When I was getting my tags renewed (belatedly), I was reminded of Macke's, the low-profile but lovely restaurant upstairs in Grace's Plaza, across from the county clerk's office. So my Stepford wife and I recently stopped in for lunch.
Macke's dining room, overlooking the august offices of Tennessee Bank & Trust, was dotted with several quiet pairs of ladies who looked like they nosh on crab cakes and lobster BLTs as a regular ritual—not a deviation from perusing meat-and-three, splat-Mex and pizza restaurants across the Midstate.
I ordered a Tuscan fish sandwich, which piled a fabulous piece of grilled tilapia with remoulade on too-tough slices of bread, which I could not bite through without smushing the fish out the sides. Once I abandoned the bread, the fish was a succulent and light lunch, plated with a bowl of jewel-colored melon and berries.
The Stepford wife (so-called because she and I live a block apart, work in the same office and drive matching minivans filled with equal numbers of children exactly the same ages) ordered the crabcake sandwich. Topped with lettuce, cold roasted red peppers and remoulade and served on a lighter roll than the impenetrable Tuscan loaf, it was a hearty sandwich with bursts of brightness. More remarkable were the thick steak fries, whose paper-thin fried skin gave way to soft, piping-hot potatoes that melted across the tongue.
While lunch and tip set us back about a steep $20 each, it was a luxury to dine in that noontime oasis, sipping mango iced tea from graceful (and bottomless) wine glasses, while the rest of the world went about its business—renewing tags on minivans and other such drudgery.
Located at 2131 Bandywood Dr., Macke's serves lunch daily (brunch on Sunday) and dinner Tuesday through Saturday.