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"Goodness Gracious, It's Pea-Pickin' Good!"

A & R Bar B Q - Memphis
1802 Elvis Presley Boulevard - 901 774-7444
A favorite of R & B legend Isaac Hayes. Andrew Pollard, A & R's owner, has done quite well since founding this BBQ joint back in 1983. BBQ Pork over Spaghetti is one of the more unusual items on the menu here.  Business is so good they’ve opened 3 more locations.


Alcenia’s Dessert & Preserves Shop – Memphis
317 North Main Street – 901 523-0200


Arnold's Country Kitchen - Nashville
605 8th Ave South - 615 256-4455
Greens, fried chicken and more!


Bar-B-Cutie – Nashville
5221 Nolensville Road – 615 834-6556!/barbcutie?sk=info
Open daily from 10 am – 9 pm; ‘til 10pm on the weekend.  Serving pork shoulder, baby-back ribs, and mesquite grilled chicken.


Barksdale Restaurant - Memphis
237 S Cooper - 901 722-2193
An old school diner located on the edge of the trendy Cooper-Young District, there is nothing trendy about this joint. No frills comfort food served up in a homey atmosphere, the wood paneled walls are decorated with pennants and posters representing area sports teams.  Meat and three lunches are the way to go.  During my last visit I opted for the Baked Chicken Breast, Turnip Greens, Cornbread Stuffing with Gravy, and Buttered Carrots.  The portions are healthy and the price is right.  Try to save some room in that belly for dessert; they make a wide variety of sweet treats including Chess Pies.  The Memphis Grizzlies NBA team used the Barksdale as the backdrop for a 2004 TV campaign.  You may spot a local athlete or celeb when you visit Bob's Barksdale Restaurant.  Open daily 7am-2pm.


Beacon Light Tea Room – Bon Aqua
6276 State Route 100 - 931 670-3880
Country ham, fried chicken, hash brown casserole ... it's all good, folks!  Closed Monday.


Bean Barn – Greeneville
515 East Church Street – 423 638-8329
Try their famous “Beans all the Way”.


Bell Buckle Café & Music Parlor – Bell Buckle
100 Main Street (Railroad Square) - 615 389-9693
Open 7 days a week.  Check the website for hours of operation. Great food and live bluegrass music on Saturday afternoons.


Bill's Bar B Q - Henderson
531 S. Church Street - 731 989-4075!/pages/Bills-BBQ/121259114576035?sk=info


Blue Plate Cafe - Memphis
5469 Poplar Avenue - 901 761-9696
Opened back in 1994, the Blue Plate Cafe serves up a tasty plate lunch and fantastic breakfast selections all day long.  They've even opened a second location in nearby Cordova, TN (a Memphis 'burb).  The original location actually started as a single family home built by the Holiday Inn founder Kemmons Wilson in 1954.  You can't miss the brightly painted yellow house in the midst of neighboring office parks and strip centers.  As for the food, the meat loaf, country ham, chicken fried steak, homemade biscuits and sawmill gravy, chunky hash browns, and daily fruit cobblers are all worth sampling.  Open 7 days a week from 7 a.m. to closing time.  Lunch is served beginning at 11a.m; get there early if you can, it's a popular weekday lunch stop for the business crowd.


Bolton's Spicy Chicken and Fish - Nashville
624 Main Street - 615 254-8015
The spicy chicken, not quite as incendiary as Nashville's Prince's Hot Chicken Shack, is served along your choice of white or green beans, spaghetti, cole slaw, or potato salad; the price is right at Bolton's and they also serve ribs, fried catfish, and pork chops.  Open everyday but Monday.


Bozo's Hot Pit Bar-B-Q – Mason
342 Hwy 70 - 901 294-3400
Open Tuesday - Saturday from 10:30 am until 9 pm.  Fine pork BBQ at the longtime Q Mecca in rural Tennessee located just a stone's throw from Gus' World Famous Fried Chicken.  Bozo's offers their pig in many varieties (White Meat, Brown Meat, Mixed Meat --- pulled or chopped). Bozo's recommends pulled, mixed meat and will serve you that way unless otherwise requested.  Be sure to grab a bottle of their tangy BBQ sauce (I prefer the mild) before heading homeward.  This is a true blast from the past and a worthwhile stop if you're on the road between Nashville and Memphis.


Brooks Shaw and Son Country Store - Jackson
56 Casey Jones Lane (Casey Jones Village) – 800 748-9588
Located in the Casey Jones Village, this restaurant has been voted Jackson’s best restaurant.  Good, home-style country cooking.


Bryant's Breakfast - Memphis
3965 Summer Avenue - 901 324-7494
Really good homemade biscuits; try them with the country ham. Open just for breakfast and lunch; 5:30am to 1:30pm, everyday but Sunday.  Country ham, grits, "egg-citing" omelets, homemade biscuits with gravy or locally made sorghum molasses served for breakfast.  At lunch we recommend the heaping bowl of white beans with huge chunks of lean ham (served with sliced onion and three big cornbread muffins).  Save room for dessert … you’ll want to dig into their thick and intensely sweet cobblers (blackberry or peach were offered the day we stopped in); a good find ... check them out!


Buckey’s Restaurant – Columbia
1102 Carmack Blvd – 931 381-2834
Open everyday from 6am-2pm.


Buddy's Bar-B-Q - Knoxville
5806 Kingston Pike - 865 588-0528
A dozen locations around town, but this is the original.


Carl's Perfect Pig - White Bluff
4991 Highway 70 East - 615 797-4020
Closed Monday and Tuesday


Central BBQ - Memphis

2249 Central Avenue - 901 272-9377!/pages/Central-BBQ/115904171754612?sk=info
Located near the trendy Cooper-Young Historic District in Midtown Memphis, it’s our fave Q joint in Memphis.  Fantastically smokey pulled pigmeat are done up with a great deal of TLC. The sauces (hot or mild; we like a mix of the two) are served warm.  Very nice touch.  Freshly brewed sweet tea is top notch and be sure not to miss the homemade potato chips. Give this place a shot.  We think you'll dig it!  Opens at 11am every day.


Charlie Vergo’s Rendevous - Memphis
52 S 2nd St. - 901 523-2746!/pages/Charlie-Vergos-Rendezvous/131059266937444?sk=wall&filter=2
Some of the best ribs you’ll ever taste.  Highly recommended!!!


City Cafe – Murfreesboro
113 East Main Street – 615 893-1303
Monday – Saturday, Breakfast and Lunch.


Corky's BBQ - Memphis
5295 Poplar Ave – 901 685-9744!/CorkysMemphis?sk=wall&filter=2
The original location in a very popular chain of Memphis BBQ joints.  The lines can be long here … but the food is usually worth the wait.


Cozy Corner - Memphis
745 N Parkway - 901 527-9158!/pages/Cozy-Corner-BBQ/113058262059663?sk=info
Go straight for the ribs --- you won't be disappointed!


Cupboard, The - Memphis 
1400 Union Avenue - 901 276-8015
Just a short ride from the world famous Sun Studios, this place is famous for it's farm fresh veggies.  Look for the Fried Green Tomatoes and Macaroni and Cheese.  Be sure to try the Country Fried Steak and Gravy and the delicious Corn Pudding.  Lunch hour can be crowded, but service is brisk and diners are moved in and out with great precision. Each meal starts out with a basket filled with min-cornbread muffins … butter them up and you’re off to the races.  The Italian Spinach is a deliciously garlic-laden side dish not often found on menus in the South.  Dessert specials vary from day to day and if the stars are aligned just right, you may stumble in on a day when they are offering a unique Plum Cobbler --- a highlight of a recent visit; we’ve been here 4-5 times now and have never had a bad experience.  The Cupboard is a true jewel in the crown of Memphis southern dining!


Ellen’s Soul Food – Memphis

634 South Bellevue Blvd. – 901 274-4222!/pages/Ellens-Soul-Food/205616082814615?sk=info
Fried chicken, ribs, meat loaf, and BBQ.  Don’t miss the "Sock It To Me" Cake - very famous.  They also offer Red Velvet and 7-Up Cake!!!


Elliston Place Soda Shop - Nashville
2111 Elliston Place - 615 327-1090
Cool, retro 50’s atmosphere.  Open Monday – Saturday.  Daily meat and three specials.


Ernestine and Hazel's - Memphis
531 South Main - 901 523-9754
Famous for the one and only "Soul Burger."


Four Way Grill – Memphis

998 Mississippi Boulevard - 901 507-1519
Established in 1946 and re-opened in October of 2001, hours of operation are 11 a.m.

to 7 p.m, Tuesday through Saturday; Sundays 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Daily entree specials (with two veggies), veggie platter (three selections). Their Strawberry Cake (offered along with Sweet Potato Pie, Lemon Ice Box Pie, and Chocolate Cake) is a personal favorite of mine.  The Four Way is located just blocks from the historic Stax studio,  Willie Mitchell's Royal Studio (made famous by Al Green), and the infamous Lorraine Motel (where MLK Jr. was shot).  Load up on some fine soul food and then check out these important Memphis landmarks.  It truly is Soulsville USA!


The Gay Hawk Restaurant - Memphis
685 S. Danny Thomas Blvd - 901 947-1464
Good soul food buffet recommended by our friend Sherman at Memphis Rock n' Roll Tours.  Located near the new FedEx Forum in the shadow of Beale Street.


Germantown Commissary - Germantown
2290 S. Germantown Parkway - 901 754-5540
Great setting in an old rustic country store by the railroad tracks.  Smoky smells inside are heavenly.  Try the pulled pork platter (always accompanied by a scrumptious deviled egg) and save room for dessert --- you can't go wrong with the Lemon Ice Box or Coconut Cream Pie.

Gus's World Famous Fried Chicken – Memphis/Mason
310 South Front Street!/pages/Guss-Fried-Chicken/247392887994?sk=wall&filter=2
Just a few steps from Beale Street.


Hagy's Catfish Hotel - Shiloh
1140 Hagy Lane - 731 689-3327
Located just outside the boundaries of the Shiloh National Military Park, this eatery was once named one of the top catfish restaurants in the entire USA.  Dixie Dining fan Sally Wallace says: "Their cole slaw is delicious, served cold and undressed so it is never soggy. You add the dressing when it arrives at your table. In addition to some of the best catfish you can find anywhere, they have great country ham served with redeye gravy and biscuits." Check it out!


Hog Heaven - Nashville
115 27th Avenue North - 615 329-1234
Good pork BBQ.  Once featured on Food Network's "Best of ..." TV program.


The Hut - Sommerville
16920 Route 64 - 901 465-8988!/pages/The-Hut/197224176956552?sk=info


Inn at Blackberry Farm - Walland
1471 West Miller's Cove Road - 865 984-8166!/blackberryfarm?sk=wall&filter=2
Be sure to sample John Fleer's unique sweet tea soaked fried chicken!


Interstate BBQ - Memphis
2265 South Third Street - 901 775-2304
A long-time local favorite, the Interstate still offers a solid pork sandwich.  They have expanded by adding a location in nearby DeSoto County, MS and that outlet probably serves up the best pig sandwich in that strangely BBQ deprived county.  A signature dish at both eateries is the Bar-B-Q Spaghetti Dinner (BBQ pork in a mixture of BBQ sauce, spices, and pasta with a side order of slaw and bread).  The smoked turkey and chicken are also worthy of mention.  Haven't tried their hot wings, but they got 'em.  Dessert nods go to the "Sock it to Me Cake" and the Sweet Potato Pie.  Owner Jim Neely is well-respected in the business community and is a fine Q ambassador for the Bluff City.  DeSoto location is located near the intersection of Stateline Road and Airways Boulevard in Southaven, where you can frequently see (and hear!) FedEx planes soaring above.


Jack’s Barbecue – Nashville
416 Broadway – 615 254-5715
Lunch and Dinner, 7 days a week.  Serving Tennessee pork shoulder and ribs, Texas style beef brisket and sausage.  Great sauces to choose from.  Second location on West Trinity Lane.


Judge Bean's BBQ - Nashville
7022 Church Street E  - 615 823-2280
Texas-style BBQ in the Volunteer State.  Mesquite smoked beef, sausage, and ribs ... don't miss the beef brisket tacos.  Follow your nose to Jude Roy's. Open 7 days a week from 10:45 am to “whenever”.


Leonard's BBQ - Memphis
5465 Fox Plaza Drive - 901 360-1963
Open every day at 11am.  Elvis loved Leonard’s … ‘nuff said! 


Little Tea Shop - Memphis
69 Monroe - 901 525-6000!/pages/The-Little-Teashop-Memphis-TN/263902681091?sk=wall&filter=2
Open only for lunch (11 am to 2 pm weekdays).  Affordably priced comfort food in a power lunch atmosphere, this place is a Bluff City landmark.  First opening its doors in 1918 still has a classic neon sign out front.  Diners must check off their meal selections on paper menus placed at each table.  Weekday specials may include Liver and Onions on Mondays, Chicken and Dressing on Wednesdays, and Catfish on Fridays.  Among the veggie offerings are pickled beets, stewed tomatoes, and mashed potatoes.  Many love "The Lacy Special," which is a chicken and gravy dish topped with The Little Tea Shop's famous corn sticks.  Don't miss the tangy Pimento Cheese spread (served with white bread) or the Red Beans and Rice.  Meat loaf and salmon croquettes are also offered daily.  Cobblers are available for dessert, but many opt for the frozen Pecan Ball, vanilla ice cream rolled in chopped pecans and then drenched with hot fudge.  Prices are very reasonable and food is great, so give them a try.


Litton’s 10 Burger – Knoxville
2803 Essary Drive – 865 688-0429!/littons?sk=wall&filter=2
Monday – Saturday, Lunch and Dinner.  Famous for burgers and desserts.  The Thunder Road Burger comes with grilled onions, pimento cheese and jalapeno peppers.


Log Cabin Restaurant – Hurricane Mills
Interstate 40 and Highway 13 – 931 296-5311
Open for business 7 days a week, Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.


Loveless Cafe - Nashville ../goldfork.htm../goldfork.htm
8400 Hwy 100 - 615 646-9700!/LovelessCafe?sk=wall&filter=2
Open 7 am – 9 pm (Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve from 7 am - 2 pm; Closed Christmas) Breakfast served all day! Fabulous scratch biscuits with homemade preserves and Country ham is served with red eye gravy.  Loveless is a favorite of country music stars for years. Located at the head of the historic Natchez Trace and has been in business nearly 50 years.  See their website for mail order information.  Highly recommended.


Martin’s BBQ Joint – Nolensville
7215 Nolensville Rd. - 615 776-1856!/martinsbbq?sk=info
Home of the “Redneck Taco”.


Mary Bobo's Boarding House - Lynchburg
295 Main Street – 931 759-7394
Home cooking in the town made famous by Jack Daniel.  Fried chicken is very popular. Highly recommended! Need reservations to dine.


Melanie's - Memphis
1070 N. Watkins Street - 901 278-0751
A buffet full of authentic soul food.  Check out their Sunday breakfast.


Meridee's Breadbasket - Franklin
110 4th Avenue South - 615 790 3755
Merridee's Breadbasket is a good, wholesome food place located in the delightfully charming atmosphere of Historic Downtown Franklin, Tennessee. Their homemade breads, pies, sweet rolls, soups, salads, and sandwiches are prepared daily with the best and freshest ingredients available. Viking Bread is their well-known four-grain bread… full of whole grains including whole wheatberries, flaxseed, sesame seeds and sunflower seeds. It is made without eggs or sugar and is an exclusive recipe of Merridee's Breadbasket. Homemade Pies are made completely from scratch and they are delicious! Chocolate Chess Pecan, Apple Streusel, Chess, Chocolate Meringue, Pecan, Peach, Cherry, Blueberry, Rhubarb, Blue Ribbon Blackberry, Red Raspberry, Pumpkin, and other seasonal delights.


Monell's - Nashville
1235 Sixth Avenue North - 615-248-4747
Cornbread and biscuits compliment traditional all-you-can-eat Southern soul food at this cozy, family style restaurant (housed in a 19th century brick home).  Has a welcoming atmosphere.  Each day's menu includes a featured entree, such as country fried steaks, pork chops, and fried chicken, as well as fresh vegetables, bread, and delicious desserts.  There are two other locations listed on their website.


Nolen's BBQ - Columbia

115 E James Campbell Blvd - 931 381-4322


Jim Oliver's Smokehouse - Monteagle
850 West Main Street - 800-489-2091 or 615 924-2268
Open 7 days a week.  It’s a restaurant, lodge and trading post. Order off the menu or all-you-can-eat buffett.


Pancake Pantry - Nashville
1796 21st Ave. South - 615 383-9333
Don't miss the sweet potato pancakes with ginger cream! 7-days a week ‘til 3pm and 4pm on the weekends, they serve breakfast and lunch all day.


Papa KayJoe's Bar B Que – Centerville
119 West Ward Street - 931 729-2131!/pages/Papa-KayJoes-BBQ/249672600477?sk=wall&filter=2


Payne's BBQ - Memphis
1762 Lamar Ave - 901 272-1523
Open 11am-6pm Tuesday through Saturday


Pope's Cafe - Shelbyville
120 East Public Square - 615 684-4100!/pages/Popes-cafe/209800765721626?sk=wall&filter=2


Prince's Hot Chicken Shack – Nashville
123 Ewing Drive - 615 226-9442
Hot spicy chicken fried up in old iron skillets.  This is Nashville's answer to Gus' Fried Chicken down the road in Mason, TN.


Puckett’s Grocery & Restaurant – Franklin
120 Fourth Avenue South - 615 794-5527
Have you ever walked into a place, and you instantly feel at home? Puckett’s Grocery and Restaurant is that sort of place. Founded by the Puckett family in the 1950s, Puckett’s has served as a country store to several communities in Williamson County. It has always been the place to buy some food, grab a good homemade sandwich and catch up on the day’s events in the world and at home. Check out the seasonal seafood buffet at the Leiper's Fork location; also in Nashville.


Rib & Loin - Chattanooga
5946 Brainerd Road - 423 499-6465


Ridgewood BBQ - Bluff City
900 Elizabethton Highway - 423 538-7543
In business since 1948, this is one of the highest praised BBQ eateries anywhere. Open for Lunch and Dinner, Tuesday – Saturday.


Rotier's - Nashville
2413 Elliston Place – 615 327-9892!/JohnJacobRotier?sk=wall&filter=2
Home-cooked meals, chicken and sandwiches. Open Monday – Saturday, Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.  Jimmy Buffett rated their cheeseburger in his Top 10 best!


Scott Parker Bar-B-Que – Lexington
10880 Hwy 412 West - 731 968-0420
Whole hog BBQ.  Owner Ricky Parker has stated, "Our customers don't come in and order barbecue. They ask for tenderloin or middling meat or shoulder. We've got it all."


Shuford's Smokehouse – Chattanooga

924 Signal Mountain Road - 423 267-0080!/pages/Shufords-Smokehouse/145207182208901?sk=info
New location in Soddy-Daisy.


Sands Soul Food – Nashville
937 Locklayer Street - 615 742-1652
Neck bones & rice.


Stein's - Memphis
2248 South Lauderdale Street - 901 775-9203
A soul food favorite in South Memphis.


Swett's Dinette - Nashville
2725 Clifton Avenue NW - 615 329-4418
Soul food in Music City.


Tom's Bar-B-Que - Memphis

3067 Getwell Road - 901 365-6690
open since the early 1960's, this is a little known take out joint in an industrial park area.  Good n' messy bbq shoulder sandwich with slaw and homemade sauce.  I also sampled the deviled eggs (dee-lish!) and the BBQ bologna sandwich (thick charred slab served on white bread with slaw). Friendly folks who are proud of their Q! Their slogan is "Where Friends Meat". Dessert of choice is the banana pudding!


Uncle Lou's Fried Chicken – Memphis ../goldfork.htm../goldfork.htm
3633 Millbranch - 901 332-2367!/pages/Uncle-Lous-Fried-Chicken/129873817425?sk=wall&filter=2
There are two Uncle Lou's locations in Memphis; the other is at 6749 E. Shelby Drive (901 363-9444).  Uncle Lou's may be "The Home of the Monster Burger," but there's no denying that the true specialty of the house is Lou Martin's delectible Honey Dipped Fried Chicken.  Folks in West Tennessee rave about Gus' Fried Chicken ... and it is indeed tasty, but Uncle Lou's version sets the bar for me…think sweet and a bit spicy.  Oddly reminiscent of Thai cuisine ... that's what I'm talking about.  Give it a try and decide for yourself and don't forget to order up at least a couple of Uncle Lou's Honey Buttered Biscuits.  These babies will simply melt in your mouth (after you get through the exterior crunchiness).  The sides, including turnip greens, macaroni and cheese, cole slaw, and baked apples, are just fine, but why fill up on that when you could have another piece of chicken?  It's that good, folks! Now come "Have a Cluckin' Good Time at Uncle Lou's."


Vergos Rendezvous – Memphis
See Charlie Vergo’s Rendezvous listing above.


Vinegar Jim's – Arlington
12062 Forest Street - 901 867-7568!/pages/Vinegar-Jims/163251293689320?sk=wall&filter=2
Rustic eatery opened in 1989.  Specializes in catfish - fried or blackened. This place is really worth the short drive east from Memphis.  The historic downtown of Arlington will take you way back in time with a train depot, a classic general store complete with a loveable old dog on the front porch, a vintage cotton gin, and, of course, a terrific small town restaurant and gathering spot.  Vinegar Jim's is really two eateries in one.  Weekday afternoons feature country cooking. I enjoyed the chicken n dumplings with sides of turnip greens and macaroni and cheese. Hamburger steak was also on the menu.  Don't overlook the complimentary basket filled with warm rolls and cornbread --- I polished off the whole lot before my meal arrived --- good stuff!  Fried green tomatoes are occasionally on the menu, but arrive early or they might just be sold out.  Homemade fried pies are prepared from scratch daily. Choose from chocolate, peach or apple.  Sweet tea is served in Mason jars --- sweet! As for dinner, Vinegar Jim transforms into a steak house ... all cuts served with VJ's special marinade. Shrimp, salmon, catfish, and frog legs are also served.  Start out your meal with an order of fried pickles or fried okra. Trust us ... you will not be sour on Vinegar Jim's.


Whitt's BBQ - Nashville
8 locations - 615 356-3435


Wolf River Cafe - Rossville
470 Main Street - 901 853-2586
Try the fried catfish!!/pages/Wolf-River-Cafe/47747956330?sk=info


Zarzour's – Chattanooga
1627 Rossville Avenue - 423 266-0424!/zarzourscafe?sk=wall&filter=2
Fine plate lunches in the "Choo Choo" city  Good burgers, cornbread, greens, butter beans, fried chicken.  Try the peanut butter pie.  Run by a Lebanese family since 1918, the food is authentically southern.  Stop in Wednesdays for their awesome salmon croquettes ... locals call 'em "redneck crab cakes." Zarzour's was featured in the Nov. 2004 issue of "Gourmet" magazine.

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