White Horse - Charlotte
When I was in college ( a long time ago, lol), we used to eat at the White Horse regularly. I know the restaurant is gone, but I still crave their Charlie O'Chicken salad platter and sandwich. Does anybody know anything about what happened to the restaurant and where I could possibly get the recipe?
A nice guy named Harry Williams sent me a history of the White Horse years ago. I keep it tucked away because I get so many questions about it. According to Harry:
The White Horse theme was created by a fellow named Bob Dowdy. The original restaurant was located in Dilworth, on East Boulevard, in a building that was once a residence. Bob and some friends tore walls out of the house and installed beams to open up the interior of the house. The attic was turned into a nice balcony area that seated about twenty.
I don't know where the concept for the menu came from. We basically served deli-type sandwiches. Bob himself named most of them - from the Nittty Gritty Grinder to Ravin' Ralph's Reuben. We also served a popular cheese plate. We made Sicilian pizzas which were mostly ordered in the evenings.
The restaurant was successful from the beginning. A friend of Bob's approached him and asked if he would be willing to sell a franchise. At that time, two franchises were purchased, Eastway Drive and Monroe Road. I never went to any of these locations but people tell me they were not in the same league as the East Boulevard restaurant. It was probably due to location, but neither ever thrived like the Dilworth place.
In time, two Charlotte young men, Rick Touchberry and Ross McKee, purchased rights to open a restaurant in Rock Hill. Like the Dilworth location, the original building was a home. They also tore out walls and opened the main room up. The renovation took the two Charlotte friends almost eight months. They were in work clothes in the building when I went and asked for a job. They said sure and had me put on the crew at the Dilworth restaurant. As I said before, I never worked in the Rock Hill White Horse.
While I was working for Bob, he rented a location downtown on Second Street and opened up another place. The weekdays were pretty busy but in those days, there was nothing going on weekends and the place was always dead as a doornail. Bob implemented a Sunday Jazz Brunch that had excellent food and music and complimentary champagne, but the concept never really caught on. I did work a few shifts at this restaurant, but my heart was in Dilworth.
After I left the White Horse, I lost touch with Bob Dowdy. I don't know who he sold the place to but I'm pretty sure he's no longer the owner.
As to whether 300 (East) adopted the old White Horse menu, I couldn't tell. I've never eaten there and I'd have to look at their menu to see if they are similar.
The only White Horse left is the one in Rock Hill. Rick Touchberry sold his share of the business to his partner Ross a few years after they opened (circa 1978) and Ross ran the business for many years. He sold the business about ten years ago (about 1998), but I don't know the owner's identity. They still use the original logo, and the menu is surprisingly like the old one. Many dishes have been added over the years, and a few deleted, but all the old favorites I recall are still available.
A few years back, CVS pharmacy wanted to tear down the original White Horse and the house next to it to build a drug store. This site is on Cherry Road, a block before you reach the Winthrop campus. The owners sold the original and built a new restaurant on Camden Avenue less than a half mile from the original. It is still convenient to Winthrop students and the restaurant is always busy when I go there.
The Second Street Cafe
495 2nd St, Ayden, NC 28513
re: kathleen purvis
Why don't I just post the recipe for Charley o"Chicken Sandwich? It ran in Helen Moore's column years ago. Helen got it from Cathy Coulter, who waited tables at White House in 1975 and changed the name to 300 East when she bought the place. She said at the time that the only difference was they used chicken breast salad and they called it The Usual.
Charlie O'Chicken Sandwich
Serves 1. From Cathy Coulter, 300 East.
1 (8-inch) hoagie roll
1/2 cup chicken salad
2 to 3 tablespoons Thousand Island salad dressing
2 frozen asparagus spears, thawed and drained
3 ounces mild cheddar cheese slices
6 to 8 mushroom slices
Garnish: Chopped parsley or chopped chives
SLICE lengthwise and flatten in half. Lightly brush the bottom piece with melted butter and put on a baking pan.
COVER the top piece with Thousand Island Dressing, then evenly coat with prepared chicken salad. Add an asparagus spear to each half of the sandwich. Completely cover the sandwich with cheese slices and top with the mushroom slices.
BAKE at 375 to 400 degrees until lightly brown. Sprinkle with parsley.
300 East Blvd, Charlotte, NC 28203
re: kathleen purvis
The site automatically adds these "links" to restaurants that it thinks are in your post. It picked up "second street" from Kathleen's post and randomly assigned it to The Second Street Cafe, which must be in the restaurant data base. I wish CH would do away with this silly feature that doesn't work.
Here's a post from the Site Talk board about it:
Looks like you could call them. They are open in Rock Hill, SC.
White Horse Restaurant
1022 Camden Ave.
Rock Hill, SC 29730
Here's a link to their menu and I see they still have the Charlie O'Chicken salad platter on their menu!
Don't know that this is the same Whitehorse. The White Horse Resto I remember was on East Blvd in Charlotte, down near Freedom Park. Pretty popular in the late 80's-90's . I always remember them for good food and lousy service. I believe that they moved in the 90's & morphed into 300 East, down the street. I checked their menu & did not see the chicken salad plate.
300 East Blvd, Charlotte, NC 28203
Why would you imagine there isn't a connection? Charlie O'Chicken is a pretty strong clue that they are related. Perhaps the owners opened a second restaurant in RH, and then eventually closed the original? Perhaps someone bought out the name and menu and moved it to RH? There are lots of possibilities, but the possibility that there is no connection between a restaurant with the same name, with the same unusually-named menu item, in the same general area is pretty slim, imo. In any event, the OP isn't looking for the restaurant, he's looking for the recipe to a menu item that evidence suggests lynnlato has found.