By Jane Izard
There is a new kid on the block of the Little Rainbow Row in Flat Rock. The restaurant Honey and Salt debuts in March and it is going to be good — really, really good. Imagine this: Clean eating marrying the flavors of Hubba Hubba Smokehouse to make (what chef Mary Mujica calls) “Southern fresh food.” I expect it will quickly become the area’s new favorite brunch and breakfast spot. The restaurant is the brainchild of Starr Teel (Hubba Hubba’s owner and pitmaster), Erin Hill and chef Mujica.
Breakfast places are lacking in the area — currently most people drive to Asheville to wait in line for hours to get a wholesome meal. By filling this void, Honey and Salt will provide a little variety for those seeking a nourishing breakfast. Mary and Erin tell me that they hope Honey and Salt will add options for all to choose from on Little Rainbow Row. They are quick to point out that they love and support the Flat Rock Bakery and they aim to avoid overlapping in their breakfast pastry offerings. They want to make breakfast fun — plus fill one up on fresh, delicious food. Their goal, according to Mary, is to “pay attention to people’s needs, (and make sure) everyone gets what they wanted … It is all about seeing the customers smile.”
The name, Honey and Salt, comes quite appropriately from the love poem by Carl Sandburg. The group wanted to give a nod to their famous neighbor. Like the poem, Erin says, the restaurant is “all about love… (and bringing) things that go together.” Mary believes that their concept is like the poet’s words and they plan to show through their food “how opposites can be the biggest compliment.”
Honey and Salt will have “something for everyone” and Starr trusts that, “traditional (breakfast eaters) are going to be comfortable here.” Erin challenges people to come in and find something they would not like! Erin will be in the front of the house, while Mary is in the back creating yummy meals. Together (with Starr) they are creating the menu. This menu will range from buttermilk biscuits, eggs benedict, blueberry pancakes, quinoa bowls, breakfast skillets and toast bar offerings. (Imagine multigrain bread with lemon goat cheese and avocado — yum!)
Mary will make all of the breads and biscuits in the bakehouse (located in the basement of the restaurant) and Hubba Hubba will smoke all of their meats. Like Hubba, Honey and Salt will have lots of in-house sauces to pair with their dishes and they hope to sell them in their retail space the near future.
Mary and Erin are no stranger to delicious, healthy, clean eating. Both are avid runners, have children and are not fans of GMOs — all reasons for caring about what goes in one’s body. Erin says that they “love to show love through food.” Prior to Honey and Salt, Mary was the head chef for the Hendersonville Co-op, the natural food store in Hendersonville. She says cooking allows her to “get in her zen.” Mary is also allergic to gluten and yet she manages to create incredibly delicious gluten filled creations. However, Erin gets to be the taste tester. Because Mary lives a gluten free lifestyle, she is aware of challenges people with food allergies face when going out to eat.
Honey and Salt opens the beginning of March for breakfast and brunch, Thursday through Sunday. The restaurant has 48-50 seats inside, but if the weather is nice, one may choose to sit outside on the patio or deck. There is a community table that is available for large groups to reserve, too. The space is also available to rent during off-hours for meetings, events or parties. Erin says, one can “get food and the space or just rent the space.”
Starr tells me that he knows “people will drive for barbecue and breakfast.” I believe that they will — especially for the delicious creations at Honey and Salt.
Honey and Salt is located in the green building in Little Rainbow Row in Flat Rock or 2730 Greenville Highway. Follow them on Facebook and Instagram for the latest updates, @honeyandsaltnc.
As a preview of some menu offerings, take a look at my new favorite picks:
Greenhouse skillet: Potato hashcake, herbed goat cheese, roasted veggies and fried egg, gruyere, avocado and oven roasted tomatoes, topped with creamy basil pesto (vegetarian and gluten free)
Eggs Benny: A toasted english muffin tope with goat cheese spread, smoked salmon, poached eggs, roasted tomatoes, hollandaise and dill.
Pancakes: Three light and fluffy cakes dusted with powdered sugar, topped with homemade granola and maple or orange blossom syrup (available gluten free).