Serenbe Farms

Up and Went, Palmetto, GA  Map
From Serenbe Farms

When somebody uses the words, “organic farming community,” my first thoughts are of some kind of hippie throwback community with folks who make their own clothes and odors of patchouli drown out odors of, well, other things. Not exactly my primary thought when I’m looking for a getaway with my significant other. But so many Atlantans just love the place. It usually wins the readers polls for best daytrip. So when the right moment came, this monkey made an afternoon trip to Serenbe Farms in Palmetto, Georgia.

Serenbe Farms is exactly as it states a farming community using organic principles to emulate sustainability. Its produce can be sampled at three dining establishments in the area, as well as some Atlanta restaurants like Restaurant Eugene or Holeman & Finch. For the record, I like the principle of sourcing things locally and understand that if there was only organic farming, there would be a lot more starvation in the world. I think the folks at Serenbe get the idea: if you are blessed with the prosperity to allow yourself to make more environmentally friendly decisions, you really ought to, but I digress.

What you get to see at Serenbe is three basic elements. First, there are the Farmlands, which radiate a well maintained and rustic beauty. Farm Tours are available, but take some prior arrangement that we did not make, but one can still walk along the path enjoying its aesthetic beauty without understanding the agricultural science behind it. Second, are the shops and services. The reputation Serenbe has garnered has made it attracted a number of shops for your perusal. They are pricier, high end, sort of things, I would rarely buy from, but often find it fun to stop and look around. I will note that the wine store had a significant number of items under $20, so kudos to them for having something for the everyman.

Finally, and probably, the most notable attraction at Serenbe are the Restaurants themselves. There is a quaint little bakery shop called the Blue Eyed Daisy, which seems to be open most of the day, and doubles as the area’s grocery store. And then there’s the two major restaurants, The Hil, a more upscale eatery in the commercial district, and the Farmhouse, which is part of the original Farmhouse and Inn, where we chose to eat. Both places take and basically need reservations, and as I have said, we just up and went with no planning, but both offered to seat us without reservations, as long as we arrived immediately upon opening at 5pm (the website now says they open at 6p). We considered this generous and gladly accepted.

From 4-5pm outside the dining area at the Farmhouse, they had significant drink specials for happy hour. If my memory serves, mixed drinks were half off, and this wasn’t in the advertising. So we had a drink and waited for the doors to open. Then menu was simple, choice between two starters ($6), two entrees ($18), and two desserts($5). This made the deciding process quicker, but might hamper the more finicky eaters. I had the pork chops over grits, while my companion had the chicken dish. All the food was organic and local and very tasty. The menu does change regularly, but the format remains the same. We had planned to spend the afternoon at nearby Cochran Mill Parkexploring the trails, waterfall, and mill ruins, but the necessity of being at the restaurant at exactly 5pm curtailed that excursion.

So why do I think people love this place? Because it is sort of an oasis from what you normally see on a day to day basis in the Atlanta Area, and the food is authentic, organic, and really good. The Farmland and the area around the Farmhouse was the most beautiful. The commercial district was little weird to me, as I have a guttural disdain for planned playgrounds that only the affluent can enjoy, that comes from so much of my life being lived in the Shadow of Disneyworld. The Farm seems real and true to its purpose, the business district seems to be an overpriced and fairly surreal, a place where people should visit like a museum or a zoo but not live.

Restaurant Fundamentals

The Farmhouse at Serenbe
Address: Hutcheson Ferry Rd, Palmetto, Georgia
Hours: Thu & Fri 6-9pm, Sat 11:30-3pm, 6-9pm, Sun 11:30-3p
Phone: 770.463.2622
Website: Serenbe Farmhouse

Cultural Significance: B
Food Quality: A+
Healthiness: A
Price: B
Value: A

Overall Rating: A

Recommendations: I would suggest you order as much local vegetables and sides as you can. The Fried Green tomato on the salad was probably the best I’ve ever had.
Significance: Sustainable, organic, Farm to table restaurant ahead of its time.

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