Her Story: Hello, Lake Front!
Over Labor Day weekend, we took a drive a few hours west to Lake Norman to visit Justin's sister for her birthday. Typically, everyone would participate in any boating festivities out on the lake, but my allergies have been particularly agonizing from all of the rain, so I decided to stay in. Justin and the in-law family wished me well, and took off sailing in the pontoon.
Soon after everyone voyaged out, I realized I had not eaten much of a breakfast before we left. And then I realized I was hungry. (Let's face it, I'm always hungry.) But where do I go by myself to eat on a Sunday afternoon? Especially in Sherrils Ford?
Yelp quickly affirmed to me there were no places to grab a bite to eat in Sherrils Ford, so I started looking elsewhere. I just as quickly came across a name of a familiar restaurant, "Hello, Sailor!" in Cornelius. 30 minutes away? The family had just left, so I thought: "Might as well!"
This hip new establishment was featured in the most recent Our State Magazine, where I had originally read about it. The short drive over was totally worth it, (not to mention that Chef Craig Deihl was nominated twice for a James Beard Award!) In a gravel alcove behind the Fresh Market shopping center, I walked in and found a seat at the indoor 60’s bar. This is not just any bar, but a beautifully outfitted, retro, tropical bar!
Think “Mad Men” style - the episodes when Don & Megan travel to Hawaii, without the flower lei’s! I scanned over the menu and decided to order my new favorite - an Aperol Spritz, with Cava bubbles and a curling bendy straw! It was so hot… I deserved it! And I felt just like a kid again, only with an adult beverage.
Once I scanned over the menu fifty times, (because everything looked delicious and I couldn’t quite decide on what to get,) I ordered the mussels and watermelon. These weren’t just any mussels and watermelon though, they were divine... Maybe it was the decor, maybe it was the heat, but I could not get enough of this place. Everything looked so cute.
My mouth was watering when they brought my plates out. I decided that despite my allergies, I must go outside to the tiki bar and see the view. The lake looked perfect for boating, (too bad I didn't go!) But my seat at the bar was priceless with the sun shining and crepe myrtles blooming on the side of the deck.
The waitress kindly followed me out to a seat at the bar, (okay, maybe now I could have used a flower lei…) and I started in on the mussels. The Prince Edward Island Mussels came out in a steamy, tomato-ey broth, served with two long cut crisped baguettes and sprinkled with fresh herbs. The watermelon side was grilled to perfection with a spicy touch - peppered with cloves, cumin, and freshly ground sea salt, “al pastor” style! Cue drool. I somehow found the strength to withhold from devouring everything and asked for a to-go box to share my scraps with Justin.
But never will I ever forget this watermelon. Actually, I’m planning on attempting this at home. Now I’ll just need to go buy a big fresh one at the store, get the grill going, mix a spice blend… and maybe grab some flower lei's…
Visit: Hello, Sailor Address: 20210 Henderson Rd, Cornelius, NC 28031 Hours: Tuesday-Sunday 11AM-10PM; (Monday Closed)