family reunion Charlotte Style

fun escapes
Charlotte Style
For the Grisdales, every family reunion is made better with food. But
they don’t always agree on what to
bring to the table. So this time they
brought a bit of everyone’s favorites
from the local hometown hot spots.
Can someone pass us a piece of
cornbread already?
by Heather Martin Jeffcoat
July/August 2012
Cooking with Paula Deen
July/August 2012
fun escapes
im and Doneata Grisdale have lived in Charlotte, North Carolina, all of their lives and have
raised three beautiful daughters there, too.
Over the years, they’ve seen the area flourish, growing into, as Jim says, “a friendly city that still has a
small-town vibe.”
Their daughters are married now and have
families of their own. Two settled down in Charlotte, and the other made home in Winston-Salem,
but they get together whenever possible for family reunions. And when they do, it involves lots of
food and loads of fun—two things Charlotte can
fully accommodate. The city has a huge selection
of restaurants that can please any palate and entertainment that can immerse you in nature, virtually
transport you to pit row to change a race car tire,
or put you up close with science experiments and
A typical Grisdale family gathering revolves
around plenty of feasting, rounds of golf, and visits
to local attractions. But perhaps the biggest draw,
as son-in-law Michael Applegate explains, is the
spirit of the city itself. “Northern transplants like
me can really appreciate how easy it is to connect
with people here and very quickly and enthusiastically adopt similar attitudes,” he says. “The way
people treat each other in Charlotte is the way God
intended us to be.”
Tomato–Goat Cheese Bruschetta
Deviled Eggs
Aunt Beaut’s Fried Chicken
Carolina Beef Brisket
Spinach Salad with Pimiento
Cheese Fritters
Macaroni and Cheese
Margaux’s Succotash
Banana Pudding
Fruit Tart
You can enjoy a taste of Charlotte right
EXTRAS in your own home. For recipes to make
some of the restaurant dishes featured in
this story, visit
and click on Web Extras.
July/August 2012
Cooking with Paula Deen
July/August 2012
fun escapes
Charlotte Food Scene
Around every corner in Charlotte, there
are restaurants booming with their own
flair and flavor. The Grisdales have their
own favorites, some of which bring to
mind distinct memories of first dates
and celebrations.
Rooster’s Wood-Fired Kitchen and
The King’s Kitchen and
Chef Jim Noble has been creating “New
Local Southern Cuisine” for three decades. He brings fresh, local ingredients to
his thoughtfully prepared dishes at both
Rooster’s, a rustic upscale dining experience, and The King’s Kitchen, a nonprofit
restaurant that gives back by donating
its profits and by providing employment
opportunities to those in need.
Zink. American Kitchen
Charlotte Family Fun
There are six grandkids in the Grisdale family, and
spending time with them is a priority for Mamama
Grisdale. “I love being a part of their lives, sharing the
things they enjoy, watching them grow and develop
from babies into beautiful people,” she says.
The Grisdales find family fun at the Ballantyne
Hotel and Lodge, Discovery Place, Carowinds,
Freedom Park, and the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Other
must-see attractions include the U.S. Whitewater
Center and the Levine Museum of the New South.
“When the entire Grisdale family gathers, my
favorite thing to do is to listen to their stories of
past holidays or vacations or funny stories of when
Jeana and her sisters were growing up,” says sonin-law Ed Sheehan. “I’m so blessed to have married into such a wonderful family here in Charlotte.”
“A Taste of Charlotte” Sweepstakes
Register for the chance to win a getaway to Charlotte,
North Carolina, and experience firsthand the attractions
featured in this story. The winner will fly on US Airways*
to Charlotte, spend two nights at the Ballantyne Hotel
and Lodge, and feast at great Charlotte eateries like
Mac’s Speedshop, Amélie’s French Bakery, and Mert’s
Heart and Soul. Enter “A Taste of Charlotte” Sweepstakes
*Winner will receive $500 in US Airways vouchers
toward the cost of the trip.
July/August 2012
Cooking with Paula Deen
Lobster Mac n’ Cheese, Bacon Wrapped
Meatloaf, and Streetside Tacos filled with
braised beef short ribs are just a few of
the mouthwatering twists on American
comfort-food classics that Executive Chef
Jon Fortes sends out of his kitchen at
Zink. And the Southpark patrons are glad
for it.
Mert’s Heart and Soul
For 14 years, Mert’s Heart and Soul has
been serving up traditional soul food
as well as Low Country- and Gullahinspired dishes in Charlotte. Using recipes
that James and Reneé Bazzelle cooked
for their family over the years, Mert’s has
become a staple for area residents and a
must-try for visitors.
Amélie’s French Bakery
The alluring smell of homemade tarts,
macaroons, and croissants fills the air in
this quaint, eclectic bakery. Add flavorful,
aromatic coffees and drinks, and voilà—
you have Amélie’s.
Mac’s Speed Shop
Drive on in to this “biker bar” for melt-inyour-mouth Carolina brisket that smokes
for 12 hours a day. Locals know that Mac’s
is the place to be for barbecue, beer, and
friendly service. And locals know best!
July/August 2012