In 1976 in Columbia, Tn. Glenn Truelove's dream started taking shape. While working at his best friend's parents pizza restaurant, Pizza Maker, Glenn would learn the pizza business and fantasize of owning his own place. He later went on to University and managed restaurants in Alabama before returning home to work as a Funeral Director. The restaurant business was always in his heart though and in 2008 he started crafting a business plan for his own place. He'd had his eye on a local bar he knew would be closing up shop. One day after the doors closed for good he was in a bank pitching his small business idea.
Glenn was lucky to have met (and fallen for) a veteran of the restaurant business, Kathy McIntyre. Together they opened Trueloves Pizza and Grits in October of 2011. "He's a little bit pizza and I'm a little bit grits" Kathy claims. A philosophy that serves them well both in business and real life. The rest of the staff has been rounded out with Glenn's brother and his twin daughters. A real family affair.
Truelove's is really all about family meals. There's a sense of informality about the place. There's no wait staff. You go to the counter, order and wait for your food at your table. You may have to go get your goodies or they may be brought to you. Drinks are self serve and patrons are encouraged to mix and mingle. Most people there when we visited were very friendly.
The restaurant sits atop a hill in what looks like an old Pizza Hut. The bright yellow building with red trim has a big sign so you can't miss it. There's plenty of parking as well.
Inside is a nice spacious dining room with a small bar area near the order counter. There's seating for a few dozen.
Truelove's is very community conscious. Desserts are catered by legendary bakery, Pie Sensations and various local charities benefit from their generosity.
Glenn and Kathy make everything from scratch with the exception of the desserts. So let's take a look shall we.
We opted for the “Regular” grits which were anything but. Basically, these are Ro-Tel grits. For those not familiar, in the south, Rotel means two things. Canned tomatoes and Queso Dip. Just think ground corn mixed with the latter. The recipe was developed by Glenn and Kathy. It’s creamy, cheesy and spicy with a little bit of tomato and chili flavour in there. Just all ‘round fabulous. Even Mrs. Sippi who’s first impression of Rotel and grits was “Blasphemy” loved them. You can also get them plain, with chicken or the Low Country classic, Shrimp and Grits.
The Pizza is top notch. We went with the True Meat Lovers and it was a hit with both of us. First off, they make the pizza dough themselves and it’s right up there. Simply fabulous. The toppings were very good as well. My only complaints, and this would just be fine tuning to me personally, I’d like the sausage dialed back a bit and a bit more sauce. Like I said, that’s just me personally. That’s not to say that the next guy in the door thought that the amount of sausage was what made the pizza.
The Turtle Pie took first place at the Tennessee State Fair. It’s very easy to see why. Nice crust, chocolaty, caramelly, pecanny. It’s like a slice of Turtles. And “I love Turtles.” While not over the top decadent it is more than enough to please those who worship at the chocolate altar.
So there you have it. A unique combination of tastes that could only exist in the south.
You can find Truelove's at 1144 Riverside Dr. Columbia, Tn.
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You can also find them on the web, facebook and Twitter.
That's all for now folks, see ya next time in the food court.