I was just in Charlotte on business and literally stumbled upon the new "Presto Bar and Grill" as I wandered trying to find a non-hotel spot to have breakfast on a Saturday morning. The new restaurant is a continuation of the old (1947) Presto Spagetti restaurant. The massive urban renewal of downtown Charlotte has forc ed the restaurant to open in new digs across the street from its historic location and very close to the NFL stadium. The new building is bright and airy, with two floors including a second floor patio for use in good weather.
I must report that at Presto I had two of the best, southern breakfasts (I went back on Sunday) that I have ever had. First and formost, the Carolina stone-ground grits were worth the visit alone. They were thick and flavorful without the addition of extraneous fat ... best grits I have ever eaten. Breakfast meats included the expected trilogy of country ham, country bacon and southern sausage but also extened to wonderful smoked pork loin chops and "salt and pepper" steak. Livermush was also available. The toast was real bread with real crusts and the potatoes were roasted, not fried. The coffee was better than traditional southern coffee and was fresh every ten minutes.
Presto is a eclectic place. It is not pure "roadfood". The are ****ake mushrooms on the breakfast menu and the lunch and dinner items are a cross between cajun and medeteranian. But the folks inn the kitchen are classic southern cooks and, most certainly for breakfast, they deliver the goods with a very strong eye to their selection of ingredients and their quality of preperation.
I'd appreciate hearing from anyone else who has eaten at Presto in its new incarnation to know if my assessment, especially of breakfast, is correct..