Any restaurant that serves flights of honey is worth a visit. Honey flights at Half Crocked Chef's Cafe and Marketplace in Springfield include 10 samples of flavorful, infused honeys. There's even a Honey Bar where customers can drizzle an assortment of spicy, sweet, herbaceous or citrus-packed honeys over plates of fruit, sausages or warm biscuits.
Before opening Half Crocked inside Chesterfield Village, owner and chef Christina Hesse had a booth at the farmers' market for several years. Now, along with her housemade spices and infused honeys, Hesse serves breakfast, lunch and dinner Tuesday through Friday plus brunch on Saturday.
The menu is inventive and delicious: Breakfast waffles are crowned with lemon curd, fresh blueberries, chunks of juicy pineapple or spiced peaches. Housemade biscuits are topped with a beer-based gravy peppered with chunks of local sausage. Hesse's menu items are all-natural and many feature beer or spirits - hence the café's name.
The sandwich selection is a global love affair with Italian, American, Thai, Greek and Mexican flavors. Daily specials are offered, as well, like the Moroccan special on Wednesday that's a full meal of mint tea, couscous, pita, olives, Moroccan-style garlic chicken and a grilled orange for dessert.
Of course, a big draw is the house-infused honeys. Hesse gets her honey from 14 different vendors, most within a 50-mile radius, and some even from neighboring Republic. Choose from three flights, which are served on small plastic paint palettes that can fit all 10 honey samples. Purple Haze, one of the shop's best-sellers, is infused with local lavender and lemon. Others are spiced with almonds and oranges, pear and ginger, and spicy peppers. Each honey on the flight is available for purchase along with a selection of locally made pastas, teas, coffees, meats, sauces, and spices.
Story and photography by Ettie Berneking. This article appears courtesy of Feast Magazine. Feast Magazine is dedicated to broadening the conversation about food and engaging a large, hungry audience of food lovers.