Tuesday, February 28, 2012

A Delicious Adventure in Helen, GA

This past weekend, Brad and I took a quick vacation getaway to one of our favorite little mountain towns - Helen, GA.  We fell in love with the German charm and easy-going atmosphere of this quaint community during our first visit there last year (see my post HERE) and have been wanting to go back ever since.  Sometimes, all you need is a few days of rest, relaxation and a tad bit of mountain adventure to recharge your batteries!  We had a TON of fun!

And you know what?  As it turns out, Helen, GA is a great place for a foodie to explore.  I love traveling to different places and checking out the local specialties, and there's no shortage in Helen.  Between the old-time general stores (the Old Sautee Store was my favorite!), farmers markets, fudge shoppes, Hofer's German Bakery, Jumpin' Goat Coffee Roasters, Nacoochee Grill, Nacoochee Village Tavern, and the Nora Mill Granary, there's delicious food around every turn...literally.

It's funny how my idea of a perfect souvenir has changed over the years.  Practically every souvenir we bought was somehow food-related, of course!  While there, we picked up:
  • White Speckled Grits from Nora Mill Granary
  • Yellow Cornmeal from Nora Mill Granary
  • Local Wildflower Honey
  • Tupelo Honey
  • Chocolate Covered Coffee Beans from Jumpin' Goat
  • A really cool Burlap Coffee Sack from Jumpin' Goat
  • Wine from Habersham Winery
  • Fresh Mississippi Mud & Almond Joy Fudge
  • Assorted pastries from Hofer's Bakery (Two Words:  Apple Fritters!)
  • "Farmer's Cheese" from the Old Sautee Store
Here are some more pics from the weekend (all taken with my trusty little iPhone):

Boiled peanuts in the making at a rustic farmers market

Fresh honey

An old barn we discovered on a walk through the woods with our dog, Hannah...

A little comic relief on that same walk through the woods.  It's hard to get Brad to pose for a picture without being silly in at LEAST one!

Antlers in a window

Goodies at Hofer's Bakery...If you ever go, you absolutely MUST try their Apple Fritters.  They alone are worth the drive to Helen...no kidding, folks.

That night back at the cabin, we built a cozy fire.  And, no fire would be complete without s'mores!  :)

While there, we hiked around a lake, which was beautiful.  I think Hannah had even more fun on this vacation than Brad and me!

Hiking around the lake...

Jumpin' Goat Coffee Roasters is a great coffee shop, with lots of fun things to browse through.  I found a really cool burlap coffee sack, and their chocolate covered coffee beans are quite addictive.  This is where I found the Tupelo honey...aka "liquid gold."

This must be the jumping goat!

Next door to Jumpin' Goat, the Nora Mill Granary offers so many wonderful products...White and yellow grits, cornmeal, whole wheat bread flour, poppy seeds, flax seeds, biscuit mixes, assorted preserves, honey, buckwheat flour, rye flour, porridge, kitchen toys, cookware, the list goes on and on...

Inside the granary...

Oak barrels inside Habersham Winery...

The Nacoochee Grill and Nacoochee Village Tavern both offer delicious food.  The Nacoochee Grill was our favorite restaurant on our trip last year, so we were excited to visit again this time around.  While the food was still great, the service was painfully slow when we ate there for lunch.  It took close to an hour to get our food!  However, we decided to give them one last shot and ate there again the next night for dinner.  This second visit was MUCH better.  Our food arrived quickly and the service was excellent.  Perhaps they were just having an off-day?  I had the Chicken Pot Pie and Brad chose the Shrimp and Grits. Yum!

The Nacoochee Village Tavern was wonderful!  This was our first visit to the Tavern, and they served up a DELISH pizza piled high with all the trimmings. 

The staff at Nacoochee Village Tavern was also wonderful.  Sean (on the left) and Chase (on the right) even posed for a quick picture in between all that pizza-making.

In conclusion, if you ever have the chance to visit Helen, GA, I highly recommend it.  I'm sure that Brad and I will return...hopefully sooner rather than later!

Bon Appetit, my friends!


Erin said...

Looks like a lot of fun! Helen is such a neat place.
Also--I have been craving boiled peanuts recently, and you are making the craving worse! ;) Boiled peanuts from a farmer's market are the best!

Michelle said...

So inspired to go there now! It's been on our list. Where did you stay? Or who did you use to rent the cabin?

Celeste said...

Hi Michelle! We've stayed in this cabin both times we've visited Helen...I very highly recommend it. The owners are great, and the price is good, too.