Kool Beanz gets cooler
I just talked with Keith Baxter, owner of Kool Beanz Cafe, and he shared information about his new restaurant, KB Kitchen, which will be opening in Lake Ella. The menu will be similar to Kool Beanz but lighter, with more of a focus on sandwiches, paninis, salads and bowls, with vegetarian choices.
“It won’t be heavy on proteins,” like steak or pork chops, Keith said, but “it will be Kool Beanz style, because that’s what I know.”
The decor won’t be as stylish as the newly renovated Kool Beanz, Keith said, but it will comfortable whether you’re in a T-shirt or a suit and tie.
KB Kitchen will be open for lunch Tuesday through Friday with brunch on Saturday and Sunday. The restaurant will also be open Thursday nights during Food Truck Thursday and will be available for private dinner parties.
Keith has been waiting for work to be done, such as a bigger gas meter, inspections, etc. No opening date yet, but hopefully this Spring. Looking forward to it!
Renovations in Midtown
Also, if you haven’t been to Kool Beanz Cafe in Midtown lately, owner Keith Baxter has made some renovations at Tallahassee’s beloved restaurant. “It still has the same vibe,” said Keith. You don’t have to suddenly dress up or speak in hushed tones but the place definitely looks much spiffier.
The carpeting has been replaced with an attractive faux wood floor, the interior has been repainted with warm but deeper colors, there’s a new counter and new lighting.
Kool Beanz gallery of vibrant local art still brightens the walls, but there’s not quite as much of it, and some pieces are larger. Art work is also displayed with more deliberation.
The menu retains its eclectic, adventurous flair, but Baxter has doubled the size of the wine list.
While there have been changes before, “this is the biggest number of changes at one time,” said Keith.
But rest assured Kool Beanz devotees, the motto hasn’t changed: “Eat, Drink, and Talk Loud – You’re Among Friends.”
Road trip for pancakes
When you head to Jacksonville, you’ll find a familiar spot for breakfast: Canopy Road Cafe is opening a location in the city at 12525 Philips Hwy. (old Bayard Cafe location).. The soft opening is going on now but the grand opening will be Feb. 25. Road trip!
The Hawthorn reinvented
Brioche and a brew. Nice! The new The Hawthorn Bistro & Bakery, at 1307 N. Monroe St., is now offering happy hour from 4 to 7 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday. $5 for wine, $1 off drafts.
If you haven’t been there yet, the bakery is owned by Jesse Edmunds (Liberty Bar, El Cocinero). It features about 10 homemade loaves, sandwiches, quiche, salads, soups and some pastries. You order at the counter and then sit in the dining room or on the outside patio. All the breads come out of the oven at 4 p.m. so you can grab a fresh, homemade ciabatta, sour dough or herb foccaccia on your way home from work. Edmunds has a board listing all the offerings from his Liberty Farms, which included Red Russian kale, watermelon radish and beets on Tuesday. Homemade bread and fresh ingredients makes such a difference.
The Reuben features shaved corned beef, apple-kraut, Russian dressing and Swiss cheese for $11 (the priciest sandwich) with optional beer mustard. As a fromage fanatic, I also ordered the grilled cheese, which I had on milk bread (you get your choice of bread and cheese — Swiss, cheddar, Havarti, goat or bleu) for $7. I picked Havarti. Simple, but delicious. Other sandwiches include turkey, pressed ham and porchetta.
Hours are 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday. Contact: 850-354-8275.
Online farmers’ market
The Red Hills’ Online Market, one of our best resources for wonderful food and quality products — and you can access it all year without leaving your house. Everything on the site is grown within 100 miles of Tallahassee. I get up Sunday morning and turn to the site while I’m still in my pajamas to try to order everything I want before it’s scooped up. Along with produce, you’ll find chicken, sausage, honey, homemade bread and much more. You have until Wednesday to order, but the market’s Karen Capps Goodlett advises ordering as early as possible on Sunday. I waited till mid-morning on Sunday and missed some items I wanted. I love the array of eggs offered by local farmers but this week I bought a handful of greens, three oranges and fresh carrots (pictured). I made a fresh salad with these ingredients Thursday night and it was fantastic. You pick up your groceries on Thursday at RHO Market main distribution hub, 3-6 pm, located behind Milano’s Pizza at the Northwood Center in the old FRM Garden Center. Some other pickup spots are available, along with deliveries for a fee. Visit rhomarket.com/ for more information.
About this hub, the alliance could really use a new place for pickups. The group has a month-to-month lease, said Goodlett, and the spot doesn’t have a bathroom or air-conditioning. The food is all kept in refrigerators and coolers but it’s tough on the farmers and volunteers spending hours at the hub. The group is looking for a space of about 1,000-square-feet so if you know of any spot, get in touch with the group. https://www.rhomarket.com/