In the town where I went to college, there were these old men that used to sit near the front door of the town coffee shop to read the newspaper and talk politics. My roommate and I referred to them as “the gate-keepers of the city.” They were loud and funny, and one of them wore a kilt pretty often. Practically anyone visiting or living in town stopped in at least once a week for morning coffee, mostly because there was really nowhere else to go for a bite and cup of joe. And the coffee was good. When you entered the place, it was a rule that you had to greet the gatekeepers.
I see this same small town morning culture growing in North Knoxville. (To my knowledge, the wigsphere hasn’t reviewed Rankin yet, but it will) This morning I had the second opportunity to try the new best breakfast place in town, Mrs. Goodstuffs. This week marks the 10th week of operating in their new location, just north of town between Fellini Kroger and Happy Hollow. It sits in a small strip-like building across from St. Mary’s on Woodland. It is technically on the frontier of the Old North Knoxville neighborhood.
The summer before last I lunched at their previous (and much smaller) pad in North Hills, but I must say, this location suits them much better. Its really spacious in the dining area, and you have your pick between retro laminate tables in front and booths in the back. Back in North Hills there was room for, honestly, 4 tables and it was packed.
I got there early and my friend who I planned to meet hadn’t arrived yet. I walked to the counter to order, and a polite mohawked man offered a seat to me while I waited. He brought me coffee and made sure that I had the newest Metro Pulse in hand while I waited. The menu is simple: your standard eggs, bacon and toast (with coffee for $4!), French toast, two sizes of pancakes (literally pan-sized- these could feed a small family), pretty much your standard fare. Apparently the large stack of pancakes is so big that our Mohawk fellow offered to buy them for my friend if ate them all. But he settled for the half stack.
I stuck with the basic meal, 2 eggs, 3 strips of back on two slices of toast, with coffee and added a side of hashbrowns ($1.25). For $5.25 I don’t think there is a better deal in town for sit-down, home-cooked breakfast. It’s hard to go wrong with this kind of meal, but seriously, the quality of the food (and lack of greasiness compared to other places) is definitely worthy of my support.
From others’ reviews this place has a really good lunch menu (especially their signature sandwiches). They also claim the best burger in town. Don’t look into the dessert case or else you’ll feel like you need about 4 of their desserts to take with, or maybe just all that is left of their pumpkin chess pie. Make a trip to North Knoxville in the morning sometime. With their space, they could have musicians line up for an early morning jam, or students sprung across the booths preparing for class. It’s definitely worthy of an early morning visit, with or without the "gatekeepers of North Knoxville."
1008 E. Woodland Ave.
(google points to their old location on Fairmont Ave.)
Hours: Tuesday - Friday 6am - 5pm