One Saturday morning this summer, we went on a pretty strenuous hike, and got quite a workout. Then we went and loaded down on carbs.
Around the beginning of this year, for the first time in my life, I started to feel like I was carrying a bowling ball in my stomach. I’ve been overweight as long as I can remember, but there’s a difference between looking like you’ve got an extra bowling ball and feeling like it. So immediately, things changed. We killed the pasta meals that had been part of our A-playlist rotation for years, portion sizes went down, between-meals snacking stopped, and, slowly but surely, exercise returned. As I mentioned two months ago in our story about our first year in Chattanooga, hiking is fantastic here, so I bought some boots from Rock/Creek, got myself a good stick, and we’ve been in the woods almost every weekend.
One of those weekends saw us up on Lookout Mountain in the early morning, hiking from Cravens House up to Sunset Rock. It’s an absolutely glorious hike, even if the final approach was a real beast. Kind of nice to sit down for a good while and look out over the eastern side of the mountain.
After more than three hours up there, I figured we’d earned a decent lunch. I’d heard really good things about Tony’s Pasta Shop quite a long time ago, but cut it from our to-do list around the time I cut carbs from my to-eat list. Still, we’d been doing well, and I had been feeling a whole lot better – well, I was feeling pretty wiped out after that climb – so we drove over to the Bluff View Art District for lunch. This is a hidden and tiny “neighborhood” of maybe eight old homes around the Hunter Museum of American Art that have become restaurants and bed and breakfasts. There’s just one street that goes onto this rocky crag that overlooks the Tennessee River. You could live here for ages and never know this place was here, an isolated little “island” separated from the rest of downtown by Riverfront Parkway.
Incidentally, our desire to eat fewer carbs is kind of hampered by our son, who would gladly have spaghetti and meatballs every single night. Well, he had some here and loved them. They have really decent kids’ specials for a nicer restaurant. Pasta bowls run maybe $10-15 here, and for kids, it’s about $7 for some really delicious made-in-house noodles. I had the low country dish, with black pepper linguine, sautéed crawfish, and mushrooms in a Cajun alfredo sauce. I left some of the noodles to the side, but thoroughly enjoyed it. This was a completely delicious sauce and
Marie had an arguably more traditional dish with sausage in a red pepper alfredo sauce. She was extremely happy with it. This was a delightful lunch, although possibly more of a carb indulgence than we’re likely to undertake without a good, strenuous walk first. On the other hand, they have a menu full of salads that all sound really good, too. Maybe the next time we visit, we’ll try those instead. They might be almost as good as their pasta! It could happen.
We were really pleased with our meals. Tony’s is a Chattanooga staple, whether you’re looking for a nice evening out or someplace to flop after a long, long walk. I’m glad we finally visited!
Tony’s Pasta Shop & Trattoria
212 High St
Chattanooga, TN 37403
You can see all the restaurants that we have visited for our blog on this map, with links back to the original blog posts. It’s a terrific resource for anybody planning a road trip through the southeast!