One of my weaknesses is a solid (and verifiable!) farm-to-table restaurant. There are three main challenges with these type of businesses. If they really are farm-direct products, the cost is generally higher. “Farm fresh” doesn’t guarantee good flavor/cooking technique. And it can be very difficult to confirm that the food is from a local farmer.
We needed a good place to take my Dad for his birthday that was out closer to their side of town (East Side!), and I had heard great things about Backwoods Crossing a local “farm-to-table” restaurant. I figured it was a handy occasion to try them out (and to use family to sample more dishes.)
Backwoods Crossing seems to have accomplished the trifecta – verifiable fresh, local food, high quality and reasonable cost. With one garden immediately outside the building, you can see what is ready or harvest, and then those options are directly reflected in the vegetable options and the specials.
To start, the house salad was fresh and simple. The balsamic vinaigrette had a good balance, and the meal started off on a solid note.
My mom got the fried catfish over stone-ground grits and sautéed greens with corn. This was a huge portion, and straight-up delicious.
Daughter #2 got the Hog in a Henhouse – chicken breast stuffed with pulled pork and fried with a crispy crust over béchamel-sauced broccoli. Holy moly! Another large portion and the chicken was perfectly cooked. I think this was my favorite.
My dad got the Seafood Heaven entree with blackened shrimp and cream cheese/blue crab nuggets over creamy grits. Yum.
Trying to be somewhat health-conscious, I got the seared tuna over roasted brussels sprouts, garden beets and potatoes. )I can’t believe that as an adult I have discovered a love for beets. Who knew?)
All of the food was impressive, but even more surprising was that our bill (for six people) was around $100. Really loved this place, and my parents, who live on that side of town, were thrilled.
Backwoods Crossing is on Mahan Drive out by the I-10 exit and is in the building formerly inhabited by Stinky’s Fish Camp (RIP!) across from the Tallahassee Automobile Museum. (You can also find them on Facebook!)
We are already planning our late spring visit so that we can see what’s in their garden.
(And sorry for the weird camera angles, the fam was rushing me and messing up my shots so that they could start digging in!)