Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Miss Mary Bobo's Boarding House Review

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If you’re within a few hours of Lynchburg, TN and haven’t been, GO!  We visited there earlier this month with John, Deanna and Lexi for a long weekend and enjoyed it so much.  This is definitely in the hills and hollers of Tennessee, everything is rural and authentic, well, except for the town of Lynchburg, which of course is a tourist trap, but the surrounding countryside is amazing and we found great antique stores like we haven’t seen in years. I I had wanted to go to Miss Mary Bobo’s Boarding House in Lynchburg for lunch for years.  It’s reservations only, so make plans ahead of time, but it’s absolutely wonderful, the food was amazing, a little pricey for lunch at $22, but it was a total treat and well worth it!
 
After we checked in, we waited in the parlor for our dinner bell to ring.  Deanna captured this picture of John and Lexi, very Norman Rockwell, I just had to Photoshop it ;)
 
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But back to my story, the dinner bell rings, a “hostess” which is a little old grey haired lady, all of their hostesses are little grey haired old ladies, took us to our “room.”  The restaurant seating is in the different rooms of the boarding house, and you sit a table with people you don’t know, your hostess sits at the end of the table, eats with us and tells stories about Miss Mary Bobo and Jack Daniels.  Except our hostess had broken her arm and she was much more interested in telling us about her accident than the history of the boarding house.  We did manage to coax a few stories out of her, everybody introduced themselves, told where they were from and it was an interesting mix of people we shared a meal with.  
 
We were the last ones to be seated, and when we came in with a three year old there was dead silence.  I’m sure people were wondering what to expect.  But Miss Lexi is a pro, she’s eaten out everywhere and has great table manners, she charmed the entire table.  She broke the ice right from the start when Deanna quietly asked the server for milk for Lexi and they informed her that they didn't have milk.  Lexi announced emphatically “What??? NO MILK???”  Everybody started laughing, and the conversation flowed non-stop from them on.
 
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But the best part, the food!  Oh my goodness it was splendid, truly splendid.  I’m linking to several recipes, so if you see a food item in bold lettering, click on it for the recipe.  The food was amazing, pan fried chicken, obviously they had cut it themselves, because it had the tenderloin on the bone, and you never get that anymore.  That’s how mother always cut her chicken and the wishbone was my favorite part.
 
Here was our menu, and it changes daily, but they always have fried chicken, fried okra and candied apples.
 
 
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Miss Mary’s Boarding House Meatloaf  (it was wonderful, full of onions and green peppers and lots of ketchup.  I’m a meatloaf lover and this was  definitely 4 stars.
 
 

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Mac & Cheese, very, very creamy, I suspect there was Velveet involved with this even though the recipe says American cheese
 
Fried Okra
 
No recipe for this, just tips...
 
When the dinner bell rings at Miss Mary Bobo’s, a surefire hit is the ever-present bowl of fried okra. The restaurant—based in an elegant, Federal-style home just down the road from the Jack Daniel Distillery—changes its family-style menu daily, but proprietress Lynne Tolley insists on serving this favorite Southern staple every day. Miss Mary Bobo’s fries okra better than anyone, with a crunchy cornmeal crust that locks in that moist, unique taste. “Our secret,” says Lynne, “is to not crowd the skillet. You want to let each bite get crispy; otherwise, you’ll end up with one big, soggy ‘okra fritter.’ 
 
 
Creamed Corn
 
Green Beans
 
Homemade rolls, split with butter in the middle
 
 
Tennessee Sweet Tea
 

I’m not a whiskey drinker, I don’t like the taste, but their pie was delicious, subtle, not overkill.  The whipped cream was spiked with whiskey and the entire pie was dusted with cocoa, it was so good for the grand finale.

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 Her cookbook is available on Amazon, the menu changes daily, so there are lots of options that are featured in this book.
 

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We stayed at Cedar Cabin, the entire cabin was made of cedar and when you walked in the door it smelled wonderful.  Even though it was summer we made S’mores in the evening at the outdoor fireplace.  The fire kept the mosquitoes away, it worked great and across the road was a field of cows, who the owner swears don’t like country music, they like to jam to Bon Jovi.  
 
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 We went antiquing several times and at the owners suggestion went to Sewanee. We were totally unfamiliar with Sewanee, but it’s the home of The University of the South, a private liberal arts college founded in 1857 and the entire campus was built of native rock.  It was so beautiful it’s undescribable, but here’s a YouTube video to give you a visual.  It just blew us away, the grounds were lush, shaded and gorgeous.  It sits high on a mountain ridge overlooking the valley, it’s definitely a place we want to return to, especially in the fall.
 

 And that’s a few highlights of our trip, if you live within driving distance it’s a wonderful getaway.  The guys toured Jack Daniels Distillery, we checked out the shops in Lynchburg, it was definitely a low-key relaxing get away that I would highly recommend...

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