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Countryside Cafe

 8223 Mahan Gap Rd
Ooltewah, TN

Country Cooking in the Country

You would think that country people would get enough country cooking at home, but the lines at the Countryside Restaurant say it just ain’t so. And with food this good, it’s easy to see why.

Countryside offers homestyle entrees like meatloaf, hamburger steak, pork chops, even spaghetti, and some of the tastiest fried catfish to be had anywhere. The entrees are complimented by a wide selection of vegetables and side dishes like turnip greens, fried okra, and mac and cheese.

Along with the catfish, the hamburger steak is always a good choice; try it smothered in onions. Avoid the salmon patties; they’re heavy, bready, and not worth the trouble. Most everything else on the menu, though, is first rate. They do tend to run out of popular items as the night wears on, so get there early.

As in any good southern kiitchen, desserts are a specialty. Pies are the order of the day, including lemon, pecan, coconut, and my personal favorite, buttermilk pie. Portions on everything are generous, but no matter how full you are don’t skip dessert. Take it home with you if you have to, but don’t pass.

Lines get long during peak dinner hours, so plan ahead and be patient. Foks are pretty friendly in line and it’s worth the wait. The staff is mostly young and the service is not always polished but it’s pleasant and fast.

If you live in Ooltewah, or even if you don’t, Countryside is a great meal at an almost unbelievably reasonable price. When you’re in the mood for simple food, well prepared and served with a smile, Countryside is your place. Do yourself a favor: try the catfish or the hamburger steak, and have a piece of buttermilk pie. You’ll tell somebody about it the next day, I guarantee.


Crisp, lightly breaded with cornmeal, hot, tender, and mild but tasty. Just about the best catfish I’ve had anywhere, at any price. The two piece meal is quite generous; one piece is probably enough for moderate appetites. If you’re new to catfish, try it with a healthy squeeze of lemon and a sprinkle of salt I rounded my meal out with coleslaw, fries, and cornbread, all fresh and tasty.

Hamburger Steak

A nicely portioned ground beef steak (but not too big), tender, flavorful, and delicious smothered with tasty grilled onions. My husband’s favorite add-ons are fries and coleslaw, but it’s really good with mashed potatoes and green beens or turnip greens, too. Just enough to satisfy and still have room for a slice of pie!

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