This article originally appeared on HungryLobbyist.com on Sept. 17, 2017.
For fans of southern comfort food and eating brunch rather than drinking it, it comes as good news that the Tupelo Honey Cafe in the Court House neighborhood of Arlington is one of the Asheville NC-based chain’s 15 locations nationally. We must mention, the charming curb appeal of the Cafe caught our eye and upon entrance we were drawn to the back wall where there were numerous jars of tupelo honey lined up, an American flag in the middle, and the most vibrant blue patterned furniture — southern? We’d say so!
What’s better? These locations aren’t afraid to share.
That’s how GM of the Arlington location, Ryan Daly, came to offer the restaurant’s new Cherry Bomb Frosé. Despite its temperature, the drink was scorching hot at the chain’s Denver location. When the opportunity arose for Daly to sell the drink in Arlington, he jumped for it.
And while summer may be winding down, frosé is a four-season sport. So is desert for that matter – but we’ll get to that.
The drink blends rosé, mint, lemon, maraschino liqueur, and bourbon cherry juice. Made in house, Tupelo Honey’s version is a good one. Equal parts sweet and sour, it’s easy to drink and certainly pairs well with a patio and some sun.
But what about with desert?
We were treated to a pairing of Tupelo Honey’s mini-mason jar desserts, of which there are four: banana pudding, blackberry & thyme crisp, peanut butter mousse & chocolate ganache with salted pretzel crumbles, and gooey butter cake with crème fraiche and strawberries.
As someone who isn’t crazy about chocolate (don’t at me, please), the choices here make me a happy camper. Banana pudding is required by law to be on the menu of any restaurant calling itself southern, and the world is a better place for it. To me, the pudding and the blackberry crisp were the clear standouts, but our table was split. The savory (and ooey) gooey butter cake had its fans, and the peanut butter mousse was gone first.
The only clear winners here were us for testing the limits of sugar consumption, and coming out stronger on the other side. At least until Daly dropped an even larger sugar bomb on us.
What’s really good, he said, is topping a slice of pecan pie with this banana pudding.
Go for the delicious cocktails, the decadent desserts, the delightful atmosphere, but stay for the draft beer. The tap handles and signage behind the bar is mesmerizing. We also love any place that pays homage to local craft beers!
Next time, Tupelo Honey. Next time.