We had the best time in Knoxville. We walked around downtown, and had supper at Tupelo Honey Cafe, which began in Asheville and now has a few outposts (it’s actually so good and the people behind it seem so nice, that this is a restaurant one can look forward to seeing more locations of). We all thought it was just crazy-delicious and the service was amazing.
Top left, my entree (which is listed as an appetizer) Appalachian egg rolls — pulled pork tossed in smoked jalapeno bbq sauce and rolled with braised greens, pickled onions and carrots. I don’t even have to say how good that was, because you know it already. Av had the nutty fried chicken (bottom-right) which was nut-encrusted, hormone-free chicken breast topped with milk gravy and served with smashed sweet potatoes and an asparagus garnish. Both boys were in the mood for a simple grilled cheese, with fruit on the side. Those sandwiches were no kitchen afterthought. They were excellent.
When I ordered, I just casually mentioned that I didn’t have the appetite for a whole serving of the pimento cheese but had heard such wonderful things about it, and guess what? Just as a surprise, they brought out a little serving and…well yes, of course, that was just fabulous. They use Duke’s and even have the recipe on their website.
Also, these are some of the best restaurant biscuits I have ever had. Ever-ever. They have the recipe for them in their cookbook. I made the recipe this week (although I baked them in one of my cast iron skillets rather than on a baking pan as they do, because I love the amazing crust that develops that way) and everyone loooooved them.
And another trick to their biscuits, from THC’s Chef Brian Sonoskus? “Pinch the flour and fat together like you’re snapping your fingers” which, as the Today Show put it, creates thin sheets of butter that create puff pastry-like layers in your biscuits. Their biscuit recipe is at the bottom of that page, too. (And he loves the buttermilk from Cruze Dairy!)
Right now, Tupelo Honey Cafe is doing their ‘Southern Holiday Recipe Contest‘ wherein people send in their recipes in four different categories, and one of the best parts is that they publish the entries so the public can try them and vote.
The restaurant now has two cookbooks:
Tupelo Honey Cafe: Spirited Recipes from Asheville’s New South Kitchen
Tupelo Honey Cafe: New Southern Flavors from the Blue Ridge Mountains