Tupelo Honey, besides being the title of an album by Van Morrison and actual honey from the Florida Panhandle, is a restaurant.

Tupelo Honey the restaurant has its roots in the Carolinas, and their first location was in Ashville, NC. They now have around 15 locations across the U.S. and we get the newest location right here in Grand Rapids.

If you like Southern Cooking made from scratch this is your place. Some highlights on the menu include Tupelo's Famous Fried Chicken and two ways to have it - Honey Dusted or "Sweet & Spicy" topped with Sriracha Honey. That's what I chose last night for dinner and the real name should be "Sweet & Spicy and Sticky!" It has the flavor of hot chicken from Nashville with a touch of sweetness. What's really nice is they let you choose if you want Half-Bird or white or dark meat portions. Dark meat included a thigh and two legs. Plenty for a hearty appetite.

Next time I'm going to have the Tupelo shrimp & grits. And of course they're also famous for their fried green tomatoes and their crispy brussels, fried pickles, and warm pimento cheese dip.

Happy hour has a lot of drink options, but for beer only Sierra Nevada at $5, and Coors and Miller for $3. This is Beer City, USA - would like to see one of our micro-brews for happy hour, too. And recommend Bells - Light Hearted, my new favorite beer. It was listed on the menu at regular prices, but not on tap for opening night. They had Two-Hearted from Bells instead... so I went with the extra alcohol content and more calories than Light Hearted which is one of the first light IPAs.

What I'm really looking forward to is their bloody Mary options. They start with their own in-house made mix, pimento cheese stuffed olives, okra, bacon and more. And then there are six options; "The Classic" with house vodka, "Black Pepper" with Dixie Black Pepper vodka, "Black Beard" with Kraken black rum, "Highlander" with Dewars whiskey, "Bloody Maria" (love these) with El Jimador tequila, and "Queen Mary" their huge version the "Black Pepper"

I had great service from Maggie wearing a mask, but could tell she greeted me with a smile and brought my second beer without waiting.

While Tupelo Honey is a part of a chain, the service and food felt home grown and I was impressed. I'm definitely going to put this restaurant in my rotation.

Tupelo Honey is now open for brunch, lunch and dinner open weekdays at 11AM and on weekends at 10AM

Reservations recommended especially with them being brand-new restaurant, but me last night being a walk-in at 5:30 wasn't a problem.

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