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Best Bite - Tammy Lou's Cafe

Once upon a time I was in sales. As with most sales positions, you have to visit new people all the time. You have no idea who you’re going to meet sometimes, or in this case, what you’re going to eat.

On a visit to the big city of Pottsville, Arkansas one fateful day, I stopped in a small, unassuming diner right off of highway 64. A big sign over the front door read “Tammy Lou’s Café” with a caricature of a smiling blonde lady in a chef’s hat. Ms. Tammy Lou Ulery and her cook were out front as their lunch rush had just finished and they were looking absolutely beat, right in the middle of a smoke. As all salesmen might, I thought it was the perfect time for a chat (subtle jab).

As you might imagine, Tammy Lou was kind, but not so receptive to what I was selling. The place smelled amazing, and through the window the place looked very inviting, so I thought I’d come back for a try in the near future. This ended up being the best decision I had made in my sales career at that point, and I had sold absolutely nothing.

Tammy Lou’s is a diner reminiscent of times long gone and is very familiar even on your first visit, but doesn’t try to be anything it’s not. This diner/café/grandma’s-kitchen-on-a-Sunday is authentic. The menu is about like any diner in the American South: hearty breakfasts, burgers, onion rings, loaded salads, pies, sweet tea and the like with a daily special; but, when the owner is waiting tables and knows everyone’s name, there’s one, maybe two people on the grill with a huge window so you see everything going on in the kitchen, and the wait time is so short it really doesn’t make sense, the experience hits different...

...not to mention the tea isn’t overly sweet, the fries are crispy, the burgers are smooshed on a flat-top, and the soup special has been simmering on low heat since breakfast in a pot I can only describe as the capacity of a small farm pond.

Undoubtedly my favorite special in 3 return visits are the smothered pork chops. Boneless chops in a home-made gravy that are so tender you can cut them with a spoon, the gravy is also on your mashed potatoes, and somehow green beans with bacon bits are almost an after-thought. Almost. This plate goes about $11 with free refills on drinks, and you will be stuffed like a build-a-bear. I have a big appetite and I can eat to my heart’s content for under $20? Yes, please. AND DID I MENTION THERE’S BREAKFAST?!

Go see Tammy Lou in Pottsville. Get the Apache Special. Get the smothered pork chops. Get the meatloaf. Have some pie. Have some extra gravy. At Tammy's place, it’s done as God intended. With love… And butter.




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