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Tallahassee has a new bakery, and I am delighted! Shocking, right? But you heard right, I’m here, I’m chubby, and I like pastries! SoDough opened its doors a week and a half ago, and the buzz around town has been palpable. They have no parking, limited seating, long lines, and it’s worth every damn minute you have to wait. I’ve been twice now for early morning weekend pastry runs with my friends and not a single thing we’ve tried has been anything less than amazing.
A group of us got up early and decided to make our first visit at 8 am the day of the grand opening. The line was out the door, but the staff bustled around filling cases, offering coffee cups to people who were planning on purchasing so they’d have something to sip in line. The crew behind the counter was hustling, filling orders, making/decorating donuts, and ringing up purchases, all while being helpful and pleasant to each and every customer. After securing a box full of pastries apiece, we retreated to the seating nook near the window and proceeded to over indulge. We all got a couple different things so there was a lot of “try a piece of this” and “holy crap, this is amazing – you have to try this.” There were also some wordless happy dances performed after trying a bite of something especially amazing. Between what I’ve purchased and what my friends have let me try I can whole heartedly recommend the following: the Strawberry Lavender Sugar Donut, Delta Butter Donut (Andy’s favorite), Key Lime Pie Donut, Chocolate Stout Donut, the Indigo Shibori Bread, The Everything Bagel Kolache and the Mushroom Pastry (my favorite). The pastry case always has something new and interesting to try, but this at least gives you a place to start.
Since both of my visits have been on the weekends, I am trying to figure out how to get over there during the week to see if things are a little less hectic. No luck so far, but it’s only been two weeks.
Good morning readers! Do you like donuts? Do you like supporting local businesses? Do you live in/near Tallahassee? If so, I am about to make your day. Allow me to introduce you to Dandelion Donuts! They’re vegan, they’re organic, they’re delivered in a wonderful eco-friendly modified bicycle, and most importantly, they are INSANELY delicious. They had a launch party for their Indiegogo fundraiser this past Saturday at Sweet Pea Cafe, and Andy and I had to stop by and try things out.
Strawberry Basil! These were Andy’s favorites by far, and I have to admit that I love how they were delightfully pink without any artificial coloring. The Summer Herb was my runner up favorite. It was perfectly tart and a tiny bit herbaceous. I could eat these all summer long! Double Chocolate with Cocoa Nibs! Me with my favorite, the Maple Facon. I don’t know how I have lived this long and never tried coconut bacon. It’s perfectly crispy and exactly what this donut needs to contrast that rich maple glaze.
To find out more about Dandelion Donuts and to support this local venture, check out their fundraiser Indiegogo page, and to receive updates on progress and availability be sure to follow them on Facebook and Instagram.
When my mom was in town earlier this summer, she and I started the habit of getting up a little earlier on Saturday morning, grabbing breakfast, and hitting up the small farmers’ market at Market Square here in Tallahassee. It was a great way to pick up our produce for the week as well as support the local economy. It’s a wonderful ritual that I’ve found myself continuing even though my mom has been back in NC for more than a month.
I’ve become somewhat of a regular with certain vendors, and they greet me warmly every time they see me and are always excited to show me what they have to offer that day. While I’d like to think it has something to do with my dazzling wit, I suspect my purple hair is the likely reason that I’ve become so well known. One of my favorite booths is the one by Serenity Farms. They’re a goat farm, and they offer everything from homemade cheese to soap. They even have goats milk half and half available at certain times of the year. While the vegan wannabe in me has a problem with dairy in general, I have a lot of respect for these guys. They fluctuate their offerings based on what the goats are producing in season and can tell you which goat was the provider for which ingredients. If you’re going to consume animal products, I think it’s important to acknowledge and honor the creature it came from. The other highlight of this particular farmers’ market are the plants and fresh flowers available each week. There are several different plant vendors who offer everything from herbs and veggies to ornamental shrubs and all manner of flowering things. Not to mention the fresh flowers themselves; I mean, the sunflowers alone have been breathtaking the last few weeks.
Farmers’ markets can be a lot of fun, even if they’re humble in size. I definitely suggest checking around your local area to see what is available. And hey, if you find yourself in Tallahassee, stop by, and maybe we’ll run into each other.
One of the best things about Savannah is the amazing food. Southern, fusion, experimental – you name it; they’ve got it. What makes things even more interesting is that the best food in town is usually from a small local place. I’ve discovered a few over the years and this past trip yielded a delightful new addition, Mate Factor.
This little gem was located not even a three minute walk from our Air BnB, and initially, we weren’t sure we were going to be able to try it out since it is closed on Saturdays. Fortunately, we are both fairly early risers, and we were able to grab a quick bite before getting on the road Sunday morning. One of the reviews I read online described this place as something out of a fairy tale, and I have to say the description is pretty accurate. While it looks like a cozy cottage on the outside, the inside actually holds a few small structures that give the place the feeling of an enchanted market. The cold case and ordering “cottage” are off to one side, and seating space has been maximized by creating a loft as well as lower recessed seating. Of course we decided to sit in the loft. I started my day with an egg & cheese sandwich and a “Dandy Remix”, and Rebecca went with a cranberry orange scone paired with a hazelnut vanilla latte. I also picked up a scone and a mini sweet potato pound cake to take home for Andy. Everything was delicious, and ultimately I was annoyed with myself for not ordering a larger beverage and more baked goods. I absolutely adored this little cafe, and it will absolutely be at the top of my “must see” list from now on. I can’t wait to take Andy there the next time we’re in town.
Since brunch is pretty much my favorite meal EVER, I knew I was going to have to try the one at Blu Halo a restaurant that opened practically five minutes from our front door. We’ve been twice now, once with a group and once just the two of us, and I have to say we were pretty pleased both times we went.
Now I am going to go ahead and throw out the small handful of negatives I have before we get to the much more plentiful “good stuff” . 1-price, the menu is on the higher side for brunch here in town, and many of the items are worth the investment, but there are a few things that I personally felt missed the mark a bit. 2- menu options. I am a pescetarian which is a bit odd when dining out anyway, but the menu options were very limited for someone like me. Now on to the good stuff. This place is by far the “fanciest” restaurant in the area, and the hostesses and wait staff go above and beyond to give you the best dining experience possible. Also, the place is spotless, and the staff is fantastic at keeping things cleared away and wiped down, a strange thing to note I know, but I always consider extra attention to cleanliness a plus. To the food!Apple Jacks French Toast – this was one of the meh, menu items for me. It was super sweet, and I ended up giving most of it to Andy in return for some of his waffle. Chicken & Waffles – Now obviously I didn’t try the chicken part of this, but Andy said it was some of the best fried chicken he’s had, and the waffles were crispy, fluffy, vanilla-y amazingness. Shrimp & Grits – a southern staple and one of the things I was most disappointed about not being able to eat (the sauce has ham & sausage in it), but my friend ordered it and she said it was good. A little bit of heat, the shrimp were well spiced, and the grits were creamy and perfect. Steak & Eggs – This is Andy’s favorite thing he has had there yet. Flavorful chimmichuri sauce, tender steak, crispy potatoes, and peppery micro greens. I stole a few of the potatoes, and I can honestly say that they were awesome and the sauce was herbaceous; I could see how it would help balance the richness of the steak and the fried egg.
So there you have it, a great local place, and for us, it is perfect for those weekend mornings where you don’t really want to stray too far from the house, but you don’t feel like cooking either.