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Editor's Note: This story is unlocked for everyone to read courtesy of the CRVA, our partner in nourishing culinary exploration for residents and visitors of the Queen City.

August 30, 2023

Where Chefs Eat: Steak 48’s Heather King

North Mecklenburg resident stays close to home when dining out

by TM Petaccia

Steak 48’s executive chef Heather King. Photo courtesy

Folks in the restaurant industry know good food, so we want to know where they eat when they’re not cooking. In this series, we ask a local chef, bartender, restaurateur, or food artisan to share their favorite restaurants in town and what they order there.

This week, we interviewed Heather King, executive chef at SouthPark’s Steak 48. Living in North Mecklenburg, she prefers to patron nearby family restaurants, often overlooked by many Charlotte restaurant-goers a little further south. She does confess a preference for one spot in particular. “The ‘restaurant’ I visit the most is my home, where I enjoy grilling and smoking fish and meats weekly — with a little campfire to enjoy with a cold beverage and s’mores to complete the night,” she says. But when the dining out urge does strike, King strikes out to these restaurants:

Westlake Restaurant, Denver
Family restaurant specializing in breakfast and meat & three lunch plates
King’s order: Anything breakfast
King’s take: “They have such an awesome staff who makes you feel like you are home every time you are there. Get there early because you will have to wait for a seat.”

La Victoria Cocina Mexicana & Bar, Huntersville
Classic and contemporary takes on Mexican cuisine
King’s order: Guacamole Mexicana, shrimp tacos, salsa verde, Don Julio margarita, sangria
King’s take: “They are owned by a local family and the food is incredible, Willie and his wife are amazing people. When I go, I am treated like family.”

I Bambini Italian Restaurant, Mooresville
Trattoria offering traditional Italian dishes for over 20 years
King’s order: All Inferno (artichokes, garlic, olive oil, basil, roasted hot peppers, fresh tomato sauce) with fresh gnocchi, calamari
King’s take: “This little restaurant gives you the feeling that you’re on a little side street in NYC. And yes, they know me there; I get my bubbles (prosecco) served in an iced beer mug. It’s the best!”

eeZ Fusion, Birkdale Village
Locally-owned spot featuring sushi and dishes from multiple Asian cultures
King’s order: All the sushi rolls, especially THE HEARTest Yard Roll (tuna, avocado, and English cucumbers on the inside with thinly sliced Scottish salmon and soy paper on the outside)
King’s take: “Not only is THE HEARTest Yard Roll delicious, but a portion of the proceeds are donated to Greg Olsen’s foundation, The HEARTest Yard Fund – supporting families of infants affected by congenital heart disease.”

North Harbor Club, Davidson
Regatta-themed New American restaurant includes boat slips for guests
King’s order: The Grown Up Grilled Cheese (Fontina cheese with sautéed mushrooms and onions on sourdough bread, coated with tomato jam. Served with asparagus fries)
King’s take: “It may not be the only thing on the menu, but it can be as far as I’m concerned. It’s the best grilled cheese in the state.”

See where other Charlotte chefs and industry pros eat

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