(NOTE: The break in our entries was unforseen and was filled with technological frustrations. I spent twelve hours over two days with software tech support personnel before receiving the conclusion: "corrupted system due to a virus." Fortunately, a second opinion concluded: "I can fix it." The computer repair service in Russellville, AR, had a young man, James, who backed up his promise. He saved all our files and photos and removed the virus. Our laptop is healthy and we're happy. Thank you, James.)
We had just completed Step One of our plan for the day in Collierville, TN, and were ready to embark on Step Two—lunch. (Step Three was locating the tiger statue at the Ford dealership [see July 25 entry].) I had identified a lovely Italian restaurant and noticed while we were walking past it that the dining room was set with white cloth table covers, cloth napkins, and wine glasses.
Lucky for us, just across the town square stood the Silver Caboose Restaurant and Soda Fountain.
Since a small group of people was already congregating at the doors awaiting opening time, we sensed that this might be a local favorite. We were right.
“The Silver Caboose is about tradition. It is not about trendy restaurant dining. It has no superstar chefs, but relies on good old fashioned cooking using tried and true recipes from our mothers and grandmothers. It is a place you can go and know that things will never change.
“All of our menu items are prepared from scratch and cooked to order. Fast food is not in our genes—only wonderfully flavored dishes served with heartfelt attention and loving care.” (silvercaboose.com)
“This building was constructed in 1890, but it is not known what business originally operated here. In 1920 it was known as Biggs and
“The Silver Caboose's soda fountain is one of the few remaining original soda fountains in Tennessee. Dating from the 1800's, it has been in continuous use with its marble top and gleaming old soda pumps” (silvercaboose.com).
The menu could be described as Louisiana Plate Lunch House meets Ladies Tea Room. Southern comfort food items included the Lacy Special (two open-faced corn sticks with sliced white chicken and fluffy rice on the side, smothered in giblet gravy) and Turnip Greens and Pot Likker with hot ham or fried pork and spring onion. And then there is the daily Silver Plate Special that includes one meat and two vegetables with corn bread or rolls. On the day of our visit, the meats were chicken and dumplings, chicken fried steak, and meat loaf, and there was a list of at least eight sides.
To those of you who know him well, it should come as no surprise that Chuck ordered the chicken fried steak. (Although choosing the meat loaf wouldn’t have been a surprise either.) His plate contained a small but tasty piece of battered cubed steak along with real (not from a box) mashed potatoes and slow cooked (i.e., really soft) green beans. And instead of the expected white pepper gravy, this was served with brown gravy. The gravy was delicious. It just came as a surprise.
Electing to eat light, I ordered a small side salad and an appetizer. I could have chosen the jalapeno poppers, the cheese sticks, the “crispy hot wingers,” fried pickles, or the Caboose Sampler—which included all of these. But instead, I chose the toasted ravioli, which came with a small dish of warm marinara sauce.
When writing about Fino’s from the Hill (see July 20 entry), I mentioned that the American tradition of breading and deep fat frying ravioli is thought to have started in The Hill neighborhood of St. Louis. This appetizer serving consisted of six meat-filled pasta squares that had been fried until the pasta became crunchy which was a nice
The salad contained crisp romaine, red cabbage, shredded carrots, radishes, cucumbers, and a tomato wedge and was served with a cup of blue cheese dressing (my favorite) that was full of huge chunks of blue cheese.
Off now to find that tiger after a good 3.5 Addie lunch.
To review the role of Adler, Kitty Humbug, and the Addie rating system, read the November 14, 2011 blog.