SIP – The SolFood Kitchen
Sample the world from a new perspective
By Griffin Nelson | Photo by John Antaki
I wanted to try basically everything on the menu at The SolFood Kitchen. When I hear the phrase “there’s something for everyone,” this is what comes to mind. There are hearty sandwiches like their signature, The Big Dill, piled high with smoked turkey, cheddar, fixin’s and love. There are lighter dishes like the Beet Salad with walnuts, feta, cranberries and a citrus vinaigrette. And of course there are sandwiches and bowls that fall somewhere in the middle – with both meat and vegan/vegetarian options bursting with flavor.
By the time Melanie Harvey opened The SolFood Kitchen in early August, her vision was clear: “What sets us apart from other restaurants is love and intention … I wanted to offer a unique environment where our customers could nourish their body, mind and soul.” Every bite of each dish is carefully considered to create something that tastes amazing while benefitting local and regional farmers and minimizing waste.
Harvey studied horticulture at the University of Georgia and is extremely cognizant of not only minimizing a negative impact on the earth, but positively impacting those who have been placed on it. In addition to the carefully planned out menu, SolFood uses it’s versatile and cozy location in Surrey Center to host wellness events throughout the week like Sunday morning yoga. “It’s just another avenue for [our customers] to nourish their soul,” says Harvey.
The name SolFood comes from the latin word for sun, sol, playing on the word for both the light source that gives life to the food we eat and the inner soul that is fed through community and love. We normally think of soul food from a Southern perspective, food that may not always be healthy but comforts us and brings us together in good times and bad. But every culture has their own version of soul food. Whether its the Bibimbap Bowl, the Bahn Mi Sandwich, or the Moroccan Cauliflower Steak, each dish pulls inspiration from comfort food around the world.
Even if you’re not in need of a full meal, or are having trouble deciding what to order, there are small plates that are perfect for appetizers, light bites, or could almost be treated as a tapas style meal. The global perspective continues with dishes like Plantain Tacos, Spicy Garlic Edamame, and Kimchi Pimento Cheese, depending on what’s in season. Some of the smaller plates are available during intermezzo –between lunch and dinner – to carry you through the afternoon.
This philosophy extends into the beverages selected and concocted to compliment the food at The SolFood Kitchen. There are plenty of non-alcoholic drinks like CBD sparkling Water, Topo Chico, Kombucha from Atlanta-based Golda, and the highest quality juice made in house. Because they try to stick to seasonal fruits and veggies throughout their menu, flavor availability may change depending on the time of year but include things like Green Juice – a balance of green veggies and green apple, and The Detoxifier – a beautiful purple concoction of beets, carrots, apples, ginger and more.
On the bar side of things you can find a number of local and seasonal craft beers, wines, and sake. There’s usually a variant of their popular sangria frozé, the Sol Mule is topped with a delicious Blood Orange Seltzer, and there is always a selection of beer on tap. The beautiful bar, original to the Surrey Center location, has been refreshed but retains it’s classic character, making it a great place to relax with a drink while the light streams in through the stain glass windows.
Between the stunning space and endless food and drink options its easy to justify returning over and over again to sample the world of flavor. Whether you’re vegan, vegetarian, or otherwise, there’s something to nourish your appetite and soul at the endlessly fresh and creative SolFood Kitchen.
ARTISAN – Sweet & Sassy Apon
Katelyn Youngblood hit a home run when she decided to open Sweet & Sassy Apron in April. She’d been mulling over the concept of charcuterie boxes for a while. With a background in food and a culinary education, she was certainly qualified to create some incredible spreads of meat, cheese, nuts, fruit, honey, chocolate and more.
Though opening a business during a pandemic can be scary, Youngblood jumped in and was an immediate success.
It turns out people like charcuterie in their own home as much as they love it at a restaurant. It’s perfect for picnics, small gatherings, or even large gatherings (epic holiday party spread), or a cozy date night by the fire.
The Sweet & Sassy Apron menu can be found on their Facebook page and includes options like The Local Box with honey, produce and cheese straws from throughout Georgia, and chocolate from right here in the Augusta area.
The Feelin’ Cheesy Box offers three cheeses plus an assortment of fruit, crudités, chocolate, nuts and more to provide the perfect balance. The Meat Madness Box is, as you’d imagine, packed with meat like salami, prosciutto, and capocollo, plus ingredients like pickles, olives, fruit, etc. to compliment.
She’s justly earned the title: “The original Augusta cheese girl”. The use of local produce and cheeses is paramount to her process.
With various sizes and options available there’s a charcuterie box for pretty much everyone but don’t be afraid to ask about a customized box if you’re looking for something in particular.
If you’re having a holiday party and need a custom spread, Sweet & Sassy Apron can create the charcuterie board of your dreams, even using your own board if desired, to create a stunning feast so that on the day of all you have to worry about is greeting your guests.
Whether you’re feeding a crowd or just want a special dinner for one, Sweet & Sassy Apron has something for everyone.
If you’re looking for a good Christmas gift or want your own custom charcuterie board for Sweet and Sassy Apron to pile with delicacies, don’t forget about Julie Voegtlen’s gorgeous boards that were featured in the August/September issue of Augusta Magazine! Each of her wood-burned designs is one-of-a-kind with stunning detail, perfect for topping with meats and cheeses and delicacies. Julie can be contacted for orders at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Appears in the November/December 2020 issue of Augusta Magazine.