“We set out to farm to better connect to our food and the soil that grows it. With the help of our animals, other local farmers and a healthy amount of YouTube videos, we have had a very successful first year. This menu is our celebration of the fruits of our labors and the hard work of some incredible people that choose to devote their lives to growing good things. And all these good things come from topsoil.”
One thing I truly love about Upstate is that the farmers are so passionate about their craft. Coming from the New York area, I was fortunate to be influenced by dedicated foodies and culinary masterminds. I’m talking about people who live, breathe, and completely dive into their passion for food every day. I’m also talking about Adam Cooke & Patrick Mclnerney (the guys from Due South Coffee Roasters) and their latest project that brings together artistry, fellowship, and farm-fresh eats. They’re accompanied by Wendy Lynam, owner of the Upstate’s cherished Swamp Rabbit Inn, along with very talented farmers like Sarah from Sassafrass Flowers Farm.
When I first walked in I got all the farmhouse vibes. They went with a trendy, muted-blue wall color with cream accents and hanging lights. This combination successfully provided me with a rustic, cozy ambiance. Needless to say, it gave me all the autumn feels. I greatly enjoy the subtle details of the decor. One of my favorite pieces being an old-timey food weigher. I also love the carrot-themed door handle just outside of the shop. They have a gorgeous patio in the back and I will definitely be making the most of it as the fall weather hits!
I was accompanied by my friend Emily (@made.by.emily_) and we had the privilege of trying a few things off their new brunch menu. I was super excited that they offer brunch and have a variety of options for people with different dietary restrictions. Whether you’re gluten free, vegan, or eat a standard American diet, Topsoil has something for you. I really appreciate when a restaurant has a chef that’s eager to make their menu suitable for everyone. They have symbols at the bottom of their menus that help identify which options are vegan (V), Gluten Free (GF), and which have a vegan option available (VA.) It makes going out as a plant-based eater MUCH easier. Gone are the awkward conversations with the server about what they can do for me as a vegan. At Topsoil, I can come in, look for the (VA) on the menu and know there are tons of options for me.
First up was the drink menu. They have a variety of coffee drinks, as well as traditional brunch-tastic sips such as mimosas! Seriously though, you CANNOT have brunch without mimosas. Am I right?
I opted for a caffeinated drink since my son’s teething has been keeping me up most nights and I needed a little caffeine. I ordered the matcha latte and it was beautiful. I’m always a sucker for pretty presentations and they nailed it. I added a little sugar to mine, which I prefer to do instead of it coming to me already sweet. My friend Emily ordered the Cortado, a steamed milk drink with espresso, and absolutely loved it!
For my brunch main course I tried the Ramen. I’m aware that ramen is a little untraditional as a brunch dish, but I was feeling adventurous that day. I also wanted to see how they were going to veganize the dish. I’ve made (vegan) ramen plenty of times and it can be hard to find a good ramen bowl from a restaurant that can meet my dietary needs – so this was a treat!
When I got the bowl I was delighted. The combination of pickled red onion, cilantro and lime gave a warm, satisfying flavor to the dish. The radishes and cucumbers added a vibrant crunch. I loved every bite! So what’s the secret to this veganized version? It’s the same as the regular version, just no egg on top. That’s it!
Emily ordered the Rice Bowl, another menu item tagged (VA.) When her dish arrived, we were super excited to give it a taste. A medley of in-season veggies mixed with sprouted brown rice, hemp butter, smoky pomegranate sauce, and fresh cilantro. That combination is a serious match made in heaven and chef Adam cooked it to perfection. One of the featured veggies in the mix was eggplant, seasoned so well with a meat-like resemblance we seriously enjoyed.
I also got to taste their Watermelon Gazpacho! If you’ve never tried gazpacho, you’re in for a treat. Gazpacho is a cold soup and while that may sound a little crazy, believe me, it’s delicious when done well.
The team at Topsoil grew the watermelon they used to make the soup and you can taste every ounce of love put into it. It was incredible!
We had the privilege of meeting Sarah from Sassafrass Flower Farm and enjoyed hearing about her passion for farming. We look forward to visiting one day and can’t wait to learn more about their process of growing farm fresh produce!
Topsoil is more than a restaurant, it’s also a market where you can purchase fresh, house-made breads and goodies like wine. If you’re looking for a way to treat yourself after a hard week, an artisanal loaf of bread could definitely do the trick.
Thank you to Topsoil Kitchen & Market for bringing another delicious, farm-to-table dining experience to the Upstate.
Have you been to Topsoil? What’s your favorite dish off the menu? We’d LOVE to know!