Fresh Eats: Lell’s Cafe

Greeted by fun energy, starting with the sign

Greeted by fun energy, starting with the sign

A few weeks ago when Charlotte Fresh posted about the concept of CSRs, I promised a visit to and write-up of Lell’s Cafe in Rock Hill, SC. And I must tell you, it is worth the trip; not only to experience terrific food, but to meet the amazing Lell and her caring team.  Giving credit where it’s due, Lell’s came onto my radar from Ilke’s post on WFAEats (Hubby caught her post before I did and continues to gloat about it; chalk one up for him).

When I went inside, I was greeted warmly, and Billy sat down with me – as if we were already old friends – to discuss the menu.  I had clearly been taken in by a new family because Lell is now a good friend who is the best Connector I know out there.  I’ve met even more folks involved in accelerating the local food scene since my connection with Lell, and it’s been great as the stars align.  (More on these new friends in later posts.)

Before I get to the food (which is really what you want to see), let me show you some pics of her wonderful establishment:

Lell cooking up something good!

Lell cooking up something good!

Love this...mellow Billy in a quick blurlur

Love this...mellow Billy in a quick blur

Gotta love that brick wall - a surprise find during renovations

Gotta love that brick wall - a surprise find during renovations

Dedicated team at work

Dedicated team at work

The cutest colorful decor.  I was lucky to catch this pic during a rare quick between-shift breather!

The cutest colorful decor. I was lucky to catch this pic during a rare quick between-shift breather!

I would be remiss if I didn't reveal the decadent dessert case....

I would be remiss if I didn't reveal the decadent dessert case....

On my next visit (yes, like an addict, I went back quickly for more), I took Hubby, and again we were enveloped in the positive and caring energy of everyone at Lell’s.  Regulars there are known by name and by food preferences; many trust Lell to just do her thing (and she does it very well!) – cook the best real food she can with the best quality ingredients. Oh, and don’t try to leave Lell’s until you are good and full. (Believe me, you will be full, or else.) Here are some mouth-watering pics to entice you:

Chicken salad made fresh on the spot

Chicken salad made fresh on the spot

Sticky Fingers french toast with honey.  I had to set aside the other half of the toast to try the eggs and house bacon. (Such a glutton.)

Sticky Fingers french toast with honey. I had to set aside the other half of the toast to try the eggs and house bacon. (Such a glutton.)

Hubby's Kitchen Sink omelette with cheese grits and housemade biscuit.  Of course I took bites.

Hubby's Kitchen Sink omelette with cheese grits and housemade biscuit. Of course I took bites.

The amazing filled cookie that inspired the strawberry pie I made in a previous post.

The amazing filled cookie that inspired the strawberry pie I made in a previous post.

Lell is building her business more rapidly than expected with the love and support of her community, generous CSR sponsors and angel donors.  She shared with me that her goal is to use locally and sustainably produced inputs wherever possible.  Breakfast is currently featuring 80% sustainable ingredients.  As her restaurant is in the early growth stages, we’ll see the menu evolve, and the fresh local ingredients will be noted.  So far, her relationships with local producers include:

  • Cawcaw Creek – Columbia, SC -pork (Lell uses 10 bellies per week to make bacon)
  • Manor Oaks – Chester, SC – eggs
  • Mountain Creek Farm, NC
  • Baucom’s Best – Monroe, NC – chicken and beef
  • New Terra Farms
  • Cottonsfield Farm – grits
  • Secret Chocolatier – chocolate truffles and candies
  • Mama Beehive – honey
  • Breadsmith – sourdough bread

If you know what’s good for you, take a visit to Lell’s Cafe, and you’ll be back for more…. When you see Lell, give her a big hug for me.

Where to find it: 760 Cherry Rd. in Rock Hill, SC.  Parking is in front of the cafe or next door at the Wachovia ATM building.

Hours: 7:00am-3:00pm, Monday through Saturday

Phone: 803-366-8803


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About charlottefresh

Helping Charlotte find fresh local food. Spread the word.
This entry was posted in CSR, Dining, Local, Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Fresh Eats: Lell’s Cafe

  1. wwp2010 says:

    Lell’s is the best – be prepared to feel as if you have come home. After my first visit, I knew that Billy would be pouring my unsweet tea and my husband’s coffee, and Lell would be getting my rye toast ready. Lell’s breakfast makes my week.

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