When he purchased the 53-year-old Loveless Cafe in November 2003, new owner Tom Morales faced a major challenge: how to preserve the history of a legend and honor the memories of generations of fans, while restoring faded glory and modernizing the infrastructure? The result is better than anyone could have hoped for. Architect Seab Tuck kept much of the original building—which has been degreased, painted and polished—while adding on to make room for new bathrooms, a new kitchen and expanded seating. Breakfast is still offered daily until 5 p.m. The staples remain—country ham and eggs with red-eye gravy; sausage, bacon and steak; three-egg omelets; pancakes and waffles—and all seem to have a new lease on life. At dinner, meat-and-three classics lead the cast: the excellent skillet-fried chicken, rich chicken and dumplings, country ham dinner, and a meaty, moist meatloaf. A stellar supporting cast includes homemade sides like mac and cheese, field peas, slow-cooked flat green beans, chunky mashed potatoes and skillet-fried shoepeg corn. Making sparkling debuts are the smokehouse platters, which include turkey, pork chops, ribs, pan-fried Bucksnort trout and barbecue shrimp in a big bowl of delectable grits soaked with a spicy red sauce. Save room for a slice of pastry chef Alisa Huntsman’s blue-ribbon pies, among them fresh berry, chocolate pecan, coconut cream and peanut butter.
The 55-acre site includes an art museum, botanical gardens, a
restaurant, a gift shop, a sculpture trail, changing art exhibits &
Botanic Hall. "Saturday A.M." art activities for families, take place
10 am-noon Saturdays in the Learning Center. For current exhibits, see
Art Listings. Hours: 9:30 am-4:30 pm Tues.-Sat.; 11 am-4:30 pm Sun.;
closed Mon. except for federal holidays. Gate fee: $12 adults, $10 sr. citizens, $5 students with college ID and those aged 6-17, 5 and under free.
Chicago-born Adam Deal adds Windy City cuisine to the Nolensville Road offerings. His friendly wienery puts on the traditional Vienna Beef dog, dressed up with all the necessary trimmings—poppy seed buns, celery salt, sport peppers, sauerkraut, bright-green relish and chili—and sides of tater tots and housemade potato chips.
In addition to its custom brewing business, the city’s newest craft brewery has four of its own beers: Amarillo Pale Ale, Spring Wheat, Dos Perros and Onward Stout. In the cozy taproom, customers can sample all of the brewery’s handcrafted offerings fresh from the taps in pints or 5-oz. samplers. Complementing the beers are small plates of artisan cheeses, fresh breads, chutney, fruits and nuts. Also available for purchase are freshly filled half-gallon bottles of beer to go, as well as logo T-shirts and glasses.