Grab & Go Meals

Ballantyne-area retailers solve the dinner dilemma

By Jodi Werner Greenwald | Photos courtesy of the retailers

Posted on October 6, 2020

In a pinch for dinner? The following markets and restaurants in the Ballantyne area offer easy, grab-and-go meals of many varieties. Make it a date night, stick to your diet, indulge your weeknight cravings. Whether you are up for some light cooking or would prefer the night off, we’ve got you covered.

The Butcher's Market's garlic rigatoni


DeSarno's Canolis

DeSarno’s – The Shops at Piper Glen

DeSarno’s is a take-and-bake prepared meal Italian Market offering homemade, Italian-inspired meals and catering services. Owners Kit Caron and Karen DiMezzo make the food in-house from fresh, natural ingredients intended to satisfy the whole family.

Popular items – Meal Deals serve two to three people and come with a choice of classic Italian bread or Focaccia and a pint of one of their side salads for $19.95. The menu changes weekly and seasonally, but eggplant Parmesan is a Wednesday staple. Recent meal deals have included broccoli and butternut squash penne, Tuscan rosemary chicken, spinach and mushroom pasta and French onion pork chops. Catering standouts are chicken Parmesan, baked ziti, cookie platters and antipasto trays.

New for fall – Butternut squash soup, cinnamon rolls and a full Thanksgiving Menu with 22 items and eight desserts.

  • Online ordering – Yes
  • Reserving ahead – Suggested, but grab-and-go is available as well.
  • Curbside pickup – Yes. Just call when you get there, and the staff will run it out to you.

Carolina Meat and Fish Co's lobster roll

Carolina Meat & Fish Co. – Ballantyne at Cedar Walk

Besides offering fresh seafood and meats in their market, Carolina Meat & Fish Co. has two options for grab-and-go meals. One: They sell premade Italian meals exclusively from Pasta & Provisions, such as ravioli, pasta, lasagna and frozen pizza. Two: Thanks to a partnership with an A-rated restaurant in South Carolina, they now make their own take and bake items every week in a “ghost kitchen.”

Popular Items – Their highly sought-after Lobster Rolls sourced from Maine are now sold every day, not just Fridays, due to command. Lobster mac and cheese is also a daily offering, from the ghost kitchen, made with Gruyère and Parmesan cheeses and Ashe County cheddar out of the North Carolina mountains.

Fall specials – The local oyster season takes place in the fall, and therefore it’s a great time now to purchase fresh Carolina oysters. The market also partners with a Brazilian sausage maker out of South Carolina to offer lamb, chicken and pork sausages.

  • Online Ordering – Yes, for pickup. Delivery through Doordash and Postmates, too.
  • Curbside Pickup – Yes, touchless.

The Butcher's Market's chicken piccata

The Butcher’s Market – Village at Robinson Farm

While it’s a complete grocery store, The Butcher’s Market is perhaps best known for its large meat and poultry cases. From chicken wings and marinated turkey to all-natural beef, the place lives up to its name. Drop-in and grab a prepared meal or select raw proteins and all the necessary fixings for preparing them at home. Call the store ahead of time to inquire about current inventory and for menu suggestions.

Popular items – Steak tips! Plus, marinated Joyce Farms chicken breast, thighs and wings. They have a 6-foot case of house-made chicken, pork and beef sausages. In the prepared food section, fresh and frozen options change throughout the week and contain meats and poultry from the case. Some big sellers are chicken piccata, chicken Parmesan, Shepherd’s pie, chicken pot pie, meat lasagna and beef enchiladas.

New for fall – Homemade soups in the prepared foods section.

  • Online orders – No.
  • Curbside pickup – Yes, during the week, not on weekends.


Get Fit Foods' BBQ beef with mac and cheese

Get Fit Foods – Ballantyne Village

David Yermanos, the co-founder of Get Fit Foods, first opened the Ballantyne location in 2017 and then expanded to other local shops. The store offers easy, grab-and-go, individually portioned healthy food that’s affordable and surprisingly indulgent. The more than 45 meal options are ready to reheat in the microwave or oven. Menu items are gluten-free and protein-packed.

Popular items –  BBQ beef with mac and cheese, Korean Connection (their take on Korean BBQ) and various salmon recipes sell quickly. They also offer breakfast and lunch items such as banana pancakes with strawberry jam, Southwest Scramble, protein muffins, chicken Caesar salad and Cali Tacos.

New for fall – They update the menu periodically, and the current menu reflects fall items.

  • Online orders – Yes. And delivery, via Postmates, to as far as Matthews and Fort Mill.
  • Curbside pickup – Yes.

Switchin' Kitchens' Nana's Pot Pie

Switchin’ Kitchens – The Fountains

Owner Rachel Basile’s Switchin’ Kitchens takes the prep out of home-prepared meals. With all the chopping and assembling done for you, all that’s left to do is thaw and cook them at home (usually in 30 minutes or less).

Popular Items – Nana’s Chicken Pot Pie, Sweet and Sassy Meatloaf and Brunswick Stew. Single-serve options are popular too, especially for picky eaters and solo diners. Extensive nutritional information is provided for all meals to help address dietary restrictions.

Tips – The store is currently closed to customers due to the pandemic, so call or order online. For the best selection and customization options, place an order online for future pickup. If you want to grab a few items on the way home to cook, call ahead. This way, Rachel and her team can begin thawing menu items for you and let you know if something is out of stock. You can also stop by and call from your car. Before pickup, clear out some room in the freezer for storage and think about the number of meals you might like to eat or serve in the coming days and weeks. Frozen meals should keep for at least three to four months.

  • Online ordering – Yes.
  • Curbside pickup – Yes.

Brown Bag's bulk meals with chicken, grilled vegetables and spinach salad

Brown Bag – Rock Creek at Ballantyne Commons

Self-billed as a catering company that happens to be open for lunch, Brown Bag serves simple, delicious meals and focuses on customer service and community relationships.

Popular Items  – The bulk meals are a cross between takeout and catering. A pan of fresh, sliced chicken breast, for example, weighs 3.5 pounds and for $25 offers 10 servings, perfect for serving larger groups or taking several nights off from cooking. Other pan options include steak, grilled vegetables, spinach salad and Jalapeño corn casserole.

  • Online orders – Yes, for catering only right now, which includes breakfast and boxed lunches. In the next few weeks, everything should be available to order online.
  • Curbside pickup  – Yes.

Sanctuary Bistro's broccoli and shiitake bacon soufflé

Sanctuary Bistro  – The Shops at Piper Glen

The vegan and dairy-free Sanctuary Bistro offers frozen meals and grocery items for takeout in addition to fresh gourmet dishes off the dine-in menu. Owners Jennifer Jones Horton and executive chef Barry Horton are new to town from California, and they specialize in decadent foods that you won’t believe are vegan.

Popular Items – For frozen meals, try the Jambalaya, mac and cheese, BBQ jackfruit and Shepherd’s pie. Standout grocery items include the homemade blue cheese dressing, Barvecue vegan mock meat, fun popcorn, chips, essential oils, even masks.

Fall offerings – Vegan cheese is coming soon, including spicy-smoky cheddar that was a huge hit for them in California. Also, new dishes get added every week.

Tips – Sanctuary Bistro is closed for pickups Sunday through Tuesday, so save this option for Wednesday through Saturday.

  • Online orders – Yes.
  • Curbside pickup – Yes, just let them know. Add it to the “Special notes” section when you’re ordering online, or wave to them from your car when you get there.