By Sam Burnham
The search for stories, photos, adventure, and vintage goods carries us all over this state and beyond. Ringgold, near the Tennessee line is a frequent destination. This quaint Southern town has a vibrant downtown in which shops, businesses, and restaurants fill the historic downtown buildings.
On our last visit there, we asked the cashier The Ringgold Feed & Seed where we should eat. We wanted somewhere locally owned and operated. Her recommendation carried us to Richard's.
Richard's is one of those places every Southern town should have. The waitresses, quick with a "sweetheart", run around working like bees but, when asked about it, claim that they don't have very much to do.
The menu rotates. Oh you can get a burger or pork chop any day of the week but each day has two entrees and if you want one of them, you go on that day. The sides rotate somewhat as well to correspond with the meat of the day.
I wasn't hankering for meatloaf or Italian roasted chicken, so I took those fried pork chops from the everyday menu. As much as I like applesauce with my pork chops, the fried okra and mashed potatoes with white gravy called out and I went with that. Leigha took the meatloaf and the same sides, hold the gravy. I think she was disappointed that I didn't choose different sides so we could critique further but now we can offer two votes for the fried okra and mashed potatoes. Especially the okra, which was not mushy or messy. It was crisp like it should be. very tasty. The mashed potatoes were tasty as well.
The meatloaf was moist, they are generous with the onion and ketchup. It was very flavorful. Leigha says it was just how she likes it. The pork chops were a generous portion. They were breaded and cooked in a manner so that they didn't reduce to meat and mush once I started cutting them. They we delicious and I would definitely choose them again. Cornbread muffins and sweet tea rounded the meal out well.
The friendly atmosphere and the locals on a first name basis with the wait staff combined with an excellent meal and an great price (we both ate for under $20) make Richard's worth the short drive past the Cracker Barrel and other chain joints that sit just off the interstate. If you are hungry in the Ringgold area, get off at Exit 348, drive on into town and give them a try.
Richard's Restaurant and Catering is located at 906 Lafayette St in Ringgold. They are open Mon-Fri 6:30 am to 8 pm and Saturday 7 am -11 am.
Historian, self-proclaimed gentleman, agrarian-at-heart, & curator extraordinaire