Includes: Saxapahaw General Store, Saxapahaw, NC and Starlight Meadery, Siler City, NC
Today my friend John and I sallied forth for a mini road trip, winding our way through the small rural towns of Siler City, Saxapahaw and Pittsboro.
We drove slowly around Siler City, admiring the murals in the charming historic district. In Pittsboro, we strolled around the courthouse circle, meandering into and out of a few shops, and finished up at Starrlight Meadery. Where, I’m ashamed to say, we tasted our way through six samples of different meads and I neglected to take a single photo. (But I did manage to bring home a bottle of blackberry mead that I think will taste great slightly chilled at the beach next week.)
But the day trip’s primary ambition — at least in my mind — was to brunch at the Saxapahaw General Store.
I’d heard about the eatery for years — fabulous fresh dishes made from mostly local and organic foodstuffs.
It’s a tiny place. Most of the square footage devoted to the store, which held a great variety of good-for-you edibles. The very small, open kitchen had a less-than-great ventilation system, so once we placed our orders at the counter we chose a table outside.
My Eggs Parma dish was hearty and earthy. The order of layers, bottom to top, were a house-made English muffin, prosciutto, thick slices of fresh mozzarella, two over-easy eggs and, finally, a tomato basil cream sauce. The sauce was rich and slightly sweet, thick and creamy with just enough tomato bits to give the texture a good balance.
I almost didn’t — but thank god I did — order a biscuit, since my entree already contained a whole English muffin.
John and I both agreed the biscuits alone were worth driving the 49 miles from Raleigh. They’re not citified, delicate, fluffy, flaky biscuits. (Which perhaps the humid, 90+ weather had a bit of a hand in.) No, these were humble country-style buttermilk biscuits, slightly dense yet somehow not heavy or hard. They were delivered to our table halved and grilled, and melted butter had seeped deep down inside them.
I simply can’t tell you how soul-satisfying it was to sit outside in the thick summer air sipping the last of my coffee and eating that biscuit, and chatting with our friendly table-neighbor, who’d downsized in stages from big cities to end up in Alamance County.
I’m looking forward to future lazy summer Saxapahaw jaunts to soak up more small-town peace, and maybe take in one of the outdoor concerts or the farmer’s market. And eat more biscuits.