It’s rare to find a truly delicious menu that crosses traditional Southern fare with modern touches, but Tupelo Honey has achieved it.
Though located in the busy Gateway shopping center in Sandy Springs, Tupelo Honey exudes a welcoming warmth that echoes its Southern roots. A hanging wall of screen doors greets you when you enter, as does a beautiful stained glass picture of a beehive. The restaurant is broken up into sections, each with a variety of rustic tables and comfortable booths, and while the dividing walls are low and the buzz of conversation reaches throughout, the sound is pleasant and warm. The décor only adds to the welcoming feel; wood accents, herringbone floor, and subway tiles reach throughout the restaurant with a pleasant mix of modern and traditional. Don’t forget to check out the beautiful backlit art above the kitchen, where vines, flowers, and trees are layered with a background of country fields and barns. And don’t miss the delightful display of plates and trays, from antique china to sterling silver, that stretch to the ceiling, on the back wall.
Once you find your seat, order a cocktail. For brunch, there is a choice of seven, but the Honeysuckle & Lavender Flip should be your choice. While sipping, peruse the menu. Everything looks delicious; you can’t order a wrong thing. Start with a small plate, maybe the mountain yogurt and granola which comes with house-made granola, panna cotta yogurt, and blueberries with jam. The granola is crunchy, a perfect base to the cold, sweet, creamy yogurt. The dried cranberries and coconut flakes are a happy surprise, and the compote is an excellent topping that perfectly balances the plate. Drizzle some tupelo honey over the top for a smooth, light bite that is reminiscent of caramel.
As with any Southern restaurant, don’t forget to order some biscuits. They are large, served side by side with a small cup of compote, and are the perfect balance of sweet and salty. Usually, big biscuits end up crunchy and dry, but these defy odds with a thick exterior and soft, flaky interior. You’ll want the recipe, or maybe you should see if your Nanna has picked up a part-time job in the kitchen.
Guests have their choice of entrees, from traditional egg plates to sweet, breaded items to sandwiches. Popular dishes include the Shoo Mercy Sweet Potato Pancakes, Blueberry Challah French Toast, Shoo Mercy Omelet, and the Southern Shakshuka, a traditionally Middle Eastern egg dish baked in a small, cast iron bowl with goat cheese grits, avocado, and a spicy southern Creole sauce. Each bite is filled with a little bit of New Orleans flavor with creamy South Carolina grits. It’s a bit of the South in your mouth, as authentic as you can get.
End your meal with dessert, because the banana pudding is some of the best you’ve ever had. From the first bite, you know someone who was raised on Grandma’s banana pudding made it. The whipped topping is sweet and creamy, not stiff, and the large pieces of banana coupled with the vanilla wafers make a delicious, flavorful cup.
When you sit down, your server delivers a bottle of honey to your table. Does any dish really need changing? No. But is everything better with some Tupelo Honey? Always.