Carmella’s Pizza Grill Busted My Lunch Break
I found myself around Steele Creek near South Tryon while out on my lunch break yesterday. Almost ten years ago I worked in that area while cutting my teeth selling yellow page advertising for BellSouth. There still are few options for food near the strip malls and gas stations along that pocket of Arrowood Road, S. Tryon and 485.
One of the few choices for a quick bite beyond gas station grub or Chick-fil-A is in the Wal-Mart shopping complex. I vaguely recalled eating at a pizza and grinder place called Bellacino’s back in the day.
Well Bellacino’s gave up the ghost somewhere in the last decade and found itself replaced with Carmella’s Pizza Grill. Windows with stock photos of gyros and neon signs boasting titles of “Best” anything should get your guard up. But when I walked in, the place smelled of olive oil and garlic like your Nona’s house and the sandwich board above the register advertised an extensive list of pizza, hero sandwiches, and Italian mainstays. The lunch rush had the place at near capacity with office stiffs like myself, hustling out on the lunch break- their lot in life betrayed by their laminated ID badges. I must say there was an impressive collection of antique beer cans (one was emblazoned with the Stars & Bars) trapped behind a plexi-glass wall near the small L-shaped bar.
The small roast beef and provolone sandwich I ordered turned out to be a biggie filled with a generous portion of deli cuts, cheese, and fries for under $9. But it seemed the cooks dropped their spreaders and dunked the top half of my sandwich, the lettuce, and tomato slices in the mayo bin. I hate wasting food and I was hungry but I just couldn’t stomach it all, so I scrapped off the whitewashed bun with the lettuce and tomato, and ate the meat and cheese on the bread.
Kind of a bust on this at-bat for me.