This feels a little contrary to the blog premise but I kept it very local this morning for breakfast. The closest to international I got was considering the huevos rancheros and pimento cheese and bacon quesadilla on the menu. What menu? Where? Don’t worry I’m getting there.
I wanted someplace new and maybe different for breakfast today so I drove into Clemson to try the Sunnyside Café. It’s in a place new enough my car’s GPS didn’t have a clue, however Google maps got me there just a few minutes after they opened. I was impressed there were already 4 cars parked when I got there. When I first walked in there was only one person greeting and seating so it took like 3 minutes before I was led to a table. Since both the young woman that seated me and the one that waited on me both apologized for the wait I figured I could overlook the horrific wait time.
Sunnyside can handle a fair number of folks with about 30 or so tables in the main area and a side room with a few more. By the time I got my coffee and made my choice from the menu there were 3 more people working the floor and 3 or 4 more tables occupied. The menu had some standard breakfast fare in addition to the above mentioned hispanic inspired dishes. There is a Cuban inspired breakfast sub and shrimp and grits plus a vegetarian benedict dish right next to one with 2 meats, 2 fried carbs and eggs. Good variety.
There was a dish that intrigued me because it skated on the edge of blasphemy but sounded delicious too. The Sweet Fried Grit Patties were something I just had to try.
Now being a good southerner means putting sweet stuff in my grits is taboo. If others do it I chalk it up to poor upbringing or ignorance of how grits should be treated. These however were grit patties so I could rationalize the choice by the fundamental change in grit structure. The meal comes with 2 eggs and either home fries or cheese grits. I doubled down on the grits. Cheese being savory is acceptable in regular grits in case you were wondering. I did get a side of sausage since it doesn’t come with a meat option standard.
The titular sweet comes in the form of a sorghum peach compote that I was kind of scared was going to be cloyingly sweet but it was a very pleasant surprise. It was sweet but lightly so which allowed the peach flavor to be prominent and go nicely with the grits. I have to say the grit patties were also cooked perfectly. Lightly fried so the outside was crisp and the inside was firm and warm. Great texture and taste combination. The cheese grits had a bit of cream or something in them to make them a bit more, well, creamy. The sausage was good and the eggs were scrambled just right. There was actually so much I had to walk away and leave a bit on the plate.
Doing a call back to the first paragraph I have to talk about the localness of my meal. It’s something they tout and I’m glad to support. The eggs are from one of 3 nearby farms, the sausage is from McCall’s in Honea Path, the grits from Hurricane Creek Farms in Pelzer, and the sorghum was from furthest away, Monterey, TN. Even the coffee was from a nearby roaster.
As a parting thought I have to say the employees were all very friendly and the fact there were at least 15-20 tables occupied when I left testified to that being the normal state of affairs. Along with some good food of course. I will definitely be going back to try a few more items on the menu.