Recently, on a crisp winter morning, two of my best friends met me at Tupelo Honey, a new restaurant located at The Star. Known for its revival of Southern classics, craft cocktails and unique seasonal dishes, I had heard rumors that Tupelo Honey was the place to be for brunch on any given Saturday morning. It was one of those extremely rare days when none of us were on a tight time schedule and we could really kick back, enjoy some delicious food and catch up. I had received a number of glowing endorsements about Tupelo Honey, and I could not wait to see for myself what all the hype was about!
When you walk through the front doors, you are immediately immersed in a rustic but upscale atmosphere – almost like a modern farmhouse. Gorgeous tiles line the floor in the bar area, located in front of the entryway, which boasts exposed beams and open shelving, showing off the restaurant’s impressive collection of libations. The space is open and features a variety of types of seating and tables. The aroma of home cooked meals that lingered in the air was enough to make my stomach growl.
Since it was a little cooler than usual outside, we opted for an indoor table, even though the patio looked cozy and fun. We were quickly shown to our table by a very kind hostess and then we were immediately greeted by our friendly waiter. He told us all about the menu, which listed a unique variety of Southern favorites, and even made suggestions as to what his favorite dishes were.
We took a second to settle in, warmed up and then ordered our beverages. I needed a caffeine fix, as soon as possible, and I was hoping for some sort of cold or iced coffee … even though it was chilly outside. Our waiter suggested I try the Nitro Flash Brew Coffee. My friends decided to get a Tupelo Bloody Mary carafe, a popular brunch item from the creative cocktail offerings. Though unfamiliar, the coffee I ordered was excellent! It was strong and had a dark roasted flavor. It tasted very smooth and was even served in an adorable glass. The Bloody Mary carafe looked magnificent. The restaurant’s take on the traditional brunch drink includes Dixie black pepper vodka and house-made mix that is poured into glasses featuring pimento cheese-stuffed olives, pickled okra and lime salt rims. Upon the very first sip of the fancy cocktail (which looked like a meal in itself), my friend stated that it was, hands-down, the best Bloody Mary she had ever tasted!
We made a toast to our time together and continued perusing the brunch menu. I had also been told about the amazing biscuits and jam Tupelo Honey serves, so we placed an order for the Cathead Biscuits and decided to also try the Blue Cheese and Bacon Chef’s Mason Jar Dip. It was becoming increasingly obvious that we were about to be indulging in a large portion of food during this meal.
While we waited, we noted how relaxing and eclectic the playlist of music was and even how cute the silverware and napkins on the table looked. The farmhouse atmosphere was relaxing and made us feel right at home. Everyone wants to find a place they can go for any occasion, time after time, and feel like they fit right in. We knew quickly that we had found a new hangout.
After only a few minutes, the Cathead Biscuits arrived. The word “ginormous” does not even begin to describe the size of these fluffy, buttery, peppered biscuits. They were served with house-made blueberry jam and whipped butter, which (guilty as charged), I could not get enough of. The blend of the two flavors in the spread was outstanding … almost addicting … and the biscuits practically melt in your mouth. Not long after that, our Blue Cheese and Bacon Dip arrived. The plate was covered in hand-cut potato chips and fresh carrots. The presentation was right in line with the restaurant’s theme and came served in an adorable mason jar. The creamy dip almost had a spicy element to it. It was thick and full of an outstanding blend of bold flavors.
One friend put in his order for the Shoo Mercy Sweet Potato Pancakes, while the other ordered the Chicken Fried Steak. I, on the other hand, took our waiter’s advice and ordered the popular Honey Dusted Fried Chicken.
I ordered the fried chicken with a side of bacon and eggs cooked over-easy, since the dish came with two sides. When they brought our meal out, I gasped out loud when I saw the amount of food that was stacked on the plate! Unbelievable! The fried chicken was crispy, flavorful and just like my grandmother used to cook it. At Tupelo Honey, the meat is brined for 24 hours before it is fried and sprinkled with “bee dust.” The eggs were cooked to perfection, topped with large flakes of black pepper and the bacon had an almost sweet taste to it.
Hayden’s Shoo Mercy Sweet Potato Pancakes were stacked on his plate and topped with a hearty serving of buttermilk fried chicken. This dish was served with apple cider bacon, spiced pecans, eggs, a grilled apple and pickled blueberries. The mixture of salty and sweet seemed unbeatable. He also mentioned how unique and delicious the grilled apple was. Not only did it add to the presentation of the meal on his plate, but it was tasty, too!
Brittany’s Chicken Fried Steak was piping hot, tender and was served with over-medium eggs, crispy tobacco onions, a boiled peanut spread, steak sauce and dressed greens on top of (yet another) open-faced cathead biscuit. Let’s just say she needed a to-go box because her eyes may have been bigger than her stomach.
If there is no such thing as dessert for brunch, we invented it when we decided we could not leave without trying the Bacon Pralines. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Bacon Pralines (like we were), the two strips of bacon are covered in caramelized brown sugar and toasted pecans. My mouth is watering just thinking about it! I believe any dish including bacon cannot be beat and Tupelo Honey took a simple breakfast side and added some spunk and sweetness to make it even better.
I wish I could completely re-create what our meal and time spent at Tupelo Honey was like. It was one of the most pleasant, relaxing and unique dining experiences I have had in a very long time. As we walked out the doors, bellies full from taste testing a little bit of everything, I was already itching to write about our delightful experience there.
Tupelo Honey is located at 6725 Winning Drive in Frisco. While you may be committed to your New Year’s resolution of trying to lose a few pounds, plan to have your first “cheat meal” at Tupelo Honey, which also serves lunch and dinner. If you have some time to kill, enjoy a shaken, muddled or mixed craft cocktail made with hand-made syrup during Happy Hour, which happens every day from 4-7 p.m. During this time, you can also order select snacks for only $5. Check out tupelohoneycafe.com to plan your visit, view the menu or make a reservation. I hope to run into you there, honey!