Grandmothers Kitchen is a place to appreciate real country cooking. A rustic, wood-paneled cafe with decor that is a panoply of religious icons, hunting trophies, farm implements, and vintage kitchenware, it serves Smoky Mountain food cooked with true grandmotherly expertise.
With breakfast or lunch, you definitely want a cat head biscuit or two. As its name suggests, it is a big, knobby thing. Tender with a buttermilk twist, it’s right for mopping gravy, crumbling onto turnip greens, or simply eating out of hand.
When smoked pork chops are the day’s special, have one. It’s smoky-sweet, not particularly juicy but nonetheless radiant with that magic flavor combo of smoke and pork. With side dishes of buttery squash casserole (enriched with plenty of Ritz crackers) and peppery greens, it’s an exemplary Mid-South meal.
Regular menu items include country ham, catfish, smoked chicken, fried chicken, and country-fried steak covered with gravy. The side-dish selection is copious enough that an all-vegetable meal makes good sense, too.
For dessert, cake is #1. Grandma Mary Shinlever’s coconut pineapple cake is famous for good reason. It is fluffy-light, dotted with little nuggets of pineapple and layered with ethereal white icing.
Grammar nerds: there is no apostrophe in the formal name of this restaurant, but as far as I know, Mrs. Shinlever is the only grandmother involved.