Just outside of Charlotte, North Carolina sits Jake’s Good Eats, a gas station turned restaurant visited by Guy Fieri on his Food Network show, “Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives.” The TV host hailed owner Jake Stegall’s Maple Glazed Pork Chop and Venison Quesadilla in the episode, unveiling the neighborhood favorite to Charlotte visitors and foodies from all over the country. I am lucky enough to be friends with a family whose been dining at Jake’s way before they hit it big with Mr. Fieri. For my friend Emily Griffin’s 21st birthday, we made the hour trek from Davidson College to Jake’s. After hearing about how “amazing” Jake’s is for the past two and half years, my friends and I figured we’d finally check out this Griffin family favorite.
Check out is an understatement. We began the evening with an ever-expanding appetizer order. First, just the Spinach and Artichoke Dip with Homemade Tortilla Chips. Oops, well, then I insisted upon the New Zealand Farm Raised Venison Quesadilla. Oh, and how could I forgot the double order of Southern Green Tomatoes, a staple side dish of the American South! I ate the caloric intake of a full meal in appetizers at Jake’s, yet, like always, it didn’t stop me from round two. Fried Green Tomatoes
For dinner, I ordered the Poboy with both Fried Shrimp and Fried Oysters. One of my biggest regrets from my trip to New Orleans this past break was that I failed to eat a traditional Creole Poboy. Served on a toasted hoagie and topped with a homemade garlic mayonnaise, I think I devoured Jake’s Poboy by just staring at it. I’m almost happy I didn’t try a poboy in New Orleans because I know that Jake’s would’ve beat any competition in a contest of tastes. The fried shrimp and fried oyster combination featured succulent seafood, cased in a buttery browned shell. The lettuce and tomato complemented the rich crispiness of the sandwich while the large roll mopped up the drizzling mayonnaise juice. My eager but immediate motionless upon receiving my supper was not unusual, as each one of my peers’ meals suspended their eyes in the same way mine had. It just might be an excuse for me to go back…
A visit to Jake’s is a schedule changing necessity if you’re in or around the Charlotte area. Remember though, the local hub doesn’t take reservations so be prepared to wait. And then be prepared to feast.
12721 Albemarle Rd. Charlotte, NC 28227