Newcomer tries a Southern breakfast

After my earlier column about grits, titled “Looking for Breakfast in the South,” which appeared in the Jan. 26 edition of The Herald Weekly, I learned that residents of Huntersville take their grits very seriously!  I want to thank everyone who was kind enough to send me e-mails with their personal recommendations for places to eat and, in some cases, their own special recipes.

After so much feedback I realized I owed it to readers to go out and sample grits for myself.  The Cookhouse, located at exit 28 in Shops on the Green in Cornelius, was among the recommendations. On Jan. 15, I met a friend at the Cookhouse to try their grits.

My friend ordered the traditional Southern breakfast, which included eggs, bacon, hash browns, biscuits loaded with gravy and a plate topped full of steaming grits, which she passed over to me. At first glance, the grits reminded me of ultra-fine crushed rice.  They were covered in dollops of melting butter.

I took my spoon and mixed in the butter with the grits and then scooped up a large spoonful.  As I tasted grits for the first time in my life, I noticed they were neither smooth nor crunchy, but had a texture somewhere in between.  They tasted like corn.  Their thickness reminded me of “comfort food” that was warm and would “stick to the ribs.”  I did not dislike the grits but believe I would have enjoyed them more mixed with some honey.

In addition to the Cookhouse, readers recommended the Circle G restaurant, at 4818 Rozzelles Ferry Road, off N.C. 16; Stockyard Grill, at 4925 Rozzelles Ferry Road off of N.C. 16; Shuffletown Drive-In at 10220 Rozzelles Ferry Road, just north of Mt. Holly-Huntersville Road; Showmars, off exit 25; and Café 101, on Gilead Road in Huntersville.

IHOP and Waffle House received honorable mentions for fast food or chain eateries offering grits, but, hands down, all recommendations were to visit an authentic “Mom and Pop,” locally owned eatery to try grits for the first time.

I also learned from readers that local eateries usually will also offer another local breakfast delicacy with grits which is called ‘livermush.’  Livermush is a gravied dish. Additionally, there is an annual livermush festival held in Shelby.  The most appetizing way to order and eat livermush, readers said, is to have it fried crispy with grits, scrambled eggs and whole-wheat toast or a homemade biscuit.

To prepare your own grits at home, a reader offers the following recipe:  Use real grits, not instant ones. Mix one cup boiling water with 1/4 cup grits on medium-low heat and cover for five minutes. Stir often. Add butter, sugar and enjoy!

Now a traditional restaurant or family in Saudi Arabia would serve addis. Addis is a traditional, hearty and filling Saudi dish that can be eaten at any meal. Addis is likely more popular in Sudan or Egypt, but it is also a traditional dish served in Saudi Arabia.

Addis is made from masoor dal (pink/red dal), and when served with well-cooked tomatoes and onions, it is absolutely delicious. In our family, we prefer to either have addis for breakfast or later at night before bedtime, served with warmed Arabic flat bread.

See my recipe for addis at

Carol Fleming, who served as a U.S. diplomat to the Middle East, lives in Huntersville with her two cats, and you can read more of her thoughts at She can be reached at

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