A second ode to my favorite united state to visit…Tennessee. With a third travel season under my belt, I have once again managed to drive through Tennessee just as the leaves are beginning to change, the cool breezes are rolling in, and the Vols fans are coming out of the woodwork. Now, football fun aside, I come to see the students, and enjoy the food. I’ll include as many pictures as I can! Working my way west back east, this trip concludes with Chattanooga.
Chattanooga has a compact downtown area, with a mix of franchises and local enterprises. One of the first gems I discovered in the fall of 2010 is nestled right down the street from the Tennessee Aquarium. By the way, a trip to the Tennessee Aquarium is an afternoon well spent. The displays and exhibits have a good balance of kid friendly entertainment, but I still felt like an adult that learned something from a trip, too. Back to food - Thai Smile 3 was a gem of a find. There are few dishes that basil can ruin, which is why I order the spicy basil noodles each time I go. The server always asks about the desired heat level on a scale of 1-6. I have yet to make it past 4! With a hearty helping of spice, I can never finish the whole dish. I’ve been known to take the leftovers back to the hotel, and eat the cold leftovers for breakfast. It sure beats cold pizza!
Next up, I enjoy getting coffee or tea at Greyfriar’s Coffee and Tea Co. on Broad Street. Nobody makes oolong tea taste better! Usually, I make a pit stop here on the morning before I head up Signal Mountain for college fairs.
On the way down the mountain, I have to stop at Petunia’s Silver Jalepeno for lunch. The owners had a vision of a fish taco stand long before the nationwide food truck craze. They went with a different version - a food Airstream trailer! It’s a silver bullet on the side of the road that serves up a decent veggie burger, and fantastic fish tacos with just the right amount of pepper sauce and relish.
Any trip on the road is not complete without the local pizza place. Everyone who is anyone knows that Ingleside Village Pizza in Macon is pretty hard to beat, but I may have found a close second. Lupi’s has a lengthy selection of classic, fresh ingredients with which to build a pie you can write home about. And, best of all, Lupi’s is a participating restaurant of the Harvested Here network. Part of the Gaining Ground movement in Chattanooga, surrounding counties, and parts of north Georgia, it’s a foundation that promotes and supports local growers, and encourages local restaurants, chefs and schools to provide healthy eating options within 100 miles.