Gourmet to Go | Rosewood Market
A quintessential Plateau dining experience reaches some sort of peak perfection, thanks to Rosewood Market. Rosewood is located at 117 Franklin Road in Highlands (adjoining the Citgo Station). You can stop in or call ahead at (828) 526-0383.
A recurring theme of my restaurant reviews during this strange year of liberation and lingering low-level anxiety has been the absolute divinity of experiencing an exquisite meal in the company of dear friends.
This month’s dining experiment was built upon a Saturday visit to the teeming deli cases and groaning fridge units at the bustling heart of Rosewood Market.
Don’t think my use of the word “bustling” is hyperbole. There was literally a line waiting for them to open the doors at 11:00 A.M., and we poured in.
I was representing seven hungry diners, so I was prepared to take out a broad assortment of Rosewood’s made-fresh offerings. I mention “seven” because it’s important that you understand the possibilities and perils inherent in such a mission. Seven separate palates, seven radically different sensibilities, and seven hyper-intelligent critics who were willing to turn the Snark Meter to 11 on poor Rosewood and (more importantly) me, if everything wasn’t exemplary.
Because Rosewood’s takeout menu varies every day, I just had to guess at the choices, hoping to appeal to everyone. But over the decades, Rosewood Market has earned a reputation for superior food offerings both in its takeout business and its catering presentations, so I couldn’t go too wrong.
Here’s what I left with:
Beef Tenderloin; Crab Cakes; Stuffed Ravioli; Broccoli Slaw, Twice-Baked Potatoes; Squash Casserole; Butter Bean Salad; Curried Chicken Salad; Fresh Fruit Salad; Roasted Asparagus; Roasted Brussel Sprouts; Blackberry Cobbler; Berry/Lemon Cake; Coconut Pie; and Buttermilk Pie.
And exquisite Fried Chicken. Lots of Fried Chicken. Because it was not quite ready when the doors opened, there were those among us in that first push who had to cool their heels until it was reverently placed in the deli case. They had come strictly for that chicken. Good choice!
So you see, I left with bulging bags of food, but we were planning to meet at Kelsey-Hutchinson Founders Park for a Saturdays on Pine Concert. This was going to be a musical picnic, and for a picnic among friends you have to bring plenty for everyone to sample and share. It’s just not a picnic if there isn’t sharing and the attendant laughter and hijinks.
The good people of Rosewood Market came through for me, and for our picnic, and for our concert experience.
I’ve already rhapsodized about the glorious Fried Chicken, but let me also single out the Broccoli Slaw, the Roasted Asparagus, the Buttermilk Pie, and the Fresh Fruit Salad.
(You probably didn’t expect to see Fresh Fruit Salad making the Honor Roll, but as Tricia pointed out, so often the fruit salad you get in a restaurant isn’t like the stuff that ends up on your dining room table – restaurants lack the patience to allow their fruit to ripen and achieve the ultimate sweetness and the perfect texture. The kitchen at Rosewood is very, very patient.)
It was, in all, a quintessential picnic, accompanied by a fun concert under a near-perfect twilight sky.
If you’re a Plateau-dweller, you know there’s another part of the equation and, sure enough, about 20 minutes into the picnic and the music, the skies opened up and we and everyone else scrambled for shelter and drier locales.
Fortunately for us, we re-assembled at Stuart’s and began to play a naughty board game, which revealed much more about myself, my odd friends, and this very strange world than I cared to know. It was heaps of fun and, though it was indoors, was still a picnic. The laughter, the surprises, and delicious Rosewood Food made it a picnic.
Rosewood Market is located at 117 Franklin Road in Highlands (adjoining the Citgo Station). You can stop in and pick up something for a meal or a snack; or you can call ahead at (828) 526-0383 to order something special to go, or to set a catered event.