My wife Laurie and I love breakfast and we love good Italian food too. Both are rather hard to come by here in East Tennessee although we have recently found a couple of good places for a nice breakfast. The other dining out ‘factor’ is convenience… We don’t live in a city so any restaurant that serves reasonably priced food that offer decent quality food is always welcome!
Why would I refer to a restaurant as having a split personality? The answer is that Classico Italian Restaurant in Loudon Tennessee (Tellico Village) is called Mama’s Grits at Breakfast and it comes complete with a Mama’s Grits menu. Starting at 11 AM, Mama’s Grits reverts to the name over the door of the restaurant…Classico Italian Pizza and Pasta aka Classico Restaurant in Tellico Village.
So a short time after experiencing a quality breakfast at a very reasonable price, we decided to try the other side of this restaurant…aka. the “Classico Italian” portion of the business. The new owners operate both ends of this business.
For dinner our pleasant and helpful waitress started us out with a basket of parmesan garlic bread sticks. On the menu they’re referred to as bread knots but in any case, they were warm and quite tasty. We had ordered some garlic cheese bread before the bread sticks were brought to our table. This appetizer was OK although we both thought that the application of mozzarella cheese was a bit skimpy. Also, perhaps due to the retirement community in Tellico Village, the use of garlic was far too light for our taste.
Both of our meals came with side salads. While they were nothing special, they were fresh and fit our needs… My wife ordered the Pasta Carbonara. It was a nice portion and she took some home. She would have liked a creamier sauce. I tasted it and liked it just fine but I did note that the ham in the dish appeared to be deli slices. No harm no foul as it didn’t negatively impact the entrée.
For my entrée I also went for an Alfredo based pasta offering. This was my Chicken Alfredo…basically thin slices of breaded fried chicken breast with the pasta and sauce. I thought it was just fine, certainly not a gourmet dish but plentiful and very satisfying.
On another occasion I decided to go really basic and check out the Spaghetti and Meatballs. ($7.00) The marinara sauce wasn’t too sweet and the meatballs were just fine. It was a nice dish but for my taste, it was a bit mild as it lacked that real pop of Italian spices. Again, I suspect that they are cooking for their core customers. With the exception of Laurie and I, everyone at the table said that they can’t handle or don’t like spicy food.
In summary, the owners and staff for Classico at Tellico Village are cheerful and helpful. Service has been very good each time we’ve visited this restaurant. The Italian food is competent, reasonably priced and as good as it gets in Loudon County Tennessee. With about 8,000 residents living in Tellico Village alone and given the convenience of this restaurant, it should be in operation for many years to come.
Classico Restaurant in Tellico Village, aka Mama’s Grits is located at 206B Village Square across from the Chota Center at the stoplight at the corner of TN Hwy. 444 and Chota Road. Phone: 865-657-6300.
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