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Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Miller's Grocery and Deli

Christiana, Tennessee is a very small community with a Post Office just off Highway 231 between Shelbyville and Murfreesboro, Tennessee on state road 269. It is literally just across the tracks as you turn east off of 231. But you may miss it because there are no signs on 269 telling you to look left for the town. You may wonder why I bother to bring this up.

Emily heard from a friend about this little place to eat there. Saturday we decided to run some errands and take a drive up that way with the idea of checking Christiana out along with Bell Buckle, Tn. We missed the town on the first pass so I got out the GPS and used it to find our way to the little town. There is a sign off 231 telling you when to turn but after that you are on your own. The place we wanted to try out is called Miller's Grocery and Deli. Here is the only clue you will find telling you where to look.

Here is what the place looks like and I think you would agree, it isn’t the most inviting store front. But it truly hides a great eating establishment.

As the sign says, it doesn’t open until 11 and Em and I were the first two customers to arrive. We looked it over and reviewed the chalkboard menu then sat down on the bench outside. It wasn’t long before other cars started pulling into the gravel parking lot. None the less we were the first two in and that is how I got pictures of the place without customers.

The food was very good with me having meatloaf and Em having fried oysters. I know they looked good because an old woman walking by stopped to take a good look at them and told Em how good they looked and she would have to get her husband to order some. Now two things about this: 1) with the reputation oysters have as a sex enhancer, one might question her motivation and wonder why Em ordered them as well and; 2) only in the South do folks consider it ok to stop by and comment on a stranger’s choices off the menu. And you wonder why we call everyone family down here?

Our waitress was a very attractive young woman with too much mascara. I wondered why some guy hadn’t grabbed her up and taken her off to some populated part of the world. She asked how we came to know about the place and Em told her it was by word of mouth. The young girl told us her Mom had worked there 10 years and they never advertised the place. I guess she was surprised anyone ever came by considering how out of the way it is. But let me tell ya, word gets around when you have good food. At least four groups of people ate while we were there and one carryout which was the woman who owned the antique store called “Hunny Bunny” just up the street. It was the only other store on that street. Hell, it was the only other building on that street. Inside Miller's as you can see is a time capsule of stuff. It is very popular these days for junk to be hung and shelved all over restaurants, but those that have local junk still hold my interest.

We filled our bellies and Em ordered two deserts, both some form of chocolate. She started one and it was so rich she ended up taking the rest of it and the other one home.

Here is their menu in case you're interested.

We headed out for Bell Buckle, TN and upon arriving we couldn’t get into town because an 18 wheeler had gotten itself pinned in while turning off a side street.

It is a small town, but kind of well known for it’s Moon Pie and RC Cola festival it holds every year. Bikers like it too. There is going to be some kind of Bikers gathering there this coming weekend.

But this little town is also know for its Webb School. It was built by Sawney Webb, who’s goal was to build moral character, make ladies and gentlemen of his students, and prepare them for any challenge that may come their way. The school has accomplished this for over 135 years through a solid liberal arts education, a strong sense of honor, and an interactive school community. The School has produced 10 Rhodes Scholars and its graduates have gone on to attend prestigious colleges and universities across the nation and to lead important, successful and fulfilling lives in business, education, and the arts. Which if you ever get a chance to visit is quite an accomplishment for a little place out in the grass lands of Tennessee.

The town has many fine old homes and the business district is a row of old stores selling antiques and sappy god loves you signs. Not a lot different from any other place trying to survive with no other industry around.

We headed out into the country and drove the back roads back to the house. There was going to be a hell of a storm that night but you would never have known it by the way the day went. It was a good day and we ended it at Tammy’s Outback with a steak cooked by Farnell. But that is another story all together.

1 comment:

Jeff said...

I smell a road trip!!!!! By the way I answered your email, but it bounced back. The 14th is the night that Allison has planned for City Stages, but we can eat earlier or do lunch on Sunday or something. We'll work it out. We're looking forward to meeting Emily.