Tupelo Honey Cafe – Asheville, NC

Tupelo Honey
First let me say… there are SO MANY AMAZING restaurants in and around downtown Asheville, NC.  This is just the first of many that I will be checking out and sharing with you here… but it is a wonderful one to start with… The TUPELO HONEY CAFE.

One word of warning. Do not come here to eat if you are in a hurry, because you will almost certainly have to wait a good long while for a table. That is because it is so good, everyone wants to eat here! But DO WAIT! It really is worth it! Tomato Pie
A special the day we came that is not normally on their menu, a tomato pie was so tasty!

Grits Okra AsparagusCorn Green Beans and Salad
Veggie plates are always a fantastic choice here since so many choices are on the menu. The grits are smooth and succulent, and a perfect compliment to the asparagus and okra. The corn was super sweet and green beans were too! 
Red Shrimp and Grits
I think the biggest surprise was my Shrimp and Grits. I have ordered it in many different restaurants around the Carolinas, but it us usually with brown gravy and sausage.  This is the chef’s signature dish, called Brian’s Shrimp and Grits » Seven large delectable shrimp served over goat cheese grits with a spicy roasted red pepper sauce.
Different, yes. Delicious, ABSOLUTELY!

If you are ever in or near Asheville, NC and have only 1 meal there, make Tupelo Honey Cafe your pick.  You will not be sorry!  *(though more great options to be featured soon!)

Downtown Asheville
12 College Street
Asheville  North Carolina  28801

Sunrise Cafe – Chesterfield, MO (suburban St Louis)

I love breakfast. It IS the most important meal of the day, right?

I remember as a little kids getting to go out to eat on trips to have breakfast and what an amazing difference it was having breakfast in a restaurant instead of at home.  Cracker Barrel, Waffle House, Denny’s and IHOP were the choices I remember growing up, as well as the occasional McDonald’s Egg McMuffin, but now there are so many other great places to nosh at breakfast time, so I look for them.

Last week I was in St. Louis for a conference and found a little place just south of town and  it was wonderful.  They even are so proud of the fact they are an “independent restauranteur” that they print that fact right on the front of their menu!
Sunrise Cafe

They so focus on the food, they do not even have a website… but there are lots of places that list reviews or suggestions for it and most are great.  Here is YELP‘s take.
I did manage to find that they do have a Facebook page.

My omelet was called the Spanish Dawn. It was big, fluffy and felt like there was 6 eggs in it… though I am assured it was just 3.  The best part was the spicy chorizo sausage. Gave the omelet the kick it needed! The sour cream and guacamole helped cool that spice down and worked so well with the eggs.  Plus the salsa and guac were made fresh and tasted great.
Southwest Omelet

My friend got a southwest omelet which looked equally as savory with its pepper jack cheese on top!
Omelet

Service was great and the coffee was fantastic. Most local breakfast places like this do not ever seem to have good coffee. Theirs was very robust.  They have good food, great service and hearty coffee which helps keep themselves going – even though 3 doors down is a “St. Louis Bread Company” chain store (like a Panera).

One advantage they have over folks like Panera, is that they serve a full breakfast menu, not just bagels and eggs.  Everything from oatmeal to omelets, from pancakes/waffles to biscuits/gravy, from corned beef hash to steak & eggs.  All you would want. (Even Cream of Wheat!)  Another advantage they have over the competition is that they do not just serve breakfast, though with the name SUNRISE CAFE that may not be as obvious. They have a great selection of lunch & dinner options (sandwiches, soups, salads, burgers, fish, BBQ, ribs, steaks, etc) and even do appetizers and sinful deserts!

Another great example of why we need to “break the chains”… eat LOCAL.  It is just better.

🙂