Friday, April 8, 2016

One More Diner and the Drive Home

Back to our Thanksgiving Holiday trip and our long drive home from Omaha…

 Due to an oncoming snow storm, we’d departed a day early to escape the weather.  Despite the horrendous traffic on the Sunday after Thanksgiving, despite arriving late, we at least managed to make it to our overnight destination, the Hampton Inn in Mt. Vernon Illinois.

No snow in southern Illinois, but the Monday morning after Thanksgiving was gray and a bit gloomy as we started on the final leg of our drive.   

When we have a long drive ahead of us, except for juice and coffee we generally skip breakfast so I can avoid getting groggy or being punched in the shoulder if I were to close my eyes while driving…

Consequently, after we circled Nashville on the Interstate and got on to I-40 east, I decided to take a chance and see what we could find to eat in Lebanon Tennessee.  When we spotted the Sunset Family Restaurant and noted how busy the parking lot was despite it being a bit after the normal lunch hour, we decided that this was the place!

The Sunset Family Restaurant is all about basic country or down home cooking.  There are sandwiches, dinners and even a waist watchers menu but this restaurant’s primary focus is all about it’s down home “meat and 3” or “meat and 2” offerings… The prices were right, that’s for sure!

As I said, we arrived at the tail end of the lunch hour… Patrons were lining up to pay.

The restaurant is just like the menu…simple and straightforward.  The place was clean and the waitress and cashier were down home friendly and efficient.

I opted for a salad as one of my sides.  Instead of the Meat + 2 or 3, I’d chosen an item “From the Fisherman’s Net”.  The salad was basic but the lettuce and tomatoes were fresh and they sure didn’t skimp on the blue cheese dressing…  

After reviewing the 9 different meat options, Laurie went for the Broasted Chicken “Meat and 2”, with Italian style green beans and French Fries. ($7.00) While it wasn’t the best chicken we’ve ever had, it was good and she liked the fact that she got the dark meat…her favorite!

My catch “From the Fisherman’s Net” consisted of 2 whole fried catfish, French fries and hushpuppies. ($11.50 with the salad) The French fries were decent and the hush puppies were good as was the catfish.  The only problem was that I’d forgotten what a pain it is to eat a bone-in catfish!  From now on its filet's only  for me…

Sunset Family Restaurant is located at 640 South Cumberland (US Hwy. 231 South) in Lebanon Tennessee.  Phone: 615-444-9530.  They are on Facebook at

After lunch, we headed east on I-40.  It was still a bit hazy or foggy but as we approached the Cumberland Plateau, we began to see some familiar terrain…

Driving across the plateau on I-40 ended up being one of the most nerve-wracking parts of our 2-day trip!  Visibility approached zero a few times and in this kind of driving situation, it’s hard to avoid thinking about all those news reports about major multi-vehicle pile-ups in bad weather on the Interstate highway system…

The good news was the once we cleared the plateau and rolled on into the Tennessee Valley in East Tennessee, visibility cleared up and we made it home without incident.  It was great fun visiting our families, but it’s always great to be home!

Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them…

Thanks for stopping by for a visit!

Take Care, Big Daddy Dave


  1. Wow, they believe in piling their plates high. That's a lot of food. I'm with you on bone-in fish. What a pain. I misread a menu in France once and my fish arrived with its head and tail on, full of bones. As gracefully as I could I used the fish knife provided (honestly I had seen fish knives but never personally used one) and made it through, but a lesson learned for sure - always look for the word "filet" when ordering fish. Have a good weekend guys.

  2. Both meals look very good from here.