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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.
I’m very big on brunch; it’s my favorite meal of the week. I am also fortunate enough to have friends who feel the same way and are more than willing to meet up and help me indulge in my addiction. Lately, we’ve been trying to expand our culinary horizons a bit and deviate from our tried and true favorites. This past weekend, we tried out Liberty Bar & Restaurant.
Located in Midtown, I was a little worried about parking, since space is always at a premium, but Liberty is located near Joe Mama’s and Lucky Goat, which have a decent amount of parking. The added bonus was if there weren’t any tables we’d have other food options. 😉
Luckily, we got there shortly after they opened and were seated right away. We did note on our way out, however, that both the indoor and outdoor tables were almost all gone.
The food was really good; we left wishing we’d opted for stretchier pants. Our waitress was very sweet, and she made sure that we understood the menu and was willing to make accommodations for any dietary restrictions.
All in all, I would absolutely come back. I wouldn’t recommend it for larger groups; they have signs posted saying they can not accommodate groups larger than twelve, plus it also is a little dark and pretty loud, which is not always optimal for interacting with the rest of your group. The only other negative I’d add was that some of the staff seemed to have an issue with me taking pictures. No one told me to stop, but I felt the dirty looks from the bar staff were unwarranted since 1 – let’s be honest, we live in an Instagram world, 2 – my camera was never directed at any people, and 3 – most places encourage social media shout outs and online reviews. Oh well, maybe I just caught them on an off day, and it wasn’t bad enough to keep me from wanting to go back.
Category: Sunday Brunch