Litton’s serving up something new

Kelly’s Back Room offers home cooking to go

By Mike Steely

Seventy years in business with thirty-eight years just off Broadway in Fountain City has made Litton’s Market and Restaurant a huge success and a popular landmark. What initially started as a meat market that fried hamburgers on a three-legged electric skillet has grown into a four-generation family restaurant that took over an entire small shopping center.

Long noted for its hamburgers and desserts, Litton’s now has another successful addition: Kelly’s Back Room, a carry-out option featuring full meals operated by Kelly Litton. Kelly, assisted by Lynda Jones, Libby Corey and Patti Harwood and backed up by the full staff of Litton’s Restaurant, serves good wholesome meals with a wide selection of meat and sides. Customers have discovered the carry-out section of the restaurant and start lining up from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. to take food with them or dine in at tables there.

“Some of our items are from Grandmother’s recipes,” Kelly said, adding that last Monday had “rattlesnake beans” and collard greens on the hot bar. “I like to search out old-timey names of food,” she added.

“There’s a market for people looking for good food to go. People are busy with their family,” she commented. “People are starving for good food. You can go to chain food or fast food but by the end of the day you’re still hungry.”

The most popular meat offering is fried chicken. Last week some of the choices included cornbread made with sour cream, candied yams, fresh green beans, country-fried steak and gravy, and mac and cheese.

“We try to get our food from local places like Pratt’s—whatever is fresh,” she said.

“We don’t use a lot of additives We use salt, sugar, butter, bacon grease, some pork, whole milk and whole buttermilk,” she said, adding that their suppliers are from farms in our area. “The food is good and there are large portions.”

Their vegetables and other items come from a farm in Blount County and the tomatoes, all home grown, come from a river farm in Green County and from the staff’s own gardens.

“Let us do the cooking for you and you’ll feel like you’ve eaten something,” Kelly said.

Kelly’s Back Room to go market started service in May and Barry, Kelly’s brother, said the effort is “pushing sales” for the main restaurant.

“Sometimes I think the essence of bacon is the Chanel Number 5 of the south,” Kelly says with a laugh. She and her crew have lots of fun and kid around with each other and their customers, many of whom they’ve known for years.

“We wouldn’t do this if we can’t have fun,” she said.

You can find Litton’s Market and Restaurant online and on Facebook. You can contact Kelly Litton at (865)688-0429. The restaurant is located at 2803 Essary Road just off Broadway.