Atlanta’s New Tupelo Honey Café
mornin’ Dear, mornin’ honey
By Laura Carson Miller
Any good Andy Griffith fan knows that line comes from a classic episode, Andy The Marriage Counselor, where Andy had to straighten out a local couple that were always fighting, but loved one another dearly. One of his suggestions involved addressing one another with this greeting each morning to start the day on the right foot.
Speaking of honey, I recently had the pleasure of attending the media dinner for Atlanta’s new Tupelo Honey Café, the Asheville upstart known for southern delicacies with a modern twist. The restaurant is currently open for dinner only and will begin serving brunch and lunch on July 16th. The original Tupelo Honey Cafe opened in Asheville, NC in 2000. They are considered one of the pioneers of Asheville’s farm-to-table movement we now see going strong here in Atlanta and all over the country. Nice work, Tupelo Honey Café!
My husband and I have eaten at the Asheville location a few times and were excited to learn of the Atlanta location in Sandy Springs. During the media dinner we were graced with so many wonderful dishes, beginning with the fried chicken and biscuit tower and ending with a delicious piece of pecan pie.
I am not much of an animal eater but my husband loves fried chicken and I ate multiple bites! The chicken is very moist with a crust that is not too thick and offers a salty and sweet flavor all its own. The sweetness comes from Tupelo Honey’s signature ‘Bee Dust’ which truly gives the crust a very unique and delightful twist. The THC biscuits are a thing of beauty. They have some serious heft! We took a few home, which reheated perfectly the following morning for breakfast.
As a fan of okra I enjoyed two very different recipes at the dinner. First was the fried okra, which again had the perfect crust, crispy and not too thick. I’m not a fan of fried items with a crust so abundant you can’t taste the actual flavor underneath. Tupelo Honey Café has the ratio down pat. My next okra dish was the ‘Don’t Judge My Okra Obsession’, an item I’d seen a photo of on the restaurants Instagram page. Each piece is sliced long ways, blistered and seasoned perfectly. The Corn Jalapeño Slaw was outstanding, not too spicy and the corn kernels give a fun flavor boost and a bit of crunch. I want to try many of the other side dishes!
I would be amiss not mentioning the Jazzy Belle 5 Moonshine Daiquiri, named after the Outkast song. This frosty beverage, boasts not one but two flavors of Doc Collier moonshine, sweet tea and peach. It’s a special treat, people!
Every employee at Tupelo Honey was friendly and hospitable, and very knowledgeable about the menu. It is a pleasure to dine in this kind of atmosphere. And they have a TV at their bar, a criteria my husband and I use when judging restaurants. Don’t judge us on that.
Photo credit: Heidi Geldhauser