Photo courtesy of @thebigporch on Facebook.
By Hannah Keller
After spending the day basking in the sun with my friends at Lake Cheston, I was not keen on trying the new restaurant in town, as I am not particularly keen on trying anything new. But after a few minutes of “hangry” whining from the group, I agreed. We loaded up into our cars and headed to The Big Porch around 6 p.m.
The hostess was warm and welcoming upon our arrival, and we chose to sit on the porch. A man with a guitar was about to begin his performance. I hadn’t heard live music in a while, and wasn’t sure that I wanted to then, either.
Famished, we ordered an array of appetizers. My vegan friends were immediately satisfied amongst finding several items they could indulge in, and I settled on a salad that had strawberries, blueberries, and pecans. I was thrilled. The guitarist strummed a happy tune and sang a folk song that was not nearly as loud as I had anticipated, so I buried my inner critic and started to enjoy myself.
Our waitress, was beyond kind. She brought out our appetizers, which consisted of fried pickles, fried okra, hummus and veggies, and nachos. To be fair, we were a large group… but we may have gone a little overboard.
I am not a huge fan of fried foods, but the fried pickles were delicious. I didn’t try the fried okra, but the table really enjoyed it. I would recommend the pickles over the okra, just based on our group’s consensus.
The hummus and veggies came with a variety of bell peppers, carrots, tomatoes, celery, and a rich hummus. Pretty standard.
But these nachos were on a whole other level. The veggies are so fresh, and the fire roasted black beans and corn are beautifully flavored. I could have easily had a meal and a half made up of solely the nachos.
Next, our meals were served. I ordered the Summer Harvest Blend salad, and it was certainly one of the best salads I have had in a long time. I’m “one of those people” who always gets the salad, but this one was really great. The candied pecans were delicious, and the mango pineapple vinaigrette was just sweet enough with a creamy texture that almost caramelized the fruit toppings. The chicken strips were large and tasty. I was completely full after finishing my meal. The only thing I would recommend is to order the dressing on the side, because it was a bit much. But other than that, everything tasted amazing.
For the purpose of this review, I took it upon myself to venture out to The Big Porch once again. Being the martyr I am, I ordered a standard cheeseburger from the BYOB (Build Your Own Burger) section. I opted for the corn dusted bun, which was so fresh that I am convinced they must have made it themselves just hours before. The beef was juicy and tastier than any burger I have ever previously had the pleasure of tasting. To be fair, I am not a big burger gal,but my taste buds were thoroughly impressed, nonetheless.
I also ordered a few S-Wings, which is a term the restaurant coined for “smoky wings.” The mild buffalo sauce came on the side, which I thought was a little odd, but this could have been because I got my order to-go. Either way, they were delicious. The quality of the meat and other ingredients here is unparalleled.
Honestly, my expectations were exceeded in every category. Even the decor was cute and homey. The walls indoors are decorated with photos of the family that owns the establishment. If you are in the mood for a fresh, flavorful meal with a southern twist, consider swinging by The Big Porch the next time you’re in Monteagle.
Lastly, I am required to make a shout-out to the brussel sprouts on behalf of my dinner comrades. Don’t hesitate to give these bad boys a try.