My friend Libby and I met for lunch at Harvest Market’s Farmhouse Restaurant during our lunch break a few weeks ago. It was my first time dining there, despite visiting Harvest Market at least once a week. Located just off of Neil Street a couple of miles south of Downtown Champaign, the restaurant is located on the south side of the building and even sports a separate entrance, so diners don’t have to worry about the bustle of the grocery store impacting a visit. We arrived around 1 p.m. on a Tuesday and though there were plenty of people eating, there was not a long line.
The downstairs area provides counter service just off the deli and salad bar. The cashier was very nice and patient with me while I ordered as they were sold out of a few items. My friend and I ordered and were given a table stand. They have a station that provides water, silverware, napkins, and condiments. We decided to sit upstairs which boasts a wide seating area that includes tables for groups as well as a lounge area with couches. I was impressed with the space and with how many people were up there working and enjoying lunch.
The grilled granny jam ($8) was my favorite item I ordered. It was served on grilled sourdough bread with slices of granny smith apples that were covered in cheddar cheese, a chunky bacon jam, and grainy mustard. The sandwich was a great combination of crunchy, sweet, and salty. I was excited to see waffle-cut sweet potato fries on the menu and chose them for my side. Fried and finished with salt, they were a perfect addition to the meal.
I also ordered the poraloumi burger ($9) as a vegetarian option to try. Served hot on a pretzel bun, it came with a balsamic portobello cap covered in grilled halloumi cheese, caramelized onions, arugula, and topped with sliced avocado. I was impressed with the way the different ingredients of the burger melded together. I sometimes find portabella burgers a bit slimy, but the kitchen did a great job making sure that was not the case. Everything was fresh, and the halloumi helped provide a chewy texture. I ordered the roasted veggies for my side which included zucchini, yellow squash, and mushrooms that were lightly seasoned.
My friend ordered the CBR ($10). Built on top of a focaccia crust, the flatbread had ranch sauce, grilled chicken, crispy bits of bacon, and mozzarella cheese. This chicken-bacon-ranch flatbread is a classic flavor combination, and it hit the spot. The flatbread was large and great for extra slices to take home or an afternoon snack. With five different flavors to choose from on the flatbread menu, it would be fun to order them all and share with friends. They have a greek flatbread that I am eager to try.
The last item I ordered was the Fun Guy ($10). This was a double burger with mushrooms and onions covered in Swiss cheese, a creamy garlic aioli, lettuce, tomato, and pickle built on a brioche bun. For $10, this was a great burger. Hot off the flattop and served with a choice of side, it hit all the notes of a classic mushroom and Swiss with the addition of the veggies. I really enjoyed it and ate the leftovers the next day, and they were still delicious.
Overall, we had a great lunch at the Farmhouse Restaurant with a great atmosphere, helpful staff, and good food. They also serve up a vast breakfast menu which I am eager to try. You can follow along on their Facebook for their seasonal and holiday specials.
The Farmhouse Restaurant
2029 S Neil St
6 a.m. to 2 p.m., daily