Maple Street Biscuit Company

Maple Street Biscuit Company

Maple Street Biscuit Company

My wife and I are the type of people who can happily eat breakfast for any ol’ meal of the day.
That’s been engrained in me since childhood. I remember mom and dad cooking eggs, bacon, and biscuits ‘n gravy for dinner every now and then and my sister and I being just pleased as punch about it.
So.. when a restaurant rolls into my neck of the woods that focuses on something inherently breakfast-y, but provides enough playful variations on it to cater to the ever-changing whims of my tastebuds..
You’re speakin’ my language.

And.. enter Maple Street Biscuit Company.

Maple Street Interior

Locals may recognize this as the former Sweet Peppers Deli location, but the transformation is remarkable. It still has the guts of that building obviously, but it’s a much more charming and welcoming atmosphere. The staff is very friendly, with a special nod to managers Zeke and Shanda Arter, who are particularly kind and gracious. The prices are very reasonable (especially considering portion size). The turnaround time for an order is surprisingly fast (it ’bout made my head spin on my first visit: I literally was halfway between the register and the drink station when my order was called). AND they call your order by your favorite band name, which is both fun to play with (I’ve used something different every visit) and interesting to listen to (is it just me, or does a person’s taste in music say a lot about them?).

The Five and Dime

Just look at ’em! Putting all those elements from those breakfast-for-dinner occasions together on a single dish!

The thing I especially love about this is that it’s something simple. Chicken ‘n biscuits. Simple. BUT.. it’s one thing presented in enough different ways to make it seem like you’re getting something new each time, even after multiple repeat visits. Also, they really seem to focus on the QUALITY of the ingredients, which is always important. If you’re doing something that seems simple (twists or no), do it WELL, right? RIGHT. The back side of their menus, for instance, has a list titled, “Why you should feel good about eating here,” which focuses on things like all-natural hormone-free chicken, house-made biscuits, jellies, jams, and sauces, real maple syrup, and local roast coffees. I’ll admit the coffee was a selling point for me. I detest frou-frou coffee, but I love coffee. Just plain coffee. This place has some tasty coffee. The maple coffee is particularly worth noting. It’s a little sweet for my tastes personally, so I like to mix it with their dark roast, but it has a great maple flavor.

The Sticky Maple

In its first week of business (doors opened 9/4/14), I have made three visits (hey, I’m nothing if not thorough). Thus far, The Five and Dime (that gorgeous mess pictured above, with chicken, bacon, and cheddar, topped with a fried egg and slathered in sausage gravy), the simple (but no less tasty) crowd-pleaser, The Sticky Maple (chicken, bacon, and delicious maple syrup), and The Squawking Goat (chicken, fried goat cheese medallion, and pepper jelly) are fast favorites. The fried green tomatoes are definitely noteworthy too. I have never had some that were sliced so thick. It made them seem much more substantial, like a steak or something. They were huge and four came with the order, for just $3. Also, the dessert-type offerings are nothing to scoff at. The Iced Cinnamon Pecan biscuits satisfy my cinnamon roll cravings (honestly makes me a think a bit of Hardee’s cinnamon raisin biscuits, provided those were more delicious than they are). The pecan pie was great (my wife is not a fan of pecan pie, but loved theirs). It doesn’t have that cloying sweetness that pecan pie usually has. It goes back to that whole simple but tasty concept. It’s just good. Probably my favorite dessert though was the salted chocolate chip cookie. I’m a sucker for textures. This cookie gets me. Crunchy on the outside. Soft and almost doughy on the inside, with a sprinkle of coarse salt atop to cut the sweetness and add a little more depth. That with a mug of the aforementioned coffee..


I’ve found a new favorite spot for breakfast food, and I want more.
Go see for yourself what I mean.

Maple Street Biscuit Company on Urbanspoon




Taconooga logo

If you’re anything like me, sometime in the past month or two you saw a Taconooga sign at this here corner spot across from the Walnut Street Bridge on Frazier Avenue that has been home to loads of various eateries over the years and found your curiosity piqued. Sadly, however, there’s not been much to be found out here in Internetland about just what on earth this here Taconooga thing is. Ain’t it funny though how things like this happen (at least) in threes? El Macho Taco is moving into the old Fork & Pie location on Market Street. Local favorite Taqueria Jalisco is opening a second location in Miller Plaza. To my surprise, I drove by today and found that Taconooga just celebrated their opening day yesterday.


Any way you fold it (LIKE A TACO!), if you’re speaking tacos, you’re speaking my language, brother. The more the merrier. Plus, it’s just downright more convenient to have a spot on the north shore for some tacos, since I have more of a tendency to find my keister there than the heart of downtown or the south side.

You can find the full menu(s) on their web site. As you can tell, there are some things on the more adventurous/interesting side, which, honestly, is more what I lean towards, but this time I went rather plain Jane to get a feel for what their basics are like. I look forward to branching out and experiencing more of the menu, but this time I got a good old Mexican Coke, three tacos (left to right: carne asada, al pastor, and picadillo), and some Mexican street corn.

Carne Asada, Al Pastor, and Picadillo tacosThe tacos were all good, but the al pastor had the best flavor, in my opinion. As you can see, they are all “Mexican style” with a big helping of cilantro and onion on corn tortillas and some limes for squeezing. The fresh corn tortillas are definitely worth noting. Also, I’m big on salsas and sauces, so I threw some of their house salsa on there too. That made it, if you ask me. Solid salsa. I was told there is a tomatillo salsa and a habanero salsa as well, which I look forward to trying, but I kept with the “plain Jane” concept this go-’round.

Mexican Street Corn

The Mexican Street Corn came in a cup, which was a big surprise to me. It was sort of layered, like a sundae. Good flavor, so I can’t complain too much, but the menu says it’s available on or off the cob. I prefer mine on the cob. No one asked. I kind of figured on the cob would be the default, but maybe that was my mistake. Again, the flavor was still good, and, actually, having it off the cob made it easy to put on the tacos, which was an inspired tasty little random idear.

The one thing I found in this trip that I am a little conflicted on is this: for all of the surprising diversity in the menu (there is really a lot more to it than I expected), it’s a little disappointing to not see a decent amount of vegetarian/vegan-friendly options. I know that not everyone caters to that, but, this day and age (and all the more so with this type of cuisine because there are a lot of relatively easy options), it seems a reasonable expectation. Although, admittedly, “traditional” Mexican food doesn’t seem to lean much in favor of veg-heads anyway.

Overall, I like what they’ve done with the place. It’s a nice little unassuming joint. The atmosphere makes me think of White Duck Taco Shop in Asheville, NC, which is easily one of my favorite taco shops I’ve ever been to. I could see hanging out here, which is an important aspect of dining that is maybe less commonly taken into consideration; that social aspect.

There’s a lot more exploration to be had, workin’ my way ’round that menu, so I’ll definitely be back. I suggest you give it a shot as well.

Taconooga on Urbanspoon

Tupelo Honey Cafe Chattanooga

Tupelo Honey Cafe Chattanooga

Tupelo Honey Cafe

Do you ever feel like you sort of have a relationship with a restaurant? Like.. you just go there so much, and enjoy the experience so much, that something about it is kind of personal. Well, Tupelo Honey Cafe and I had a brief, but exciting, fling in Asheville a few years back, where dinner was so enjoyable that I came back for breakfast first-thing the next morning. Both meals were fantastic and Tupelo was easily one of the biggest highlights of the whole trip. This, among other things, made me wish that Chattanooga could be a bit more like Asheville.

There have been many developments in the past few years that have me thinking we’re gettin’ there, but I was particularly ecstatic when the announcement was made in April that Tupelo would be coming to Chattanooga.

Now, it’s finally here, and I cannot wait to work my way ’round the whole dang menu, but I thought I’d go ahead and share my excitement following my first few visits..

My first trip, I had breakfast for dinner. I love breakfast and, in Tupelo, love that Chattanooga now has a place that serves delicious breakfast all the live-long day. At the beginning of the meal, you’re brought a big ol’ biscuit with some blueberry jam and Tupelo honey. You know the way to my heart, Tupelo. Delicious freebies? Yes, please. I could kick back and have nothing but this and a beverage and be set.

Biscuit, jam, and honey


I ordered the fried chicken and biscuits. While I waited on that, I got a flight of four different five-ounce pours of Carolina beers for just $6. I’m a sucker for sampler-style things like that. I prefer to have a little bit of everything over committing to one thing, but all four beers were pretty dern tasty, so it’s totally a win-win.

Chicken and biscuits

Then, the chicken and biscuits. A few more of those big ol’ biscuits, slathered in milk gravy, topped with hormone-free buttermilk fried chicken.  And a side of maple peppered bacon for good measure/in honor of Ron Swanson. I couldn’t pick favorites here. It was all good. The biscuits are soft and warm and awesome. The flavor of the bacon was everything I loved about dipping my bacon in syrup as a child (I say as if I don’t still do that – HA). The gravy had a good fresh flavor to it. That’s hard to describe, but it’s easy enough to totally botch gravy. This was nice and creamy, but not too heavy. The chicken was the star, as well it should be. The buttermilk bath left it SUPER tender and juicy. On another breakfast note, the sweet potato pancakes are awesome too and I haven’t had those in years now, so that’s on my list. I also had some banana pudding to-go for dessert, which was, well.. just like grandma’s. I was ridiculously full after everything else, so I don’t think I was able to truly appreciate it, but it was mighty fine nonetheless.

Banana pudding

Come trip two: dinner for dinner. What a concept! Started off with the biscuit, jam, and honey again, of course. Got a mixed drink: the Bourbon Basil Sour, which may sound a little odd, but was very nice and refreshing, without, y’know.. being too girly or anything.. because it has bourbon in it. On a related note, try the rosemary peach lemonade sometime. Sounds kinda weird, but it’s pretty awesome.

My entree this trip was the Not Your Mama’s Meatloaf. That is.. grass-fed beef blended with bacon and topped with a rosemary tomato shallot gravy. YUM. I’ve had bacon-wrapped meatloaf before, which was  easily among my favorites, but bacon IN the meatloaf? Why on earth is this a foreign concept? Again, the protein was the highlight, but not the only thing worth noting.  The dish comes with mac ‘n cheese and asparagus. I ordered some brown butter Brussels sprouts (triple dog dare ya to say that five times fast) as well. The mac ‘n cheese was not what I typically like. I prefer a more gritty, cheesy texture, whereas this was very creamy, but it was a really good complement to the meatloaf. I kept going for bites of the two together. The Brussels sprouts were good, but they’ve gone and got me on a bacon kick and I kept wishing they had some bacon on them. The asparagus was just kind of a garnish though; nothing special, but a nice touch if you’re an asparagus fan.

Not Your Mama's Meatloaf

Tupelo Honey Cafe is bringing something sorely needed to the Chattanooga food scene. Over the years, I have been constantly perplexed at how difficult it is to find a restaurant that does good southern food well. I’m sure folks will disagree with me on that. And, if you do, by all means, let me know. I hope that I am wrong. But, mostly, what I have seen is just restaurants that do a thing or two (like fried green tomatoes, or fried chicken) well or restaurants that are trying way too hard to put new-fangled spins on southern food or restaurants that think “southern food” means that absolutely everything needs to be deep fried, or the dreaded.. buffet-style.. southern restaurant. Tupelo Honey Cafe is a refreshing change. I love the atmosphere. I love the concept. I love the staff. I love the food. It’s good, simple southern food. And LOTS OF IT. The menu is huge. There are a ton of delicious things to try, and virtually every meal I have had has seemed like the epitome of comfort food in some form or another. It makes me think of having a nice holiday meal with my family. If that’s something you ever find yourself havin’ a hankerin’ for, then I suggest you try it. Don’t be surprised if you see me there. I reckon I could be a-ok with eating here just about every day of the week.


Tupelo Honey Cafe on Urbanspoon

Mountain Waffle Wagon

Mountain Waffle Wagon

Mountain Waffle Wagon

I have been drooling over the pictures on this food truck’s Facebook page for months now, so I just JUMPED at the chance to run down and grab me a nice, big WAFFLE SAMMICH for lunch at Center Park on opening day.


They must’ve been doin’ alright with their opening run because they were having to make some fresh waffle batter when I rolled up for a rather late lunch, thus it took a little while, but it made it all the more super fresh and delicious and the guys running the truck were very nice and apologetic and so on, though I really didn’t mind.

And BEHOLD.. the MARVEL.. of chicken and waffle sandwich DELICIOUSNESS..

Chicken n' Waffles

Looks good, doesn’t it? Your eyes do not deceive. IT IS GOOD. I am very pleased to say that my months of pining over those tasty little Facebook photos was not for naught. The waffle was large but thin and very light/fluffy. I really appreciate that it’s not too dense thus doesn’t sit too heavily on one’s stomach, but, more importantly, does not cake-ify everything and overpower the other ingredients because them there other ingredients need a chance to shine, I SAY! The chicken is great. I could eat that alone. A slight twinge of spice in the seasoning and the batter gets a good little crispness on it. Slap that bad boy in a tasty waffle though, with some sweet honey mustard and a little sprinkle of scallions to balance out that sweetness, AND..
Brilliant. Love it. Sign me up. Give me more.
I’m HONGRY for it.

I love this concept. I love that it’s bringing something really different that still seems absolutely feasible. It makes for great street food. They’re making a point to use as many local ingredients as they can get their hands on.
Oh, and this little icing on the cake to-boot. Some of the best root beer I’ve tasted in a good while..

Sioux City Sarsaparilla

I can’t wait to get my WAFFLE SANDWICH on again. I encourage you to do the same.

Mountain Waffle Wagon on Urbanspoon

Milk and Honey

Milk and Honey


It’s safe to say that I am a FAN of Milk and Honey. In fact, it’s safe to say that I am a fan of all the current food-related ventures in Chattanooga from owners Mike and Taylor Monen (though M&H is my favorite). The thing that astonishes me, however, is how many haters there are out there when it comes to this couple. Go have a peek at some Urbanspoon reviews for their restaurants. It’s ok. I’ll wait..


People say it’s too costly or not worthy of the hype. I’ve even heard tale of people trying to keep them from moving restaurants into certain areas because they feel like they’ve unfairly cornered the market on the local food gig. Like they just have some monopoly on it or something..

Well, haters, here is my message to you: have you ever stopped to think that there’s a reason behind the success and the hype?

Because THERE IS.

I have a substantial amount of respect for this couple because they are dedicated to a concept with their restaurants and they do it well. They always aim to bring something DIFFERENT food-wise to Chattanooga with their restaurants, which just tugs at my little foodie heart strings. And, when they decide on a concept of something that they want to bring here, they really envelop themselves in it and learn how to do it right, so they can ensure that they aren’t just making something different for the sake of having something different, but rather delivering a product of genuine quality.

Milk and Honey is Taylor’s baby. And, like I said, it’s my favorite. And MAN.. what a happy accident that this turned into a full-fledged restaurant. The original idea was to make gelato out of the Community Pie kitchen, but they kind of ran too short on kitchen space, hence Milk and Honey was born. I love this place. It’s just charming. There’s something kind of cool about the design of all the Monen restaurants in Chattanooga, but this one I especially like. It’s like an old soda shop or something. The one unfortunate aspect of that is that it’s small, but they’ve definitely done what they can to maximize the seating space.


And, oh my, the things that you can get here..


BREAKFAST – Counter Culture coffee (served at another local favorite coffeehouse, Camp House), which is just some of the tastiest dern coffee you’re likely to find in Chatt (let the lynchings commence from the fans of Stone Cup, Velo, etcetera). Breakfast sandwiches and biscuits – the bacon egg and cheese (on ciabatta with vinegar mayo and aged white cheddar) is simple but great, the S.O.S. (spinach, onion, sausage) is too, the ham and apple sandwich, the Farmhouse Biscuit, the MEGA Biscuit, the BYOB (Build Your Own Breakfast) options, steel-cut oatmeal, house-made bagels, etc. Then there’s a rotating breakfast special called the Morning Glory. A recent one was sausage and potato hash, for instance.


BRUNCH/LUNCH – there are some sandwiches that have turned into regulars for lunch, but the “Nooner” (rotating lunch special) is where you’ll find my favorites. The Milk and Honey burger, for instance, is just awesome and, due to its popularity, has been present quite frequently as of late. The big surprise for me was that it was so different than the burgers available at the Monens’ burger joint, Urban Stack (perhaps this is just another example of that whole not just doing things for the sake of doing them, but for the sake of offering a quality product concept). They grind the meat themselves (a blend of sirloin, chuck, and brisket), then top it with Benton’s bacon, four-cheese fondue sauce, and oven-dried tomatoes. It is ridiculously juicy and delicious. The blackened grouper sandwich was an awesome special too, though I’ve only seen it once. Also, the brunch specials (generally just available on the weekends) are great too. The French toast made with brioche is excellent, for instance. That thick bread is so so so very perfect for this application. Also, the chicken and waffles with honey hot sauce and Chattanooga Whiskey maple syrup was easily one of (if not the absolute. I’ll get to back to you on that) my favorites available in Chatt. The whiskey maple syrup especially was phenomenal (though, sadly, when they have offered the dish again more recently, it has been with plain-ol’ maple syrup, though that is delicious in its own right).


DESSERT – Gelato (of course), sorbets, paletas (which I am beyond thrilled to see becoming A THING in Chattanooga – we really love Las Paletas in Nashville), cookies, salted caramels, cake, etc. This again ties back to what I was saying earlier about the Monens learning to do something RIGHT when they decide to do something. I have never been convinced that gelato was a good thing.. until now. I’m not sure what it was. Maybe it just wasn’t made with quality ingredients or something. I don’t know. I’ve just never been sold on it. M&H totally changed my mind on that. Their gelatos are creamy and delicious. I really love too that Taylor keeps the flavors fresh by constantly switching up what’s available. Furthermore, M&H runs a weekly contest via Facebook where people can win a $20 gift card if their “flavor of the week” suggestion is chosen. There are hits and misses certainly, especially since somebody clearly likes to pick the more interesting-sounding options. I had one picked back in June called Tipsy Peach, with Chattanooga Whiskey and local peaches. Yummy, yummy stuff.

Also, you can always make yourself a delicious float with any gelato and Italian soda or some Pure Sodaworks soda. And one of my simple but awesome favorite things to do is just a dark roast coffee with Milk and Honey (their vanilla, basically) flavored gelato in it.

 They also really, really love to use local ingredients, which is frickin’ awesome.


Again, I just love Milk and Honey. It’s a great breakfast joint, coffee spot, or dessert spot. It’s a charming concept that has been well-executed. It’s a good complement to Community Pie, Taco Mamacita, and Urban Stack. And, last, but surely not least, the staff (shout-out to Lauren, especially) is very friendly and helpful.

I should hope you have been there already.

If you haven’t, then why the hell not? Get on it.

Milk and Honey on Urbanspoon

Taco Roc

Taco Roc


Taco Roc is my go-to place for Mexican fare (there’s apparently a theme with this whole “go-to places” concept, but, hey, why shouldn’t there be?). There are a few key reasons why. First off, it’s not much to look at. One could potentially define it as a “hole in the wall” or a “dive.” To me, that’s not a negative thing. In fact, it can denote a certain sense of charm. But I could also see the flip side of it/how some people might find it unappealing, so to each his (or her) own and all that jazz..

But the thing of Taco Roc that snags me is this: it is a very nice, very welcome break from the “traditional” idea of Americanized Mexican fare that pollutes the Chattafoodscape (should I trademark that?), without trying too hard to be deliberately different, if you know what I mean. It’s not some modern nouveau chic tappas-ish take on Mexican fare or some similar such ill-conceived fad. Nope. This is what I expect food would be like from my abuela’s kitchen (provided I had an abuela). It’s good and fresh, but simple; no frills. You get large portions, at a ridiculously low cost (honestly, I have, regrettably, paid more for fast food on many occasions). Chips and salsa aren’t complimentary. I’ve known some people to complain of this, but.. seriously, you guys? Quit your whining. They are super cheap (like a buck-something) and are very good. They fry their own chips and make their own salsa. There is also a complimentary salsa bar with loads of goodies to choose from, which I always seem to get overly excited about because I grab much more stuff than I need off of it. They make some great guacamole, which, again, is a pretty large portion and pretty cheap, for what it is. You can get some horchata or various rotating fruity beverages (mango, pineapple, or guava, for instance, to name a few) to accompany your meal, or a cold beer. If they would just start slingin’ margaritas in this joint, they’d see my butt planted there even more frequently.
Furthermore, I’m a taco salad junkie and this is one of my favorite places to go for them. I also really love some plain ol’ tacos, and I really like their selection here. Let’s see.. ground beef, chicken, steak, pork, shrimp, barbacoa, al pastor, chorizo, cactus, etc. Their meats are all delicious. The pork is one of the stand-outs, in my opinion. It’s like a slow-roasted pulled pork. Very moist and delicious. On the tacos note, also, this is one of the only places around town at which I will order fish tacos. I love fish tacos, but, sadly, I tend to be very weary of ordering them from most places. If you’ve ever had the misfortune of getting some bad ones, you should understand this quite well.

I can’t say enough how much I love this place. They have a huge menu with tons of options I’ve not even mentioned. It’s good, authentic stuff. It’s not your run-of-the-mill Americanized Mexican, which I love and am pleased to see becoming a little more common in our city (wink and a nod to Ovalle’s and Taqueria Jalisco, for instance). And it’s CHEAP. Cheap, cheap, cheap. Good, cheap eats. Man, I don’t know about you, but that’s the ticket for me. Give this place a try, if you haven’t already.

Taco Roc on Urbanspoon

Famous Nater’s World Famous

Famous Nater’s World Famous


You guys. Seriously. I was SO close to calling this something like “Famous Nater’s: A ChattaHONGRY Love Story.” You have no idea.

The food truck landscape in the Chattanooga area is ever-expanding and it’s exciting to see all of the new things that are happening with it, but when given options of local food trucks, I honestly have a hard time prying myself away from Famous Nater’s. This is my go-to. And I’ll tell you why.

Nathan Flynt is a man after my own heart. He’s also pretty much the top dog of the Chatt food truck scene. He’s the vet. This is the guy other people go to to learn the ropes when they’re starting up a truck. When I eat this man’s food, not only do I enjoy it (duh), but I think.. this must be the type of stuff that, say, an Iron Chef (or some other similarly awesome chef) would make for themselves at home if they just had a random hankering for a sandwich. Nate is like a little culinary mad scientist, putting gourmet (and you won’t see me use that word often because it’s overused/misused to the point that it loses its meaning, so I try to refrain, but it’s totally applicable here) twists on the most common of American fare: the sandwich. Furthermore, you may notice that the truck itself boasts “Truck-Made Everything,” which gives you an idea of the emphasis on making things fresh and using local, natural ingredients.


The tricky thing here is telling you about the food because the menu changes every week. Some things you’ll see a bit more frequently, like the barbecue pork sandwich or the Midnight In Saigon (braised pork, ponzu sauce, and a carrot and cilantro salad on a Niedlov’s bun). This whole concept is awesome because it keeps the selection fresh, so you can eat here a lot without getting bored (which I really appreciate). On the flip side, however, try not to get too attached to a particular sammy because it might be a while before you see it again (unless maybe you just ask Nate nicely or something). One of my all-time favorites was the first one I ever had, which featured pork, cream cheese, and pepper jelly on a Niedlov’s (supplier of all Nate’s breads) bun. Another recent favorite I’d like to see come back around was the Bulls On Parade, a buffalo chicken sandwich with a celery salad and blue cheese foam on a Niedlov’s bun. You can also always add a bag of Dirty All-Natural Potato Chips for a buck and various beverages, such as fruity frescas (watermelon mint was a recent one) or fruit punch (a sweetened combo of lime, lemon, orange, and beet juice). You’ll also usually get a few yummy pickled veggies (mostly cucumbers and/or carrots) on the side.


Check out the Famous Nater’s site for weekly schedules and menus. They are usually up by Tuesday or Wednesday. Lately, you can find Nater’s pretty regularly at Center Park, serving lunch 11-2, Wednesday through Friday, or at the Chattanooga Market on Sundays, 11-4. Also, Nater’s just recently celebrated a two-year anniversary with an awesome little event, offering folks free sandwiches, chips, fruit punch, and beer. Nate has also helped to organize an upcoming event at Center Park (Pickin’ In The Park), which takes place this coming Thursday, 7/18/13, 5-10. I highly recommend stopping in if you can. Good food and good music makes a pretty sweet combo.

Go get yourself an FN scrumptious sandwich, HONGRY babies.


Famous Nater's World Famous on Urbanspoon