A Bright Light Shines at Beacon Light Tea Room in Bon Aqua

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Beacon Light Tea Room in TNThe phrase “tea room” conjures up visions of scones and dainty finger sandwiches. However, to those who know the place, the phrase “Beacon Light Tea Room” means biscuits and hearty plates of country cooking that have been dished up in Bon Aqua since 1936.

The décor – part biblical, part a little bit of everything else – is warm and homey, if a tad unusual for an eatery. Originally named for an airplane beacon light that once shone across the road, the beacon light reference today seems more religious in nature. Indeed, loaf-shaped plastic Scripture containers give diners an opportunity to savor a little Jesus with their jam.

And what jam – blackberry, cherry, strawberry, peach and such – and what biscuits to go along with them, light without being a mile high and crumbly. The cheerful server makes sure that the flow of these crowd-pleasers never stops. In fact, the biscuits are one of the restaurant’s draws – almost every entrée comes with them – along with country ham and fried chicken.

The Dish on Beacon Light Tea Room

The Beacon Light Tea Room – 6276 Highway 100 in Bon Aqua in Hickman County – is open 4-9 p.m. Tuesday-Friday and 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. A private dining room in the rear can be reserved for large gatherings by calling 931-670-3880.

Ah, the fried chicken. Owner Don Luna uses smaller fryer chickens cooked in an iron skillet with lard, just like Mama’s – crispy, but not greasy. Side dishes include fried okra, whole-kernel corn, hash brown casserole (available only on Saturday and Sunday) and a tossed salad, which is delightfully served on chilled plates.

Other choices might be a steak, breakfast eggs with side meats, shrimp and chicken. A children’s menu, a chef salad and sandwiches are also available. Usually, there are no desserts, due to the biscuits and preserves giving patrons their fill.

The menu is small, but the restaurant’s following is large. You may have to wait on the weekends, which gives time for browsing through the gift shop for keepsakes and that famous jam.

Tennessee Farm Bureau members can receive a free dessert with the purchase of a dinner plate through the Tennessee Farm Bureau member savings app. Visit tnfarmbureau.org/membersavings for more details.

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