Elvis ate here.
Do I need to say anything more?
I’m talking about the Old South restaurant in Russellville. The last of its kind, Russellville’s Old South was constructed in 1947 as one unit of a roadside cafe chain designed around America’s love affair with automobiles and the open road. It was built alongside Highway 64 when that east/west stretch of blacktop was the main artery connecting North Carolina to legendary Route 66. Today, with its sleek roofline, glowing neon and the only powder room wait seating left in existence (at least in the River Valley), Old South stands out as a slice of classic Americana amid the new-fangled ideas of what a restaurant should look like.
And they also make food, delicious food from a menu that defines retro-American cuisine. Our pick was the chicken fried steak dinner. This is not your run-of-the-mill chicken fried steak, and it’s not even fried. This is Old South chicken fried steak. That means a center cut of round steak, in-house tenderizing, coated with house breading and sizzled to perfect on the grill. A generous helping of mashed potatoes and gravy is the traditional side.
With all due respect to the fried peanut butter and banana sandwich (which is rumored to be an off-menu option at Old South), it’s a meal fit for the King.