Tag Archives: eat local

Southern Velvet

Through the grapevine, I recently learned that another tea shop had opened up in Tallahassee. Being a big fan of the beverage, I quickly did some research and, to my delight, discovered that this tea shop was delightfully retro in decor and offered something that made my little tea loving heart go pitter patter, tea flights. This past Sunday, Andy and I waited for a break in the rain and then headed there to procure beverages and tasty treats.

They had me the moment I saw those tiny vanilla cheesecakes with the lacy doilies. The front room, where you order, was nicely cozy, but it was also full of people so I didn’t want to take any photos. The dining area was open and airy, with soft pink walls and funky vintage accents. They also had a kid’s corner which I thought was great; a lot of my friends have kids, and it’s nice to have a place to meet up where they would be able to play and hang out while the grown ups catch up.Since we were visiting in that magical time between breakfast and lunch, we decided to indulge in something savory. I went for the veggie hand pie and Andy opted for the sandwich puffs filled with their vegan chickpea salad and avocado egg salad respectively. Since we did what we always do, which is go half-sies, I can confidently say that it was all delicious and I’d order any of these items again, although he and I both agreed that the chickpea salad was the winner as far as best flavor goes. We also took one of their cinnamon rolls to go, we tried it later that evening, and Andy was over the moon. His biggest complaint about most cinnamon rolls is that there is never enough spice and the roll is just over sweet, but these guys nailed it. Plenty of cinnamon and just a touch of cardamom, and I had one very happy husband. So how was the tea? You know, the thing that inspired our visit in the first place? Since Andy was such a good sport about this excursion, I decided that we should go for the “Chai Flight” since I don’t ever think he’s met a chai he didn’t like. It took a few minutes to put together, which is to be expected because the different blends require different “steeping” times. The tea arrived hot, but safe to drink. We took our time working our way around the delightful vintage inspired “swoosh”, sipping and sharing before deciding on our favorites and divvying up the rest for consumption. We had a wonderful time. Andy and I both love food, and we spend many of our more creative meals sharing and discussing flavor parings, things we’d like to integrate, and things that we are surprised by. This experience was tailor made for people like us. I am very excited about this new addition to Tallahassee. I already have a couple of friends who want to go tea tasting sometime soon, so I’ll be heading back across town in the very near future 🙂


SoDough

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.


Dandelion Donuts – Step Up Tallahassee

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.


Keep it Local

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.


Mate Factor

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.