Geechie Grub – Soul Food at its Finest

The Geechie Grub Family. (Top row) Gary Mitchell, Terrance Waters; (Bottom row) Theresa Gillins, Lavona Mitchell

By Patrice Smith

Charleston is famous for its many soul food restaurants. Several Lowcountry establishments have even gained notoriety after being featured on nationwide cooking and travel shows.

Now there’s another restaurant to add to the list. It’s called Geechie Grub, a 30 seat eatery on Dorchester Road in North Charleston where the chef is cooking up some really fine southern staples. On the menu every day; fried chicken, fried fish, pork chops and sides like lima beans and macaroni and cheese.

“I include a variety of dishes to the menu daily so the customer has a lot of choices. On Tuesdays I make turkey wings, smothered pork chops on Wednesday and BBQ ribs and chicken on Thursday.” says Chef Lavonna Mitchell, the owner of Geechie Grub.

I had the pleasure of eating at Geechie Grub recently and the fried chicken is some of the best I’ve ever tasted. It’s really crispy with a little something extra added.

“I season my food daily with a dash of love,” Chef Mitchell says.

Other menu offerings include ox tails, okra soup, bread pudding, red rice and delicious buttery cornbread. Plus you get a tall 32 ounce drink to wash it all down.

Chef Mitchell says she learned to cook at both her grandmothers’ stoves and was always around food and cooking.

“My grandmother Louise Lewis was a caterer on the navy base. My other grandmother, Dorothy Mitchell had a restaurant called Dot’s Home Cooked Meals that was open on Union Heights for nearly two decades. They were both wonderful cooks.”

Chef Mitchell also came from a family of entrepreneurs so it was only natural that she would someday go into business for herself.

“I worked in the corporate world for 11 years but I was always cooking on the side. When the company relocated to Indiana in 2015, I decided that I wasn’t going to work for anyone else. It was basically my chance to pursue my passion full time.” Chef Mitchell remembers.

She began selling dinners out of her home while searching for the perfect spot to open her first restaurant.

“I looked at two other places but felt that ‘the third time’s a charm’ when I came upon 6585 Dorchester Road. It’s in a great location.” according to Mitchell. It’s less than a half mile from the Charleston Air Force Base and about 5 minutes from Boeing.

Geechie Grub opened its doors in November 2016 in a tiny strip mall surrounded by several other African-American owned businesses.

Geechie Grub serves up delicious fare Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Weekend hours will come once Chef Mitchell graduates from school. She is currently enrolled as a culinary arts student at Trident Technical College’s Culinary Institute of Charleston where she’s gaining the understanding of how to be successful in the food industry.

“I went to school to set an example for my son. I told him I wanted him to go to college and he told me if I want him to go then I should go also. I will graduate in May,” Mitchell says.

The chef has plans for other locations and would like to open a wedding venue someday. Geechie Grub also caters special events.

“I love, love being in business for myself. I really can’t believe it! And I’m learning so much especially when it comes to customer service.”

I experienced great customer service at Geechie Grub and am a huge fan of the generous plates they serve made with ‘a dash of love’.

Check out Geechie Grub’s Facebook page. Call the restaurant at 854-999-1218 for daily specials.

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