Food & Drink

Still miss that Ranch House cocktail sauce?

A drawing of the Ranch House on Wilkinson Boulevard will be on the label of the sauces.
A drawing of the Ranch House on Wilkinson Boulevard will be on the label of the sauces.

Ever since the closing of The Ranch House on Wilkinson Boulevard, fans have lamented the loss of the classic Charlotte steakhouse’s signature dishes, including the very hot cocktail sauce.

Now a longtime employee and her husband are selling them again. Aaron Grosdidier, the husband of former manager Connie Dellinger, said they have the original recipes and are making both the cocktail sauce and the blue cheese dressing.

They’re selling them at their flower shop, Peggy’s Bouquets, 204 E. Virginia Ave. in Bessemer City, and they’re also taking orders for a special delivery on the grounds of the former restaurant, which is still standing (and still closed) at 5614 Wilkinson Blvd.

Grosdidier said they sold out of the first batches almost immediately and had to make more, which will be available Friday.

“It’s starting to get overwhelming,” he says. “We’re getting no sleep.”

Dellinger worked for the restaurant for 30 years, and her mother worked there too.

“(Dellinger) was like a niece to her,” Grosdidier said.

They decided to start making the recipes after the owner, Kathryn Beaty, died recently. When the restaurant closed in 2011, many readers called The Observer, trying to get the recipes, particularly for the cocktail sauce, but the family had hoped to keep them with the property. Now Dellinger and Grosdidier say they have gotten the rights to them, including the name The Ranch House and the restaurant’s Facebook page, Ranch House of Charlotte.

Ranch House fans in Charlotte and Gastonia are crazy for them, he says.

“It appears to be sort of a cult following in Charlotte and Gastonia.” People tell him they mix a little cocktail sauce and blue cheese dressing for their salads, or they eat them on crackers. Grosdidier says they also plan to eventually bring back the tartar sauce and Ranch House ranch. They’re considering the onion ring batter and the French dressing as well.

One woman, who has a food company, called him last week as soon as she saw the news on Facebook to see if she could buy them in bulk.

“She thinks we put crack in it. She says the cocktail sauce is so hot, it brings tears to people’s eyes. But they can’t stay away from it.”

Grosdidier promises the recipes they’re using are the originals.

“There are several people who claim to have the recipe,” he says. “I can tell you, unequivocally, they don’t.”

Pint bowls of the cocktail sauce and blue cheese dressing are $8.

“A little pricey,” Grosdidier admits. “But you get what you pay for. They are expensive sauces to make.”

To order the sauce, call 704-629-3341, or email Dellinger at ranchhouseofcharlotte@aol.com.

Kathleen Purvis: 704-358-5236, @kathleenpurvis

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