Address: 1887 Kelly Cross Road in Dunlap
Hours: Tuesday-Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. CST. Closed Sunday-Monday
Cookie Jar Café has lots of love to give. The place is as full of heart as its triple-layered German chocolate cake is hearty, and as sweet as its cherry delight — the café's own decadent take on cherry cheesecake.
Yes, Cookie Jar is already looking forward to Valentine's Day, which, owner Sue Ann Lockhart reminded me, is right around the corner. This year, for the first time, Cookie Jar will take reservations for Valentine's Day dinners.
The drive itself is rather romantic. North on Highway 111, past cedar glades, farmlands and sweeping overlooks of the Sequatchie Valley, the farmhouse-style café is located on a picturesque family farm. Its wraparound porch, bedecked with wooden rockers, peers out onto a pasture of dairy cows and rustic-looking silos.
And Cookie Jar's menu is as down-home as its location. There are classic Southern comfort foods such as fried chicken livers, grilled meatloaf and rib-eye steaks.
"Our grilled fishes are a great entrée to have if you are watching your intake in the new year!" Sue Ann said. "Grilled catfish and tilapia are the two that we offer. Along with salmon sometimes."
The restaurant's vegetable plate, for which you may choose four sides, is also a great way to go healthy. Sides may include creamed corn, fried okra, peaches, sliced tomatoes and many other options.
Of course, this would not be a true love story without a little indulgence, so be sure to save room for dessert. All of Cookie Jar's sweets — including pies, tortes, cakes and cupcakes — are scratch-made and served either whole or by the slice. Available flavors are lemon meringue, Italian crème, fresh strawberry, chocolate torte and many more.
Indeed, Cookie Jar's dessert selection is vast, much like the amount of love it has to give.