This weekend Pascal and I introduced some friends to our favorite restaurant in the area, Mike's Farm. It's about a forty-five minute drive from Wilmington, but it's worth every penny of the gas it takes to get there! Mike and his wife Theresa run this agri-tourism business in Back Swamp, NC. Yes, really. Back Swamp. It's right next to Beulaville. On weekends the farm hosts special events (every weekend in October there are hay rides out to the pumpkin patch) and the restaurant is open. We didn't know there would be an event this weekend, but we arrived just at the end of an antique tractor show and barbeque. We checked out a few tractors and headed straight for the restaurant, which is open three nights a week, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, from 4:30 to 8:30 pm. The menu is always the same: Fried Chicken, Pork Loin and Gravy, Country Ham Biscuits, Mashed Potatoes, Macaroni and Cheese, Green Beans, Corn, Dessert, Soft Drinks and Iced Tea. We paid $13.99 per person, and all of it was brought to our table in big bowls. We served ourselves, family-style, and ate like it was Thanksgiving Day (they'll keep refilling the bowls as long as you want). Pascal must have had at least fourteen pieces of chicken! One of our friends, who "doesn’t like ham", couldn't get enough of those country ham biscuits! As for me, I'm a fool for the macaroni and cheese. It's the most delicious I've ever tasted (and I make a pretty good mac 'n cheese myself!). Theresa, who is a tiny little thing, says it's her recipe. We seriously considered kidnapping her to find out what secret ingredient makes it so creamy and good. The corn and the green beans are also delicious! In fact, I only ate one small piece of chicken and didn't even touch the pork, so I could load up on veggies and the mac 'n cheese.
There is also a wonderful bakery at the farm (not that we had any room for baked goods after that meal!). You can see the little gray-haired Southern ladies in the kitchen baking away (our waitress told us that the cooks in the restaurant are Southern ladies too - "just what you'd imagine them to look like", she said). The bakery is famous for its old-fashioned 10-layer chocolate cake. I've yet to try it, but I swear that next time I’m going to buy one! I have enjoyed a cheese Danish and sugar cookies on previous visits, and they were both delicious.
We ate at 4:30 pm (it’s best to get there early as there is usually a wait), which was more like a late lunch for us. We were so full that we didn't eat again until 6:30 the next day! And you can bet we'll be back again soon. I'm determined to figure out that macaroni and cheese recipe! Meanwhile, if you're anywhere near this area, a trip to Mike's Farm is a must; you'll thank us for the hot tip.