Iron Hen Café: Fresh. Local. Good. Simply Amazing!
As some of you may know, I have a birthday coming up tomorrow.
On a sidenote: Has anyone figured out how to stop the birthdays from coming around making us older? This is really getting old…no pun intended.
I have also been off work for a few days, and plan on being off all next week as well. When I was asked what I wanted to do for my birthday week (which I celebrate the whole month…no seriously, I do. *smiles*), I didn’t hesitate to say I wanted a Foodie adventure week! I had all of these restaurants lined up that I was going to visit and write about for you. Sadly though, funds got tight right here at my birthday, and I have had to choose just a few that I wanted to visit. So here we go…
First up – Iron Hen Café: Fresh. Local. Good.
I mean come on people! If the words on the front of the building don’t tell you all you need to know, then I think you just might have a few screws loose in that pretty little head of yours. If anyone is as bold as the owner of Iron Hen Café to put how good it is on the front of the building, it durn well better be good inside…period. *smiles* Let me tell you, it was fantastic!
It was literally like Foodie heaven. The menu speaks for itself, when you see phrases like…
- “Old Mill of Guilford’s buttermilk buckwheat pancakes…”
- “Simple Kneads Bakery’s buttermilk roll sliced and dipped in a peanut butter batter, seared and topped with sliced bananas, honey, and powdered sugar”
- “Tender braised beef short ribs, pulled and served over Asiago peppercorn toast, topped with fresh arugula, poached eggs and a hickory smoked tomato hollandaise”
- “Crab cake medallions seared”
- “Grilled Peach and Scallop salad with walnuts and bleu cheese crumbles”
- “Fried goat cheese salad with a grilled pineapple and pancetta salsa over mesclun greens, topped with an aged balsamic reduction” (I’m getting this one next time, wow!)
- “Grilled Portobello Mushroom on Asiago peppercorn bread with provolone cheese, caramelized sweet onion, roasted red peppers, roasted red pepper aioli, and spinach” (had that last night, amazing!)
- “Tender braised beef short rib in natural jus with hickory smoked Brie, shaved red onions, and baby arugula, on a Kaiser bun”
Are you drooling yet??? Wait, there’s more…
- “Friday Night Iron Skillet Fried Chicken: A breast and leg dusted in espresso flour and friend in a cast iron skillet” (OMG, did you read that??? YUM!)
- “Baked Smoked Gouda mac and cheese, Parmesan charred corn on the cob, corn fritters with honey, collard green egg rolls”
- They also have a delightful selection of baked goods at the front counter, and an Espresso selection that looked tasty.
It’s the kind of place that makes you want to become a better Foodie…and, while I’m sure I would love every single adventurous thing on the menu, I love the simple things from a kitchen even more (because yes, the simple things are the true test of a good restaurant) , and with that being said, the best thing I put in my mouth at the restaurant…the Baked Smoked Gouda Mac and Cheese. It wasn’t that annoying mac and cheese with stringy cheese everywhere where you have to check and see if anyone saw you tackling that long string that dripped down from your hungry mouth. It was smooth, cheesy…..creamy. It was as if the Gods had bent down from the heavens and touched the chef personally that made it. Mouth wateringly good.
The atmosphere: When you walked in, you just felt peaceful. There were no harsh colors in your face, the lighting was soft. It was very light and refreshing. It’s exactly how you want to feel when walking into a place that has a mission to connect the food they serve to the farm it came from and the people at their tables. Green. The back of the menu states that they favor organic and North Carolina grown items.
We are our own farmers’ biggest fans and we must support them in every way we can! What better way than supporting a local restaurant that prides themselves on bringing us local goods from local farms and companies and helps contribute to a healthier agricultural North Carolina.
The help: A real quick blurb about the people working there last night…Matt, Kate, and Chandler (who briefly appeared from the back towards the end of the visit)….Yum, Beautiful, Quite Cute. Oh sure, you’ve heard me talk about delicious waiters before…but these guys took it to a whole new level. They were super nice to us and everyone in there that night. Truly seemed like good hearted individuals, and those are the people you want to employ. They were tolerant of my questions, and took the time to make us feel welcome in their restaurant. They acted like they were owners as well and took pride in the items when I asked them for suggestions. It was great to have that interaction, and to see them interacting with other tables as well. They really do care about the customer’s experience.
Thank you Iron Hen Café for a fabulous pre-birthday dinner. The food was wonderful, the employees were entertaining and fabulous, and the whole experience was refreshing. Will be back next week, and the week after that, and after that, and …….. (you get the point).
A few shots of my visit…. I would have loved to have had my real camera in here, but you get cell phone pictures. *smiles*