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Robin Estes admits that it’s unusual to find superb French toast in a barbecue restaurant. But what may be even more unusual is who comes to eat it. “Our church sponsors a motorcycle-ministry riding club,” says Estes, who was born in Statesville and now lives in Lake Wylie, South Carolina, 20 minutes from Alfred & Charlie’s.
“It’s a chapter of the Carolina Faith Riders, and they have had monthly breakfast meetings there for several years.” Estes is not a member, but she does ride with her husband. After their twin sons entered The Citadel this fall as freshmen cadets, they toured the North Carolina mountains.
The food at Alfred & Charlie’s, as you’d expect in a barbecue restaurant, is hearty fare — platters anchored by thick pork chops, big links of pork sausage, patties of livermush, or huge country ham steaks. And then there’s the Gourmet BBQ Omelet. “You really need to be hungry for this item,” says Estes, who volunteers in the Gastonia library. “I order it with just one egg and can’t eat all of it. It’s stuffed with pork barbecue, along with chopped grilled peppers, onions, salsa, and cheddar cheese.” But be warned, Estes says: “It has a little bite to it with the salsa and a secret spice, but the combination of all the flavors explodes in your mouth.”
Estes and her husband, Jeff, prefer the French toast. “The taste is still light, although it’s soaked in milk and egg and fried in butter. I love the light coating of powdered sugar on top. It melts in your mouth.” But the best part about eating Alfred & Charlie’s French toast, Estes says, is the memories it brings back: “It just reminds me of my childhood and how my grandmother made French toast.”
Alfred & Charlie’s BBQ House
815 South New Hope Road, Gastonia
The French toast.
Additional stories on Breakfast in the West that appeared originally with this one:
Breakfast: Dan’l Boone Inn
Breakfast: Glen Alpine Depot
Breakfast: Peter’s Pancakes & Waffles
Breakfast: Knight’s On Main
Breakfast: Ward’s Dairy Bar & Grill
Breakfast: Windy City Grill
Joey’s Pancake House