When the sun came up Friday, the North Shore had a new breakfast spot.
What: Milk and Honey
When: Monday-Sunday, 6:30 a.m.-10 p.m.
Where: 135 North Market St.
How much: Each one size of gelato, which can have up to three flavors, is $4
Milk and Honey, the latest restaurant in the successful string of Chattanooga foodie favorites created by Mike and Taylor Monen, opened for its first full day of service at 6:30 a.m.
“We were blown away that there were people up and about at that hour,” Mike said.
He explained that he and wife didn't push hard at advertising, but rather allowed the anticipation for their fourth Chattanooga restaurant—the couple owns the next-door Taco Mamacita, Urban Stack on the Southside and Community Pie downtown—to do the work.
After the breakfast rush, the stream of customers tapered off until the after-school crowd showed up in the afternoon. The stream then again returned to a steady flow of families, young adults and older couples.
Patrons seemed thrilled with the open-window bar looking out onto the hustle and bustle of North Shore, the yellow swivel stools, and the illustrated black and white menu board that reads both as a rundown of the food and beverage options and a statement of Milk and Honey's “farm-to-counter” philosophy.
For breakfast, customers can sample one of the six specialty sandwiches, the oatmeal or granola, or build their own breakfast creation—choosing a bread, protein, egg preparation and cheese, two spreads and three toppers—all for $6.
The morning meal also comes with an optional carhop, available like breakfast from 6:30 to 11 a.m.
Because of her personal affinity for drive-thrus that comes with being a mom, Taylor instilled that level of service in the Monens' new North Shore venture. There are four parking spots directly in front of the restaurant reserved for Milk and Honey patrons during breakfast.
Once parked, the driver is greeted with a menu. A server takes the order and the payment and then delivers the meal to the window.
“It was pretty smooth,” said general manager and head barista Courtney Jordan. “It's been really amazing.”
The coffee menu includes brewed coffee and espresso drinks sourced from Atlanta’s Counter Culture Coffee. There is also, of course, milk and honey served hot or cold.
After 11, it's all gelato, all day. The flavors currently on the board include burnt sugar, salted caramel, summer strawberry, rum raisin, tart Greek yogurt, lime basil and sweet beet.
The underlying theme at Milk and Honey is the all-consuming attention to detail that goes into every single dish, even every single ingredient.
Not only are the berries in the paletas and sorbets sourced from Mayfield Farm and Nursery, where they were frozen at the peak of their ripeness, not only did the whole staff receive specialized training from Counter Culture Coffee, but Taylor learned how to create gelato from an Italian chef and is now tackling the technique of making bagels from scratch.
It's an attention to detail that Mike said customers will be able to taste.
Of opening day, he said, “It’s been a blast.”