Southern Living food critic visits Early Girl Eatery

Early Girl Eatery owners Julie and John Stehling are pictured with Southern Living food critic Morgan Murphy, center, during Murphy's 2014 visit to their Wall Street restaurant. Xpress file photo

Southern Living food critic, author and television personality Morgan Murphy visited Asheville on Sunday, July 13, with the mission of sampling two specific menu items at Wall Street’s Early Girl Eatery: the Early Girl benny and the local sausage and sweet-potato scramble.

I am constantly searching the South for the most inventive and creative fare — and hot damn, does Early Girl Eatery have it, Murphy said, according to a press release.

The Early Girl benny is a dish of grit cakes topped with tomato, spinach, poached eggs, tomato gravy and avocado served with toast or a homemade biscuit. The sausage and sweet-potato scramble is eggs scrambled with local pork sausage, shiitake mushrooms, sweet potatoes, bacon and green onion and served with toast or a homemade biscuit. A gluten-free option is available that replaces the bread with fresh tomato slices. Both dishes are priced at $9.50.

Murphy will feature the Early Girl Eatery in an upcoming book from Southern Living titled Off the Eaten Path: On the Road Again. This will be the third edition in his best-selling series Off the Eaten Path.

Murphy has been featured on many television shows, including the TODAY Show and Fox & Friends. He has been a on QVC, and this summer, hes making his Travel Channel debut as a judge on American Grilled. Murphy gets his restaurant tips mainly through fans to his website or directly on Twitter @_morganmurphy.


About Gina Smith
Gina Smith is the Mountain Xpress Food section editor and writer. She can be reached at

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