Old South Restaurant – They Treat You Right!

Friday, March 29, 2013 - by Willie Mae
Old South Restaurant on Chickamauga Avenue in Rossville.
Old South Restaurant on Chickamauga Avenue in Rossville.

Yesterday, I picked up Lois for our lunch outing. I don’t always like to eat out by myself, so I have a few people I try to have tag along. Lois doesn’t go out to eat a lot because Phil would rather have her cook at the house. I think she enjoys going with me but I wasn’t sure she would trust me after I had tricked her the last time.

She never asked where we were going and I really didn’t know myself. I took a road that led us out to the Ringgold/Rossville area. I wanted to reward Lois for trying out the last place we tried together (which was more my speed than hers) so I was on the lookout for a country restaurant that she would like.

At first we found The Big Biscuit Barn, but as soon as we went inside a woman at the counter yelled out as she waved her hand back and forth, “We’re closed, we’re closed.” I am sure the look on my face was that of a deer in headlights (or about to be shot) because I didn’t think it was that late in the day. I asked what time they closed and she told us two o’ clock – it was 10 minutes after.

I have had other restaurants that quit serving breakfast or they closed mid-day but they accommodated me anyway. I am sure the Big Barn folks didn’t need any free advertising from little ol’ me, so Lois and I left and found someone who just might appreciate us trying their food.

On Chickamauga Avenue, I pulled into “Old South Restaurant”. Once Lois and I went inside, we felt very welcomed. We were told to take a seat wherever we would like. We went toward the back and found a nice booth.

The waitress was very friendly and you could tell she enjoyed her job. I think that when the workers are happy you just get better food and service. I asked her about the food and she said, “Once you eat here, you will be back every week!” I liked her confidence. The bathroom was very clean and so were the tables. Usually, I would only notice if a place were not clean but when it is exceptionally clean – I take notice. I even saw that the ceiling fans were clean!

I already had in my mind that I liked this place and now all they needed to do was to have good food. I was pleased that it was not a country buffet and they had menus to order from. Lois couldn’t decide between the catfish or the chicken livers. She chose the chicken livers for $6.75 and I got the liver and onions for $6.50. We got to choose three sides. Lois chose cornbread dressing with gravy, green beans and coleslaw. I chose sliced tomatoes, mashed potatoes and pintos.

Lois was good to wait on me to get a picture before eating. We had to wait until the waitress left the area. My friend picked up a chicken liver first and said it was perfect. It was crunchy on the outside and tender on the inside. She liked her slaw and cornbread but was not fond of the cornbread pudding (she was used to a Thanksgiving dressing with celery and onions and made with different breads) but I thought it looked pretty good myself.

My liver was sliced thin and had a rich flavor with onions to top it off. The onions were not caramelized but they were just soft enough to take the pungent flavor out – which I liked. I thought the cornbread muffins were one of the best that I have tasted in a restaurant (next to Countryside Café in Ooltewah). The pintos were seasoned well but they were not mushy or too tender – they were just right.

Now, when the girl brought out my meal, I had noticed the tomatoes had some green on them and even though they looked mostly ripened, she asked me if I wanted to switch them for something else. I told her they would be fine but when I tried them, they tasted out-of-season. I didn’t squabble over that because you can’t expect great tomatoes this early anyway. It was just nice to find a place that was so accommodating to customers.

Even the other customers were happy. There was a crew of good ol’ boys at the big long table in the center who were talking about their tractor that “blowed up” (I just love being around Southern folk; it added to the charm of this place)! Lois grew up on a farm so she was in hog-heaven …pardon the pun.

I noticed the hours they operate on a sign and it said that they were open early in the morning until 7:30 at night. I guess it goes to show you that when you treat people right …you can stay open longer. 

Liver-n-Onions and Chicken Liver Dinners
Liver-n-Onions and Chicken Liver Dinners

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