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Clinton’s Golden Girls Restaurant has been on our prospective list of “Out to Lunch” adventures for some time. We’ve eaten there several times in the past few years.
“I’d like to go to Golden Girls today,” my wife, Carol, said as we reviewed the list, “We haven’t been there in a long time.”
Golden Girls is at 2211 N. Charles Seviers Blvd. (Hwy. 61) near the Interstate 75 exchange, and next door to Arby’s.
Becky Golden James seated us. She told us her sisters, Ann Golden Vowell and Jeanne Golden Carden, own Golden Girls Restaurant. They were off on the day of our visit, but I felt that we received special “Golden Girl” attention.
Into my third year of doing “Out To Lunch” articles, I’m still trying not only to improve my writing, but also develop a system to better enjoy my meal without eating so fast.
On this outing, I suggested that Carol order some iced tea and read her Kindle while I roamed around talking to folks eating their lunches. When I finished visiting with people for my article, I suggested we would order our meal.
I thought Carol was doing that until I walked by our table and saw her eating from a large plate of sliced fried zucchini, called an appetizer on the menu.
It was too tempting for me not to sample a few dipped in ranch dressing. They were delicious.
Jack Thompson, a retired contractor from nearby Andersonville, chose the zucchini for his lunch. He asked for a second container of ranch dressing for more dipping.
The menu says the zucchini is “coated with a secret recipe, and then fried a crispy and golden brown in a corn and canola oil vegetable blend, low in saturated fats and no cholesterol.”
“I sometimes have the vegetable omelet for breakfast and a BLT for lunch,” Jack said. “We eat here two or three times a month.”
Beth Corum, a Knoxville Cardinal Health Pharmacy employee and Jack’s lunch companion, was well into her order of broasted chicken, turnip greens, pinto beans and fried cornbread.
Described as “fresh chicken pressure fried to a golden crisp,” it’s offered with two, three or four pieces and white or dark.
I was told vacationers traveling in the area call ahead to see if broasted chicken is available.
“We have dinner every time we pass through the area,” someone from Boulder City, Nev., wrote online. “I love their broasted chicken. They have lots of good old-fashioned home cooked dishes, and the desserts are fantastic.”
Jack suggested I visit a private dining area in the back and ask for “Model A John,” aka John Baxter. The room was filled with antique car owners.
John lives in Clinton and is a retired TVA mechanical engineer. I assume the nickname is because he owns a 1931 Ford among his collection of Studebakers and two Geo Metros. He was having the broasted chicken with sides of green beans and pickled beets.
Bob Wyrick of Clinton, retired from Ridgeview in Oak Ridge, should be called “Model A Bob.” He owns three Model A Fords, and 1930 and 1931 Fords.
“They have the best cheeseburger in town,” Bob said. “I have one every week.”
“My wife says we ought to call our group the ROMEO Antique Car Group,” said Frank Trent, former Y-12 Plant cost engineer, as he enjoyed his BLT.
ROMEO stands for Retired Old Men Eating Out. Ten to 20 guys fill the back dining area at Golden Girls every Thursday for lunch ... and talk about antique cars as they eat.
Clay Reagan of the Claxton community has a 1931 Ford and a 1929 Ford truck, in addition to 1950 and 1951 Fords. He was having another of Golden Girls’ favorites, pot roast with potatoes and carrots.
I know pot roast is a favorite, because I overheard the cook asking for money so he could buy more carrots.
Seated in another dining area were Sherri Wood, a server at Aubrey’s in Powell; her daughter, Lindsay Anderson, a server at Shoney’s in Clinton; and her sister, Sonia Wade, currently on maternity leave.
Sherri had a Mexican omelet, described on the menu as “two large eggs, diced ham, crumbled sausage, bacon, cheese, onions, tomatoes and jalapeno peppers.”
She chose biscuits, gravy and grits as her sides and passed on toast.
Lindsay went for The Big Melt, which the menu says is a “hamburger patty with melted Swiss (or American) cheese, grilled onions, lettuce, tomato, mayonnaise, pickles and chips — served on rye bread.” She asked for Texas toast instead of rye bread and subbed fries for the chips.
Sonia had a catfish fillet that was larger than my hand. It is “farm-raised catfish prepared broiled or breaded in a cornmeal breading and deep fried to a golden brown,” according to the menu, and comes with a choice of two sides. Sonia chose macaroni and cheese and made-on-site cole slaw.
I headed back to check on Carol, sample a few more fried zucchini slices, and place our order.
We usually order different entrées, but when she said that the catfish appealed to her, I immediately offered to split an order. (I remembered the size of Sonia’s serving and was thinking about desserts.)
We both chose fries and cole slaw as our side choices. Other sides available include whole-kernel corn, mixed greens, cottage cheese and fried apples.
We couldn’t decide if the homemade rolls or fried cornbread tasted best.
Seated across the aisle from us were two directors of Anderson County Schools, Joe Forgety and Tim Parrott.
“We eat here at least once a week,” Joe said.
Joe’s chicken tender salad was very appealing. The menu said it’s made with “crispy chicken tenders, bacon, boiled egg, tomatoes, cucumbers onions and cheddar cheese. Served on a bed of fresh lettuce with your choice of dressing.”
Tim had a vegetable plate of whole-kernel corn, mashed potatoes, fried okra, and pinto beans.
Joe and Tim are both members of Bethel Baptist Church just up the road in the Bethel community. Fifteen to 20 senior members from their church have breakfast in the back dining room every Thursday morning.
“You got to have some peanut butter pie,” Joe said as he left.
Our server, Melanie Smith of LaFollette, brought us a slice to share. It was the first time Carol and I had tasted peanut butter pie, and we really enjoyed it.
Melanie said she has worked at Golden Girls for 19 of the 28 years they will have been open come this October.
She told us they bake 16 coconut cream pies and several other pies and cakes on Satuday.
“If a customer comes too late on Sunday, there may not be any coconut cream left for them,” Melanie said.
Other made-on-site dessert favorites are Italian cream cake and banana pudding. Red velvet cake is also a top customer choice.
Golden Girls is open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. everyday and has seating for 128 in three dining areas.
Their menu has a whole page of daily specials that includes pan-fried steak and gravy, baked ham, salmon patties, chicken and dumplings, pork chop with gravy and roast beef with gravy.
You’ll also find fried oysters, deviled crabs, shrimp, country ham, ribeye steak and beef livers. Becky said another top customer favorite is Uncle Charlie’s Pork Tenderloin.
A wide selection of sandwiches are listed on the menu. A soup of the day is available.
Anderson County Emergency Medical Service employee Donna Jarrett was having the broasted chicken with sides of macaroni and cheese and vinegar-based marinated cucumber and onion salad.
“I eat here all the time,” she said. She took home servings of lemon meringue pie and pecan pie.
Her co-worker, Bethany Ivey, went light with macaroni and cheese and a baked potato.
Because we didn’t eat light, it was a cheese sandwich night at the Poston Place.
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Bethel Poston is a Roane County businessman and entrepreneur who writes about places of interest in our area. E-mail suggestions and comments to email@example.com.