While chicken salad is a staple of Southern tea rooms and lunchrooms, according to willotree.com its origins are in China. But in America, the first form of chicken salad was created in 1863 by Town Meats in Wakefield, Rhode Island. From there, it moved south and found many variations. Here are some great choices to be found in Rutherford County to get a touch of the taste of spring.
Through the Grapevine
630 Boardmor Boulevard, Suite 190
Hours: Monday through Friday, 11:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.
The winner of many awards for favorite caterer, owner Barbara Lester has established a reputation for great food with a signature chicken salad. It is a blend of fresh grapes, chopped pecans and celery. It is served on a choice of croissant, sourdough, wheat or an English muffin with a one side. Or as part of the Vine’s Tea Room Sampler with their classic pimento cheese and tuna salad mini scoops with fresh greens and their famous frozen fruit salad.
Chicken Salad Chick
2855 Medical Center Parkway, Suite F
Hours: Monday through Saturday, 10:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m.
Real chicken salad lovers have to try this place. They have a 12 different flavors of chicken salad, including the very plain classic to the spicy Buffalo Barclay serve on a choice of bread, including a flaky croissant, traditional white or wheatberry bread. Everything is very fresh and made on site. Sandwiches are all served with a signature sugar cookie, and soup or a salad can be added to the order.
7011 Main Street
Hours: Tuesday through Thursday: 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., Friday & Saturday: 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 pm and Sunday: 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. (buffet only)
Miller’s Grocery was remodeled in 1995 from a country grocery store into an antique filled café featuring southern-style home cooking and award winning mouth-watering desserts. The name comes from that of the original owner and long-time proprietor, Mr. Stanley Miller. A destination worth the travel time, their chicken salad sandwich is a delight. Asked for it served on an open face English muffin with melted cheese.
The Alley on Main
223 W Main Street
Hours: Monday through Thursday, 11:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m.
Friday and Saturday, 11:00 a.m. until 10:00 a.m.
Popular restaurant The Alley has their own version of the favorite Southern chicken salad sandwich made from marinated grilled chicken, celery, mayonnaise, and their own secret spice blended into perfection and served with peppered bacon and avocado. Owners Shawn and Christy Hackinson also have their own spin on many other local favorites, which might be why they are so busy all the time.
Domenico’s Italian Deli
106 South Maple Street
Hours: Monday through Saturday, 10:30 a.m. until 8:00 p.m.
The story of Domenico’s goes back to the mid-1950s when Letizia Sacco, owner Jeff Murphy’s grandmother, met Dominic “Domenico” Cucchiara, his grandfather. They married and then opened a deli in Alameda, California. After graduating from Middle Tennessee State University, and marrying Scarlet Lanning from Murfreesboro, he brought a version of his family’s deli to Murfreesboro, including their house-made chicken salad is made with celery, red onion, pickles and mayo. It is served on a choice of sourdough, sweet, Dutch Crunch, or wheat rolls or old-fashioned honey white, multigrain wheat, light rye, dark rye, or sourdough sliced bread.