The Moose Café has served locals and tourists alike for nearly two decades, including notables like Elizabeth Dole and Heath Schuler. It's easy — and slightly amusing — to imagine visitors from up north puzzling over cathead biscuits served with liver mush for breakfast and pinto beans with chow-chow.
Whether it's the anachronistic charm of the café, the prime location by the WNC Farmers Market or the reasonable prices that draw folks in, it's the warm dependability of the Moose Café that keeps them coming back.
Continuity, says Margaret Walker, who owns the restaurant with her husband Bill, is the key. Not only is the food consistent, many of the staff members have been on board for at least 15 years, Walker reports.
"We're just so proud of all of the people we have," she says. "We all work together, and it really is a big team effort from both the people in the kitchen and the people up front."
Tied with the Moose Café for Best Home-style food is Tupelo Honey Café, a restaurant popular enough to warrant two fairly large locations and a visit by Rachel Ray when she "yummo-ed" her way through our city.
Tupelo Honey is home to great Southern comfort food with a nouveau twist — think haute home-style. Yes, the chicken in the Southern BLT is deep-fried, but it's also free-range and served on an artisan bun.
We also like the way that executive Chef Brian Sonoskus, owner Steve Frabitore and team refuse to rest on their laurels. Even with their success, the Tupelo staff continues to find ways to innovate and give back to the community in a major way.