I’ve always been a curious kid who questions everything. My passion for writing and the culinary arts has led me here, to The Sauce. With this opportunity I’d like to share my insight on all things food. Each article features my travels and culinary explorations as a curious kid. Bon Appetit!
When butter comes to mind, many cringe in fear at the sight of this notorious, fatty substance, but not I.
Instead, I look at this rich and creamy delight as an essential ingredient that comforts the soul.
The Butter Café seeks to calm the fears of their health-crazed patrons by offering organic, locally-produced butter among other foods that share a similar background.
Though the café is known for their delicious breakfast and lunch offerings, they are expanding their business by being open for dinner Thursday through Saturday. Their dinner menu features three appetizers, two salads, seasonal soups, 12 entrees and one dessert that changes daily.
To begin the meal, I whet my appetite with their fried green tomatoes that were grown in a backyard garden. The tomatoes were accompanied with a lemon dill crème fraiche dip. It was creamy and light with the citrusy lemon cutting through the creaminess of the crème fraiche while the fragrant dill completed it.
Cornmeal was used as the breading and unfortunately lacked in flavor and overpowered the tomatoes. But I didn’t let the few flaws ruin my experience, for the employees at the café are still experimenting with what works.
Sarah Dudley, co-owner and manager of the Butter Café realizes that patience and an open mind will help her and the chefs find out which ingredients work best with each other.
“We’ve been serving dinner for over a month. As of now, the [dinner] menu hasn’t really changed,” Dudley said. “We’re still figuring out what people like, what’s popular.”
Being able to adapt and decipher the complex palate of the restaurant goer is a difficult and sometimes frustrating task, but I have faith in the Butter Café. They have amazing ingredients at their disposal and, through a dedicated persistence, they will continue to improve.
The dish that needs little, if any, improvement is the delicious, stuffed bell pepper with grass-fed beef, rice and topped with melted mozzarella cheese. The pepper was sweet , fresh and cradled the bits of beef and rice complementing the sweet and salty taste that has become a popular concept in the culinary world.
The sloppy joe featured free-range beef, a homegrown tomato and lettuce, which came together between a large Kaiser roll that held up against the infamous “sloppy” name. Crunchy kettle-cooked chips also came with the meal, balancing the soft texture of
Another dish that arrived on the table was an oven-fried chicken with whipped potatoes and green beans. The chicken, which is also free-range, was moist but featured a similar cornmeal breading the fried green tomatoes had, which was slightly off-putting.
On a positive note though, the green beans were crisp and had a snap to it, a sign of being properly cooked. The potatoes had a hint of garlic with a rich, smooth texture, quite possibly the better part of the dish.
Now, I keep mentioning free-range, homegrown and organic when discussing the café’s ingredients. For those who might not know what these terms mean, allow me to digress and offer some explanation.
When livestock like chicken and beef are labeled as “free-range,” they are able to wander about the farm property grazing on food that is natural to their body outside of a confined space like a feed lot. Food defined as organic, uses biology-aided methods instead of chemically-enhanced techniques to grow and raise livestock or produce.
“We try to buy as much local stuff as we can,” Dudley said. “Fresher is definitely better. The meat has no hormones or antibiotics, and our veggies are grown without pesticides.”
Gregory Jerome, an old-school chef at the café, has been cranking out dishes at various restaurants for 28 years. Earning his stripes at the Walt Disney Culinary School, Jerome said it’s important to lead by example, not just in the kitchen but also for other restaurants that plan on offering locally produced ingredients.
“Everything is made from scratch and the ingredients I use are from farms around the local area,” Jerome said enthusiastically. “It’s great to be able to use such quality ingredients. They just taste better.”
As we all know, shortcuts rarely result in honest success. Taking the long road by making food from scratch manifests itself into a special ingredient, and you can taste it. You can taste the labor and passion of the hard-working farmers and chefs who dedicate their lives for our empty stomachs.
Supporting restaurants like the Butter Café and movements that push for humane treatment of the world’s bounty creates an atmosphere for positive change. To do your part and enjoy a delicious meal, stop by the café Thursdays 6-9 p.m. or Friday and Saturdays 6-10 p.m. to try dishes on their new dinner menu.