Tupelo Honey Cafe has been featured a few times on Food Network shows, so when we were in Asheville recently, we decided to give it a try. Maybe my expectation was too high, but i came away satisfied, but not overly impressed. There were some hits and some "eh's" here.
We had about a 40 minute wait here (popular place!) but passed that time at a nearby establishment where we had a glass of wine. Once seated, we ordered drinks and an appetizer, the Fried Green Tomatoes. The friend green tomatoes themselves were pretty good, but they were served over some goat cheese grits that needed a bit of salt. It's the attention to little details like that which I found the most annoying here--good food served with something that was just not quite as top notch.
By the way, I started with the beer sampler, a nice sample of a few good beers. That sure hit the spot!
For my main course, I had the Brian's Shrimp and Grits. Seven large shrimp were cooked well and served over a bed of Goat Cheese Grits and a bit of roasted red pepper sauce. My shrimp were just OK, not too over cooked, but not perfect either. Again, the dish needed just a bit of salt. But with the pepper sauce, the shrimp were nice and spicy.
For his main course Tommy had the Southern Fried Chicken Saltimbocca with Country Ham and Mushroom Marsala. It's a mouthfull to say, but it was very good. The most surprising part of the dish, however, was the bed of cheesy mashed cauliflower that it was served on. The chicken, too, was breaded and fried and topped with country ham and melted havarti cheese and a bit of basil. The dish was garnished with a bit of grilled asparagus. This dish was a real hit, very flavorful and delicious. The mushroom marsala was a nice and earthy but sweet component as well. This was the best bite of the meal, for sure.
We'd started out with a bowl of Tomato Soup (called ToMAYto or ToMAHto soup) and two spoons. It was very good and had a nice tomato flavor. I'd have served it a bit thicker or with a bit of cream, but still, it was quite good, no major complaints.
Overall we had a nice meal here. I think maybe a bit of attention to a few details is needed, but still, I'd come back to try a few of the other things on the menu--it has a lot of good-looking food on it!