If you live or work in the area and you’re sick of artery-clogging meals served in styrofoam from a drive-through, you really need to check out the Café at Community Culinary School of Charlotte. First and foremost, Community Culinary School is a nonprofit workforce development program. They help train adults who have barriers to employment to learn culinary skills and help them with job placement after the program. Hundreds of graduates of the program now work in restaurants all over Charlotte.
When you first walk in the door at the Café, you’re likely to be welcomed by Chef Ron. Ron Ahlert is the Executive Director of the program, but to most people, he’s simply Chef Ron. He’s jovial and very proud of the students and eager to share details of what they’ve been working on. Also, right inside the front door, there’s a case full of delicious looking pastries.
The food is simply amazing. Everything is prepared fresh, in-house. The menu changes every day and features items ranging from fried fish and burgers to gourmet pastas, salads and seafood. Lunch items are usually around $8 and dinner is around $10 per person. (Food this good would cost 2-3 times that at many Charlotte restaurants)
The Café is open 8:00am – 2:00pm Monday through Friday. They serve breakfast from 8:00 – 2:00 and lunch from 10:30am – 2:00pm. Last week, they started opening for dinner on Wednesdays & Thursdays from 5:00pm to 7:00pm. Stop in and try it out on your lunch break or after work. Also, it’s a great place to have a short morning meeting so you don’t need to leave the area to go find a Starbucks.
The Community Culinary School of Charlotte is helping our area in several ways. Not only do they provide fresh, tasty food at an affordable price, but they are helping teach people new skills and give adults an opportunity at a fresh start on life. We look forward to a vibrant future for the Monroe Road Area that includes lots of organizations and restaurants like this one. When you’re cruising down Monroe Road, it’s easy to ignore all the small businesses that line both sides of the street, but you should really pause and take a look around sometime. There are already many gems dotting both sides of the road and it’s far too easy to miss them.
Mention MoRA and get a free cookie with your next meal. Thanks Chef Ron!
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