Monday, November 28, 2011

Shelby Forest General Store

Shelby Forest General Store
7729 Benjestown Road
Millington, TN

I've had the Shelby Forest General Store on my list of places to eat for years. Last Friday, after a nice hike in the forest, we finally got a chance to try the burgers.

Our hike lasted a little longer than we thought, and was a couple of miles further than we intended, so by the time we got to the store, we were hungry, thirsty, and tired. Although they have a fairly extensive menu, we'd all agreed we wanted burgers. I went to the counter to order while the monkeys (Satchel, 9, and Jiro, 7) tugged at my sleeve.

"Can we get a drink? Can we get chips? Can we get candy?" they clamored. "Yes!" I said, exasperated. The monkeys LOVE convenience stores. I headed over to the drinks to try and steer them towards a decent choice.

There really were no healthy choices (other than water), so I just tried to keep them from getting Mountain Dew. Despite harassing Satchel about it, he still managed to sneak one in! I went for a bottle of iced coffee, Warren got Cheerwine, and Jiro got Hawaiian Punch. I know, right? It gets worse.

Next, the monkeys raided the chip & candy aisles. (Warren wanted to raid the Frisbee golf wall!)

It seemed odd that after a lovely hike through nature we would choose to stuff our bodies with junk, but we did! (It did actually take Satchel three days to drink the Mountain Dew and over half of the Hot Fries are in the pantry.)

We did not, however, get a brownie or individually wrapped triangle of cheese. Both of those would have been good mid-hike.

I paid for everything ($33), including 4 burgers and 2 fries which were still cooking, and we went outside to eat at one of the picnic tables. It was such a nice day! And, happily, we came across two other families that we knew who were also dining outside.

We chatted for a bit, and then they yelled, "Stacey!" so I went in for the food. I assumed there'd be a tray or something, but there wasn't. I sent Warren in for what I couldn't carry.

I liked that there was no styrofoam and that the napkins were doing double duty. The burgers totally did not disappoint. They were a good size, very juicy, and topped with fresh ingredients. Well the tomato was nice and red, the iceberg lettuce was a little sad. Isn't it always, though?

Warren got his with grilled onions.

Jiro got his with cheese.

Satchel stayed busy with the fries. We got one regular and one seasoned.

They were both hot & crispy. I don't know that I can choose which I liked best.

We had a lot of junk food leftover, but no burgers or fries. It was great to eat outside and to see friends. I definitely think we'll be back.

Oh, an added perk of eating outside it seeing a giant rooster roaming around!

We never tried the restrooms, so I can't vouch for their cleanliness. There is some quaint seating inside, on stools and in a separate dining room. The people are very friendly and accommodating. My only change would be to add a recycle bin outside. The trash was full of empty bottles.

Shelby Forest General Store on Urbanspoon


Anonymous said...

The Shelby Forest General Store is a terrific little oasis, and nearby Shelby Forest is a great weekend escape. Your pictures brought back some nice memories.

For years the General Store had a picture of Tom Cruise on its wall, taken of him standing in the doorway there, until the employee who posed with him in the picture eventually moved on to other pastures and took it with her. Cruise rented a home near there while he was in Memphis filming "The Firm."

Singer Al Green has lived in that area for many years and still does.

Speaking of the General Store's tasty hamburgers, Justin Timberlake not long ago made it a point during a national TV interview to proclaim the "best hamburgers in the country" are the ones served at the General Store. He of course grew up in the area, and attended the small school just down the road past the General Store.

For anyone who might also like to know what all there is to see and do at Shelby Forest (plenty!), here is their official state park website:

Liz said...

Just saw this tonight while checking in for dinner ideas. I'm gonna try not to dwell on the fact that I resemble a float from the Macy's Day Parade in that photo of me, and emphasize instead how nice it was to see you.

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