Is Cookeville Tn a chowhound wasteland?
The answer may be "yes." But it's a college town, so there's probably a decent deli, burger joint, fish fry place or a plate lunch place. I live an hour away but haven't stopped and eaten there in years -- I usually pass through on my way to Asheville, Knoxville, Virginia or the southern mountains. Try calling the newspaper there for recommendations.
I vaguely remember eating somewhere on the restaurant/entertainment strip on West Broad that wasn't bad but I can't remember the name. Maybe Jefferson Street Station? Of the non-chains, Beethoven's Bistro, Crawdaddy Cafe and Poets on the Square (all on West Broad) look interesting.
I've lived in Cookeville for a few years now and, being a college town, most places to eat will be chain places. A few exceptions are Mauricio's over on Peachtree, which has excellent Italian food and a pretty good wine menu for a small place.
Thomas Andrew's over on Broad has some great food, as well, but it's a bit pricey if you're on a college student budget. Also, their wine selection is a bit lacking for a mid-high end restaurant. The only exception to this is when they have a scheduled wine dinner, where they bring in an experienced sommelier who will serve a wine with each course of a very nice meal and talk with you a bit about them. If you get the chance and like good food and good wine, definitely go to one of these.
If you're into sushi, don't bother with Goten, but go to Taiko over by the square. It's cheaper, just as good quality, and you actually have a better selection of good Japanese food. I'm not saying that Goten is bad, their Japanese grill food is still good stuff, but there's not a great deal of selection aside from the meat you get cooked.
There are a few other smallish local places around, but none of them stick out in my mind as quite as good as these three. But the one strange thing that I've found is that one of the best wine lists in town is at the new Puleo's. They have a good variety of moderately priced wines. It's a refreshing change from other chain places where you get a chardonnay, a cab, and both Sutter Home and Beringer White Zin.
So I hope this is a bit more information for you. Enjoy.
I can't believe no one has mentioned BobbyQ's. Its great barby-q, fried catfish, great chicken salads. The curly fries are the best! Oh and don't forget to get some bananna pudding. This place is great. Its a few miles from the interstate on 136 (take jefferson north at exit 287. turn right on spring then left on N washingtonIts about a mile ahead on the left) Oh and the waitresses must get fired if your drink gets less than half full. Seriously there constantly on the lookout trying to fill that glass up as soon as you drink anything. Thats a good thing though. And the fruit tea is great. And ask for the hot sauce if you get a bbq sandwich.
What About -
Crawdaddy's West Side Grill @ 53 West Broad St., Cookeville, TN 931 - 526 - 4660. *
Dipsey Doodle Drive In @ 2331 West Broad St., Cookeville, TN 931 - 372 - 2663.
Logan's Roadhouse @ 1395 Interstate Dr., Cookeville, TN 931 - 526 - 9595.
Longhorn Steakhouse @ 1000 Jefferson Ave. S., Cookeville, TN 931 - 520 - 8620.
Mama Rosa's Italian Restaurant @ 200 South Lowe Ave., Cookeville, TN 931 - 372 - 8694.
Crawdaddy's West Side Grill
53 W Broad St, Cookeville, TN 38501
Sorry I didn't see this request earlier. I've lived in Cookeville for a long time. Home of TN Tech Univ (9000+ students). By location, here're the local/non-chain restaurants I can think of:
Interstate Drive area- mostly franchises. Christie's Restaurant & Bakery is local, BIG country breakfasts, standard sandwich/salad lunches. Closed Sunday. Puleo's is beginning to be a chain, started in Knoxville, but it's a cut above the other Chili's, Logan's, O'Charlies choices.
TN Tech area- Spankie's has been around a long time. Outdoor patio, very popular, and not just with college students, what pass for local politicos meet here, too. Good entre choices, congenial bar, but kinda smokey. HOT (House of Thai) on 8th by the RR tracks has typical Thai choices. Bobby Q's on 10th & Washington does good pizza and gyros.
West Broad/RR Depot area- Good choices. Crawdaddy's for Cajun, nice porch and also courtyard. Thomas Andrews a few doors away, both popular, both nice bars. Taiko Noodle & Sushi Bar across from the Depot sometimes has live band upstairs weekends. Good lunches. India Palace around the block. The special Petit Bistro has good Austrian/German food, about 2 tables outside and maybe 4 inside. Owner/Chef right there. Definitely not a chain. And Mauricio's on Peachtree, up from the Chamber of Commerce has fine homemade pastas, nice quiet ambiance. For my money, stay away from the (too heavy) Alfredo sauces they offer, and go instead with the marinara.
Elsewhere around town- Nick's on S. Jefferson (289 I-40 Exit) is venerable, local. Momma Rosa's on S. Washington for pizza, family style. Stroud's barbecue (chain?) on US 70 and Neal St, just off hwy 111.
Finally, on the Square. A biscuit's throw apart are Maddux Station, hip old converted hardware store, and Char, built on the charcoaled remains of a predecessor joint, both with good bars and recommendable entrees.
One last word: If you are travelling on I-40 and planning to stay the night in Cookeville, be advised: no liquor stores! If Eastbound, stop at the 280/Hwy 56 exit and there's a package store across the street from Love's Truck Stop. 8 more miles to C'vlle. If Westbound, east of Crossville at the Peavine Road exit (around exit 320 or so) there's an extensive selection of wines and liquors just north a few hundred yards. Cookeville is exits 288-90. Take the time to check out these local joints during your stayover rather than the standard chain choices near the motels.
203 E 9th St, Cookeville, TN 38501
Crawdaddy's Restaurant & Bar
762 Parkway, Gatlinburg, TN 37738
1070 N Washington Ave, Cookeville, TN 38501
Thomas Andrew's Restaurant
32 W Broad St, Cookeville, TN 38501
Taiko Noodle & Sushi Bar
125 W Broad St, Cookeville, TN 38501
120 W 1st St, Cookeville, TN 38501