Writings of Sheri Hooper

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The Loveless Café

My husband Rick Hooper and I love to adventure out, especially by car, directly on the pavement. ONE DAY ROAD TRIP! The two of us like traveling to places we have never been before. However, on the distances we enjoyed the most we are known for visiting again, it’s the way we roll. We soak in the scenery, shopping, dining, and consistently have a wonderful time together. Most recently we set out from one of our homes in Forest Hills (a “satellite city” of Nashville, Tennessee) bordered by Hillsboro, Green Hills, and Belle Meade. We packed up the car with a cooler of ice, water bottles, green tea and juice and set out for our destination – The Loveless Café.

It was a majestic drive, surrounded by winding hills, unique bridges, tree’s, shrubs, topiaries, bodies of water (rivers, creeks, brooks, etc…) the quest was quite peaceful and fun. Most of the journey you are surrounded deeply in the woods. With music praising out in our vehicle by Brian Free and Assurance, The Booth Brothers, The Ball Brothers, Avi Kaplan, and at my husbands request – The Beatles, we settled in for a harmonious and mellow drive. Before long we saw the famous Loveless sign standing brightly lit up in it’s famed colors. I looked over at Rick and said, “Babe, I think we have become Tourists in our own State.” He chuckled and pulled into the parking lot.

Though I have resided in Tennessee for 35 years (1982, age 14, at this writing I am 49) and Rick, since birth (1966, age 51 years) neither of us had ever been to the acclaimed Loveless Café. That was about to change, and so it did at 8400 Highway 100, mere minutes from The Natchez Trace Parkway, our next target after the meal. Although I have heard there is often a 2 hour wait to be settled in at The Loveless, we got a timely advantage and were seated immediately.

( GRIN )

It is true about the long standing wait, though that alone should tell you something. People who are willing to bide their time before they chow down on original Southern Country Cuisine, speaks loud and clear to me. We saw the proof when we left, it was packed, with no tables left, despite the large size of the rooms. As predicted by others, there were people waiting, but no one was growling. It was peaceful and social. Get that SOUTH in ya BABY!

( WINK )

For those who must linger around the business for a spell, don’t fret, there are hoards of chairs, swings, bicycles for rent to ride on the Natchez Trace Parkway working up a ferocious appetite, stores selling trinkets, souvenirs, toys, canned vegetables, fruits, spreads, jams, relishes not to mention outdoor games (free!) and scads of photograph opportunities. They give you a beeper of sorts to know when it is your turn to eat. About that ferocious appetite, you’ll need it. You will be fed very well here and in large portions. Forget buffets, you don’t need one at The Loveless Café. No one leaves hungry here. And a big AMEN to that! Before someone asks, no, you do not have to be a Christian to eat here. Chill. Enjoy every moment. Have a look at the 8×10 glossies of the Celebrities who have eaten here. From Nashville, New York and Hollywood – The walls are full! We were seated where Johnny Cash’s famed painting hung on the wall. They could not have placed the two of us better.

Their famous biscuits were an all-you-can-eat-affair. We saw many people getting platefuls, over and over again, (or 3 per individual) each time on the refills. All tables were filled with REAL 100% butter packages in a NICE sized bowl. You don’t get those offerings at other places but you will at the Loveless. And should these soup sized bowls of wrapped butter empty? No problem, they will happily refill them for free, just like those famous biscuits. These sweet folks are generous! Can’t finish all of your food? They don’t hand out “doggie bags” here, they give you an enormous sealed box to take home. It also must be said the temperature inside was perfect – not too hot and not too cold – excellent!

Our server was a sweet gentleman who stayed at our side checking on us frequently. More biscuits? More drinks? Dessert? Is everything to your liking? He was a darling soul and so friendly. His EXTRA LARGE tip was given because he deserved it. I also liked he was close to our ages, that just worked for me and was another plus. Not only did he work his tail off and keep up numerous conversations he also earned my respect for currently earning his PhD (Doctorate) in Education. Comprehend how many years of school he has under his belt! If memory serves he has one year left and the diploma will be placed into his hands. Working at The Loveless and going to school at the same time. I love over tipping people like this man. I feel over the moon helping out someone who has worked up to their last days of college, notably a Christian who was the best server we have ever had the pleasure of meeting. He attends David Lipscomb University a private Church of Christ school in Nashville, Tennessee. You should have seen the look on his face when he opened the tablet with his extra (no pun) bread. He was very happy and thankful. Gotta love him! In hindsight I wish I had taken his photograph. Next time, for sure.

If you must wait before you can sit inside for your breakfast, lunch or dinner, you won’t be bored, nor will you be forced to stand the entire time, there are places to sit inside and outside and if it is raining, hot or cold, simply step into one of the air conditioned shops that circle the charming superstructure or have a seat on the porch, it also has chairs. This is an ideal place for anyone, especially families, though even a single person would enjoy their stop. It is very appealing with a history that goes way back.

There is a story that goes along with The Loveless Café. For proper presentation pay them a visit. With the Natchez Trace so close this would make an incredible Homeschooling project. Combine both, The Loveless Café and the Natchez Trace, no one will be complaining. Best Field Trip Curriculum and Unit Study – ever!

Cyclists and Bikers will also equally love the charming savoir-faire. Put this on your “must do” list. Get Your Motor Runnin’! What are you waiting for? Take your wife, partner, friends, kids here soon. You don’t know what your missing and don’t forget to give The Natchez Trace a whirl. They have FREE MAPS for this at The Loveless Café. Yes, another perk. Have Fun!





Sheri Hooper – Seated – Loveless Café

Rick Hooper – Biscuits! – Loveless Café

Rick has been telling me about The Natchez Trace Parkway since we were dating in 1984. I could not believe my eyes, at last – We Were Here!


The Natchez Trace Parkway is a stunning sight. Additionally impressive was the place for cyclists who have their own lane! Make sure you allow them to use it – be cool. No need to rush. Too nice of a view to make this last part of your trip end quickly. Remember to pack a cooler of drinks. Take photographs and bring it all in. You’ll have the time of your life!


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