Since I got down here EARLY thanks to Dad having surgery and since I will miss the "Official" weekend events, I started this thread so everyone could add on to it whenever they fit into the time line. (Like WJ starting mid week in Charlotte, PP MikeS & CK, Thursday in Music City...)
I got down to Middle Tennessee on Feb 3rd, and my first week was extremely busy at the hospital and home so not much in the way of RF. However this week is different.
Sunset Family Restaurant
I was so excited I knew the Banana Puddin was waiting for me inside. This place was opened in 1959 and is owned and operated by the same family ever since, their parking lot is always full and so is the restaurant.
They are a typical family Meat & 3, with ALL the Fixins
I remembered from the last trip down how good their foodd was and I couldnt wait to try it again. I ordered "Home Made" Chicken & Dumplins, Mashed Taters & Gravy & Mac & Cheese... I love the SOUTH where Mac & Cheese is considered a vegetable.
My picture of the dumplins didnt turn out (it was blurrier than the sign) But let me describe these mouth watering morsels of pure joy.
The dish had LOTS of pulled chicken, both whit and dark meat, the gravy/sauce was perfectly balanced of thin to thick, the peas and carrots were cooked until they were melt in the mouth, the Dumplins were hand made "pasta" sheets cut into diamonds and then put in the "gravy" to simmer and cook. The Dumplins were not light and fluffy or to dense, they were perfectly cooked.
This reminded m of how my German Grandmother would make them no canned biscuits, no puff pastry, but a "dough" of flour, a little fat, salt and water, mixed by hand rolled thin then cut into strips or chuncks.
I was in Heaven - The mashed potatoes were REAL potatoes mashed with cream and butter with a touch of white pepper and salt, the mac & cheese was thin but creamy and good.
Dad was still on liquid diet so in his honor I ate jello with fruit in it.
I loved this stuff growing up as a kid, hell I still do!
You get your choice of Corn Bread Muffin or Home Made Yeast Roll, wanting to get the best of both worlds i asked for and recieved one of each... ok so my waitress couldnt count.
The corn bread was Mid TN white, a little on the dry side, but that made it sop up the dumplin gravy alll the more.
The Yeast rolls are warm bits of heavenly delight. Smelling of yeast, and just a hint of sweetness, the butter melted quickly and those babies disappeared even quicker.
After devouring my meal my sweet older southern waitress (with the syrupy sweet accent) "Hon can I git you some of our home made pie for dessert??" I said "Of COURSE YOU CAN, I will have a Piece of Buttermilk Pie, Chocolate Cream Pie and some Banana Puddin" She looked at me and the empty other side of the table and said "Oh, Hon I didnt know you was expecting anybody, i will bring them some water" Before i had a chance to tell her not to bother she was back with 2 forks 3 dessert plates and another glass of water.
So for the faint of heart turn you moitors off now...
Sunset Family Restaurant's Banana Puddin
Sunset Family Restaurant's Buttermilk Pie
Sunset Family Restaurant's Chocolate Cream Pie
And the final picture of the night...
Today I went exploring, Dad was feeling better his Mother In Law is here now so i could get out and enjoy the beautiful day and weather.
My first stop had a promising family name, unfortunately that is where it all stopped
Stroud's Family BBQ
W Baddour Ave
Now my frist clue that some was wrong in Denmark was the fact that at 12:30pm the restaurant inside looked like this:
There was no smell of smoke in the air, and wait a minute I saw NO SIGN of a pit any where!!!
I got the smoked turkey plate with 2 sides, and when the teen behind the counter saw me taking notes and pictures brought out a sample of their "Famous" ribs (his words not mine, mine would be INFAMOUS)
The mac & cheese was good and sticky, but bland, the potato salad was store bought and not that good
The turkey was dry and no smoke, then dipped in "broth"
The ribs were inedible and rubbery
Another fact that I should have known something was wrong...
Ketchup was considered a "BBQ Sauce"
There was Ketchup, A Western Carolina/ Eastern TN vinegar sauce, and a western TN sweet sauce.
The corn bread was MID TENN white corn bread DRY, no amount of butter could help it.
I like my corn bread a little on the sweet side, not dry and lifeless.
Here is what I had to resort to to make the turkey edible:
I wanted to like it, but NO!!!!
Don't waste your money or a meal at this place.
I would give it a
out of a possible 3.
Next on my adventure and about 20 minutes later I came across this place, and the buzz loclly is that it is the best BBQ place in Lebanon.
I saw a Chimney and some smoke out of it so I was hopeful.
Here is there menu:
I ordered the Pulled Pork Plate, Potato Salad & Mac & Cheese
Looks can be decieving, the pulled pork was over cooked and water looged like they had been holding it in a pan with water in it, very little smoke to it, the "bark" was rubbery and almost non existent. The potato salad was hard to the point of inedible, like the potatoes were bathed in hot water but never boiled. The Mac & Cheese... generic boxed artificially orange crap is better.
The corn bread was a johnny cake, but it was cold and dry, the butter would not melt in it.
They had two sauces Western Carolina Vinegar & Western TN Sweet
Here is a better close up of each of them:
The Clear liquid between the pickles and the red sauce is the vinegar sauce.
I don't like Carolina style sauces, i would rather have a sweet and sour style or a sweet style.
I didnt even get a good drink, they only had sweet tea or diet coke, BLECHHHHHH
They didnt have Banana Puddin (Strike Two on B Pudddin Today) they did have these small coffee cup size "pies" that came from somewhere else and not from their kitchen. So the best part of the meal was
When I left the place and drove around back expecting to see a wood pile, no I saw two huge propane tanks, no wonder their que had no smoke flavor.
So again it got a
out of a possible 3
Dad swears there is good quein Lebanon, but so far I am 0 - 2 with only 3 more places to try, but they are all closed on Mondays so I will try them tomorrow.
Tomorrow is Jame's BBQ, now this place has promise, it is an old run down shack, stacks of wood out back, and the other place is Tom's Blue Moon BBQ, they have won awards and Dad say's they are he best in Lebanon, and then Snow White Drive Inn & BBQ. This place looked promising, and old fashion drive in, where you honk or flash your lights for service, yhe best ice cream in town (Dad and his wife say to only order the $1.00 Ice cream cone)
Although they did say the "large" is 5 scoops of hard serve for $4 where the $1.00 is 2 scoops so I could see their point by doing the math.
We will see!
<message edited by CajunKing on Tue, 02/26/13 6:01 PM>