Our stay at the Nashville KOA has come to an end. We are glad we came here instead of skipping it even though we are pretty ready for some warmer weather. Today, we are actually not quite leaving Nashville. We have a lot of online friends who are from this area or are very familiar with it so we have a couple of places we need to check out after we hitch up and drive off.
We sent a request out to our friends on Instagram on places we should see or eat at when we first pulled into town. One of the places we found was a restaurant on the southwest end of town called Loveless Cafe.
Loveless Cafe is nearly 30 miles the wrong way from where we should be heading. We considered not coming here but after reading some raving reviews of it, we knew that we would regret not making the drive.
When Loveless first started serving its famous biscuit and fried chicken in 1951, Lon and Annie Loveless setup picnic tables on the front lawn for hungry travelers driving past their farm on highway 100. As it grew in popularity, they converted their home into a dining room and turned it into a roadside eatery. In 1959, Lon Loveless’ health was starting to decline and they sold the business to a couple who worked for them that agreed to take over.
For the next 14 years, Cordell and Stella Maynard carried on the great country cooking tradition using Annie Loveless’ original recipes at the same location before selling it to the McCabes family who runs the business today.
The McCabes expanded from the original restaurant and built a motel on the property to further serve weary travelers along the highway on the outskirts of Nashville. Once the interstate was completed, less people traveled through highway 100 and the McCabes ceased operations of the motel and use the buildings to help their growing mail order ‘Hams & Jams’ business in 1985.
Today the Loveless Cafe serves over 400,000 customers a year and crank out over 5,000 biscuits a day. Today was a particularly busy one as when we got here, we found ourselves at the start of a 90 minute wait to get a table. That is what’s nice about traveling in an Airstream. Lucky for us, we decided to drive it here today. We spent some time in the shops on site and hung out for about a half hour in the Mish before our buzzer went off when our table was ready.
The food is fabulous here. It’s simple country style cooking but you can tell they make it with the best and freshest ingredients.
It’s always difficult to come to a place knowing that everything on the menu is good but you only have room for 1 entree.
I opted for their famous fried chicken with friend okra and fried green tomatoes. I call it the Tri-Frie-cta.
Luckily for Marlene, they serve awesome barbecue pork shoulder and it is dairy free. The only thing she had to pass on was the cornbread pancakes which I volunteered to taste test for her.
Once again, we were unable to finish the enormous plates of food and we took it back to the Airstream that was parked on a grassy field on their property.
Besides the restaurant and the motels rooms that have since been turned into shops, Loveless also has a huge barn built in 2004 that people can reserve for events. Today, there is a wedding going on in there. For the sake of the attendees, I sure hope Loveless is also catering their reception.
Since we were the only people parked in this large grassy parking area, we took advantage of it and hung out here for awhile. In the last couple of days, the weather here in Nashville has been amazing. The forecast called for a 2 day break in the subfreezing overnight temperatures and gave us 70s during the day and high 40s in the evening.
We all got into our summer clothing for these last couple of days but we know better, it is going to get cold again for the next few days.
As we left Loveless Cafe, we actually didn’t leave Nashville just yet. Over the past few months since we started posting photos to instagram, we had become virtual friends with a couple of brothers in Nashville, Chris and Andrew. They are a couple of fellow lovers of Airstream. Unlike us, they have much more vintage credibility than we do having rescued and renovated several vintage Airstreams in their days. One of their most recent project is Andrew’s 1954 whale-tail Airstream where its renovation process was documented on their blog AirstreamFever.com.
Chris invited us to come courtesy park at his house which is within minutes of downtown Nashville. It is a beautiful 1930s home on a triple lot. It gives him an incredible 1-acre of space in the middle of Tennessee’s state capital. Chris also happens to have a pretty impressive collection of bourbons which he generously shared with us.
Chris had actually been reading our blog since the early days and when we came through Nashville two years ago, he had invited us to come by for a visit. The only problem was that our blog was over a week behind and when we got the invite, we were already in Oklahoma.
This time, we were not going to miss the opportunity to rendezvous with them. They had a few friends over for a cook out in their homestead in the city. Don’t be mistaken, we are not having a campfire at a campground, this is their back yard right near downtown Nashville. If you think having a fire pit in your own backyard is cool, just wait for tomorrow’s post and you will see what is a million times cooler than that.
over and out,