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Hey Raleigh: Add some Tupelo honey to your brunch

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Tupelo Honey Café announced on Monday that it plans to open its newest location in Raleigh’s Cameron Village neighborhood in late fall. The Asheville, N.C.-based restaurant will show the Triangle that the only thing better than brunch on the weekends is brunch every day, any time.

The restaurant will open a 5,800-square-foot space in the 401 Oberlin development, which will feature indoor and open-air seating.

“We’ve long admired the food scene that has grown up around the Triangle,” said Steve Frabitore, owner of Tupelo Honey Cafe. “When the opportunity to move in to 401 Oberlin presented itself, we jumped. We look forward to being a part of the Raleigh business community.”

Like their original hometown, the restaurants are laid back, colorful, and whimsical, promising offbeat inventiveness in the kitchen and artistic diversity on their walls. As with its other locations, the Tupelo Honey team will look for local artists to bring the area's unique flavor to the dining area.

“Tupelo Honey has been on my 'must-do' list every time I've been to Asheville,” said Kristin Frycz, a Triangle resident who practically squealed with delight via Facebook when news of the Raleigh location broke.

“I've eaten there on an (ahem) rough morning of a girls' weekend shortly after college graduation, and a rather early morning with my husband and son much more recently. In any setting, the food somehow is exactly what you need and want.”

What can Raleigh expect?

Tupelo Honey Cafe offers Southern cuisine with a nouveau bent. The bruncher knows this is not a typical eggs-and-mimosa menu just from the options for a cheese omelet: Havarti, gorgonzola, cheddar, goat, or pimento cheeses (and add jalapeno cilantro pesto for a little heat). While just ordering an omelet can be an adventure at Tupelo Honey, why not try a taste of some of the other unexpected bites on the menu?

How about Appalachian Egg Rolls or pimiento cheese with house-made tortilla chips? Southern popcorn (fried okra) with Carolina White Sauce for dipping? The “Shoo Grill Cheese, Have Mercy” is a “mind-blowing” grilled cheese with Havarti, pimiento cheese, caramelized onions, maple-peppered bacon, smoked ham, fried green tomatoes, and fresh basil on sourdough wheat bread, if you’re in the mood. Perhaps Southern-fried chicken saltimbocca with country ham and mushroom marsala?

These mouthwatering surprises prove what Tupelo Honey Cafe promises: It serves up a different take on the Southern plate and creativity rules in its kitchen.

In the mood for a traditional brunch, Raleigh? Sorry, that’s won't be possible here…

So here’s a menu suggestion for the perfect first-ever brunch at Raleigh’s Tupelo Honey Café this fall:
Fried Green Tomatoes – served over goat cheese grits with fresh basil
Brian’s Shrimp and Grits – either seven large delectable shrimp served over goat cheese grits and “anointed” with a spicy roasted red pepper sauce or a dozen shrimp with bacon, caramelized onions, spinach, and sautéed mushrooms
Sweet Potato Pancake – one large buttermilk pancake flavored with cinnamon and sweet potatoes, topped with whipped peach butter and spiced pecans
House-made Rosemary-Peach Lemonade (for the kids)
Moonswine Mary – Jalapeno- and bacon-infused moonshine blended with Whiskey Willie’s Bloody Mary Mix and garnished with pickled okra (for the grown-folks people)

To fully enjoy Tupelo Honey Café’s free spirit, why not call in sick and do brunch on a Wednesday?

“I'm so incredibly happy a Tupelo Honey is opening in the Triangle,” said Frycz. “This area will fall in love with the food if they aren't already fans through their other locations. The Triangle seems to be the perfect market for the restaurant; it's southern comfort-food-with-a-twist that utilizes local, fresh ingredients. And it's so yummy.”

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