Seasons pass in the High Country in an explosion of taste, color, and vibrancy. Rich soil and rain-fed pastures make for a verdant landscape of small farms, orchards, and gardens that give yield to an abundance of fresh organic food. Hob Nob Farm Café celebrates the bounty of the Appalachian Mountains by creating delicious and colorful dishes with ingredients from local farms, purchased at the peak of flavor.
Located on King Street in the heart of downtown Boone, Hob Nob is reminiscent of the farmhouse where you wish you’d grown up. Draped in white Christmas lights with stained glass in the windows and rustic metalwork art on the walls, the dining area is spacious but homey, eclectic but not kitschy. The outdoor patio is ideal for sipping a mandarin ginger whiskey sour or an agave lime margarita on a summer evening. Staff is friendly and attentive, and the food and drinks they serve are an obvious source of pride. They can trace for you the origin of the tomatoes in your ramekin of chutney, or of the farm-raised, hormone and antibiotic free chicken on your Santa Fe Salad.
The beauty of Hob Nob Café is that nearly all of the ingredients are easy to trace. Much of the produce comes directly from their 22-acre organic farm, located in a sunny valley just over the border in Tennessee. Here, alongside the Watauga River, squash, jalapenos, berries, apples, and pears (just to name a few) grow in bumper crops, are picked fresh and transformed onto the plate as artful salads, scratch-made soups and colorful stir fries and noodle bowls. Even the jams, jellies, and hot sauces are created from Hob Nob Farm cayenne peppers, jalapeños, and muscadines.
Freshly baked breads and desserts has traveled all the way from down the road at Stick Boy Bakery, coffee was roasted a few blocks away at Bald Guy Brew. Whatever produce they can’t yank from their own soil, they purchase directly from local farmers or farm cooperatives.
Owners Nova and Michael Nelson have labeled their close-to-home style of dining as Ethnic American(ish.) Says Nova, “We focus on the cultures that have made our states vibrant. By eating local foods we are supporting our neighbors and friends, we are saving fossil fuels, and we are serving fresh and beautiful food which just makes you feel better when you eat it.”
The influences of Thai, Indian, Jamaican, and Japanese cuisine are woven into vegan and vegetarian recipes, offered alongside traditional Southern comfort foods. For dinner, choose between classic Hickory Nut Gap meatloaf with mashed potatoes and a buttery biscuit, or a Chiang Mai Noodle Bowl in a sesame ginger sauce. Be sure and try the starter plate of bread and warmed French Brie, served over a bed of local greens with candied cashews and cranberries, with a sunny burst of mangos and mandarins.
Flavors and ingredients rotate with the seasons, and so do the fresh and innovative dishes at Hob Nob Café. Come to this lively downtown eatery to taste the harvest of the High County.