Sing It Or Wing It: A Little Bit Of This And A Whole Lot Of That

Thursday, August 7, 2014 - by Willie Mae

When my brother Billy came to visit I wanted him to meet my old friend Lou and we planned to meet for lunch over the weekend. Billy thumbed through the hotel’s ‘nearby restaurant list’ and asked me about “Sing It or Wing It”. I didn’t know what that place was, but when we found out it was a Karaoke place I surely didn’t have the desire to go there.

Lou thought it would be fun and coaxed me into going - I didn’t plan to sing though. Billy has a good voice and I guess I was looking forward to hearing him sing again, but I wasn’t sure if this place would have music for any song he would know. My sister in-law Claire wasn’t too thrilled on going with us and she conveniently had a headache and told us to go without her.

Lou drove and had to park a few blocks away from the place. Downtown Chattanooga is full of people on the weekend, but it was a nice day to walk.

My eyes took a little time to adjust when we walked in the place. I saw a long bar and several long tables. I bet they get a lot of groups coming in. There was only one table of people at the time and they had kids. I could see this was a family-friendly place.

When we looked at the menu they had so many funny names that I was too entertained to figure out what I wanted!

Some of the names were “Aretha Fried Okra” and they had a tortilla chip appetizer called “The Supremes.” Then there was “The Chesney Chop” and “The Dixie Chicks Chicken Strips.” I thought “The Elton” (which was a Philly cheese steak) was pretty clever and the list went on and on! Whoever wrote their menu is a creative writer.

When the waitress came back to take our order, I wasn’t ready. Billy ordered Jesse’s Sloppy Joe with fries for $5.99. Billy is a messy eater so I guess that fit him just right. Lou ordered a Patti Melt for $8.50. It was a burger with Swiss melted on it and with caramelized onions.

When the waitress looked at me for my order, I still hadn’t decided because the names weren’t the only thing entertaining – the descriptions were too and it was hard for an old lady to figure out!

I asked her if I could just get a BLT and she said yes (though I didn’t see one listed and not sure how much they charged). Instead of fries, I wanted the Skynard pretzel with cheese appetizer for $5.25. They were happy to accommodate me with my partial off-the-menu order.

Billy and Lou were busy looking at a fat book that was full of songs. Billy found several he knew. The book must have had a song from every generation. Ol’ Lou even picked a song, but he wouldn’t tell me what it was.

Billy’s name was called and he went up on stage. He sang “Mule Train” by Frankie Laine. He did so good! He clippity-clopped better than anyone I have ever heard. I don’t know how he got his tongue to move that fast. I really enjoyed it.

I don’t know what this place is like in the evenings, but it was a fun place on that Saturday and even some kids got up to sing.

The place started filling up with people (I think a few were tourists) and I lost any gumption I had to get up there and sing. Two darling kids got up and sang a kiddie song, so they really do have a song for every generation to sing.

One beautiful little girl got up and sang a song called, “Let It Go”. She was so sweet and had a great voice to be so young. I think it was her brother who got up to sing next. He sang “The Muffin Man”. I think he was more nervous than his little sister; he sang it so fast it was over before I knew it.

Lou got up on stage next. I expected him to sing a crooner song, but that man is full of surprises. It was a modern song I had never heard. It sounded like ‘Mambo’-jambo and he sang “A little bit of Monica …” and also Erica and Rita… and then he threw in MY name! When he sang, “A little bit of Willie” I thought I’d lose my teeth! He thought he was Mr. Suave, that stinker.

The crowd really applauded for him, but I was a little embarrassed. I didn’t say a word - I just minded my own business.

The waitress brought our food out and Lou was busy finding another song. I was afraid of what the next one would be.

I think people like the entertainment so much at this type of place that it doesn’t matter if the food is good or not, but this really was good food!

They gave me two soft and warm pretzels on my plate.  They were so big I had to share and I gave one to Billy. The cheese sauce was fantastic and the warm, salty pretzel was so good - a nice change over having French fries.

My BLT was good too. The bacon was crisp and flavorful. Billy liked his Sloppy Joe and, as predicted… it was sloppy.

Lou finally dug into his meal. He said it was good too, but I think he was having more fun looking for a song than eating.

After we finished our meals and a few other people sang, they called Lou up for his final performance.

Thankfully, he got the young, whipper-snapper business out of his system and he chose a song I knew. “You’ll Never Know” by Rosemary Clooney. Other artists have recorded it too, but this music was from yester-year and Lou sang it so well. He certainly has a crooner voice and I admit - I was swooning.

I sure appreciated the folks at Sing It or Wing It for putting up with a few old folks that day.



Lunch begins at 11:00 am

Sunday Brunch from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm

Karaoke anytime

Choo Choo Getting New Restaurant

A new restaurant, STIR, is opening in the Chattanooga Choo Choo in November. Officials said it will "keep historic remnants of the iconic terminal station) while bringing in a modern, urban aesthetic."  A centerpiece to the new restaurant will be its "innovative, meticulous take on mixed drinks, crafting specialty cocktails with the expertise of world-renowned bartender ... (click for more)

Kitchen At First Tennessee Pavilion To Be Made Available For Community Use

A new venture that is underway at Finley Stadium is the rehabilitation of the kitchen in the First Tennessee Pavilion.   Funded entirely with a $168,000 grant from The Benwood Foundation, the space will become a “community kitchen” and will be available for small entrepreneurs and small food producers to rent by the day.   The operations will be handled ... (click for more)

Legislative Hearing On Volkswagen Emissions Scandal To Be Held In Chattanooga Oct. 29; Haslam To Visit VW Plant Wednesday

The Senate Finance, Ways and Means Committee’s Appropriation Subcommittee will be conducting a hearing in Chattanooga to review the financial impact on the state from Volkswagen’s violation of U.S. emissions standards. The meeting will be held at the Hamilton County Department of Education, 3074 Hickory Valley Road, on Thursday, Oct. 29, from 1:30-3:30 p.m.  Members ... (click for more)

Bradley County Commission Decides Not To Provide Animal Pickup Service

Bradley County Commissioners on Monday finally put animal control to rest. It was not easy and it was not without confusion, but in the end, the county will not provide animal pickup service. Confusion began when commissioners were asked to approve the agenda, which included two options for animal control pick up. Item “D” provided for the SPCA of Bradley County to pick ... (click for more)

VW PILOT Crash Landing

The Volkswagen emission scandal proves the point citizen activist, Ms. Helen Burns Sharp, has repeatedly brought to the attention of local government officials. She urged them to "beef up" the PILOT contracts before approving PILOT tax abatements. Any logical person would agree, because it is the only way to recoup a tax loss when unthinkable situations arise. Volkswagen's willful ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: VW’s Primer In Disaster

Volkswagen America has gotten into a real bad “tight,” causing their red-faced leaders to huddle with spin doctors, crisis consultants and countless priests in confessional booths. Conversely, I suspect I have found a solution that would get them out of the mud and hasten their return as one of the top automotive providers in the world. You see, on Aug. 14, 1979, the playbook on ... (click for more)