The King’s Kitchen

The King’s Kitchen.

Yesterday, I met a friend for lunch in Uptown Charlotte. We had been trying to get together for some time, but something always came up. I have a daughter who is a senior in high school, and my friend has three kids…real life sometimes just gets in the way of fun. But we didn’t give up. This friend is one of those friends who “fills my cup,” so it is important to me to make time to see her. She and I had totally different upbringings in different cultures, but we share a bond. We truly enjoy each other.

The last time we were able to have lunch together, we met at a restaurant in the SouthPark area of Charlotte. I remember it well, because she called me before she arrived and told me her zipper had broken in her dress, and she had no idea how she could walk into the restaurant to meet me. I said, “Well, I have a ‘pleather’ Top Gun jacket in my car you could put on over your dress, if if wouldn’t embarrass you.” The jacket is a costume piece I purchased for an event earlier this year, and I just happened to have it in my car. She laughed and said that, if I would bring the jacket to her at her car, she would be happy to wear it just so we could dine together! Who knew a Top Gun pleather jacket could look so good with a yellow dress?! We are a lot alike in that we are low maintenance with a good sense of humor. We laughed and laughed about that pleather jacket!

I had picked the restaurant last time, so this time, it was her turn. Apparently, she did her research and ultimately picked The King’s Kitchen. I had dined there a few times before, but it had been a while. They serve southern cuisine, so I was excited she picked it!

She found better parking than I did when she arrived, so she got there a few minutes early and already had a table when I arrived. We gave each other big hugs, and she had a bottle of Contesse Prosecco waiting…and two glasses waiting, ready to be filled!

And when we started talking, we talked about the restaurant. I knew it was a nonprofit started by Jim Noble (he has outstanding restaurants in North Carolina), and I knew it had some sort of outreach ministry for the homeless. What I didn’t know is that Mr. Noble is an ordained minister and holds a Bible study for the homeless (and I suppose, anyone else who’d like attend) in the restaurant. So if you are so inclined, you can fill up in two ways at The King’s Kitchen…nutritionally and spiritually. Additionally, all the profits from the restaurant go to feed the homeless in the area. But the outreach doesn’t stop there. According to the restaurant’s website, they work with local ministries to “provide job training, life-skills training, social etiquette workshops, financial management guidance, and employment intern opportunities to Charlotteans in search of a new beginning.” Indeed, our server, a lovely young lady, told us she had been homeless for several years. Wow. See the website for The King’s Kitchen here.

As it turns out, when my friend was searching for the perfect place for us to meet, she called the restaurant and asked some questions. When she learned about the outreach ministry for the homeless, she knew we needed to go there. Her oldest son, William, has Down Syndrome, and he and the family organize “William’s Walk” every year in uptown Charlotte. They have a food drive and symbolic walk to benefit Loaves and Fishes and Second Harvest Food Bank around Thanksgiving. This year, the walk is on November 24th, and this year’s walk marks their 20th Annual William’s Walk. For more information, click here. They are accepting food donations now and would love to have lots of participants in the walk! Helping the homeless is a cause near and dear to my friend’s heart.

I should probably mention we had a lovely meal together at The King’s Kitchen. The menu is a la carte. We both ordered the salmon and a side of sauteed spinach, and I ordered an additional order of pan corn for us to share. For dessert, she ordered the chocolate torte cake to take home to her son, and I ordered banana pudding, mostly because I can’t make a good banana pudding myself. When desserts arrived, I offered to share my banana pudding, but she told me she doesn’t eat pudding. I told her I wasn’t going to push her, but banana pudding is a southern delicacy that isn’t the same as other puddings. Growing up in Jamaica and New York, she didn’t have a lot of opportunity to try a good banana pudding. She finally tried it and loved it!

And the bonus? We even got to sit in on a little bit of the Bible study…led by Jim Noble himself! There were quite a few people in attendance…one gentleman I had met earlier when I was looking for parking. Since my friend and I had to exit early from the Bible study, we gave each other nods of recognition as I passed him.

It was a lovely way to spend lunch with a good friend…and help the homeless too.

***cover photo: kingskitchen.org

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