As we finish helping our youngest daughter Katie, and her significant other, Alex, move into their new house, we have gotten an opportunity to explore the eating places around Cornelius, NC which is at exit 28 along Interstate 77 just twenty miles or so north of Charlotte, NC. The map of this whole area shows how close it is to Lake Norman, but you cannot show on a map how fast an area is growing. This area reminds me of Northern Virginia, fifteen years ago. It has the same overburdened two lane roads that will one day be four lane roads.
Fortunately the growth hasn't scared away some of the traditional food. The absolute best place we have found for breakfast is the Cookhouse which is at 20936 Torrence Chapel Road. It is run by Nick and Roula Zaharakis. You might say it is southern cooking with a Greek influence. In addition to great breakfasts they have many traditional Greek dishes and some wonderful Greek salads. They even have a special Greek omelet with feta cheese. The one thing they have that is better than any restaurant that I have found recently is their country ham.
Really good country ham is very rare unless you know someone like my late Uncle Austin who could create them with some magic rub. The country ham at the Cookhouse is exceptional. Very tender, not too salty and sliced thick enough for a great taste. It doesn't hurt that they have some good, not so rich biscuits to go along with the country ham. To top it off they have some really good grits which are very yellow and tasty. So if you are heading down I77 towards Charlotte, check out the Cook House. I believe they serve breakfast all day, which is one of my wife Glenda's tests for a good restaurant. Katie claims they also have delicious French toast, but I'll be sticking with the country ham myself. It you are headed south, get off at exit 28, take a right on Catawba Ave, and then very quickly another right on Torrence Chapel Road and the restaurant is in a set of shops on your right just after the Dodge dealer. This is a Google Map to the Cook House.
And if you are in the area for lunch, I can also recommend Big Bite'z which you can reach by taking a left into Norman Crossing Shopping Center instead of a right where you turn onto to Torrence Chapel road. They have great Greek influenced sandwiches, cheese burgers, and a wide variety of quick food. This is the Google map to the turn to Big Bite'z. Then if you are hungry for one of the best southern cheese steak sandwiches that I have eaten, try out Jersey Mike's Subs which is in the shopping center on your left just as you turn right onto Torrence Chapel road.
This is a good place for a neighborhood, plenty of southern friendliness with a nice mix between the old and the new. We're even planting some tomato plants today. How much more southern can you get?