Traditions in the small towns and cities of rural Tennessee never die or almost never die I should say. Most towns in Tennessee have a court-square whether they have a courthouse or not, because up until the advent of shopping centers and shopping malls away from the downtown area, the court-square was where everyone would gather on Saturday morning. Women would do their shopping at the various grocery stores, men would stop by the barbershop and others would conduct business with their barristers or bankers. Back in the day, the bank was always open for business on Saturday for at least a half of a day.
And then, intertwined amongst all this activities was the luxury of perhaps eating at a local cafe that every town had on the square. These were true Mom & Pop business’s that had been built up over time and like the pub on the TV program “Cheers”, everyone did know your name. The Square Forty Restaurant fits neatly in this description, it’s on the square, it’s open Saturday mornings and it’s owner Shine Armstrong knows everyone’s name. And, if he doesn’t recognize you, then he’ll come over and ask you what your name is and where you’re from. Shine is also “Chief Cook, bottle washer, table cleaner, coffee fetcher or whatever else he can do to make his customers “too feel at home” when they come into the Square Forty.
The day we visited the Square Forty for breakfast, there was a festival being held in the downtown area and even at a little before 10:00 am the Square Forty was doing a bustling business. We found a seat and Shine grabbed a wet cloth and cleaned our table off and brought us a menu. I decided to stick with the breakfast basics and ordered a cup of coffee ($1.29), two eggs, sausage, hashbrowns and toast ($3.69).
Since it was busy it took about 10 minutes or so to get my breakfast order but one look at it convinced me that it had been worth the wait. In my experience, breakfast should be an easy meal for a restaurant to prepare, what so difficult about cooking a couple of eggs, frying some sausage or bacon and crisping up some hashbrowns. However, there are some places I’ve eaten that the cooks simply can’t make breakfast, but I digress. Square Forty is definitely one of the places that can do breakfast right.
I had ordered the eggs “over medium” and that is the way they were cooked, the thick cut sausage patties were cooked just right and were tender and flavorful with a hint of spices coming through. The hashbrowns were of the frozen variety I’m sure, but they had been cooked on a flat top griddle and were golden brown and crispy on the outside, just the way I like them. The toast was toast and was served with plenty of butter and jam. The coffee was also very good and I drank three cups with the meal.
If you’re heading up to visit the Amish Country in Tennessee, then plan on going by and having breakfast with Shine at the Square Forty, located downtown on the square in Lawrenceburg. Not only do they serve breakfast, but have a lunch buffet that is served cafeteria style where you get your choice of meat and vegetables ($8.00). The menu varies daily and on Sunday for breakfast and lunch you can expect a wait for a table because of the Square Forty’s popularity. They are also open in the evenings for dinner.
I plan on making a return trip to sample the breakfast again and maybe even hang around the area and give the lunch buffet a try in the near future.
|Fried-eggs:||(7 / 9)|
|Sausage-patties:||(7 / 9)|
|Hashbrowns:||(8 / 9)|
|Coffee:||(7 / 9)|
|Service:||(7 / 9)|
|Value:||(8 / 9)|
|Average:||(7.3 / 9)|
Credit cards: Yes
Catering Service Available: call
Outdoor dining: No
Recommendations: Lunch Buffet
Suggestions: Spanish Omlett
Ambiance: Country town
Vegetarian ask your server
Price Range: $
Health Score: Unk
Smoke Free: Yes
Soft Drink Brand: Coke, fountain
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this review are the honest opinions of the author, and who is solely responsible for its content. This opinion was not influence by any third party whatsoever. If and when you visit the reviewed restaurant your opinion may vary greatly. So as always YMMV! ALL IMAGES ARE COPYRIGHT OF THE BROWN BAG REVIEW, Use by permission only