Tupelo Honey: The Bees’ Knees

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Holy goodness!

That is my ecstatic exclamation in response to Tupelo Honey’s opening in downtown.

Now I know this restaurant isn’t necessarily authentic Greenville because it started in Asheville and just happened to trickle down to our sweet and dainty city, but it is indicative of that smooth as molasses lifestyle we have going on here. That whole mason jar, fresh dandelion, distressed wood, southern essence that pervades much of this region.  I’m guessing you could say it’s a chain, with five locations, but as it originated in a neighboring city, only forty minutes North, we might as well claim it as our own, right? No one really has to know.  And the fact that I have frequented this joint three times in four days is testament that it’s worth dedicating some viral space.

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I’ve only been to Tupelo once before it opened in Greenville, in the downtown Asheville location, where I had some smashing sweet potato pancakes after a day spent shopping with my girl Kristen, but it was memorable all the same. For the longest time I thought it was “Two Pillow Honey” and I always chimed in on the restaurant decision making, saying I wanted to go to “Two Pillow Honey.” That’s not as bad as the couple who came into Anthropologie the other day, which is conveniently located next door (the best combo on the planet- shopping at Anthro and brunch at Tupelo), who asked me where “Triple Honey” was. So the name is going to take some getting used to. But the food….that will charm you as soon as it hits your taste buds. As soon as the complimentary roll is passed under your nose, hot and flaky, complete with blackberry jam and in-house honey. Best part of the meal in my opinion. Like having dessert before the main course.

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I’d describe the food here as home cookin’ but in a refined, polished sort of way. Although a generous amount of butter is probably used in their food, I wouldn’t say it’s used excessively. But can there ever be too much butter in food??? I described it to someone as a Cracker Barrel but elegant. Although they scoffed at my portrayal, I would say it’s pretty accurate, minus that bemusing triangle game and large checker board that appear in every Cracker Barrel.

The three times I have stopped in I have ordered the same thing, the veggie plate, which consists of four side item choices served up pretty and speedily I might add. You could get in and out of here in under an hour if there wasn’t any wait time. Which there usually is because it’s just so darn yummy and such a novelty right now.

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My choice of sweet potato fries, fried okra, parmesan corn, and smashed cheesy cauliflower were seriously heaven on earth. My friend, Meg, described the corn as tasting like “movie theatre popcorn.” And the pickled okra that comes with each meal is the perfect garnish to round out a truly fabulous meal. They served me a very large portion, which I ended up eating only about half of, so I took the rest home for leftovers. I then proceeded to eat them two hours later. You know you’re gluttonous when…. Do not judge. I needed something to munch on while the Mad Men season finale aired.

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The raspberry iced tea was mighty fine and pretty refreshing too. Not too sickly sweet and overpowering but just the right dosage of tea and fruitiness. I usually try to be a healthy/frugal girl and order water when I eat, but this tea and also the mint lemonade were worth those extra calories. And all that picking up my fork and picking up my glass must have burnt some amount of calories ;)…. However, judging by the way my summer white jeans hugged my stomach after I left, maybe not.

And the distinguishable décor that adorns the inside of the restaurant, just too cool. You remember this restaurant not only for its delectability but also for its nifty tea cup and spoon chandelier, multi-colored renovated wood, and cozy sitting area in the “Pickled Okra” bar. It has a little bit of that granola, artsy, hippy lovin’, peace on earth, feel of Asheville.

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How remarkably original and creative. This visual aesthetic of this particular restaurant is phenomenal and your commenting on it will take up any wait time you may have for your food. It’s so unique and creates such a hospitable environment to gorge yourself in. And believe me. You will gorge. It’s too enticing not to.

I will rave about this restaurant to anyone who will listen, but that is not to say it wasn’t without a few glitches. They forgot the hot sauce. They ran out of to-go boxes. They mixed up our credit cards. They didn’t put any ice in my drink. There were a few pieces of meat mixed into my veggies which makes an extreme vegetarian choke. They overcompensated for the wait time.

But it has only been open less than a week so I’m sure those will shortly be sorted out.  And the wait staff and all the employees were more than welcoming and kind. And it doesn’t change my opinion anyway. I just care about the food and what it tastes like honestly. As long as it’s served hot!!! I do not eat to live. This girl right here lives to eat!!!!! Full belly, happy heart.

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This picture is from the first night I was in attendance (and awe) of this restaurant with my cutie girlfriends, Meg and Katie Jo, two of the best teachers in town. Thought they deserved a shout out for contributing to this post. And the third time I went, last Sunday to be exact, was with Noelle and Brittany. I was in good company both nights and loved having these cherished friends around and getting to try what they ordered as well. It gave me a chance to expand my palette and try some marinated tofu (Thanks Meggie) and some goat cheese grits.

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Miss Brittany

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I love my Noe!

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Noelle and Britt playing Vanna White

So go give it a try! It’s the bees’ knees. See what I did there..? Tupelo Honey….Bees’ knees…..

https://tupelohoneycafe.com/

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