Smelly Cat

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I took Mom on a mini tour of Uptown (really downtown) Charlotte and a little hippie neighborhood called NODA.  The neighborhood is “transitioning” as more young people move in and restore the homes.  NODA was formerly a mill and textile manufacturing worker neighborhood, but now it’s art haven.


We went to the Smelly Cat Coffeehouse to grab a cup of tea.  I had Earl Grey with half & half and sugar.




Afterwards, we went to a few boutiques, an art studio, Great Harvest (at which I ate a few bread and cookie samples!), and Trader Joe’s.  I’m trying to convince Mom to live here.  I think she’d really like it (she’s a hippie like me).


I was lazy about dinner.  Not going to lie.  🙂


Hummus and whole wheat sourdough:


Leftover salad:


Greek yog for protein!  I think TJ’s has the best Greek yogurt I’ve ever tried!


And now…


We’re on the porch watching lightening!  A storm is brewing!  Calls for wine. Obviously.


If you owned your own local coffeehouse, what would you name it?  I would name mine… Manifest Destiny.  :)  A weird historical concept, but I’ve always wanted to name a band or something Manifest Destiny.



  • Errign July 9, 2010, 9:58 pm

    Have you ever heard the Guster song Manifest Destiny?

    I LOVE earl grey- I’ve been having it iced with a splash of milk & honey so often in the last couple weeks!

  • Marie July 9, 2010, 10:01 pm

    Haha, I would never call you a hippie! Too cute.

    My circle is big hippies…patchouli, dreads and everyone makes their own clothes lol. And I’m almost positive you don’t blaze girl, lol.

    I love stormy nights! Enjoy.

    • eliza July 9, 2010, 10:49 pm

      haha typical hippie

      • caitlin July 10, 2010, 8:42 am

        My favorite incense is patchouli!

    • HTP Dad' July 10, 2010, 12:39 pm

      hahahaha! they beat me to it! Hippie Caitlin? Hippie HTP Mom? hahahaha! HTP Dad? well, yeah, back in the day…

  • Lindsay @ Summit Sandwiches July 9, 2010, 10:04 pm

    Ooooh. I love stormy nights! There’s just something satisfying about sitting out on a porch and watching the rain fall all around you. It’s one of my fav things about summer….

  • Camille July 9, 2010, 10:05 pm

    Smelly cat, smelly cat, what are they feeding you!?
    Hmm, I think I would name mine something stupidly clever like, “Perk Up!”

  • lauren @ Eater not a runner July 9, 2010, 10:05 pm

    I’ve been traveling to Charlotte a lot for business and have been wondering about cool places to see….can’t wait to check these areas out! So glad you like it there 🙂

  • Jenn (Jenn's Menu and Lifestyle Blog) July 9, 2010, 10:06 pm

    I’m not sure what I would call a coffeehouse, I’m not much of a coffee drinker! lol 🙂


  • Danielle (Runs on Green) July 9, 2010, 10:07 pm

    Whole wheat sourdough?? I’ve never seen such a thing! Did you get it at Great Harvest?

    My coffee shop would be called: Runs on Green. haha I know…

  • Tina July 9, 2010, 10:12 pm

    I have no idea what I would name my coffee shop. I’m not super creative with names.

    When I read the title of your post though I automatically started singing Phoebe’s song from Friends. LOL A coffee shop did not pop in my head.

  • BethT July 9, 2010, 10:17 pm

    Haha, I never thought of Charlotte as a hippie area…go to Boone. Hippies abound there!

    • caitlin July 10, 2010, 8:42 am

      I hear Boone is super hippie!

    • HTP Dad' July 10, 2010, 12:40 pm


  • Cynthia (It All Changes) July 9, 2010, 10:17 pm

    I toatlly agree with you on the TJ’s yogurt being the best. I miss it when I can’t get up there and sub in fage because I can’t stand chiobani…sorry.

    I would call my coffee shop…shot in the dark. I love a dark shot of coffee mixed with lots of milk so that would be great. Plus I’m sure Hunni would put it down some dark alley since he likes shops like that.

  • Sara July 9, 2010, 10:19 pm

    You MUST try Cabo Fish Taco in NoDa. It has been several years since I’ve eaten there but I remember it being very fresh and flavorful! (
    You should also check out the song “Manifest Destiny” by one of my favorite bands, Guster!

  • Kristina July 9, 2010, 10:20 pm

    I too, am a hippie. and my name for a coffee house totally fits this, but I’m going to Keep It Secret for now, as I still have designs on opening a bakery someday…

    this may show my age, but Kristina Hippie = 3x Burning Man & more Grateful Dead shows than I can count. ( I followed them in high school & college). 🙂

    • caitlin July 10, 2010, 8:43 am

      My dad went to Burning Man last year! LOL

      • HTP Dad' July 10, 2010, 12:43 pm

        and Jefferson Airplane, Rolling Stones, Sly Stone, Van Morrison, Bob Marley (Luther wasshisname (remember Caitlin?) Jimmy Cliff, Brian Wilson, Beach Boys (Caitlin took me for my birthday!!!) What a long strange trip it’s been…LOL

  • Maria @ Oh Healthy Day (Formally A La Mode) July 9, 2010, 10:30 pm

    I really wish CA had summer lightening storms. Oh how you make me miss the South 🙂

    • Dynamics July 9, 2010, 11:04 pm

      Are beautiful wrap around porches!

  • Kaz July 9, 2010, 10:50 pm

    So jealous! I miss living in the south. 😀

    Smelly Cat…is that from Friends? Hah.

  • Heather (Heather's Dish) July 9, 2010, 10:59 pm

    that’s actually a really cool name for a coffee shop! i don’t know what mine would…probably something like “Heather’s” or whatever…something simple like that because I’m lame 🙂

  • Deva (Voracious Vorilee) July 9, 2010, 11:27 pm

    I love that as a coffee house name – I can imagine how you might choose to decorate it, too!

    I don’t know what I might name a coffee shop, but have considered opening and running a coffee shop/bakery someday 🙂

  • Rebecca July 9, 2010, 11:27 pm

    Smelly Cat is a really cute name. There’s an awesome coffee shop near me called Uncommon Grounds. I think that’s really clever.

  • Maura July 9, 2010, 11:30 pm

    I’ve actually thought about this a lot! I would call my coffee shop “The Mud Hut” It’s probably been used but I still like it. There was a coffee shop in my town called Mug Shots which I thought was adorable too but it closed down a few years ago. 🙁

  • Chelsey July 9, 2010, 11:40 pm

    I can’t think of something I would name a coffee shop – but I love how you said your mom is a hippie like you. That is so funny. My brother and I are the “hippies” in the family – my mom calls me “Earth Mother”, my sister tells me I am going to be a “weird hippie mom who won’t let her kids eat stuff”, and my dad calls me a “purist”.

    If all of those means I am healthy, then we’re good to go! 🙂

  • Amber K @ sparkpeople July 9, 2010, 11:49 pm

    I would certainly never own a coffeehouse. I hate coffee in all forms. I don’t think I should be trying to sell anyone on it! lol

  • Jessie July 10, 2010, 12:19 am

    You have been in Charlotte for all of 2 weeks and you have already been to so many cute places that I have barely even heard of. I am so embarrassed!

    And I tried the TJ’s honey Greek yogurt for the first time this week and I agree that it is the best I have tried. Yum!

  • Taysa (Water, Butter and Wine) July 10, 2010, 12:30 am

    I would name my coffee house ALL IN GOOD TASTE.

  • Kamilla July 10, 2010, 2:20 am

    I’m a graphic designer and i’d always wanted to have a combined coffee shop and grafic design firm. Since my graphic design company is named _bilities, I would name the coffee shop coffeebilities 😀

  • Jessica @ How Sweet It Is July 10, 2010, 2:22 am

    I’m not a coffee drinker, though I love coffee houses. Ok, well I’m a coffee drinker if it consists of loads of sugar and cream and syrups!

  • Freya @ Brit Chick Runs July 10, 2010, 2:31 am

    Cute name! I’d probably call mine Cinnamon- and everything on th menu would have something cinnamon-y in it 😀

  • Hillary [Nutrition Nut on the Run] July 10, 2010, 3:15 am

    You’re so right! It’s always time for coffee <3.

  • Jennie {in Wonderland} July 10, 2010, 3:27 am

    Smelly cat, smelly cat, what are they feeding you? Smelly cat, smelly cat, it’s not your fault…

    I started humming that immediately when I saw your post in my Reader. I miss Friends!

  • Orla July 10, 2010, 4:11 am

    Eventually I want to open my own coffee place with all the baked goods made on site. And I. The front a space for local artists to display and sell their goods. Where I live is not a particularly art friendly place unless very very conservative pieces which is not what I am into. However the arts officer is making good inroads so I may have to wait a couple years. Still working on the name!

  • Kaela (Townie Goes Gownie) July 10, 2010, 5:10 am

    I’m so jealous. I’ve always wanted to visit Charlotte, but never really had the chance. I love the name of this place too!haha

  • Kiersten July 10, 2010, 6:24 am

    I have been in Charlotte for 4 years now and I have never been to NoDa! I need to go there. I have no idea what I would name my coffeehouse, but it would definitely be an all vegan place.

    • caitlin July 10, 2010, 8:44 am

      We need to hang out!!

  • Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat July 10, 2010, 6:33 am

    I’m not too sure what I’d call mine… maybe The Daily Grind or something? (That might actually already exist – I also see how it could be interpreted as a skateboard shop, but whatever). This place looks cute!

  • Sarah (Running to Slow Things Down) July 10, 2010, 7:26 am

    I agree…it is always time for coffee! 😀 I love the name of that coffee shop too. So fun!

  • Heather @ Side of Sneakers July 10, 2010, 8:39 am

    I’ve always wanted to open up a neighborhood coffee shop when I retire…now I just need to move to a neighborhood that would want a coffee shop 🙂

  • Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin July 10, 2010, 8:42 am

    That coffee house looks so cute! I wish we had places like that where I live, but my town is just filled with Starbucks. 🙁

  • Chandra H July 10, 2010, 8:46 am

    you should listen to the song “Manifest Destiny” by Guster 😀

  • thatshortchick July 10, 2010, 8:48 am

    I’ve been a reader of your blog since Feb but have never commented, so when I saw the title of your post, I knew I had to leave something! I love hanging out at Smelly Cat (although I’m not a big fan of their coffee, I do enjoy their iced tea) and in NoDa in general!

    However, the next time you find yourself in NoDa, you MUST try Tasty Yo. SO SO SO good!!

    • caitlin July 10, 2010, 8:52 am

      We need to hang out and get tea at Smelly Cat!!!

  • Annie@stronghealthyfit July 10, 2010, 9:18 am

    Charlotte looks so cute, I’m totally jealous! I have dreams of opening a cupcake cafe/ microbrewery with my husband, and calling it Babycakes Cupcakes.

  • Brynne July 10, 2010, 9:24 am

    Love the Smelly Cat name! And Manifest Destiny would be a seriously awesome name for a cafe – I can picture it being really eclectic and unique!

  • Beth @ DiningAndDishing July 10, 2010, 9:30 am

    I’d like a coffee and oatmeal shop. I’d name it Oats for Goats. I don’t know why, but that name makes me giggle (so mature) :).

  • Heather July 10, 2010, 10:03 am

    what a supercute area! I would never dream of going downtown to our big local city area (jackson MS) I would probably get mugged or shot! its not a nice place lol!

  • maris July 10, 2010, 10:10 am

    Hi Caitlin, I’ve bee a reader for some time now( also a PITT alum) go PITT! just wanted to mention a cute cafe that i went to while visiting Charlotte/Raleigh area. its called NOSH, think they have 2 locations. it has a good vibe, good coffee and freshly made breakfast and lunch. oh and its pet friendly so that’s a plus~

    • caitlin July 10, 2010, 10:22 am

      Ooo thanks! I’ll have to check that out.

      GO PITT!

  • Christy July 10, 2010, 10:11 am

    Have you tried the Organic Greek Yogurt at TJ’s? The vanilla is delicious, but since I am trying to cut out unnecessary sugars I get the plain and add fruit. Not the same, but still hits the spot! They also have honey flavored but my hubby said that one was a no-go.

    • caitlin July 10, 2010, 10:21 am

      I don’t think mine carries the Organic greek… I’ve have to look!

  • Katie July 10, 2010, 11:09 am

    When I was in high school, my U.S. history class was divided into bands. We actually had to write songs about different topics, and the winning one for each unit section would be included on our class cd. (We had a lot of aspiring musicians).

    I bring this up because I’m pretty sure one group was called Manifest Destiny. My group? We were the Plymouth Rockers. 🙂

  • Wei-Wei July 10, 2010, 11:12 am

    Yay for simple meals! Smelly Cat is such an awesome name – it conjured up quite a few funny images 😀

    If I had a café it would be English-themed, with punctuation mark furniture, punctuation mark-named coffee (get the Exclamation Point for an extra kick of caffeine!) and of course books galore! And free wi-fi. And it would be named The Semicolon Café and stylised the;café. Because I do love semicolons so. 😀


  • kyla July 10, 2010, 12:36 pm

    Smelly cat, smelly cat.
    What are they feeding you?
    smelly cat, smelly cat.
    It’s not your fault.

    Phoebe’s song from Friends anyone?

  • Allie July 10, 2010, 12:55 pm

    Have you tried Amalie’s in NoDa? It’s AMAZING. Such a fun, quirky restaurant/coffee shop :D.

  • Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday July 10, 2010, 6:52 pm

    I’ve always wanted to have a band called “The Argyle Socks”!

    …as for my cafe name, I think I’ll keep it a secret just in case 😉

  • Carlyn July 10, 2010, 8:42 pm

    Hey Caitlin, I’m trying to find cool hip places to look at for college, and have no idea where to begin to look.. Do you think Charlotte is a good “health conscious” town for someone who is into good food and good health like me but also is young and fun? If not, do you know of any towns where you’ve experienced this? It doesn’t have to be close by!

    • caitlin July 11, 2010, 2:18 pm

      I think it would be a cool young person city!! I also think Austin is great for this sort of stuff, as is Boston!

      • Carlyn July 11, 2010, 10:32 pm

        that’s funny you say Austin because that’s where I live currently! I just want to live somewhere else not so close to home.. but I lovvvee Austin!

  • Scargosun July 12, 2010, 10:35 am

    Scargosun is what I would name mine. I have had this tag since AOL and love it.

  • sarah k. July 12, 2010, 12:00 pm

    my husband & i decided we’d name a coffeehouse “the cheerful chipmunk.” we were randomly discussing this very topic about a year ago and now create coffee drinks with various types of coffees/syrups at our church, name them, and joke that they’ll be on the menu at the cheerful chipmunk one day. 🙂 who knows, maybe it’ll actually happen! 🙂

  • Hangry Pants July 19, 2010, 1:07 pm

    Three cheers for Noda!!!!!!!!!

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