The Don is back in town. The Don is back in Monroe.
Chef Donnie is back in one of the towns that played host to his start in his culinary career. “We are bringing it back to Monroe. Y’all ain’t ready! We are going to make Monroe a food destination.”
What does that entail, you may ask? Well, allow me to explain. I think you’ll be modestly surprised about what we have planned.
First order of business: Biscuits and pizza. Not necessarily in that order, but hey, it’s 2017 so you do you. Crust & Jam is the name, craft biscuits and artisan pizzas are the game. This restaurant is geared towards more handheld food items, food to-go, lunch pick-ups, etc. The biscuits start as a recipe from Donnie’s grandmother’s holy grail of recipe books (though if one did exist, it wouldn’t be in print. It’d be rotating around like a lazy susan in Donnie’s head which I will bet you a dollar-to-a-donut that it is).
Second up is the future fine dining go-to of Monroe, where it’s a surefire way to teleport you back into the early 1900’s era, called Franklin & Main. The only word that comes to mind is: authentic. Why? Because the culinary creations that Donnie drafted for F&M are inspired from cookbooks that local historians graciously allowed Donnie to parooze. Ranging from shaved liver on a pork shingle to a hot milk cake. Just wait until he releases the full menu. I, myself had to read through it a few times to truly grasp what he is on too, and my is it going to knock your shingles off!
Third time's a charm, right? Just like Southern Charm, right? Well, that’s what the third place will be: the epitome of Southern. Inspired by the famed restaurant down in Georgia, Mrs. Wilkes, where the traditional family style, everyone gathers around the table type of dining thrives, Don wanted to bring that deep-rooted Southern wholesome way to Monroe. I’ll break it down for you: Southern style food + buffet + charmed older home = Southern hospitality at it’s finest. What’s the name? We haven't settled on one for it just yet but my idea is: Full Plate.
These restaurants serve as tools for Donnie to give back to a town that gave him a lot many moons ago. He’s creating jobs for people, handing out food, partnering with local charities and foundations and boiled down: doing a lot of good and bringing life back into Monroe. This is something you don’t want to miss out on. I can assure you.