Friday Feast: A Taste of South Carolina at Magnolia Natural Market & Cafe

Last weekend I went to visit my mom in South Carolina for the weekend.  I hadn’t seen here in quite some time and it was the perfect opportunity to see her over the holiday season.  Since I now have all of these dietary restrictions (eggs, wheat, squash, etc…) finding restaurants can be difficult.  But thankfully my mom found this great place in Aiken, SC called the Magnolia Natural Market & Cafe.

Magnolia

This place was incredibly charming!  It is located in a small yellow house near the center of town.  They focus on healthy, organic, local food.  All the soups and baked goods are made fresh in-house daily and the staff couldn’t be friendlier.  Talk about southern hospitality!  Let’s take a look at the menu:

Front of the Menu
Daily Lunch Menu
Back of the Menu
Beverages
Specials
Specials

I had to try the unsweetened mango iced tea that they make by steeping the tea with fresh mango.  YUM!  This was some of the best tea I’ve had and I love how it’s served in a mason jar.

Unsweetened Mango Iced Tea
Unsweetened Mango Iced Tea

I had a hard time deciding what to order.  The beet, pear & blue cheese soup sounded really good, but after my travel nightmare the day before and having hardly eaten breakfast, I wanted something a little more substantial.  I went with the Magnolia Burger.  I’m always happy to see local products on menus and the beef for this burger was from the local MiBek Farms.  It is served with a tangy Gorgonzola dressing, heirlooms tomatoes, arugula and I asked for some avocado. I opted to forgo a bun even though they had a gluten free option.  The burger was slightly overcooked for my liking, but it was still delicious.  The side were gluten free house made flax chips that were SO GOOD!  I cleaned my whole plate!

Magnolia Burger
Magnolia Burger

I was happy to hear that my mom was going to order the beet, pear and blue cheese soup.  This was such an interesting combination and let me tell you…it worked!  I would love to try this at home.  She ordered it with one of the crab cakes on the specials menu.  Here hubs R went the sweet route and got a slice of banana bread that was topped with some sort of honey, yogurt icing.  They both raved about their choices.

Crab Cake & Soup
Crab Cake & Soup
Banana Bread
Banana Bread

I was too stuffed for dessert, but I did get another iced tea to go.  I just couldn’t resist.  After lunch, my mom and I walked around town.  They have some seriously cute shops in Aiken!  There is also an art exhibit/fundraiser going around town with barn cat statues, so we searched those out.  So cute!

Mosaic Barn Cat
Mosaic Barn Cat
Santa Cat
Santa Barn Cat

And then we came across these creepy statue things…

Yikes!
Yikes!

Aiken is such a fun little town.  I’m so glad my Mom found the Magnolia Cafe…a definite hidden gem!

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