Chattanooga rocks! And it’s just not about Rock City. Tony, Bambi, the girls and I went to Chattanooga for the weekend and, weather aside, we had a super fine time. Do I have restaurant reviews? Oh, yes…
We started our adventure by stopping at Fanoo’s Persian Tea House in Sandy Springs. I know I have reviewed it before, but they now do a buffet lunch. I have to say, I like the evening atmosphere a bit more, but the variety of midday food more than makes up for the daylight. I like being able to sample a mouthful of this and a dollop of that. Bambi, who has been to this lunch buffet more than once, tells me that the dished rotate, so your favorite may or may not be on the bar that day. Sadly, the Shareen rice was not there on Friday, only the lentil, spinach and plain varieties. Shucky darn. The price is very fair, about $13 per person. I, once again, wholly recommend.
Saturday Morning, we had “First Breakfast” at the hotel, where I was the chef. I love hotels that let you make your own Belgian waffles in the morning. My love for the waffle is deep and true and a little unwholesome. But, I digress. I am here to expound on “Second Breakfast”. Bambi and I ditched Mr. Bush and took the girls to the English Rose Tea Room, an authentic English Tea Shop in the heart of downtown Chattanooga. Bambi and I stumbled upon this place the last time we ventured into Tennessee, and we loved it enough to go back again. It’s small. It’s English. It’s not outrageously expensive, and the tea cozies, sweet lord, the tea cozies… There is something so homey and welcoming about the shape of a proper teapot. And just like soft porn, where it is more tantalizing to conceal that to reveille, the super chunky tea cozies hint to the splendor of the hot steamy elixir within. Ahh… tea…. We ordered the Victorian Tea, which comes with what you would expect (a variety of tea sandwiches, scone, crackers, biscuits, cheese, lemon curd, jam, Devonshire cream and dessert), and we also ordered the cream of asparagus soup, crumpets and a banger on roll. The soup was the hit of the table, but the crumpets were overly toasted. What really makes the whole experience is the people watching. There were church groups, and a princess themed birthday party (9-year olds – so cute!). There was a frumpy British guy in the corner next to the window, sipping his tea and reading a book. He looked right at home. They didn’t mind my fussy baby or my messy toddler. I cringed when they gave my Eleanor a tiny china teacup, but the waiter said, “If she breaks it, she breaks it. It’s only a teacup.” Its a rare place that connects classy meal with Mother of toddlers.
Lastly, I want to tell you all about Sticky Fingers. When we are in Chattanooga, this is the place we go to again and again. The ribs rock, the pulled pork is off the chain and the chicken makes me want to cry. Try the Summer salad, the green beans, the peach cobbler and brownie sundae; pass on the mac n’ cheese and the potato skins. The coleslaw is OK, but gets much better with a dollop of the sweet BBQ sauce. The better-than-average wait staff rounds out the experience.
What? I know. We went from one end of the etiquette continuum to the other in one day. Morning: Pinkies out, napkins in laps, demitasse spoons and my beloved tea cozies. Evening: bone suckin’, sauce squirtin’ oops I got sauce behind my ears tuckin’ in. I loved every bite of my weekend in Chattanooga.
Stay tuned, as this coming weekend I’m going to take Trish to Pensacola where we will eat our way through the Gulf Coast.
One last thing. Eleanor has no fear, which scares the CRAP out of her mother. Here she is, on her own on a bridge to Lover’s Leap.