This post was inspired by a comment I recently left for new-found blogging buddies Terri & James. This Freshly-Pressed couple have traveled to 57 countries together. Unafraid of going off the beaten path, they take you places you never knew you always wanted to go. You can read all about their adventures at Gallivance. If you’ve never visited their site before, they recommend you “Start Here”.
You know how it is when you live near something special, and you neglect it completely. People travel thousands of miles to see it. People from other countries save up for the opportunity to experience it. But it’s always been there for you, so when you’re thinking of things to do, it’s not even in your periphery. “There’s nothing to do here!” you whine. Then an article online lists this place as a Top 10 whatever-whatevers, and suddenly it’s sexy. “Why didn’t I think of that?” you wonder.
Minus the whining, this is sort of what happened to Big D. A few years ago, when Late Night with Conan O’Brien was still on the air, we were on the couch catching some chuckles. Actually, on behalf of wives everywhere, I was rolling my eyes at Conan’s fairly aggressive flirting with some actress chick. “I hope his wife is not watching this” I said. “Or he’s gonna be in so much trouble when he gets home.”
Before the commercial break, Conan announced that the “Biscuit Lady” from Loveless Cafe was up next. Big D’s ears perked up. “The Loveless Cafe is here in Nashville!” he said. Still pretty new to the area, I had never heard of the Loveless. It was exciting! Someone on t.v. was representing Nashville, Tennessee . . . like that never happens.
We immediately fell in love with this woman. At five foot nothin’, she was a presence. During her segment, Conan took off his wedding ring so that he could get his hands in the biscuit dough. Giving him a knowing look she said, “Aren’t you gonna need that later?” (Or something like that.) Apparently she had been doing some eye rolling of her own backstage. She took charge of that interview.
***I wish I could find the full interview from that night, but at about the one minute mark in video below, is part of it.***
Her name was Carol Fay Ellison. She passed away April, 2010. We were lucky enough to meet her on our first visit to the Loveless (and squeeze in some gossip about that interview on Conan). Warm, comforting, and familiar, her title of “Biscuit Lady” was apropos. Learn more about this beloved woman here.
The famous biscuits we ate that day did not disappoint (and that says a lot since I live with the best biscuit-maker ever!), but the Loveless is more than just soft, flaky, buttery, fresh. . . .What are we talking about, again? Oh yeah – southern food made from scratch daily. We’re talking about country ham, cinnamon raisin French toast, and southern omelets. We’re talking about what Martha Stewart called, “the best breakfast I’ve ever had. . .”
Can’t make it for breakfast? Okay, then let’s talk about homemade meatloaf, pit-smoked turkey breast, smoked boneless pork chops, fried chicken, pimento cheese and bacon burgers, homemade cream corn, fried green tomatoes. . . . On second thought, let’s not talk about it anymore. I can’t take it. But you can see their full menu here.
The only regret to finishing one of these meals is that you can’t have it again tomorrow. Or can you? Loveless has a gift shop which carries their fried chicken breading, preserves, packages of country smoked bacon, sorghum molasses, their signature barbeque sauce, relishes, rubs, cookbooks, and everything you need to recreate the Loveless experience at home. Check out their online store here.
The Loveless hasn’t missed their opportunity to be a part of Nashville’s music scene. Music City Roots – Live from the Loveless Cafe takes place in the Loveless Barn every Wednesday night and is broadcasted on the radio. This gig is increasingly coveted by familiar bands and songwriters, but is equally open and friendly to up-and-coming artists. Humming House, Kingston Springs, and The Lumineers are some of the groups that have been featured. Watch Music City Roots live here.
***Below is a clip of Julie Gribble’s appearance on Music City Roots. She was featured on this blog last year here.***
When you find yourself in the Nashville area, go down Highway 100 for the second-best biscuits in the area. Sorry . . . Big D only cooks for me. 🙂
– Anita, Noted in Nashville