No matter the hour, the sweet onion in waynesville is hopping with loyal patrons. Whether grabbing a late lunch, early dinner, or late-night, house-made dessert, you’ll likely have company at the copper-topped bar, among the tables in the homey, brick-walled dining room, or on the quiet mezzanine level.
The appeal lies in the comfortable surroundings and a menu you can always count on for variety and classic Southern dishes. Sunny folk art by locals adorns the moss-green walls, while the culinary artistry comes in well-crafted offerings like shrimp and grits, bacon-wrapped meatloaf, fried catfish, hanger steak, and pork chop sandwiches.
The cool air inside beckoned on my recent visit with a friend, and once seated, we couldn’t keep ourselves from ordering the Sweet Onion Soup. Like classic French onion, the crock was topped with a bubbly cap of Swiss cheese and a slice of bread beneath. Slightly creamy with tender chunks of Vidalia onions and a kick of spice, it’s an impressive starter—summer or not. Another appetizer, the blue crab and ahi tuna ceviche, bears more onion flavor than citrus, and comes topped with crispy sweet potato strings and basil Sriracha aioli.
Chef Doug Weaver, who owns Sweet Onion with his wife, Jenny, and business partner, Dan Elliott, creates such a delicious spectrum in one menu that one might never tire of trying different dishes; or perhaps for some, it simply makes the decision harder. I had planned to order the butternut squash ravioli, but found myself picking the Wiener schnitzel, a new entrée. Even when straying from Southern staples (or spicing them up, as in the wasabi mashed potatoes served with the Thai short rib), Sweet Onion hits the mark. With a light bread crumb crust, the schnitzel was close to perfect. Accompanied by peppery mashed potatoes, marinated cucumbers, and tiny cheddar-garlic biscuits, it was a meal of comfort and familiarity, much like Sweet Onion itself.
39 Miller St.