Monday, April 9th promised to be a lovely, sunny day with temps in the low 70’s so on the recommendation of our new friends from Nashville, Tina and Robert, we decided to take a drive to the Loveless Cafe for breakfast. Located southwest of Nashville on Highway 100, it was about a 40 minute drive from Seven Points to get there but it was so worth the drive. There’s an interesting history to the cafe and motel which you can read about by clicking here. In addition to the restaurant, there’s a smokehouse where they smoke their own hams, a country market as well as a few other gift shops.
As soon as we were seated, our waitress came over with a plate with 4 homemade biscuits and 3 different jams (blackberry, strawberry and peach) which are also made on the premises. Oh, my were they good! We both ordered the half order of Loveless country ham (3-4oz) with red eye gravy and two eggs for $9.95. We had a choice of potatoes or grits – on the recommendation of our waitress, we had the hash brown casserole which was made with shredded potatoes, sour cream and cheese – delicious! Since we didn’t know what red eye gravy was, we asked the waitress who explained that it was a thin gravy made from the ham drippings, coffee, brown sugar and water and that it would offset the saltiness of the ham. Can you tell by the photo on the left that we really liked our breakfast? If you’re ever in the Nashville area, be sure to catch a breakfast, lunch or dinner here!
After breakfast we walked over to the Country Market where you can buy Loveless Cafe memorabilia (t-shirts, mugs, etc.), their homemade jams and other homemade condiments and their smoked country hams.
Over breakfast we had decided since it was such a nice day to drive a portion of the Natchez Trace Parkway. We had considered driving part of the parkway in the Discovery when we left Double Springs but with the 50 mile/hour speed limit, it would have added more driving time to our journey so we opted to save the parkway for another trip.
But for future reference, we were interested in seeing what the parkway was like. It begins in Natchez, Louisiana and extends 444 miles through Mississippi and Tennessee, ultimately ending in Nashville. It dates back many centuries as it bisected the homelands of the Natchez, Chickasaw and Choctaw Indians. General Andrew Jackson, Jefferson Davis, James Audubon, Meriweather Lewis and Ulysses S. Grant all traveled the Natchez Trail.
Today, no commercial vehicles are allowed on the two lane road. Although most of the scenery was just pastures and woodlands, at Mile Marker 438.0, we crossed over the Double Arch Bridge which was completed in 1994 and received the Presidential Award for Design Excellence in 1995. When we arrived at Mile Marker 427.6 Garrison Creek, we decided to exit the parkway and head over to historic town of Franklin.
Founded in 1799 and named for Benjamin Franklin, today this town has a population of approximately 62,000. It’s probably best known however as the site of one of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War so there are several historic attractions (The Carter House and the Carnton Plantation) which can be toured. There are also several historic buildings in the town – the Courthouse, the Presbyterian Church to name a few. Since we had dinner plans that night, we didn’t have any time to visit any of the historic attractions – we’ll save that for a future trip to the area. But we did have enough time to spend about an hour walking around the town where there are numerous galleries, antique shops, boutiques and restaurants. Charming town!
By the time we finished our walk around town, it was time to head back to the ranch. Our new friends, Tina and Robert who we met at Gulf State Park had invited us to their home for a glass of wine at 4:30 p.m. before going to dinner. It was so good to see them (and Henry and Holly) again!
And what a lovely home they have which is within walking distance of downtown Nashville! From their house, it was a pleasant walk to a local restaurant, City House. What a wonderful restaurant! It’s sometimes difficult to find a place that has great ambiance, excellent service and gourmet food but this place had it all! For an appetizer, Rob and I shared peanut mortadella on slaw with cider dressing. When we asked our server exactly what mortadella was, he described it as being similar to a fancy fried thick piece of bologna!
Too funny! Trust me it was a lot more gourmet-ish than fried bologna! Tina and Robert shared house cured salami, with antigo parmesan which they shared with us – it was quite good, much better than any salami I’ve had in the past. For the entrees, Robert and I had the Delta catfish with a cornmeal crust, topped with a red onion jezebel, Rob had their rigatoni special and Tina had fettuccine with pulled pork, greens, cannellini beans and topped with citrus chili bread crumbs.
Doesn’t all that sound delicious? Although I didn’t taste everything, I think Robert and I had the best – the catfish was absolutely delicious!
After dinner we walked (thank goodness – by this time we needed the exercise to work off all those calories we had just consumed) back to their house where we stayed for another hour or so chatting. Around 9:30 p.m. we reluctantly left – they are such fun people! We hated saying good night not knowing when we would see them again. They are thinking about driving to New England and possibly Nova Scotia this summer in their motor home so hopefully we’ll see them again in the not to distant future. As we said good night, we all promised to stay in touch. I hope we do!
Exhausting but fun day! On Tuesday, the 10th we toured The Hermitage – stay tuned for those details. So far we’re lovin’ Nashville!