The sign says it all. Fresh. Local. Good. The Iron Hen Cafe in Greensboro is what sustainability is all about. Locally owned, local ingredients and a full house of happy local folks. Iron Hen Cafe reminds me of the tiny little cafes I LOVE in Charleston. The blink and you miss it kind of places. Of course on this Sunday when we all met up for brunch, the line was literally out the door so, not so easy to miss this time.
Jammin’ it was. Here’s when the line was a bit shorter well after we’d been seated. The vibe is casual but not hurried. Though it was packed, the patrons waiting didn’t seem to mind that the patrons eating were in no rush to leave. Everyone was ENJOYING themselves.
Iron Hen serves local, organic, seasonal food daily. Usually you’ll know from whence the egg, cheese, bread, meats, etc. came. In addition, they do their part in being an eco-friendly cafe. Here’s their motto….right on their website
Why Local? Food brought in from local resources supports local farmers and businesses. Locally produced foods also help maintain and create jobs within the community. Local food is fresher because it is seasonal- the distance from farm to table is shorter, resulting in a better, fresher product.
This is a great segue into the food. We were there to experience breakfast/brunch, although Iron Hen does serve a full lunch and SUPPER (that’s what they call it) menu. I ordered the Guilford Mill Grit Bowl an item touted as “lighter fare.” When did grits become lighter fare? I’ll take their word for it :). I added two eggs to the top. It was incredible. Creamy yellow grits, chopped bacon (another option is sausage) and scallions, Chèvre cheese and of course two eggs, sunny side up that ran nicely when opened. That added to even more creaminess on those delicious local grits.
After I dug in I should’ve taken another pic of all those layers and colors beneath the egg. I forgot about it while I enjoyed it. And this photo doesn’t exactly capture that it is a good size bowl and I even took a third of it home, reheated it in their “to go” container and had it a day later.
Mr. foodie ordered the Crab Cake Benedict, with 2 crab cake medallions seared and served over grilled Asiago peppercorn toast, topped with poached eggs and Cajun hollandaise, served with fresh fruit. Delicious flavor.
Mom-in-law foodie ordered the Iron Hen Scramble. Now this has a very simple description but do not be fooled. That scramble was banging. Mr. thought it was the table’s winner. I thought it was great but it didn’t beat mine (he didn’t get enough grits and bacon in his bite or he might have agreed). This scramble is 2 eggs scrambled with bacon AND sausage AND home fries, and green onions. And she got home fries on the side. The home fries were almost like little potato chips just not crispy. I’ve never seen thinly sliced home fries before. So good!
And of course, the kidlets came so we ordered an English Muffin with some cinnamon butter for wee boy and a egg and bacon plate for his sis.
Iron Hen has delicious coffee and a full coffee shop and bar with local and regional beer as well. They also offer a full line of desserts. For lunch you’ll find a wide array of organic salads and sandwiches that have meat, veggies or even tofu and vegan options. They also have daily features. Check them out on Fridays for their Fried Chicken Skillet Dinner. It’s a breast and leg dusted in Espresso Flour fried in an iron skillet (what else?) and served with 2 sides for $16. In addition to their cafe, they also offer catering so you can bring that local goodness to your next function.
See up there? Mason jars for the bevs. Plus they have very cool coffee mugs. Big with big handles to hold lots of coffee.
Check out Iron Hen Cafe soon. There might be a wait. It WILL be worth it. And when the weather gets warm you’ll enjoy plentiful seating on their patio.
908 Cridland Road, Greensboro, NC