Monday, January 30, 2012

Same Name, Different Place

It’s always interesting where you’ll find a good meal. I’m not talking about the obvious spots but the more obscure ones. Like in gas stations or drug stores or in the case of Puckett’s, a grocery store. 065Perhaps you remember Puckett’s from this earlier post. The name is the same but it’s no longer associated with the other two stores. This Leiper’s Fork, Tennessee location has seceded and remained more true to it’s roots. It’s still a grocery store and the menu is BBQ and southern comfort food. No bar or bistro fare here. Unlike Kleer-vu in near by Murfreesboro, the restaurant hasn’t pushed the groceries out yet.  They still sell gasoline and have a good selection of household staples and at holiday time they even smoke turkeys and hams for lucky customers.

Opened in the 50’s by the Puckett family, Puckett’s Grocery served the many small communities in Williamson County, Tennessee. Located on the main strip (like there’s much more) in Leiper’s Fork for decades it’s played multiple roles but perhaps most importantly, meeting place.  A visit anytime is great but the seafood boil and open mic. night on Thursdays has the joint jumpin'. Get some creole style shrimp or crawfish and check out the next great country music star. So popular is the music that it’s streamed online and you can live message while you watch. Mrs. Sippi got a shout out after posting that she was watching all the way up in Canada. You never know who you’ll end up rubbing elbows with either. Country music legends, producers and movie and TV starts alike stop by for a bite to eat or to see a good show.

The building from the outside is pretty non descript. It’s fitted out with a smoker, patio tables and gas pumps.064Inside grocery shelves and dairy cases make up about a third of the store with an open kitchen, stage and a dining room with mismatched tables and chairs. There’s plenty of antiques and kitsch adorning the walls and ledges.013
So enough of all that, let’s get to the goodies.

The Fried Baloney is, well, fried baloney. It’s like a large, round hot dog. It’s good of course but I think it would’ve been better on toast or grilled. Maybe even a slice of American cheese as well.067The Pimento Cheese was great. Made right in house it was more cheesy than the others I’ve tried. Again, I’d like to have tried it on toast but I get scolded for such thoughts.060I’m sure if you’re scoring at home you’ll know by now that just about every time I try Pulled Pork I note that it’s not as smoky as I’d like. Well not here. This is the closest thing I’ve had to my own home made and thus, outstanding. The fact that they don’t sauce it and allow you to do it at the table makes it that much better.062The Fried Chicken is awesome. More like the Colonel’s with a herby, crispy crust. It was just fantastic. I’d suggest waiting for it to be straight out of the fryer. They make batches and they can sit for a little while. It didn’t affect the taste or crispiness but it wasn’t piping hot.
The Fried Okra on the side was very good but sadly the Mac n Cheese really lacked a good cheese punch. I mentioned it to Rob (the owner) and immediately one of his employees said she thought that batch was sub par. So it may be better on another visit.059The Chicken Fried Steak was of course fabulous but even better was the gravy. Some of the best white gravy I’ve had. The Johnny cake was nice and so was the fried okra. The corn casserole was really tasty. A bit light on the corn flavour but very creamy.014The ribs are outstanding. I’m not as much a fan of baby back ribs as you know but these among the best. Fully smoked and pull apart tender. Great when topped with the tangy BBQ sauce. The tater salad was good IMHO but Mrs. Sippi loved it.015Deserts are made by Rob’s wife right on the premises. A cooler full of these tasty treats sits off the dining area. We opted for Chess 070and Pecan pie slices. 069Both were just as good as they could be.

The cinnamon buns are baked fresh every morning but need to be consumed early. I had one after lunch and it wasn’t as fresh as it needed to be. The early bird gets the good cinnamon bun.017A trip through the country side is a beautiful drive and a stop for lunch at Puckett’s is a great way to top it all off.

You can find Puckett’s at 4142 Old Hillsboro Rd. in Leiper’s Fork, Tn.
 
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You can also find them on the web and facebook.
 Puckett's Grocery & Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Well that’s all for now. We’ll see you next time in the food court.
 
Davwud

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