Thursday, February 10, 2011

Burgers & Bakery...

Laurie and I went out to buy some stamps at the Post Office and then drop off our 2010 income tax materials at the tax preparers office...then I asked Laurie where she wanted to go for lunch.

She remembered a store/gas station at a country crossroads that we'd passed many times. The store was always busy and, other than the crowds, the place was a bit of a mystery, as there was no sign indicating that the place served food.

So we went inside... As before, Hall's was very busy! Hall's is about 60% restaurant and 40% corner grocery store. Lot's of workmen were having lunch. We ordered at the counter and grabbed a table. We both ordered the hand formed griddle fried double cheeseburger and we split an order of fries. The burger was very nice and the fries were OK. The owner and staff were very friendly and they checked to ensure that we enjoyed our lunch... To pay, you just go up to the register and let the cashier know what you's the honor system.

I found a couple of reviews for Hall's on the Internet. One was from a granddaughter who said that she loves her Papa & Nana's food! Both reviews focused on the as a sausage biscuit and the other as a biscuit and gravy. We'll definitely have to try breakfast! The Charles R. Hall Grocery Store is located at 4500 Sweetwater-Vonore Road, Madisonville, Tennessee 37354. Phone: 423-442-3083.

Since just a couple of days earlier, I'd came across a new bakery listing on the Internet for Madisonville and since we were close by at Hall's, we decided to check out the College Street Bakery.

Located at 126 College Street in downtown Madisonville, this bakery was recently started up by Mark & Ulrich Asmann. Interestingly, both are graduates of the University of Tennessee Culinary School at Knoxville. We spoke to Ulrich and learned that he's originally from New York City and that they'd recently moved to Madisonville from St. Petersburg Florida. Growing distressed over the living conditions and declining infrastructure in our major metropolitan areas, they drove north until they came through Madisonville...which he decided was the first place that 'felt right' to him.

The good news is that, because they couldn't find any good bread in the area, they decided to open a bakery. As you can see, we bought a loaf of White Sandwich Bread, a Danish, a Cinnamon Roll and two herbed Ciabatta rolls. So far, so good! The Ciabatta rolls were enjoyed with Big Dudes pulled pork, (, last night and they held up very well. The Danish and the Cinnamon Roll were enjoyed with our coffee and juice for breakfast this morning. The sandwich bread toasted up nicely for chicken sandwiches this evening.

We hope that College Street Bakery prospers, providing us with bread and treats for years to come! The menu includes bagels, rolls, a variety of muffins (large & small), various pastries and cookies, coffee cake, Bundt cake and lemon pound cake. Breads include White, Italian, Challah, Whole Wheat, Rustic and Ciabatta. Phone: 423-442-1214. Hours: Tuesday - Thursday from 7 AM to 5 PM, Friday from 7 AM to 6 PM and Saturday from 8 AM to 6 PM.

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