Hartselle Courier Journal/ Jennifer R. Hill
Lisa Burns shows off one of Elizabeth G’s coconut cakes, just one of many desserts available at the restaurant.
Lisa Burns says she “can southern fry anything” but when she wanted to expand her cooking repertoire she knew she wanted to learn from Brenda Stout.
Stout, who has an engineering degree, changed career courses a few years ago to pursue her love of cuisine. She opened Elizabeth G’s, located at 400 Nance Ford Road in Hartselle next to the Sparkman Civic Center, a little more than a year ago to bring what she knows about food to Hartselle’s table.
Stout trained at Cluinard, The Culinary Institute of Virginia College in Birmingham. She has also traveled the world extensively, bringing techniques and tastes from other cultures to her recipes.
“She always adds that special flavor,” Burns said of her boss. “Here you can really taste the flavor of what we cook.”
Burns, who was a teacher for years, clicked instantly with Stout in their love for cooking and soon she changed her career path, as well. Burns has been the manager at Elizabeth G’s since August.
“It’s all about technique,” Stout said of her favorable dishes.
Elizabeth G’s dishes are all made from scratch, and would be categorized as “Specialty Southern Cuisine,” Stout said.
The restaurant, is named for three generations of women with the middle name of Elizabeth, and the “G” started with one Georgia alumni, and four children and a dog with names that begin with “G.” Stout’s mother’s name is Jonnie Elizabeth Hannah, Brenda’s middle name is Elizabeth and her daughter is named Gabrielle Elizabeth. Stout’s four children are Geoffrey, 15, Gabrielle, 13, Garland, 10, and Glynnis Grace, 8. Her husband Eric is a graduate of the University of Georgia.
In the same since of family, the staff gets to know their guests, Stout said.
“It’s personal. You’re not just a customer, we want to get to know you. It’s ingrained in us, we want to bring you into our family,” Stout said.
In addition to coming in from 10 a.m. until 6:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays, or from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Fridays, customers may also “drive-thru” and pick up a take and bake dish for home.
The restaurant serves a variety of take and bake sides, as well as soups, sandwiches, wraps, salads, and desserts. Elizabeth G’s also caters.
The restaurant has won several awards and honors since in its year of operation such as winning the Chicken and Seafood Division of the Taste of the Valley and The Golden Spoon from WHNT Channel 19. The crew will compete again this year in Taste of the Valley, as well as compete in the World’s Greatest Sandwich contest to be held Feb. 25 in Biloxi, Miss., Stout said.
Stout offered up Elizabeth G’s Honey Chicken recipe so everyone can have a taste of her “Specialty Southern Cuisine” at home. The recipe is below.
2 Pounds Chicken Breasts (boneless, skinless)
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 cup honey
¾ cup Soy Sauce
2 T corn starch
4 T water
Cut Chicken Breasts into 1 inch pieces.
Heat a sauté pan until it is very hot and add 2 T of vegetable oil.
Add the chicken and sauté until it is cooked through.
Reduce the heat and add the garlic, honey, and soy sauce. Cook for 1 minute.
Combine the corn starch and water and add to the chicken.
Bring the mixture up to a boil and cook until the sauce thickens.
Serve over rice.