You know those little hometown restaurants like you see on tv where the owners and waitresses know all the customers and they chat about family, the farm, etc.? Tammy’s Country Kitchen is just like that. It’s not unusual to hear, “Hey, Earl. How’s Betty?” or “How’s the grandbaby?” or a laugh being shared as you are sitting there having your meal. You get a real family feel at Tammy’s. Tammy herself is the one you’ll usually hear. She not only owns the restaurant, but she’s one of the three servers. Her daughter and her mother are the other two. If you get there on one of the days her mother is serving, once you meet her, you’ll feel like you’ve known her for years. She’s a sweetie. They all are, actually.
Located on State Route 817 (old US Route 35) in Frazier’s Bottom, across the river from Buffalo, Tammy’s is the only restaurant within several miles. Obviously the customers are mostly regulars and I figure most probably live in the area or over in Buffalo. I guess you could say my husband and I are regulars. We have been eating there about four times a month for the last six years. My husband loves to give Tammy a hard time and she’s not shy to give it right back to him.
Tammy’s specializes in, as you might have guessed, country cooking. Every day there are a couple of dinner specials in addition to the full menu. Some of the specials include salmon cakes and meatloaf. And there’s always a list of daily side dish specials like broccoli casserole, sweet potato casserole and macaroni salad, to name a few. Regular menu items range from a pinto bean dinner with fried potatoes and cornbread to spaghetti with meat sauce to soups, salads, burgers and other sandwiches. Breakfast is served all day.
My favorite time to visit Tammy’s is for breakfast. It’s where I get the best omelet I’ve ever had. I always order the western omelet. What makes this omelet so good is 1) they use real eggs, not liquid eggs from a carton; 2) it includes big chunks of baked ham instead of little ham pellets; and 3) it contains American cheese. The American cheese is the real kicker for me. There’s just something about an omelet with American cheese that sets if apart from omelets with cheddar cheese. The omelet is huge too. It’s served with either hash browns or home fries. If I’m eating carbs, I get the home fries. They are real potatoes, peeled and cut by hand and fried in a skillet or on a flat top just like you’d have at home.
I also really like Tammy’s pancakes. But my one complaint is they are too small. You get three cakes that are about the size of a small coffee can lid. I’m sure that’s really all a person should eat, health-wise, but it just leaves me wanting more. The breakfast menu also contains other typical items such as eggs your way, sausage, biscuits and gravy and french toast. I only have one other complaint. They serve “fake butter” or “spread” to customers. I once asked if they had any real butter and was told no by Tammy herself. Surely they aren’t using that crap to cook with. She could have brought me some from the kitchen like other places have done.
On our most recent visit, I opted for a simple grilled cheese sandwich and a bowl of Tammy’s taco soup. The soup contains a lot of the components of a taco, ground beef, tomatoes, peppers, black beans and spices. It’s topped with a generous amount of shredded cheese and is served with sour cream and tortilla chips. It’s got good flavor and is pretty filling. The grilled cheese was above average (grilled with REAL BUTTER, I’m sure.) I saved two cheesy bites of it for last.
I’ve had the salmon cakes more than once. They are close to like my mom makes. Same goes with the beans, fried potatoes and cornbread. And the meatloaf is really good too.
I’ve also had the baked chicken breast with gravy, the ground beef patty with grilled onions and gravy, a Reuben, a Chef’s salad and a Grilled Chicken salad. One of my favorite sides is the sweet potato casserole. It’s super sweet and topped with chopped pecans. It’s really more like dessert. Oh, speaking of dessert, Tammy’s has several homemade options each day such as pig pickin’ cake (a white layer cake with coconut, orange and other flavors), fruit cobblers, butter pecan cake (sold out our recent visit) or if she gets strawberries from The Strawberry Lady, strawberry shortcake (with a homemade yellow sponge cake.)
Tammy’s food is nothing fancy, just good old-fashioned country cooking that’s served with a smile in a clean, nicely-decorated, homey-feeling place. THREE FORKS.