Farm to Table Seasonal (Agritourism) Itinerary
Farm to Table Seasonal (Agritourism) Itinerary
Rabun County has been designated the Farm to Table Capital of Georgia by both the Rabun County Board of Commissioners and the Georgia Legislature. This itinerary is designed to share the flavors of some of the venues that contributed to this designation with you. We hope you will enjoy these experiences and return for more. Due to the seasonal nature of farming and Mother Nature please check with individual venues for open days and hours prior to scheduling your trip.
Breakfast: The Tiger Food Mart
Go where the locals go. Start your day with breakfast biscuits at The Tiger Food Mart, selected for five consecutive years by the readers of the Clayton Tribune as serving the “Best Biscuits in Rabun”. While any of their biscuits are the perfect way to start your day, the pork tenderloin and sausage biscuits are favorites. Located at the four way stop in the middle of “downtown” Tiger, The Food Mart is a repurposed gas station. When you enter there is a menu board and window (also a drive-through) on the left for placing your order. Walk to the back of the store and there is a small room with booths filled with local farmers, stay at home moms, and neighbors enjoying breakfast biscuits or homemade hamburgers at lunch time.
Activity #1: Blue Ridge Honey Company www.blueridgehoneycompany.com
After breakfast in Tiger it’s only a few miles to the Blue Ridge Honey Company, a family business owned and operated by Bob and Suzette Binnie. They wholesale and retail honey, pollen and beeswax and offer pollination services. Bob began commercial beekeeping in 1981 in Oregon. He is a past President of the Georgia State Beekeepers Association and was voted the 2003 Georgia State Beekeeper of the Year by the Georgia State Beekeepers Association.
Activity #2: Hillside Orchards Farms & Country Store www.hillsideorchard.com
Hillside Orchards Farms & Country Store is just a few miles back towards Tiger. The Country Store is part of a 100 acre farm where they grow and sell apples, blackberries, muscadines and more. They produce over 700 jams, jellies, ciders, and their own bread, pies and fritters. For kids they have gem mining, a barnyard and farm themed pavilion, animals to feed and the opportunity to tour the farm on a Tractor/Wagon ride. During the season they also have pick-your-own blackberries and apples.
Lunch/Activity #3: Goats on the Roof www.goats-on-the-roof.com
Goats on the Roof is an out of the box venue featuring climbing goats which are “direct descendants of aliens”. There are multiple photo ops. You can feed both the goats and yourself. Billy’s Café & Sweet Treats serves great sandwiches and snacks and the Nitro made ice cream is a not-to-be-missed treat.
Activity #4: Stonewall Creek Vineyards www.stonewallcreek.com
From Goats on the Roof travel west for five miles on Bridge Creek Road for a wine tasting at one of North Georgia’s most beautiful vineyards, Stonewall Creek Vineyards. Winemaker Carl Fackler and his wife Carla both remember growing up on farms in Iowa where Carl’s father and Carla’s grandfather made their own wine. Carl is a retired spine surgeon who practiced in Atlanta before he and Carla retired to start Stonewall Creek Vineyards here in the beautiful North Georgia Mountains. Carl’s study of microbiology and organic chemistry in medical school prepared him well for winemaking just as Carla’s many volunteer activities in Atlanta prepared her for planning special events at the winery. In their first winery competition at the First Annual Georgia Grown Trustees Challenge Stonewall Creek’s 2012 Cabernet Franc received the varietal’s only Silver medal and their 2014 Yukari Rose was named the Best Vinifera Rose. In the summer ask to also see their vegetable garden where they grow Sheepnose Pimientos and other produce for Chef Linton Hopkins to use at Restaurant Eugene and his other Atlanta restaurants where he also lists their wines.
Dinner: Fortify Kitchen & Bar www.fortifyclayton.com
Get ready to fortify yourself at a bona fide farm to table restaurant, Fortify Kitchen & Bar. Restaurant partners, Chef Jamie Allred and Fortify Manager Jack Noland, have set a high standard for Fortify which has been awarded the “Winner 2014” of Open Table’s Top 100 Best Restaurants in America, Georgia Trend’s 2015 Silver Spoon Award and ranked #1 on the top ten Diner’s Choice awards list. Chef Jamie was selected in 2013, 2014, and 2015 for inclusion in Best Chefs America. The restaurant always features local farm-to-table dishes on their menu. In addition on Wednesday nights during the growing season, May through the beginning of November, Fortify highlights small plates and specials featuring a local farm’s fresh produce. The farmer is there to recommend dishes and answer questions.
Breakfast: The Rusty Bike Café www.facebook.com/TheRustyBikeCafe/
Everything at the Rusty Bike Café is terrific! Their select-your-own-ingredients omelets are the best in town and if you order their chicken fried steak with potatoes you won’t be hungry in time for lunch. At lunch their sandwiches are also exceptional and the service is always friendly.
Activity #1: Sylvan Falls Grist Mill www.sylvanfallsmill.com
The historic Sylvan Falls Mill is celebrating its 175th year of operation. This beautiful mill which was constructed in 1840 from wormy chestnut wood is located below a 100-foot cascading waterfall and is powered by a 27-foot water wheel, one of the largest in the United States. You can purchase stone ground grits, corn meal and flours at the Mill Store and if any of her scones are available, owner Linda Johnson is a great baker.
Activity #2: Andy’s Trout Farm www.andystroutfarm.com
Nestled on 325 beautiful acres in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains Andy’s has three fully stocked Trout ponds and 13 rustic cabins available for rent. Opened in 1965 the cold mountain steam flowing through the property provides the ideal place to raise rainbow trout. Andy’s will bait your hook and dress your catch. The Valley Café, five miles away in Dillard, will cook your trout for you. Andy’s also has a wonderful event venue that is perfect for family reunions, casual weddings, or business retreats.
Activity #3: Osage Farms
Osage Farms is a family owned vegetable market and Fraser Fir Christmas tree farm. Their vegetable market is open every day May thru October with seasonal vegetables. They specialize in strawberries, tomatoes, cabbage, green peppers, potatoes, and the sweetest corn you can find. In the fall months they have wonderful squash, pumpkins and ornamental gourds before the Christmas season opens with fresh cut Fraser Firs and wreaths.
Lunch: Either Manrique’s Mexican Restaurant or the U-Joint ujclayton.com
Choose between Manrique’s Mexican Restaurant which has incredible quesadillas and the best shrimp cocktails (with a secret ingredient) or the U-Joint in downtown Clayton which offers a wide selection of great hamburgers and other specialties on an outdoor patio.
Activity #4: Foxfire Museum and Heritage Center www.foxfire.org
Experience a look at the all-but-vanished pioneer culture of the Southern Appalachian Mountains. This hands-on classroom brings the Appalachian pioneer’s story to life. You will see ten authentic early log cabins including a single-room 1820s log home that raised three generations of ten children each, a 1790s “tar grinder” wagon that is the only one in the world documented to have been used in the Trail of Tears, an authentic gristmill and many tradition tools and handcrafted housewares from farms and homes of the 1700’s and 1800’s. Learn the story of Foxfire and how the spark of an idea has turned into a phenomenon of education and living history.
Dinner: The Dillard House www.dillardhouse.com
The renowned Dillard House is Rabun County’s original Farm to Table restaurant and is a “must” if you are visiting the North Georgia Mountains. Carrie and Arthur Dillard established their guest house in 1917 in what was originally a modest mountain home of just 6 rooms. Over the years they have hosted thousands of guests including Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, Harvey Firestone, Walt Disney, Arnold Palmer, President Jimmy Carter, Mayor Maynard Jackson, Ambassador Andrew Young and Senator Sam Nunn. Today’s Dillard family is delighted to share their traditional home-style meals and authentic Southern hospitality, the result of their 200 year heritage and connection to the land.