Soul Gastrolounge

Allow me to reintroduce myself…

What’s up Findabite fam! My name Is Laurene AKA @WHATSINIT_CLT, and I am jazzed af to be welcomed on here. Never in a million years would I ever think I could spread the love of food through social media, let alone be apart of a dope-a$$, modern age app allowing foodies to fly free. In all the mess of 2020, this right here is a blessing.

Growing up an Italian chick from NY created a pretty heavy passion for the coolest, most fun activity I’ve found thus far at 26 trips FLYING around the sun: eating. Food is love. Food is light. Food is everything. Coming to the QC 3 years ago, though from little ol’ (yet magical, up-and-coming, my heart) Saratoga, my eyes were widened. Gastropubs, tapas-onlys, fusions, fire spot here, FIRE SPOT THERE. The eats are endless here, and I am going to (through my homies of FAB) preach all there is to know about what experience, what vibe, what feeling you need to have when dining out in Charlotte.

When thinking of where to begin my journey, one thing came to mind: OGS. Let’s start talking about the few spots I was blown away by when I first arrived. Names that have been around for a minute now, and yet throughout all the new hype of the new spots, have stayed relevant to the death. This first stop is one that’s special, the first time I was there, *What’s In It* became born. Stand up, and jump around. Let's welcome SOUL GASTROLOUNGE to the party. King of the mf castle! SG was legit a legend being whispered throughout the city I can remember, like a secret food utopia you had to go and try. My panties are still in a bunch to this day which I think is pretty friggin special. Let’s talk vibes shall we!

Stroll over to the hipster Plaza Midwood and walk up those notorious iron stairs into the coolest dim lit tapas lounge. Exposed brick walls. Intimate, rich
mahogany looking bar where you can watch some of the magic happen. Craft cocktails that show they know what they are doing. No couch, chair, or table matches- picture a dope mish-mosh of your grandparents dope pieces of furniture…smooshed together differently yet same, vibing. Candle lit light feels only, nothing bright, everything mysterious. The date spot of all date spots. 50 shades of yes. A favorite touch of mine always is when you can feel the servers digging their own restaurant. “What do you recommend” getting them all hyped up to share their favorite items. IYKYK.

#Whatsinit you ask?

Let’s talk tapas. Tapas from around the GD world, dressed in delicious culture galore. Their menu is carefully crafted yet diverse yet fire. Here’s what to order:


A QC staple! What looks like a small, award winning art structure is actually one of the greatest things I’ve ever tasted. Gorgeous warm petite tortillas, with chunky, glazy, meaty hunks of pork belly, watermelon ice cube topping. *Craft the bite* all 3 of these ingredients just W E R K. A fruity Korean BBQ snack twist.

Asian Pork Belly Tacos


*Best Ramen I eva had*. HERE. This bowl stays in my dreams you guys. Just get it don’t ask questions. Noodles swimming in a garlic cream. BRAISED VEEL CHECK. Tender, fall apart, unreal. Goat cheese fried mushrooms- these things float in the bowl, absorb the juice, and then cheesily all fall into the mix. Brilliant. Veal glace and caramelized onion powder to finish off.


The Spanish snack we needed and deserve! This presentation is everything. A literal pyramid stack of rustic Spanish bread cubes on one side topped with a rioja reduction. Whipped manchego dollops on the other, with thick slices of pepperoni slivered on each dollop. *Craft the bite*.. bread, schmeared manchego, meat topping. Boom.


An American twist on a Greek staple. Basically, creamed feta cheese infused with spices that you essentially want to pour on top of your head and leave there. Served with warm pita, life changing.


OH! Did I forget to mention these guys THROW T F DOWN at the sushi bar? So, we have tapas from around the world, AND A SUSHI CHEF? Lightheaded! Why is the OG THE OG? Because they do it all. I am going to say.. fish quality, presentation, freshness, taste, wow-factor, is here.. with every single piece of sushi they put out. In turn, you can’t really go wrong with any roll. My favorite if you were wondering though, the Godzilla Thrilla. Salmon, cream cheesey cheese, kani stick, jalapeno. Coated with spicy fish mix, then FLASH fried. Sweet and sour sauce, wasabi m a y o and a sweet sushi sauce complete us. Wow.

Soul Gastrolounge, thank you for being the staple that you are. The Queen City loves and will continue to love you until the end of time. Open at 5pm
peeps, daily, highly suggest making a res cause this ish is bomb and everyone knows it. #Rundontwalk

Laurene Burton

Laurene is a vibrant, *nacho* average talking, taste and experience obsessed, Italian foodie from upstate NY, who specializes in bringing light through words when it comes to her food. Her late “king”, her Poppie, was the biggest influence growing up when it comes to her love of eating. Favorite food? Spaghet! (Pasta).