I'm still processing all that took place at the Allume conference last month in Greenville, South Carolina. Eventually I promise to post about it, but what I am fully prepared to write about is food. Especially southern food. You need to know I have an affinity for a good hearty Southern breakfast. Bacon. Grits. Need a girl ask for more? Ok, maybe chipped beef gravy. There is no better breakfast in my book. Why do you care? Because enter one of my favorite all time places for a hearty Southern breakfast with a modern twist - Tupelo Honey Cafe.
The original restaurant is in Asheville, NC and we tested it out last winter on a weekend trip to the Biltmore. On a very cold, windy morning, we waited over an hour to get a teeny-tiny table. Let's not leave out the biggest detail that it had snowed the day before. Not only was it freezing cold, but there was salt covering the roads that was lovingly being blown into my eyes as we wandered outside the restaurant. My contacts have never hated me so much. The food was even better than I had expected and more times than I should admit I regretted not picking up their cookbook there and then.
So when I realized one had since opened in Greenville within walking distance of the hotel, it was on. Not only was I coming home cookbook toting, but I was getting up early to avoid the line. It's not an old location, but it has plenty of charm. Old screen doors and windows serve as wall panels and decor. My favorite part was the panels above the open kitchen that displayed the sites around Greenville. I love that they embrace their roots. Cause that's what Southerners do ya'll.
There's so much more to this place than the few plates we've tried, but here's the skinny on our favorites from that morning.
Shut my mouth. Hopefully with a spoon of this in it. Goat cheese grits. Though my old faithful will always be Georgia Ice Cream (aka grits with cheese) that I top with crumbled bacon, these are a close second. The tang from the cheese is just enough to wake up your tastebuds. I picked up goat cheese to make these this week (thank goodness for that cookbook!).
Andy loves him some hash browns. But he doesn't share my love of grits. Bless his heart, he thinks Splenda or sugar belongs in grits. He's a work in progress but I'm working on him. He might not be Southern born, but he will be Southern bred if its the last thing I do. But back to the potatoes, these were seasoned amazingly, and the cut of them makes it a bit more special.
Chicken and biscuits. Bread. Gravy. Fried anything. There's nothing more I can say. The portions are huge, so we split this and got a side of bacon to cover all our protein sources in one meal. Y-U-M.
I probably should have started with these monster biscuits they bring to every table. How on earth you can make them so tall and cooked to perfection all the way through is beyond me. But with honey & their blueberry compote? Count this as a warning that if you down this whole thing before you meal, you may not eat much else.
Take a peek at a quick shot from the menu. It's not your typical ingredients (I mean crab in eggs?), but everything I've tasted has been wonderful and all the things I stalk on the tables around me look tasty too. You do that too right? Or am I really that nosy?
They are well known for their special sweet potato pancakes which I tried in Asheville. And for good reason because they are awesome. But getting a double stack? Bad idea, unless you are known as the pancake eating champion at your local Waffle House. Because these things are probably 12 inches across.
Just come hungry. And be prepared to wait. But just know it's worth it. Have you been before? What recipe should I try out next from the cookbook?