The green beans tasted like meat at the Loveless Cafe. Of course, I would expect nothing less from a place serving authentic Southern cooking. The beans were the closest thing we had to an actual vegetable when we went to dinner there last week. After picking up Frank Jr. at the Nashville International Airport, we drove through rush hour traffic to get to the other side of town and then some. Despite the traffic, we still arrived before the dinner rush. As we left, there were several people waiting for tables.

I read about the Loveless Cafe over the years in books like my old copy of “Roadfood,” where it alphabetically followed the sole Knoxville entry, Litton’s. Conan O’Brien, Martha Stewart, Ellen DeGeneres and others have featured the Loveless Cafe on their shows, mostly by cooking with Carol Fay, the Biscuit Lady. The memory of the Biscuit Lady is honored in the restaurant and in the gift shop. Unfortunately, Carol Fay Ellison died in April.

We ordered a family-style meal, which came with two meats and three sides. We went with the most popular choices, fried chicken and pulled pork. It looked like they had put pancakes on top of the pulled pork. No, those were hoecakes, I was told. The leftover pork found its way into the stuffing for our turkey later in the week.

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