The full name of this Lenoir City business is Country Kinfolk Marketplace, Café, Venues & Cabins. They do a little bit of everything, and much of it embodies a country/rural motif. You can purchase antique furnishings, primitive/farmhouse décor and knickknacks as well as clothing for women and babies. Fittingly, the food-service menus offer a number of country-style dishes.
For my purposes, I would just be dealing with the café part of the operation. That gave me two options: Dine on site (the café is only open during the day) or order from their pick-up and delivery menu. For this outing, I chose to go back to my early pandemic protocol – order carryout and enjoy it in the confines of The Grubmobile.
For the record, the dine-in menu features daily specials like open-faced meatloaf, fried pork chops, Frito pie, fried green tomato BLTs, etc. You can custom-build a sandwich with your choice of meats, breads and cheeses, and they have several soup, salad and half-sandwich combos.
The pick-up and delivery menu is similar in that it offers a choice of daily specials, all $6.99. The selection on the day I visited included spaghetti and meatballs, Cajun chicken pasta, pulled pork sandwiches and Sloppy Joes. I ordered the chicken and dumplings to take home to The Grub Spouse. All specials come with one side and a roll, so I chose cole slaw and paid $1.50 for an additional side of green beans.
The pick-up menu has sandwiches as well, but it’s a set menu instead of a customizable one. The choices are turkey, ham, pastrami, chicken salad, tuna salad and pimento cheese. All sandwiches are $4.99 and include one side. For myself, I ordered a pastrami sandwich with Swiss cheese on an onion roll with a side of potato salad. (Other sides include mashed potatoes, red potatoes, creamed corn, mac and cheese, potato chips and fried cabbage.)
I also saw an amazing selection of homemade desserts, all $2, including coconut custard and key lime pies, Coca-Cola and carrot cakes, banana pudding, root beer floats, cheesecakes and even a keto-friendly selection of sweet treats. I was curious about the earthquake cake and added a slice to my order.
I called in my order and scheduled it for a specific hour, and it was ready right on time. The staff wore masks (as did I), but I saw a number of customers (arriving for lunch in the dining room) who didn’t. Other customers did. When I got to my vehicle, the lid on the to-go container of chicken and dumplings slid off, and most of the contents got dumped into the carryout bag and onto my other to-go boxes. The staff handled it well, cleaning up my order and loading me up with more C&D to go, this time with a tighter lid.
I ate my sandwich in The Grubmobile. It was fairly good, as was the mustard-y potato salad. Neither moved the needle toward the “unforgettable” end of the meter, but both were satisfactory. I also sampled the C&D and sides while they were fresh and hot. The chicken and dumplings tasted good to me, but the broth was on the runny side. The green beans had authentic country flavor, and the slaw was a respectable effort. None of the portions were extreme in size, but neither are the prices. With a price tag of $16 (with tax, before tip), this meal was a steal.
I saved the best for last. I waited until I got back to The Grub House to enjoy my earthquake cake, and I must say it was outstanding. It actually was a generous serving (especially for $2), with an equally generous amount of coconut goo inside the chocolate cake. Thumbs up on this dessert for sure.
Country Kinfolk could be considered a viable option for Loudon County residents in search of down-home-style country cooking and a unique array of homemade desserts. Again, based on my sampling, I felt that the dessert section of the menu may be their strong suit. But if you’re looking to give your pocketbook a break when dining out, this place might just do the trick.
Country Kinfolk Cafe
Address: 270 Hickman St., Lenoir City
No alcohol service
Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays
This down-home Lenoir City café (and marketplace/boutique and event venue and overnight-rental company) serves up country fare, sandwiches, desserts and more, both on site and to go.