Small town Blue Ridge offers visitors big flavors
About and hour and half north of Atlanta, is Blue Ridge, GA. Don’t be fooled by the small town, there’s plenty of tasty restaurants that will please those of us accustomed to the fine dining in Atlanta. Here are some of the best dining options in Blue Ridge, GA.
Masseria (Great lunch spot in Blue Ridge, GA)
I was vacationing, so it’s totally acceptable to have a cocktails with lunch right? I’m so happy I did because the winter sour (pictured above) was delightful. Made with Campari, it’s slight bitterness is balanced out with the honey. I love that it is so easy to make too if you’ve got a crowd.
Winter Sour Cocktail recipe:
1 ounce Campari
1 ½ ounce Meyer lemon juice
1 ½ ounce clover honey syrup (warm water and honey in a 1:1 ratio)
2 sprigs fresh rosemary (about 2 inches)
1 small egg white
Both sandwiches and pizzas are just around $11 or $12 and are very filling. I’d recommend the Salmon BLT at Masseria in Blue Ridge- hot smoked salmon, pickled onion, kale, ricotta, lemon mustard vinaigrette, prosciutto, focaccia.
Treo (Romantic Dining in Blue Ridge)
For overall atmosphere, Treo was my absolute favorite. First of all, they’ve got this beautiful courtyard that will be great during warmer weather. Since we visited in the dead of winter, we sat inside. However, it was still beautifully decorated and cozy.
I should not have been skeptical after the tasty cocktail I’d had at lunch, but sometimes small towns just don’t get drinks right. However, our server, Candle (loved him!), highly recommend an Old Fashioned and it was every bit as good as a well made Old Fashioned I’d have at any Atlanta bar or restaurant.
Besides the intimate layout of the restaurant, some weekends feature live music and we were lucky to have a singer at this Blue Ridge restaurant belting out great tunes that everyone could sing along to. He even sang a few songs for me at my request.
Note that Treo is closed on Sundays and Mondays.
Chester Brunnenmeyer’s (casual lunch spot in Blue Ridge)
Nobody ever calls this restaurant by it’s full name. Everyone just refers to it as “Chester’s.” It seems the kind of spot locals love to visit on a weekend and have a leisurely lunch. Even well after the lunch hour, Chester’s was doing quite the business. I was two for two on cocktails thus far into my Blue Ridge visit so thought I’d go for number 3 at Chester’s. My bright pink cocktail was more beauty than taste, but they do have some local beers on draft, which I’ve noted for a return visit.
Luckily we didn’t wait long this busy Saturday for a table. I’d describe the menu as mostly bar food, burgers, wings and tacos. My shrimp tacos were plentiful and not too heavily breaded, but the clear winner out of the two entrees was the Swiss and mushroom burger topped with caramelized onions. I’d definitely return to Blue Ridge for that.
Cucina Rustica (Fancy plates from a big city chef)
While the majority of our dining on this culinary journey through Blue Ridge focused right in the heart of the town, our last night’s meal took us a bit out of the way to Morganton which is several miles from Blue Ridge. Chef Danny Mellman cut his teeth in England, France and Italy, then rising to success in the Northeast and in Florida. Deciding a slower paced life was more his speed, he moved to Blue Ridge.
The quality of the food here is top notch. We began with a chef’s choice charcuterie plate. Bresola, Proscuitto and Mortadella were all nicely represented. But the highlight of dinner were the double portion of veal shanks (for two).
Cucina Rustica is closed on Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays. Note that the menu changes quite often and you may not find the same dishes I’ve written about on the menu when you visit. However, the techniques and skills are magnificent and you won’t be disappointed.
Taste of Amish in Blue Ridge
You’ll probably pass right by this spot as it is located off the main highway in Blue Ridge. So you might as well stop in and check out all there is to discover at this food store. There were jams and jellies, pickles of all kinds and sweets. I loved all the different variety of beans they have and we even bought some Rainbow trout to cook for dinner at our cabin since we were not going to be able to go fly fishing as we had originally planned.
Rum Cake Lady (Dessert stop you have to do in Blue Ridge)
We didn’t actually visit the spot but picked up rum cakes to go for dessert…er…breakfast on another day during our Blue Ridge stay. They come in mini sizes which is perfect for sharing. I’m a huge fan of rum cakes and really don’t ever find rum cakes on the menu anywhere anymore. Why is that? Anyway, after trying them (they are huge and the great thing about these rum cakes is that they can last for days without going bad but still remain moist.
I loved the Rum Cakes but this is really more than a just a dessert cafe, it has tons of Cuban specialties. Love to go back and try the Cuban sandwich, Tamales and a Cafe con Leche.