Hubby and I had been driving from Murray, Kentucky, and were very, very hungry. Jackie's Country Kitchen was the first restaurant we saw that was open, so we decided to give it a chance. It looked like a charming, hole-in-the-wall kind of place that usually has incredible food.
Walking through the front door felt as if we had stepped back into the 1950s. There were old timey orange formica booths and tables, and a long row of bar stools in front of the usual soda fountain/short order counter. The waitress was prompt with our menus and waters, and everyone was very friendly. Jackie's is obviously a place where the locals, the "regulars" go - there were several groups of all ages, and everyone seemed to know everyone else. I made a trip to the ladies' room (which was through the kitchen at the back of the place), and was amused to see the kitchen setup: two residential ranges, one with a large skillet full of sauerkraut, one with a large aluminum pan full of ham. This commercial operation is run on a small, small scale.
The food was average; I had a club sandwich, hubby had a cheeseburger, both of which came with fries. (The fries were actually quite good.) My sandwich was serviceable; hubby's burger was on the small side, he said. Hubby asked for mayo, but got the dreaded Miracle Whip, which he hates. Foodwise, Jackie's was your average, reasonably priced lunch place.
Jackie's Country Kitchen was quite tolerable, except for one important factor: it was dirty. The cold air return in the ceiling at the front of the restaurant looked as though it had not been cleaned in years. The light fixture hanging above our table had a very heavy coating of dust. The salt shaker on our table had a layer of some kind of goo that looked like it needed to be chipped off. We basically held our breaths and kept our fingers crossed for a few hours after eating, to make sure we would not be experiencing the unfortunate gastric consequences of eating at a restaurant that does not make cleanliness a priority. I'm not sure what Tennessee's health code is for restaurants, but I think an unscheduled audit would certainly put this place out of business, at least temporarily.