They try harder at Honey and Salt; and they succeed. The enthusiasm is palpable — in a staff who are eager for customers to enjoy themselves, and in a menu of restless creativity as well as traditional culinary values.
Corned beef hash, for example, is built on an inspired balance of briney beef shreds and sweet potato nuggets, a duet accompanied by horseradish cream cheese, gruyere cheese, an egg, and a tangle of pickled onions on top. This is not your roadside diner corned beef hash, but neither does it try too hard to be different. It is just totally satisfying.
Likewise, a Farmhouse Skillet layers potato hash, pimento cheese and cheddar cheese, bacon, avocado, and fresh basil, plus a crown of creamy jalapeno sauce. It adds up to a dish where every forkful delivers a different balance of flavors, the sum of them all being breakfast bliss.
There are marvelous multi-grain toasts — open-face sandwiches that range from the ubiquitous avocado (made special by a drizzle of roasted garlic olive oil) to “Protein Power” made with peanut or almond butter to a dazzling “Sweet & Sassy” that combines lemon-honey goat cheese, seasonal fruit and jam, and a hail of pistachio chunks.
To drink, have some very good coffee or a freshly-blended smoothie. And if you have a sweet tooth, pray that Honey and Salt is well-stocked with ice cream sandwiches. They are immense, made with artisan ice cream. I have swooned over one made with great chocolate chip cookies (just the right balance of soft and crisp), vanilla ice cream, and a thick vein of salted caramel.
Honey and Salt, by the way, is the name of a book of poems written by Carl Sandburg, who lived in Flat Rock for much of his working life. His home now is a National Historic Site open to visitors.