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Loveless Cafe

8400 Highway 100, Nashville, TN - (615) 646-9700
Posted By Whitney Harper on 10/17/2009 1:42:00 PM
Loveless Café was the first stop on a feasting-focused tour of Tennessee. We heard rumors about Loveless from locals and visitors and decided it was a good introduction to Tennessee’s food. We arrived around three in the afternoon and must’ve hit a sweet spot as we expected to wait for a minimum of an hour for a table, but were seated immediately.

We ordered a wide selection from the menu: fried chicken, biscuits and gravy, fried okra, macaroni and cheese, hashbrown casserole, turnip greens, chicken 'n' dumplings, chess pie, and blackberry cobbler. The fried chicken is moist on the outside with a crispy skin that easily slips away from the meat to add just a hint of fatty goodness to each bite. The hashbrown casserole was another surprise star as we weren’t exactly sure what to expect. These weren’t like any hashbrowns I’ve had before, yet all the elements were there with perhaps a little extra: grated potatoes and cheese, served warm, slightly soft in the middle with crispy bits.

This was also our first introduction to chess pie, which apparently is quite a staple on Tennessee’s kitchen tables. The rumor is that the pie got its name from being the underdog at the end of Southern feasts, when guests would claim to have no room for dessert. The pie was introduced as “just pie” which eventually morphed into “chess pie.” We should’ve guessed that this might not be their best dish as the waitress had never eaten it. We ordered one, and invited her to take a taste, but decided that overall it deserved its underdog status as it is like a red-headed stepchild to a custard pie: more sugar and less depth of flavor.

The perfect bite consists of a bit of chicken ‘n' dumplings, with a dab of hashbrown casserole with a creamy finish of biscuits and gravy.

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Scorecard

4 - Overall: One of the Best - Worth a Trip
Overall: One of the Best - Worth a Trip
Banana Pudding
Chicken 'N' Dumplings
Biscuits
Hashbrown Casserole
Ham Biscuits
Biscuits and Gravy
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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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