Eating Local was never so easy

victoria —  August 16, 2010 — Leave a comment

Yesterday I had the great good fortune to mosey on down the road a short way with Keifel and Julian to meet two lovely couples, one with equally lovely offspring in tow, for breakfast at the still fairly new restaurant The Farmhouse at Fontanel. Keifel and I had gotten excited about it when I found it while looking for local food sources on the web, but schedules and budgets had kept us from trying it ’til yesterday. It’s on Whites Creek Pike which makes it very conveniently located for us North (of) Nashville types. They also source their ingredients locally, from many of the same producers we have been buying from for months.

Between the eight of us, we almost covered the breakfast menu. The omelets were of that particular shade of yellow only achieved by using the very freshest of eggs straight from farms where chickens eat what chickens are suppose to eat. The grits, courtesy of Falls Mills, were — with only the exception of those enjoyed at my mother’s table, made by her hand — the best I have ever eaten. I know grits are a love ’em or leave ’em proposition and most people I know are in the leave ’em camp, but these were every bit as creamy and light as the finest Italian-grandma-made polenta laden with shallots and Parmesan. I ordered the Whites Creek Benedict: buttermilk biscuits with country ham, a light cheese sauce and two perfectly poached eggs. Julian took a piece of my biscuit and said, “You just handed me a cloud.” Boy knows from biscuits.

Jules got the Mile Marker Zero BBQ Omelet. He was leaning toward the French toast but his serious BBQ love won out. And good thing. The pulled pork was perfect and the combination of fluffy yellow omelet with tangy sauce just goes to show that sometimes a great notion comes from coloring outside the lines. Keifel’s farmhouse breakfast arrived all of a piece: a perfect succotash of sweet corn and buttery limas layered with crumbled sausage and home fries topped with two (again perfectly executed) over medium eggs. None of this fifteen different plates and bowls like the similarly named breakfast served at that familiar interstate exit country eatery. (Don’t get me wrong, I have been saved many times by the checkers and rocking chairs beacon when travelling through the seas of fast food sludge served on plastic tables.)

There’s our three. I had nibbles of the others but saved the gusto of my appetite for my own choice. However, I was tempted and succumbed to the sweet siren song of fig jam and sweet potato butter that came with the toast plates. Vocabulary fails. Oh my. I love fig jam and well, that was amazing. Period.

Of course, I cannot be 100% fawning. Not because I’m afraid you won’t believe me or because I will seem like some paid sycophant. There actually was a teeny flaw. And honestly, it’s a pet peeve of mine and no one else seemed to mind in the least. I prefer a crunch to my hash browns/home fries and none registered with those that Keifel or Jules got with their meals. It’s a tiny but important thing, to me. So, I will always choose the grits when given a choice. Problem solved.

We are looking forward to going back for lunch or dinner and checking out the trails on the property. It’s a beautiful setting. It always amazes me how close we are to a rural area when we can be downtown in about 7 minutes. The new enterprise at Fontanel is icing on that best of both worlds cake. Oh, they are currently building a gallery/artist space, as well.

Go. If you aren’t as lucky to be as close as we are, it’s worth the drive. It’s the same folks that run The Loveless, but having eaten at both, The Farmhouse wins by miles. Must be all that great local produce, meat, eggs and dairy.



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