The cafe is just one part of the big Farmview Market enterprise, which also includes a butcher shop, bakery, dairy, farmers market, and grocery store as well as classes, seasonal festivals, and special events. The point of all this is to inspire an appreciation of the simple pleasures of rural life. The cafe fulfills the mission to a fare-thee-well, offering downhome breakfast and lunch that feature great farm-to-table dishes.
Grits, for example, are so good that I had to ask general manager Richard Rotroff why. He disappeared for a moment and came back holding an ear of corn that he described as an heirloom strain called Hickory King. He explained that it’s not the most efficient way to grow corn, since you get only one or two ears per stalk: but the result, when Hickory King is milled (on premises), is rugged grits that deliver big, earthy flavor. No need for cheese or any additives. A bowl of this grain is as satisfying as any warm cereal I know.
One item listed on the menu as “uniquely Farmview” is a Heritage Pork Biscuit. This is a medallion of butter-tender pork tenderloin breaded and fried and topped with melting Swiss cheese, caramelized onions, and arugula in a fluffy house-made biscuit. Another house special is the Rooster Biscuit: fried chicken with house-smoked bacon, sharp cheddar cheese, and gravy.
There’s a full lunch menu, too, including BLTs, pimento cheese sandwiches, BBQ pork, and hamburgers that come highly recommended by Roadfood correspondent Keith McLendon. Just about every ingredient of every dish is either made here in house (smoked, BBQ’d, cured, etc.) or comes from a nearby farm.
Eating at Farmview is not an intimate experience. The dining room feels like a cafeteria in a well-run national park: big, efficient, clean, and proud. Background music is bluegrass and country; the staff is genuinely warm and hospitable.
Note the unusual hours: Full breakfast is served only Thursday through Saturday. Monday to Wednesday, there’s a “Stop ‘N Go” menu of biscuit sandwiches, croissants, pastries, and those good grits. Lunch is served Monday through Saturday from 11 to 3.