Digging in to the comfort food at Tart is like visiting your impossibly cool hippie aunt…if you were from Georgia. Or at least that’s what was conjured for this Southern girl. Every detail toes the line between quirky-cool and too-kitschy, somehow managing to land on being too much and just enough all at once.
We ordered fried chicken sandwiches, the BLET and 2 eggs with smoked trout (breakfast all day!). Executive Chef Nick Erven (formerly of Messhall) came to Tart just earlier this year and his menu didn’t disappoint. With a flair for Southern flavors tempered with a California affinity for healthier choices, everything tasted indulgent and authentic without venturing into butter-soaked Southern caricature territory (you know who you are).
While I’m always a sucker for an all-day breakfast, (not to mention bottomless mimosas and a whole punch bowl situation), the dinner menu proved just tempting enough to lure me back at a later date. Meatloaf? Hush puppies? Black eyed peas? Don’t even get me started on the desserts. I’d beat a path back to my ancestral side of the Mason-Dixon line for any of those things, but as long as Tart’s around, I can find all that goodness a lot closer to home.
After lunch, we got a quick tour of Farmer’s Daughter, the hotel similarly decked out in quirky kitsch goodness. It’s hip, but friendly. There’s a pool (which you can dive into fully clothed for a discount on your meal at Tart or take your phone in with you and get it for free), a cool outdoor lounge and totally renovated rooms (complete with denim comforters) that only hint at their cheesy motel past…but in a cool way. The location is hard to beat, and the available rental bikes make sure you can cruise the neighborhood with ease. Next time you have out-of-town guests, you should suggest they stay here. Or at least stop by for an awesome crowd-pleasing meal. If you’re cheap, you can always take a quick dip and score a deal.