Happy New Year! In the spirit of adventure, and trying new things, let’s drive west of Chapel Hill to visit Saxapahaw, NC.
Saxapahaw is a happenin’ little hamlet with music (The Haw River Ballroom in Saxapahaw’s Historic Cotton Mill), a seasonal farmer’s market, and locavore food that garners the attention of The New York Times, Gourmet Magazine, Garden & Gun Magazine.
Where: Saxapahaw General Store, 735 Saxapahaw-Bethlehem Church Road, Saxapahaw, NC 27340
GF Menu: Yes! You can view the Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner with a multitude of delicious GF options on their website. You can order a GF omelet with a side of GF toast for breakfast. At lunch, there are GF pizzas, salads, and sandwich options with GF bread. The dinner menu changes daily, but one standard you can always rely on is the GF pan-seared fish with risotto and asparagus.
What I ate: GF pan-seared fish with veggies.
How to order it: The online menu is clearly marked with [GF] next to appropriate items. The daily menu is written on a chalkboard. If it is not clear what items are GF, be sure to ask the staff for their GF recommendations at the counter where you place your order. The staff are friendly and knowledgeable foodies, so will help guide you in the right direction.
What it looks like:
North Carolina fish was placed atop sauteed local vegetables in this dish. This pan-seared fish had a soft interior and crispy exterior, and just the right amount of umami flavor. The supporting zucchini, yellow squash, onions, and tomatoes provided textural contrast, color, and the organic taste of local farms. You can purchase goods from the in-store market for dessert, or find GF baked goods like these individually-wrapped GF chocolate chip cookies at the counter.
Green Note: The Saxapahaw General Store is housed in a re-purposed gas station and convenience store (see pic by clicking here).
Chefs Jeff Barney and Cameron Ratcliffe operate their business with a conscious decision to celebrate what is local, promote sustainability, and make good food and products accessible to the community. This page describes their mission:
“They wanted to be stewards of local foods, good wine and beer, nutritious snacks, and eco-conscious dry goods, and they hoped to participate in a new kind of local economy that would strengthen fellow small businesses, promote conscious farming, and become part of a network of small communities finding a better way to live and to do business together.”
This sign posted above the trash can encouraged us to leave food scraps on our plate rather than throwing them in the trash. The staff will compost these scraps or help feed chickens at Cozi Farms.
A note on their Home page lets you know how the chefs support local farms:
“We are proud to source most of our meats, all of our eggs, and all the local produce we can find each season, from farms right here in the NC Piedmont. Click for a listing of our most current local farm goods. For a full listing of locally sourced items we offer for retail or through our kitchen, visit our Purveyors page.”