518 Tremont Street
423-625-SOUL (too cool – had to include this)
Over the river and through winding streets we drove looking for Aretha Frankensteins. Yes, Aretha Frankensteins – no apostrophe, thank you. This little spot lies at the corner of Tremont and Orr in the Normal Park subdivision of Chattanooga. Built in the 1920’s, this neighborhood holds on to most of its original charm with a slight urban twist. The same can be said of the restaurant itself.
Aretha’s was once a single family home. Open from 7 am until midnight, this place functions as a breakfast/lunch spot during the day and a bar at night. The converted space features wooden floors, wrap around porch, and a beautiful fieldstone fence. The super funky interior is filled with artifacts of all kinds. Most notable are the Frankenstein memorabilia scattered throughout. Although there is seating inside, the outside seating is always a treat for me. The front lawn is now a patio area with tables scattered throughout. In addition, there are tall stools at the counter that runs around the perimeter of the front porch.
Be prepared for a long, long – did I say long?- wait. This is a wildly popular local eatery – and for good reason. The menu at Aretha’s is full of traditional Southern fare: eggs, biscuits, shrimp and grits, pancakes. If you are able to stop by for lunch you can enjoy their quesadillas, burritos, salads, and sandwiches as well.
We were finally seated at three of the bar stools on the porch. Rachel ordered biscuits and gravy with fried potatoes. (No eggs for Rachel. They come from chickens and that is verboten.) I had an omelette with ham, cheese, and tomatoes. Ron had the Waffle of Insane Greatness! (real name). The food was hot and plenty. My omelette did not disappoint. Rachel gave the biscuit a thumbs up. That’s a high compliment coming from the Queen of the Angel Biscuits. Ron’s waffle was beautiful. Thick, fluffy and toasted to a golden brown. It was almost like a big piece of cake. Delicious!
All in all it was a beautiful, peaceful morning. We left full, content and happy. What more could you ask for?
Definitely worth stopping by.