Sunset Family Restaurant

Review by: Roadfood Team

*This restaurant is permanently closed*

As you drive along Highway 231 through Lebanon, TN you will see this unassuming, neutral-colored building, with LOTS of cars parked around it. A large, blue-and-yellow neon “Broasted Chicken” sign welcomes you into the parking lot (good luck on finding a spot to park, though). The Sunset Family Restaurant, owned and operated by the Hodges Family, has being feeding hungry citizens and travelers since 1959.

As you walk inside and put your name down on the paper to be seated, you will quickly see why this place is filled. The tables and booths are filled with moms and dads, sons and daughters; the whole family is here not just to eat, but to share a meal. The staff warmly greets you with a “Welcome Hon” or a “Hi Sweety” and you feel like you are home.

The restaurant itself is no-frills; the fake wood paneling makes you feel like you are at dinner in your granny’s house. There is usually a wait during “rush” peaks, but the wait is never too long.

The menu at the Sunset is full of down-home, country-style choices:
Roast beef and gravy
City ham
Country ham
Breaded veal
Ground beef steak
Liver and onions
Chicken tenders
and usually a “Choice of the Day”

They also have Broasted chicken, catfish dinners, burgers, homemade soups, and stews. Then, of course, there is dessert, homemade that morning, or afternoon if it has been really busy:

Banana puddin’
Granny’s recipe chocolate pie
Coconut cream pie
Praline pie
Buttermilk pie
Pecan pie

When your food arrives you will almost faint at the size of the portions. I am a big eater and I have to force myself to finish it all. As soon as your fork touches your lips you are transported back to your youth, sitting at dinner in your grandmother’s house. The smell, the taste, transports you through time and space, back, back …

OK, where were we? Oh yes, the food. The meals I have had here have been incredible. The city ham is perfectly balanced between pork and sweet, the country-fried steak, as big as the state of Texas, is incredibly juicy and fork-tender, and the homemade chicken and dumplins had me wondering if my German grandmother was back in the kitchen cooking.

The Sunset Family Restaurant, an oasis of great food along a strip of boring fast-food choices, is a must-stop anytime you find yourself in the Nashville, TN area. It is only about 25 minutes east on I-40 and north on 231, less than a mile from the interstate.

What To Eat

Broasted Chicken

Banana Puddin

Country Ham

Corn Muffins

Collard Greens


Sunset Family Restaurant Recipes


What do you think of Sunset Family Restaurant?

One Response to “Sunset Family Restaurant”


December 28th, 2021

This listing was mis-labeled as being in Indiana somehow, but more importantly/unfortunately, the owners of Sunset finally closed the restaurant this fall. It was a real treasure!


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