Sarah Cordell and Morgan Jennings
Choo choo, chickadees! We are taking this train to the Depot Café in Monteagle. TN. This small diner is located across from CVS and should be your first stop for country cookin’. It may not look like much on the outside, but this place is serving food you can only expect that your grandma cooked.
We started off on a high note with excellent service. The Depot was busy for lunch, and the table we had our sights on needed to be cleared off. We headed to an open table, because any decent person wouldn’t make a waitress’s job harder during the lunch rush (or at any time).
Without even asking, the gracious waitress told us to wait just a second and she would get everything set up so we could sit in our preferred booth. Again, we did not have to ask, she just knew.
A true southerner knows that not all sweet teas are created equal. The temperature, strength of the brew, and amount of sugar can make or break one’s drinking experience. The Depot has a sign hanging up that says “Raised on Sweet Tea and Jesus,” and boy, could we relate. As expected, they have tea brewing down pat, and we each drank at least two glasses and requested some to go.
Sarah opted for the chicken tender platter with fries and the salad bar while Morgan went straight to the hot buffet. The salad was fresh and crisp; the same could be said for the chicken and fries! The buffet featured fried catfish, meatloaf, baked beans (some of the best Morgan had had “in a minute”), fried squash, whole kernel corn, mashed potatoes, and collard greens. There was also a choice of roll or corn bread muffin. The whole menu errs on the side of inexpensive, which is hard to beat for some hot, Southern comfort food.
If you’ve noticed a trend in previous articles, Sarah has an affinity for ranch. It is a must-have accompaniment for almost any dish. Of all the places we’ve eaten in Tennessee, this is the best ranch we’ve encountered. Definitely homemade, and certainly made with love.
The Depot Café is open Monday-Friday 6 am-2 pm. If you’re feeling the need for a change in scenery, head over for breakfast and enjoy some eggs any way you could imagine, or try something different like the fried bologna sandwich. They offer regular specials and post the menu daily on their Facebook page; the buffet video alone is enough to make your mouth water. Best of all, they have a drive-thru! You don’t even have to get out of your car, but if you have a little time to spare, you won’t regret dining in.
This issue’s Clurg hack comes to us from Natalie Paige Griffin (C’20) with her recommendation of the Cowboy Burger. This Texan gal told us her secret to step up her burger game in Clurg. Construct a burger to your liking, then go to the omelet line for a fried egg to top it off. She also recommends adding hot sauce or sriracha to give it just a little bit of heat and added flavor.
To celebrate Black History Month, McClurg is hosting Soul Food Sundays, and we could not be more excited! We hope you will enjoy your wonderful meal while making new friends or getting reacquainted with old ones at the new Community Table, located on the non-flag side of the dining hall. Organizers Madeline Ramon and Elizabeth DeWetter hope for this table to serve as a place where students and community members can share a meal and for everyone to know there is always a place for them at the Community Table! What a wonderful way to form new connections and strengthen our community! EQB!