Tucked into the hills north of Ardmore is a small farm with a some goats, sheep, working dogs and a cafe/country store. A friend had mentioned Whistle Hollow Farm to me some time ago so over the long weekend, the hubby and I took the opportunity to go check it out. Google maps got us most of the way and some very well placed signs took us the final stretch, until we were driving past an picturesque piece of antique farm equipment and down a tree lined road to the gravel parking lot.
On our way in, we spotted the goats (begging for food by the fence) and a large lawn with an outdoor stage. Walking in the front door of the cafe, we found ourselves next to a register, surrounded by toys, candy, and trinkets, both new and old fashioned. A couple of patrons clued us in that we should seat ourselves so we moseyed to the back of the cafe and took a window seat where we could watch the goats.
Our server arrived promptly, taking our drink orders and answering our questions. The hubby ordered a hamburger with everything but mayo while I opted for a pulled pork sandwich. It was a difficult choice though with daily specials that included an open faced roast beef sandwich on sourdough with mashed potatoes. Intrigued by the name, we also added a slice of "Sawdust" pie.
As we waited for our food we marveled at the gorgeous wood construction in the cafe. Outside the window, well placed salt lick ensured a steady parade of goats.
Our meals came out quickly and we happily dug in.
The fries were crinkle cut, served piping hot and gently salted. The exterior was lightly crunchy and the interior soft, unlike the frozen variety which tend to be crumbly.
My pulled pork was made up of discrete strands that were a touch chewy, moist but bare of sauce. The flavor was lightly sweet and balanced well with the sharp, tangy bar-b-que sauce. The pillowy white bread bun provided a nice counterpoint on the texture front. All together, the sandwich was lovely, though without sauce it was a little plain.
We had requested our pie after our meal and our server ensured it was brought out in a timely manner. The sawdust name referred to the filling--a blend of shredded coconut and graham cracker crumbs. Nestled in a pie crust, drizzled with caramel and served with slices of banana and fresh whipped cream, the combination was sweet and nutty with a thick, fluffy texture. Both the thin caramel sauce and fresh whipped cream were clearly housemade and the bananas were fresh. This was not a fancy dessert, it would be easy for a home cook to replicate, but it was fresh, extremely well executed and was a novel combination to me.
After we finished our meal, we headed up to the register, wandering through the locally made items and old timey toys to settle our bill. Next to the register were small bags of animal feed for sale, clearly encouraging families to get out and spend time with the goats and sheep. On our way back to the car, we stopped by the fence to take some photos and say hello. Clearly used to being fed, the animals quickly trotted over in hopes of handouts. Curious eyes peered at us as others stuck their heads through the fence to munch grass. One small goat stood on its hind legs, placing hooves on the top of the wire fencing to look imploringly up at us.
Whistle Stop Farm is a great place for an afternoon getaway. Close enough to town to be an easy drive, the friendly staff and tasty food make it great spot for a quiet meal. If the weather is nice, you can ask the staff to pack your food up as a picnic and explore the walking trails for a nice nook to eat. Mondays-Wednesdays, the farm is closed to groups under 20 because of the high demand from school groups to tour the farm, learning about local agriculture. The farm is a picturesque place for weddings and other events and, given the incredibly reasonable prices of their cafe, I imagine it would be a budget friendly option.
Total for the meal: $19.91 (Included two sandwiches, two soft drinks, and one slice of pie).
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