoid the fried appetizers, such as the Zucchini Fries and Fannie Flagg (fried green tomatoes).
And for vegans?
Not as much.
The black bean burger is not vegan, even without the cilantro creme fraiche.
Most of the side items contain dairy. Your best choices for side items are the side salad and seasonal veggies, which currently include asparagus, zucchini and onions, and cucumber and tomato salad.
Which leaves … salad.
Fortunately, the South Western Chopped Salad ($9) really is a hearty meal salad, loaded with toppings. Green leaf lettuce, tomatoes, plenty of black beans, corn, tortilla strips, red onion, and red peppers. You’ll need to swap out Leroy’s House Dressing (which contains dairy) for one of the vinaigrettes. You many also want to add avocado to make it more satisfying ($3).
Obviously, Leroy Fox isn’t going to be the first choice for vegetarians and vegans – but we don’t always get to pick. If someone else picks Leroy’s, at least you know your options.