Leading the green movement with great food
Frontrunners from the start, 212 Market has ridden the cultural wave of localism with pride and panache. The family-owned restaurant was the first “green certified” restaurant in Tennessee, earned through recycling, composting, and energy-efficient practices. Happily distracted by the delicious food, customers may miss details like UV tinting on the windows and solar panels on the roof.
Manager Jesse Pyron outlined 212 Market’s ongoing practice of sourcing all of its vegetables, meats, and fish as locally and ethically raised as possible, even at a higher cost to the establishment, because buying local also means less fuel consumption. While we were talking, owner Sally Moses came out to introduce herself and offer me some fresh arugula to taste.
“Just wait for the heat at the back end,” she enthused, watching me chew. It was spicy and rich, as arugula is meant to be. “We just got that in from our grower today,” she beamed.
Loyal customers appreciate highlighting local farms, which keep springing up. “More little farms than we can even keep track of!” Moses told me, as she hurried back into the kitchen. Pyron agreed.
“We really do have some wonderful growers, like Crabtree Farms and Sequatchie Cove, and new sources popping up all over. It’s similar to our craft beers—new treasures constantly sprouting up out of nowhere.”
As for polenta and grits, when the historic Falls Mill closed, Moses did her research to find a new nearby source for these favorites: the Logan Turnpike 1916 grist mill near Blairsville in North Georgia.
Come taste the difference details make. The menu changes seasonally, especially the sides, veggies, and sauces, but the overall vibe and pricing stay consistent. I heartily endorse an evening on 212 Market’s eco-friendly terrace sipping their famous seafood bisque with the smooth Southern Pecan Ale sourced from Mississippi’s Lazy Magnolia Brewery.