In Boone, people crave fresh air and fresh food.  With food sustainability on the rise, two local restaurants have made fresh food their mission. These restaurants have made strong connections with local farms in the area. By combining local produce and fresh food, these restaurants have established themselves as part of Boone’s unique local flair and one-of-a-kind atmosphere.

1. Red Onion Cafe


Photo courtesy of Brett Gemberling

  The Blue Ridge Plate Ingredients: Bibb and Red Leaf lettuce, Dijon-Thyme vinaigrette, roasted beet medley, curried apples, cherry tomato medley, “all-red” micro greens, and crispy-fried Chèvre.

*Available June-November

Red Onion Assistant Executive Chef Brett Gemberling is always searching for the best food to use on his menu. Gemberling has worked alongside Buddy Ellison and Andy Robinson, both whom have worked together for thirty years, to transform Red Onion into the local gem it is today. Gemberling has handpicked pounds of locally sourced beans from Springhouse Farms (under supervision and permission) for a nightly special. He even has his own lettuce guy (Hanging Gardens.)

Gemberling is ahead of the game, building relationships with local farmers like Spring House Farms and Against the Grain to serve the mouth-watering taste you’re looking for when you’re tired of the cheap Cook-Out burgers and knock-off Subway salad. While whipping up one of his signature dishes such as the Blue Ridge Plate, Gemberling gives you the best food for your dollar.

#SpoonTip: If you rent through the Winkler Organization, use your Winkler Perks card at Red Onion for a BOGO deal of buy one entree, get one free.

  2. Farm2Flame Food Truck


Photo Courtesy of Christian Ireland

Smoked Pork Enchiladas Ingredients: Smoked pork, Boone Creek enchilada sauce, cheddar and mozzarella cheeses, chipotle sour cream and cilantro.

While Gemberling is gathering fresh beans, another local eatery is implementing a farm-to-table menu. Beginning this Spring , Farm2Flame, a food truck with “wood-fired street food”, will serve a seasonal menu compiled from three local farmers’ products.

This piece of heaven on wheels is posted outside of local treasure Appalachian Mountain Brewery, fondly known as “AMB”. Head Chef Christian Ireland says that they try to live up to their name, transitioning from only a few pizzas to gyros, tacos, and more.  “We have a wood oven right in the truck. We are expanding our menu to really go beyond pizzas and live up to the ‘wood-fired street food’ title,” says Christian.

3. Giving Back


Photo courtesy of

As Red Onion grasps the best lettuce within a hundred miles and Farm2Flame evolves their menu quicker than you can choose which kind of salsa you’re going to buy, you may ask: what are they giving back? The answer is: A LOT.

Red Onion is developing relationships with local farmers to transition into a more seasonal menu with locally harvested items for everyone to enjoy. Every three months, Farm2Flame is giving 10% of their proceeds back to the local farmers that supply their food. Rest assured other restaurants around Boone are following suit.

If you head to the Winter Farmers’ Market, you may spot Gemberling scouting seasonal veggies. If you pop into AMB for a good, local brew, you won’t get the drunchies without any munchies because Farm2Flame will hit you with some local eats and philanthropy. Because who doesn’t like to eat a locally sourced gyro or veggie pizza while giving a couple bucks to farmers.