Tupelo Honey Cafe in Asheville

In Asheville to pick up my son from a week at guitar camp, my family spent some time walking around downtown Asheville. We visited the old Woolworths which is now a large art co-op and eventually made our way to the Tupelo Honey Café at 14 College Street.

It was around 1:30 on a Saturday afternoon and there was a 30 minute wait at the restaurant. There were several protests about the wait, but we went into the 10,000 Villages Co-op nearby. Eventually, the pager they provided us buzzed.

When we walked into the restaurant, they seated us immediately. It was busy and there was a buzz of talk, but at our table we could easily discuss the menu.

The restaurant is described on the menu as being locally owned and “combining southern favorites with a creative twist, presenting healthier options, fresh ingredients and large portions at a fair price.”

I ordered the Tupelo tomato sandwich with sides of salsa verde pinto beans and grits. The sandwich is described as having large ripe tomatoes served on Texas toast with havarti cheese, salt and pepper and of course Duke’s mayonnaise. I had the toast grilled. The sandwich was spectacular and the beans and grits were a great combination.

My son had the nutty fried chicken, my daughter ate pancakes and my wife had the cheesy grill sandwich, tomato soup and two fried green tomatoes. Everyone loved their food and pronounced it well worth the wait and one of the best meals we’d enjoyed together.

One of the things I liked best about the restaurant was its commitment to local food. The executive chef has established a 12-acre farm to provide natural, pesticide-free local food for the restaurant. They explain that their goal is to provide as much food as possible from their farm and other local food producers and businesses.

John, the waiter, gave excellent service. He brought us wonderful biscuits that were even better with the restaurant’s signature tupelo honey. We enjoyed it so much we bought a bottle of honey to take home. And we enjoyed the restaurant and John’s service so much, we asked for an autographed menu.

On it, he wrote, “Thanks for visiting. Eat more pancakes!”

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