Saturday, October 22, 2011

State Farmer's Market Restaurant


This isn't the first time I wanted to do an entry on the NC State Farmer's Market Restaurant. I wrote my first attempt on the restaurant in 2009, right before they closed their doors for a few months for renovations. Those were long and biscuitless months during which my post was in purgatory.

Before Sara embarked on her friend's bachelorette weekend, we decided it would be smart to fill her belly with carbs to absorb the alcohol she'd soon consume. We knew that the NC State Farmer's Market Restaurant would accommodate.

Biscuits and hushpuppies

Immediately the waitress welcome us with the wonderful combination of biscuits and hushpuppies. Fluffy and buttery, the biscuits were still releasing steam, indicating their freshness. As I placed a slice of butter in the middle of the biscuit, it melted into every nook and cranny.

My first experience with hushpuppies was during a visit to Long John Silver's when I was a kid. I bit into the fried mystery, revealing its cornmeal center with actual kernels of corn and thought it was the oddest side dish I'd ever had. Once I migrated to NC and realized it was a staple of Southern life I gave the fried treats another try. Hushpuppies like the ones at the State's Farmers Market Restaurant are the reason I fell in love with fried pieces of cornmeal. Coming to our table freshly fried, I always risk burning my mouth with my impatience. The wonderful grainy texture and subtle sweetness were a welcome start to the big flavors that awaited us in rest of the meal.

Granny' Cone's Sampler - Homefries, bacon, NC Ham, Sausage, Spiced Apples, Eggs, Biscuit

When I first read over the menu, I thought I would get something on the "lighter" side. Maybe a Garden Fresh omelet, I thought. How I arrived to ordering the largest meal on the menu, the Granny Cone's sampler, is beyond me- as if the inner glutton possessed me the moment I ordered. Sitting atop of this mountain of food is the NC Country Ham. The sizable piece of pork is cured in such a way that adds a depth of distinct saltiness. Next in line in the pork parade is the bacon. Finally, a piece of bacon that achieves the correct crispiness! And when you think your sodium intake has reached its limit, you realized you still have sausage patties on the plate, respectable pieces of sausage but at that point I was a victim of pork overload.

The eggs were cooked well with the yoke oozing out once I punctured the center with my fork. They were a delicious compliment to the homefries and biscuits. The spiced apples added a facade of healthiness and a measure of sweetness to a salty plate.

Granny Cone's Sampler - Silver dollar pancakes and sausage gravy

When I was in undergrad sausage gravy was more of a joke rather than an actual food. It started when someone bet my friend Ryan to suck sausage gravy up his noses through a straw. Despite that graphic association with sausage gravy, I really enjoyed the gravy at the NC State Farmers' Market Restaurant. It was not overly thick and it had a nice kick from the sausage. It was a great partner with the biscuits.

Pancakes

As the crescendo for this gut busting plate was the silver dollar pancakes. But Sara's pancakes were gut busting by themselves. Taking nearly the entire plate, the NC Farmers' Market Restaurant pancakes feature a crisp crust with a plush inside. It made the pancakes a delicious sponge for the warm syrup served alongside.

Corned Beef Hash

Sara paired the sweet pancakes and syrup with a side dish of corned beef hash. She loved that the restaurant was able to achieve the correct ratio of salt in it's seasoning. Coming fresh off the flat top, Sara delighted in its savory flavors.

With our stomachs expanded and properly padded with carbs, Sara was ready to take on a night out on the town with her girlfriends.

NC State Farmers' Market Restaurant
1240 Farmers Market Drive Raleigh, NC 27603-2361(919) 755-155
http://www.ncsfmr.com/




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