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Loveless Cafe

8400 Highway 100, Nashville, TN - (615) 646-9700
Posted By Michael Stern on 6/8/2007 6:34:00 PM
The Loveless Cafe, attached to the Loveless Motel on the highway west of Nashville, is the quintessential country-western eatery: wood-paneled walls, red-checked tablecloths, waitresses with sweet mountain accents, and out-of-this-world downhome vittles.

For a long time it has been a favorite haunt among Grand Ol' Opry performers, whose pictures line the walls, and whose tour buses frequently can be seen parked towards the back of the lot. The Loveless has gotten a lot of good press in the last few years, praised by everyone from CBS-TV to Martha Stewart; but we are happy to say that national renown hasn't spoiled it one bit. Yes, there are Loveless souvenirs to buy, including a fancy print of the cafe and motel (suitable for framing); but they still serve some of the best fried chicken and country ham for miles around, and they make peach, blackberry, and strawberry preserves every week.

Those preserves (which are available by mail) are reason enough to celebrate the Loveless. Peach is the color of a summer sunset, sweet and deeply fruity, just perfect in conjunction with a faintly sour biscuit. The blackberry is more tart: wonderful on biscuits or toast or waffles, or on ice cream, or (we confess) spooned straight from the jar.

Even more than its homemade preserves, ham is the pride of the Loveless kitchen: It is country ham, slow cured and salty, fried on a griddle until its rim of fat turns translucent amber and the coral pink meat gets speckled sandy brown. It comes sandwiched into biscuits or on a plate with red-eye gravy for dipping, cream gravy, sorghum molasses, honey, and bowls full of each of the preserves. What delirious fun it is to permutate all these good things: dip the biscuits, spread the sorghum, make little sandwiches with ham. Best of all are the secret-recipe buttermilk biscuits -- fresh, warm, flavorful, and the perfect companion for any country meal.

Now under new ownership, the Loveless is better than ever. All the traditional dishes remain; and to them have been added a fuller menu that includes barbecue and smoked pork, a green-tomato BLT, and a stupendous dessert menu.

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Scorecard

5 - Overall: Legendary - Worth driving from anyplace
Overall: Legendary - Worth driving from anyplace
ham
Ham Biscuits
fried chicken
Biscuits and Gravy
Banana Pudding
Peanut Butter Pie
Biscuits
Pulled Pork
Coconut Cream Pie
Hashbrown Casserole
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Reviewers Photos [Upload Your Photos]

A pair of hot biscuits, one dolloped with blackberry preserves, the other with peach
"A pair of hot biscuits, one dolloped with blackberry preserves, the other with peach"
Michael Stern





The Loveless never used to serve dessert. Now it serves some of the best anywhere. This is banana pudding. Pastry chef Alyssa Huntsman doesn't like store-bought vanilla wafers, so she makes her own!
"The Loveless never used to serve dessert. Now it serves some of the best anywhere. This is banana pudding. Pastry chef Alyssa Huntsman doesn't like store-bought vanilla wafers, so she makes her own!"
Michael Stern


Heaven in mid-Tennessee: a Loveless Cafe ham breakfast. The small cup atop the country ham holds red-eye gravy. Those are grits to its right, fried eggs, tomato, and biscuits in the back. And behind the plate is a dish of blackberry preserves.
"Heaven in mid-Tennessee: a Loveless Cafe ham breakfast. The small cup atop the country ham holds red-eye gravy. Those are grits to its right, fried eggs, tomato, and biscuits in the back. And behind the plate is a dish of blackberry preserves."
Michael Stern


Biscuits with a selection of preserves.
"Biscuits with a selection of preserves."
Whitney Harper


An unimproveable combination of two of the signature foods of the South.
"An unimproveable combination of two of the signature foods of the South."
Bruce Bilmes and Susan Boyle


Not a regular on the menu, but if they have chicken and dumplings as a special, it's a must!
"Not a regular on the menu, but if they have chicken and dumplings as a special, it's a must!"
Whitney Harper


Carol Fay Ellison, who passed away in 2010, joined the Loveless team 26 years ago. Her legacy endures in the great biscuits and a spirit of welcoming hospitality.
"Carol Fay Ellison, who passed away in 2010, joined the Loveless team 26 years ago. Her legacy endures in the great biscuits and a spirit of welcoming hospitality."
Michael Stern


Fried chicken, with mashed potatoes and the hashbrown casserole on the lower left next to the chicken.
"Fried chicken, with mashed potatoes and the hashbrown casserole on the lower left next to the chicken."
Whitney Harper


Tender biscuits, with gravy that has just enough of a hint of pepper.
"Tender biscuits, with gravy that has just enough of a hint of pepper."
Whitney Harper


Great uniforms.
"Great uniforms."
Whitney Harper


Screened-in smoke shack where those pork aromas come wafting out of...
"Screened-in smoke shack where those pork aromas come wafting out of..."
Whitney Harper


Store next to the Loveless Cafe, which sells souvenirs, and hams and jams as the name implies.
"Store next to the Loveless Cafe, which sells souvenirs, and hams and jams as the name implies."
Whitney Harper


Before it was the Loveless Cafe, this little building was a tea room, and before that a private home. Nowadays, it is rare to see it without people waiting at the door for a seat.
"Before it was the Loveless Cafe, this little building was a tea room, and before that a private home. Nowadays, it is rare to see it without people waiting at the door for a seat."
Michael Stern


The motel was closed years ago, although the 'Vacancy' sign still glows.
"The motel was closed years ago, although the 'Vacancy' sign still glows."
Michael Stern



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