When I put out a call for Asheville food suggestions, everyone and their mother recommended Tupelo Honey Cafe. When the people are right, they are right. Located in downtown Asheville, this establishment was packed the night we were there. This location doesn't take reservations, but what they do offer is "call ahead seating." You call the restaurant about an hour before you want to eat and they put you on the list just like you were there in person. I love this idea! Steve and I called up for dinner at 6:15 and were told it would be an hour. When we arrived at 7 we were able to cut the huge line and go the next available table. I was terribly sick with a cold at this point and I really appreciated the staff for accommodating me and moving me to a warm table in the back away from the constantly opening door.
Tupelo Honey is a popular place. How popular you ask? SO POPULAR THAT SANTA EATS THERE. You can tell by his face that Santa was very unhappy that I recognized him and captured him on film.
Tupelo Honey's menu is made up of a variety of traditional southern offerings. The feel and the food reminded me a lot of Nashville's own (and famous) Loveless Cafe. Tupelo Honey is just a tad bit more upscale and dare I say it, healthier, than the Loveless.
And just like the Loveless Cafe all meals at Tupelo Honey come with a biscuit and jam. This might be the largest single biscuit I have ever seen. I wish I had put a penny next to it so you can see the scale. The biscuit was delicious, light and fluffy. I couldn't even finish it.
Even though it isn't springtime I had to get the fried green tomatoes. They were served over goat cheese grits with a pinch of fresh basil. What I really enjoyed about this dish was how light the tomatoes were. They didn't look like or taste like they had been fried. The crust was crisp, light and not dripping with oil. And inside was a plump fresh tomato. I have no idea what their secret is, but I need to learn how to fry foods like this. The best thing on the plate was that one picked okra. Best. Pickled. Okra. Ever.
Steve ordered the Tender Medallions of Beef. I'm pretty sure the only reason why he picked this dish was that it was served with Gorgonzola butter. That is a pretty good reason if you ask me. It came with cheesy cauliflower and asparagus. Steve was also sick at this point and couldn't really taste much of his dish to provide a commentary. I tried this dish and wasn't blown away. The meat was a little too tough and the sauce was on the boring side. But, I also was sick so I don't know if my palate was thrown off as well.
Being sick I wanted some comfort food. And how more comfortable can you get than meatloaf? And not just regular meatloaf, meatloaf with bacon inside. I loved this dish-it was exactly what the doctor ordered. The meatloaf itself was juicy and had good spice. The tomato sauce on top was super fresh and didn't overpower the meat (I want to taste that bacon). I'm always skeptical when mac n' cheese is a side dish, but I really like Tupelo Honey's take on it. You can taste the really good cheese that they used- no processed crap here.
Overall, we really liked Tupelo Honey. I'm happy that this was everyone's go-to Asheville suggestion!