I love revolving table restaurants: the kind with the giant lazy susan in the middle, where you sit at a giant table with people who are at first strangers, then fast friends.
While we were in Chattanooga, we went to the only revolving tables restaurant I know of outside Mississippi: Bea’s.
The Times Free Press had an article about it earlier this year; the restaurant is now 60 years old. The piece read in part:
“So Bea and Bill put in the lazy Susans for the plant workers to get them in and out in 30 minutes,” Doug Bradshaw said.
The tables look the same, though the Formica tops have been replaced with new Formica and the lazy Susans now sport sneeze guards — state law. But the condiments arranged on the top shelf of the lazy Susans are the same — jars of Tabasco peppers, chopped onions, pickled beets, chow-chow and hot sauce alongside pitchers of water and freshly brewed tea. And the main shelf is always filled with food that keeps coming hot from the kitchen as long as you want it.
“My first ‘date’ was at Bea’s,” said Chattanooga resident Tina Harvey Crawford. “I was in the fifth grade. We went to church, then Bea’s. You gotta love a lazy Susan.”
Not much has been added to the menu through the years — just strawberry cobbler when berries are in season.
“And we started doing fried catfish on Friday nights,” Doug Bradshaw said. “We don’t change a whole lot.”
But one thing hasn’t changed: It’s all made from scratch, starting at 5 a.m. Wednesday through Sunday.
“The recipes were in place when we got here,” Mike Bradshaw said. “And along the way, they were smart enough not to mess with them.”
Here are all the dishes – fried chicken, barbecue, salisbury steak (I think), potatoes, beans, rolls, potato salad, dressing, and more:
Well, I have to be honest. We must have gone on an ‘off’ day because I didn’t like almost any of it. And neither did the boys (although Av did enjoy the chicken). The peach cobbler was the best thing served, and (ouch) it could have been a lot better.
Shug wanted to take the beans home to see if they would grow like the Jack and the Beanstalk story. Shugie realized that he could put an entire roll on a fork.
Everyone else there seemed to really enjoy what was served, especially including the people at our table eating the very same food. And a gentleman that I met on the way in was positively giddy when he heard this was our first time and how he had been eating there forever and how terrific it all is.
Maybe it was just us!
Now here’s what’s *really* wonderful. There are three other revolving table restaurants that I know of (are there any others? Please email me or post it in the Facebook page if you know of one.)…
Walnut Hills in Vicksburg:
Aspic! Oh, my. Greens, coleslaw, fried chicken. Limas. Yes, yes, yes.
The Dinner Bell in McComb:
Creamed potatoes, chicken, rice, carrots, green beans, creamed corn, blackeyed peas, okra, and their famous fried eggplant…delicious.
In Columbia, MS there’s The Round Table. We haven’t been to that one yet.
Any others that you know of?