Wednesday, July 23, 2014

A Drive in the Country…

East Tennessee is a beautiful place and we love to just cruise around on the back roads looking at the scenery and whatever else catches our fancy… Laurie’s sister Bonnie and her husband Bill were with us recently and we decided that it was a beautiful day for a drive…

This is the high order Mennonite farmer’s market on a side road in Delano Tennessee.  It’s a bit far for us to drive just for produce, but we still make it down here a couple of times a year.  Considering that this market is really out of the way and it’s not close to any major cities, they really pack in the customers!

The produce was plentiful…beans, peppers, corn, cucumbers, squash, tomatoes, potatoes, lettuce, cabbage, etc. etc.  In addition one can pick up soaps, baked goods, jams/jellies and jars of pickled products…including Laurie’s favorite…their ‘Starr Mountain’ pickled beets.

This is the valley adjacent to the farmer’s market… Horse drawn wagons were coming and going with produce.  There is no electricity in the store and the men who run the store use mechanical calculators to total up your purchases.  Female shoppers are asked to dress modestly…and photographs of the store’s operators are discouraged.

About 30 families live here farming about 470 acres.  The farm and market is of course their primary source of income.  The market is open from mid-April through October.  It is located at 146 Needle Eye Lane about a mile east of US Highway 411 in Delano Tennessee.  Obviously there is no phone or website!

I have a tendency to stretch out our drives in the country… I always want to check out another road or show off another sight to visitors.  After wandering all the way south to beautiful Ocoee Lake, I’d decided to drive to Dayton Tennessee for lunch.  That took a while…and then we didn’t see any place we wanted to eat.  So we kept driving, ending up here at Carter’s Restaurant in Ten Mile Tennessee. Watts Bar Lake is right across the road from the restaurant. 

The interior of Carter’s is very warm and welcoming…with lots of interesting items to look at in every nook and cranny.  You order at a counter and they bring your food out to your table.  Laurie and I had been here before and we had a good experience…

On our first visit, Danny Carter had mentioned that they make a great pizza.  He and his wife Patsy own and operate the restaurant…as well as an adjacent miniature golf course and a small RV park.
Well, we just ‘had’ to try the pizza…as good pizza is hard to find here in East Tennessee.  We ordered a small pizza with pepperoni and sausage as an appetizer. ($5.79) It was pretty darn good!  As an aside, the prices at Carter’s are remarkably reasonable… For example, a large 16” pizza with pepperoni and Italian sausage only costs $13.49!  

Unfortunately, not everything was as good as the pizza.  Bonnie had the fried shrimp and she thought that they were just OK. ($8.29)  The coleslaw was very good but the fries and corn meal muffin were nothing special.

Sorry for the blurry photos.  This was the Country Fried Steak. ($7.99) It was pretty good.  All dinners come with 2 sides.  There are 12 sides you can choose from without incurring an additional charge.  I’d trade out the fries for another side the next time…

When Laurie and I visited Carter’s the first time, it was on a Sunday and we’d really enjoyed the special Two Piece Boneless Chicken Breast Dinner. ($7.99) Based on our experience, Bill ordered the Hand Breaded Chicken Strip Dinner. ($7.99) The beans and the fried squash were good…but the chicken strips were dry… Sorry Bill!

Laurie started out her meal with a nice fresh salad for one of her sides…

Laurie ordered the Hand Breaded Pork Tenderloin Dinner with that side salad and cooked apples. ($7.79) She thought that it was pretty good…no complaints.

OK… Well, we had mixed results on this visit to Carter’s Restaurant.  Still, based on the positives including the pizza, plus a couple of the entrees, the accompanying sides and the pricing, we will return!  Carter’s Restaurant is closed on Monday and Tuesday.  It is located at 2430 TN Hwy. 304 in Ten Mile Tennessee.  Phone: 423-334-3300.  Website:

Note: Danny and Patsy Carter have also produced several record albums/CDs of their gospel music.  You can find out more about their music on the website as shown above.

Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them…

Thanks for stopping by for a visit!

Take Care, Big Daddy Dave


  1. We enjoy rides in the country too and if it means we can pick up some fresh vegetables and a bite to eat, so much the better. Their pizza did look very good.

  2. I think in places like this, it's important to order the right thing as many of their offerings are probably from a frozen bag - like the shrimp and squash. I usually try to stick with their specialties that that make from scratch. I've yet to get a corn muffin that I enjoyed as I don't care for cold cornbread. I pizza does look very good.

  3. We haven't been to either place, Dave, but both of them sound GREAT... I will write down the info for a future day trip for us sometime. Think I'll try the pizza at the restaurant... Thanks for the info.