Aretha Frankenstein’s – Not Scary After All

Sunday, February 24, 2013 - by Willie Mae

It has been in my mind to try Aretha Frankenstein’s on Tremont Street ever since Lois and I had visited it when it was too busy (and Lois was scared). We ended up going to Blue Plate Diner (who happens to sell Aretha Frankenstein’s pancakes). I knew I would probably have to go without my dear, scaredy-cat friend but then I got to thinking…

Lois and I have been friends since we both attended City High School and I knew a long time ago that if I was ever going to talk her into something; I had to keep just my mouth shut! I had to just drag her and tell her after we were already doing it.

Lois can be a little shy so when she got in the car and I did not ask her where she wanted to go; she kept quiet and just went along for the ride. We passed over the water and Lois seemed to enjoy the scenery. When we turned onto Beck Avenue, Lois hollered out, “I know where you are taking me! We’re going to that place I didn’t like!”

By the time she figured it out, I parked the car heading downhill in front of Aretha Frankenstein’s. Lois looked as if I betrayed her. I like to think I am a pretty sweet lady most of the time, but I couldn’t help laughing. I did what I have always done with Lois and told her to ‘just come on and watch your step’!

Lois followed along quietly and, when we got inside, she didn’t seem to be as afraid. They were not as busy as last time when there were people standing at the door waiting for a table and we were told to take any seat we’d like. There were four tables and a bar with monster barstools. Well, they weren’t really monsters. I feel as though I should clarify since the name could make you assume – they were just BIG!

We chose a table to the left and right away Adrianna gave us menus and took our drink order. Adrianna was ‘cool’. She had what youngsters call “ink” on her neck and she even had those weird ear things that stretch out your ears, but she was a pretty girl and had a wonderful personality. I do pretty well with ‘going with the flow’ so it didn’t offend me in the least (though, I will not be getting a tattoo myself, anytime soon).

I looked over at Lois and she was taking it all in. None of the chairs matched, the bar was made from beautiful antique wood and, yes, there was a bit of Frankenstein décor on the walls. Lois spied a picture on the wall behind me and said, “Oh, there’s my boyfriend!” I knew they didn’t have a picture of Phil, so I was curious and turned around to see.

Amongst all the weird stuff on the walls, there was a picture of Andy Griffith! I kid you not!  I had hoped that would make Lois more comfortable.

When we asked Adrianna about the food, she explained what they offered but she was very flexible to tell us we could ask for things we didn’t see in the choices. She was so pleasant and helpful.

Lois ordered Eggs & Bacon for $6.95 with a biscuit and, even though we didn’t see gravy on the menu – Adrianna told her she could have gravy too. I ordered a sandwich because it was late afternoon and I already had that in my mind. I got The Marilyn for $7.45 and, instead of chips, Adrianna said I could have the potatoes that they serve with breakfast. This place was so accommodating!

After ordering, Lois was still looking around and she said with a smile, “They really don’t have to worry about maintenance here, do they?” as she looked at the odds and end antique furnishings (I am sure they follow code, they just decorated with old eclectic things). Lois was really being a good sport and I could tell she was trying to ‘be cool’ with it all. Then Lois whispered, “Do you have your hand stuff?”

I handed her my sanitizing gel and our food arrived. Lois dropped all her inhibitions when she saw her breakfast just the way she liked it! After the waitress left, I whispered, “Wait, Lois! Let me get a picture!” She had her fork and knife in hand and was ready to dig in! Her biscuit was the biggest one I had ever seen and the apple-wood bacon was the first thing she grabbed and started making her yummy noises. She said her eggs were perfect.

My sandwich was hoagie-style and it not only looked delicious –  it smelled delicious! I was thrilled knowing that their food would be a hit! I really hate to say bad things about a place so I love it when I can sing the praises of good food somewhere. The flavors of The Marilyn blended so nicely - it had salami, honey ham, turkey and Swiss cheese, plus lettuce and tomato! It was a ‘monstrous’ sandwich that I knew I would not be able to finish.

From the time we came, the place began filling up at the bar and the tables. When Lois noticed the other three tables were full, she looked panic-stricken and asked, “Do you think they make you share tables?”

For the most part, I know Lois enjoyed her meal and the whole experience. She was less fearful as we walked to our car and she let out a giggle and said, “You tricked me.”

I giggled too and said, “But as always… it was for your own good”. And this place was good!

 

 


Where We Eat Exhibit Features Works By Jane Newman Displayed At Local Restaurants

"Where We Eat," a series of paintings by local artist Jane Newman capturing familiar moments at some favorite local eateries, will be on exhibit June 19-July 28. It will be at Reflections Gallery, 6922 Lee Highway. Gallery hours are  10 a.m.-6 p.m . There will be an artist’s reception celebrating this exhibition on  Thursday, July 13,  from  ... (click for more)

Heaven & Ale Opening 3rd Location On The Southside; Hutton & Smith Plans 2nd Site On Riverside Drive

Heaven & Ale, which has locations on the Northshore as well as in Ooltewah, will be opening a third location on the Southside at 615 E. Main St. in the fall. The old Atlas Bolt and Supply store is currently being renovated for the business. The bar received a special events permit for June 3, 10 and 17, for an introduction opening for the new location. The event, Heaven & ... (click for more)

Public Markets To Manage And Operate Finley Stadium

The Stadium Corporation board of directors, at a special board meeting Thursday, gave approval for Public Markets, Inc., (PMI) the entity that oversees the Chattanooga Market, the River Market, the Collegedale Market and Cambridge Square Market, to handle the management, operations and administration of the stadium. Executive Director of PMI Chris Thomas and his staff stepped ... (click for more)

Man Charged In North Chattanooga Murder Says "Wrong Number" Led To Drug Deal That Went Bad

A man charged in a North Chattanooga murder said a "wrong number" led to his chance meeting with victim Charles "Chas" Holsey and a drug deal that led to the March 2, 2015, slaying. Briston "B.J." Smith Jr. told investigators he thought he was dialing a friend named "Clack" who he said sells marijuana. By getting one digit wrong, he wound up texting with Holsey, who by chance ... (click for more)

Tom Edd Wilson Was A Great Visionary

We want to add to the many heart-felt messages that have been expressed regarding the recent passing of Tom Edd Wilson, a truly great visionary.    While he made his mark on many local organizations, Tom Edd will always hold a special place in the hearts of those who worked closely with him at Erlanger.   We benefited greatly from his steady guidance, leadership ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Leaders Stand ‘Way Back’

Franklin McCallie, a former principal at Howard School and the maverick in one of Chattanooga’s finest families known for education, delivered an impassioned speech before the Hamilton County Commission on Wednesday. Sadly, his remarks came after the commissioners had passed the FY2018 budget that has no financial methodology for the Department of Education, much maligned in the ... (click for more)