The King’s Kitchen & Bakery is a chef-inspired, non-profit restaurant in downtown Charlotte. 100% of the proceeds go towards feeding those in need.
Last month I did a Greensboro, NC food tour with Kara. We’ve been friends since college, and have always been quite skilled at pulling off plans on the fly. Now that we’re responsible adults with families and careers those plans can’t be quite as spontaneous as they once were…but when we go all out, we go all out.
Kara is also a huge advocate of my blog. She actively engages, and was the one who came up with the food tour idea in the first place. She has lived in Greensboro since the mid-90’s, and when I lived in Maryland I visited many times. The last time was right before I moved to Oklahoma. I literally drove down there for one night, to see her and their new baby.
Kara sent me lots of food tour options, but I just put her in charge. We originally planned to drive to Asheville on Tuesday, but she re-evaluated because that meant spending too much time in the car and not enough time on food and beverages. Instead, we started with breakfast at Print Works Bistro, and then drove the 90 minutes to Charlotte.
Our purpose for visiting Charlotte was to eat lunch at Sea Level, but we also wanted to find a restaurant with a patio to have an appetizer and wine. We quickly realized 2 things: it was ridiculously hot, and nothing with a patio was open at lunch. We finally came across The King’s Kitchen & Bakery; open for lunch, and it has a covered patio.
The King’s Kitchen is in the heart of downtown Charlotte, in the center of the business district. The outdoor patio is on 2 sides of the building, with 2-top tables along the street side and larger tables closer to the windows. There were only a couple of people sitting outside, which should have been a clear sign. The fans were on, but unfortunately there wasn’t enough air flow. But, since we were only having appetizers, we decided to stick out the patio.
The King’s Kitchen has floor-to-ceiling windows on 2 sides of the building. There is a large bar in the middle of the restaurant, the main dining room surrounds the bar, and there is a large open kitchen at the back. The walls of windows provide a lot of natural light, and one of the very unique aspects is the large paper roll on the wall behind the host stand that lists different menu items.
We didn’t notice at first, and clearly didn’t catch on to the name, but The King’s Kitchen is Christian based. There are crosses and bible verses on the walls, and once we paid more attention, it was quite obvious. The King’s Kitchen is a non-profit operation, and all proceeds feed the poor in the Charlotte region. The King’s Kitchen also works with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Dream Center to operate “The Restoration Program” a five-part training program to employ, train and minister the gospel of Jesus Christ to the homeless, the poor, troubled youth, rehab graduates and other members of our community who are in need of employment. What a wonderful program and mission.
The King’s Kitchen offers European Grab and Go, lunch, dinner, catering, and a bakery that produces fresh-baked goods daily. A unique concept is that The King’s Kitchen serves beer and wine, but not spirits. Drinks are available at lunch, but only the dinner menu lists the alcoholic beverage options.
The lunch menus is not huge, and includes appetizers, soups/salads, sandwiches, sides and entrees. The dinner menu is a larger version of the lunch menu. We started with wine. I cannot find the list online, but my pinot grigio was fabulous. Kara really liked her wine as well.
We got an order of deviled eggs, as well as a side of macaroni & cheese
The eggs were good, and the filling is light and creamy. The filling has a good consistency, but it needs kick and more flavor. The paprika topping adds nice color, but it’s such a mild spice.
I am a big mac & cheese snob. My mom taught me her recipe for baked mac & cheese years ago, and many of my friends absolutely love it. The presentation of a scoop from a large pan surprised me. I expected a portioned dish, maybe in a mini cast-iron skillet. We tentatively dug in and took a bite. I like my mac & cheese piping hot, so was a little disappointed that this was only warm. However, it has good flavor and a very nice cheese sauce base.
Will I go back to The King’s Kitchen? Yes, because I want to have a full dining experience so I can give a more complete review. There are hundreds of lunch options in downtown Charlotte; The King’s Kitchen was packed inside, so they are clearly doing great things. And I love their mission.
For reviews of more restaurants in North Carolina, click on the photos below!