My brother and his wife were in Chattanooga for a visit this week so I asked them to go with me on one of my food jaunts. I have always called my younger brother ‘Billy Rae’ (even though Rae was not his middle name, I liked making it rhyme with mine) and this was before that country music star was even born.
We heard of a new place in Ooltewah called Emmanuels. The owner is from Greece and he offers Greek and Italian food. The place was open and spacious but very busy. There were several businessmen having lunch - perhaps a good place for young single ladies to meet someone. Being so close to McKee Bakery, Volkswagen and Solutions Pharmacy, I am sure these gentlemen will frequent this place often.
We were seated at a booth table and my sister in-law Claire sat on the opposite side from me and Billy Rae so I handed her my pocket book to sit next to her since she had all the room.
Our waitress was as cute as she could be. Her name was Peaches, but I just called her “Precious” and she was. This little gal could be on the stage. She was so lively and “funny as all get-out” as Billy Rae would say. She let us know that she was not a young whipper-snapper and that she was in her 40s, but 40 to me is the same as telling me you are in high school. When Claire asked if she had children, she said, “Oh I don’t do children, I do shoes and I plan on having lots of grandshoes.” She was a delight!
Now, Billy Rae isn’t a very neat eater and right away he squirted me in the face with his lemon. I had learned when adding lemon to your tea, you are to cover your squeeze with a spoon, but Billy Rae never cared much for Emily Post and her teachings.
We all knew what we wanted so we ordered our meals and an appetizer together. I ordered the Macaroni and Gouda Cheese Bites for $5.95 for all of us. Claire ordered the Lasagna for $9.25 and a Greek salad for $3.25, Billy Rae ordered the Chicken Alfredo with the house salad for $10.25 and I ordered the Lobster Ravioli with the house salad for $10.25.
Precious Peaches brought us our salads… but not the Gouda Bites. When I looked to the left, I noticed some good-looking gentlemen at the table beside us eating Gouda Bites. They looked as though they didn’t know what they were eating and I wondered for a moment if they had ordered them or if those were OUR Gouda Bites. We continued with our salads before asking.
Billy Rae didn’t want onions on his salad so he tried to give them to Claire and he spilled them on the table. Claire picked them up and placed them on MY napkin. I asked her what was wrong with her napkin and she told me she had her crackers on it. I had a few thoughts, but I didn’t say a word. I just minded my own business.
After we finished our salads, Precious came over and let us know that our meals would be out shortly. Billy Rae asked her about our Gouda dish and, from the look on her face, you’d think she just walked into a burlesque show. Her mouth dropped and her eyes widened. She covered her mouth with her hand saying, “Oh Jesus.”
I am glad she is a praying woman.
Precious looked over at the table across from us and realized she gave the gentlemen our Gouda. Now, this gal not only could be on stage, but I think she could run for president! She handled it diplomatically and told the gentlemen, “The ladies at that table send these bites with their compliments.” The gentlemen knew what had happened and smiled at us. I wished that Claire hadn’t sat me next to Billy Rae because I was the one who was single and I might have gotten a date (even if they were half my age).
Precious looked at us apologizing and whispered that she would go get our Gouda Bites. When she came back she had our meals and the appetizing little bites together. She performed on stage again and said, “Ladies, these bites are compliments from the gentlemen at that table.” They smiled at us again and I don’t know what came over me, but I gave a flirty little shoulder nod - not one nod but three! I might as well have told them to ‘come up and see me sometime’. Who did I think I was - Mae West? I think our precious Peaches’ acting skills was rubbing off on me.
I was ready for my meal and the bites were too hot anyway, so I started with the lobster ravioli first. Billy Rae loves macaroni so he dove into the bites. He loved them. The size of my lobster ravioli was a little deceiving. There were only three ravioli, but they were large and stuffed with chunks of tasty lobster and surrounded by rich alfredo sauce. Along with the sauce was pulley cheese that I could not for the life of me eat without making a mess. I had to twirl my cheese and was not very successful.
When Billy Rae saw my difficulty, he asked Precious for a few napkins. Our little darlin’ said matter-of-factly and shaking her finger, “Only one napkin per meal.” Of course, she was teasing us. She knew she could razz us because we were her new fans. Billy and Claire enjoyed their meals as well. The food definitely gets a Willie Mae “Whee-ee-doggie” but the service made our visit all the more pleasant.
The owner came to our table and he was delightful as well. He didn’t give us a show, but he was very warm and welcoming.
I was not hungry at all after that wonderful meal (and one bite of the bites) but I wanted to try a dessert for the story. I tried to order a cannoli for $3.50 but my tongue got twisted. My words came out “Can-a-loni” and Precious let me know right away that this was ‘not Chef Boy Ardee’ and it was called cannoli. She made me so tickled I had to get out a Kleenex.
The food was exceptional and it was the best lobster ravioli I ever had. The atmosphere was welcoming and the service was …well… just peachy.
Located at 5563 Little Debbie Parkway
Hours: Sun - Thur 11-10
Friday sat 11-11