Tuesday, December 27, 2022


…yet another break from my long series of posts that stemmed from our late summer road trip to Michigan and beyond.

Local dining, acquisitions, the neighborhood and a weird photo that sort of reminds me of a home where my family lived ca. 1951.   

Local dining… I used to put down Cracker Barrel Restaurants as well as most other chain restaurant endeavors…but the fact is that at Cracker Barrel diners do get decent to very good food for a relatively decent price.  I really like their Southern Fried Chicken Dinner. ($11.79)

But the photo above isn’t chicken!  It’s a Southern Fried Turkey Dinner, a special just before Thanksgiving.  I didn’t note the price but it was very good, a nice change from chicken…and a very generous portion too.  

Another visit to see a doctor at Parkwest Hospital in Knoxville… We were finished at the hospital by 10 AM and we decided to see if we could still catch breakfast at Nick and J’s, a popular nearby diner.  How popular is Nick and J’s?  It is ranked as the 5th best restaurant in Knoxville as per Trip Advisor…with 593 excellent/very good reviews vs. 13 terrible/poor reviews.

We arrived just in time to order breakfast.  The cut off for breakfast is 10:30 AM.  My one disappointment was that they were out of their sausage gravy which I'd really wanted to try.  This was the first time we’d managed to be at Nick and J’s in time to have breakfast…

We both ordered similar breakfasts.  The only differences were that Laurie ordered bacon and white toast while I ordered sausage patties and rye toast.  I also had a dab of the sausage gravy that they scraped from the pan but it didn’t serve as a good sample of the ‘real’ thing. 

Our breakfast choice was Nick and J’s Special, 3 eggs, bacon or sausage, toast and jelly and an order of home fries. ($9.50) The eggs were over medium as ordered, the bacon and sausage were tasty but Laurie would have preferred her bacon a bit more crispy.  We both liked this version of home fries.

Nick and J’s is located at 1526 Lovell Road in Knoxville.  Phone: 865-766-5453.  Closed on Sundays.  Breakfast and lunch only.  Website: Nick and J's Cafe – Knoxville Diner, Knoxville Best Diner, Knoxville Best Hamburger (knoxvillerestaurantstn.com)

In the past I may have mentioned that Laurie starts celebrating her birthday (accumulating gifts) in October and the celebration continues through December.  Her birthday is actually in December…

In any case, she has me trained so when she proclaimed that she wanted a multifunctional Keurig K-Café Single Serve Coffee, Latte and Cappuccino Maker, I bought it for her.  She seems to enjoy the latte and cappuccino features and I like the fact that I can make any cup of coffee bolder and I can order up a 12 oz. cup for myself.  None of that fussy coffee stuff for me though…

Another recent purchase was a real bargain.  At a recent estate sale we were able to pick up this large crock pot cooker.  It was almost new and we only paid $25.00.  I will benefit from this purchase as Laurie will use it to make her famous chili and one of my other favorites, a hearty beef stew.

Yes…That is ‘Alexa’ positioned on top of our antique ladies secretary.  I resisted this gadget for the longest time…partially because I don’t like the idea of a ‘live’ internet link hanging around in our living room.  In any case, between Laurie and our son, David II, I was beaten into submission and Laurie had yet another gift… I do like the juxtaposition of Alexa and the antique furniture.

These photo are just a comparative view looking up the street from in front of our home.  The first picture was taken in early November and the second photo was taken about 10 days ago.  As I’ve said before, housing growth in our neighborhood has been crazy.  While the lot right across the street from us has been cleared and it’s full of weeds with nothing happening, the view up the street is changing fast.  The builder for the home across the street defaulted on his contract and the folks who own the lot are seeking a new contractor.  The good news is that we are still seeing our local deer…

This last photo is both humorous and a bit weird!  

While on one of our road trips, we’d stopped for lunch in a local restaurant…which will go unnamed as the food itself was decent.  When we decided to use the restroom, taking turns before we hit the road again, this dual ‘potty’ or dual stool arrangement definitely caught our attention!  All kinds of visuals popped up and were quickly suppressed!  It did remind me of an outhouse we ‘enjoyed’ when my family lived in the country near Jonesville Michigan.  I was in the 4th grade at the time and I will never forget the all brick twin-hole structure…but no one ever shared the dual seat arrangement.  Yikes!

Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them…

Thanks for stopping by for a visit!

Take Care, Big Daddy Dave


  1. So, Alexa is one of Laurie's birthday gifts...interesting to place it on that antique secretary. Beef stew made in slow cooker tastes really mellow and great! That toilette with dual seat arrangement might be practical for a large family..you know, the mother has to take all the kids in...LOL

  2. We have that same slow cooker. I have come to rely on Alexa to remind me of things either days away or to check something in 15 minutes - she really helps with the CRS.

  3. Happy 🎂 Birthday to Laurie and looks like she received some useful gifts. A slow cooker is wonderful and getting one at a bargain, even better. We do not have Alexa or any similar device in our apt as we saw no need for one. Sending best wishes to you both for a Happy New Year as we always hope for the best. See you online in 2023, Dave.