Let’s take a quick time-out from touring Louisiana Plantations.
Having 3 grandchildren only an hour and a half up I-65 from our house has a lot of benefits — not the least of which is the chance to explore their hometown of Franklin, TN. We recently had a 3-day babysitting gig while their parents were away that gave us yet another opportunity to explore . . . . and EAT! As a result, I want to blog about our 2 latest lunches. After all, Franklin has many festivals and reasons to visit. You definitely need to know where to eat. And, as you know, when I’m given a choice, I ALWAYS choose a non-chain. I want to support small business owners while soaking up local color and regional cuisine.
Our first lunch on this visit was enjoyed at Gray’s on Main — located specifically at 332 Main St. in downtown Franklin. The building was actually constructed in 1876, and in 1930, it was purchased by Frank Gray, Jr. and D. C. Kinnard. They established Kinnard Gray Drug Company. In the 1940’s it was renamed Gray’s Drug Company, and in 1952 the now-famous sign went up. More of this building’s history can be found on the website.
Steve had been hearing about the Hot Chicken that Nashville is becoming known for, so he ordered the Hot Chicken Sandwich. Let’s just say that his water glass had to be refilled numerous times. I had the crabcake with fried green tomatoes, roasted corn succotash and remoulade sauce. We were both very pleased.
The next day, we again drove down Main St., but this time we turned onto 4th Avenue South and parked in the free, 4-story parking garage. It’s a good thing Franklin has this — and probably they need to start building another one. We finally found an empty spot on the top level. A LOT of people like to go to downtown Franklin, TN.
Merridee’s was right across the street. Rightfully, it is officially called Merridee’s Breadbasket, and there are many very tempting baked goods for sale.
For this lunch Steve chose the smoked salmon roll-up, and I had what was called their “most popular sandwich,” the chicken salad. I am something of a chicken salad fanatic. It is one of my favorite things to order for lunch. Merridee’s chicken salad was good, but this time I think Steve’s choice won the prize. His roll-up was bursting with flavor and color. We shared some key lime pie — another thing we both have trouble resisting — and it was good, too.
A Taziki’s franchise is now open on Main Street, and there is a Mellow Mushroom at the end of the street. Puckett’s Grocery is very popular, but I haven’t tried it yet. We did try 55 South several months ago. We should probably give it another chance before I give you a definitive opinion. Maybe we just made unfortunate menu choices.
There are dozens of cute shops in the downtown area. Of course, Cool Springs is popular, but I believe you’ll find something special in the non-chain stores of this great town. And, don’t forget about my favorite preacher who “just happens” to pastor The Church at West Franklin at 700 TN-96. Tell him I sent you. 🙂