Taste of the Town - Cedar Bucket Restaurant - Murfreesboro
This week Tim Dutton takes Taste of the Town to the Cedar Bucket Restaurant located on Middle Tennessee Blvd in Murfreesboro and tastes some of the Cedar Bucket's more popular Southern soul food.
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TIM: Tim Dutton here with another edition of Taste of the Town. Folks, today I’m at the Cedar Bucket, which is located right next to Kroger on Middle Tennessee Boulevard.
TIM: I still want to go by some of the old name. And guys, I’m sitting here with Ricky Turner who’s the owner of the Cedar Bucket. And Ricky, tell folks a little bit about what you guys are doing right here.
RICKY: Well, the Cedar Bucket Restaurant is a southern homestyle cooking , meat three type restaurant. Different days, every day we have a different menu. Like we have a set menu for Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday. And it’s cafeteria style. You can do a meat and one, meat and two, meat and three, or all vegetables. Or some people just like all meat.
RICKY: So whatever you want. We also offer salad bar as well, and we have homemade desserts daily. So we try to offer a variety.
TIM: And you guys, it’s all home cooked like you would do at home.
RICKY: Yes, sir.
TIM: So guys, you can come down to the Cedar Bucket and put some south in your mouth and I don’t think you’re going to regret it. Now Ricky, what have we got right here, man? What did you put forth for us to take a look at?
RICKY: Today we’ve got our Thursday menu. Again, like every day we have a different menu and on Thursday we have our baked chicken; we have fried pork chops; and we have this Caribbean chicken, which is a chicken tender that we kind of marinade in spices, let it sit overnight, and then just fry it. And then we have six different vegetables. Today we’ve got pinto beans, green beans, sweet potatoes, rice, and green beans. And also, au gratin potatoes. So this is just a sample of what we have today on the menu if you come by on Thursdays.
TIM: Folks, that’s just like being home at momma’s. And the rice, what do you do to the rice, Ricky?
RICKY: Well, the rice is just a rice pilaf, just a regular rice and we kind of season it, give it a little spice and stuff.
TIM: It’s good, man. And then we’ve got the cornbread here.
RICKY: Now that’s what we’re pretty much famous for, our cornbread. It’s not hot water cornbread. It’s not oven baked. But what we do, a lot of people tell me it’s what they refer to as the old hot cakes. How farmers, those who worked out in the field, they couldn’t go back to the house to fix the bread.
RICKY: They would take the meal and make up the batter and take the metal part of a hoe and put their meal on that and light that and that’s how they came up with hoe cake. But we fry ours on the skillet. And like I said, I think we’re the only ones in this area who pretty much does that. And that’s probably one of our most popular items. A lot of people come in just for the cornbread.
TIM: Man, that is good. Now the other is baked chicken here, right?
RICKY: Mm-hm. We know that we live in a kind of health-conscious society now, so we don’t like to fry. A lot of people are trying to get away from a lot of fried food, so we consider Thursday our healthy day. We go with the baked chicken and give—
TIM: Give them an option.
RICKY: Give them an option rather than so much fried food all the time.
TIM: I’ll tell you what. You’re doing it right, Ricky. Now what’s the other days? Have you got standard menus?
RICKY: We do. Like tomorrow is Friday. What’s on Friday is fish day. We’ll have catfish, fried chicken, and spaghetti, white beans, cole slaw, turnip greens, fried okra, and corn on the cob. So every day is a set day for right now. Next month will be first year here in Murfreesboro. The Cedar Bucket itself has been in existence for three years. We come out of Shelbyville. We were doing business down there for about two years, and we relocated here to Murfreesboro and finally got open last September.
So a lot of people always come in even though it’s on a certain day that we have a set menu and on that set menu, that’s the only thing we serve. Like today, if somebody wanted fried chicken, they can’t have fried chicken because we’ve got a set menu.
RICKY: But we noticed that even though we have a set menu, some people still want certain items. So we’re going to kind of cater to them more next year or this upcoming year that if you want fried chicken, we’ll probably have fried chicken every day.
TIM: Whatever days you want it.
RICKY: Yeah, yeah.
TIM: Now Ricky, what kind of hours are you guys open? What days a week?
RICKY: We’re open Monday, Tuesday from 11 to 8, also on Wednesday from 11 to 6. Thursday and Friday 11 to 8, and also on Sunday. We have a Sunday what we call brunch from 11 to 4 where we have a big what I call after church menu, after church dinner. And that seems to be our biggest following right there.
TIM: After worship service?
RICKY: After worship service, yeah.
TIM: So the only day you’re closed then is Saturday?
RICKY: Yeah. Well, what we do on Saturdays, we do two Saturdays a month, but we don’t have a set Saturday that we open and we don’t have a set menu. Really it depends on what’s going on in the city or what we have going on because we also cater; we also deliver; we do private parties. So there’s a lot of activities that we have to do on the weekend that would cause us not to be here. So that gives us an opportunity to kind of do other things.
TIM: So y’all cater this food; you do private parties; and you deliver this food too?
RICKY: Yeah, yeah. We do it all. We do it all.
TIM: Things are going to get worse for me.
RICKY: Yeah, yeah. We have so many people that are moving into Murfreesboro from the north and other parts of the area who’s really not familiar with southern cooking. So this is the place to experience southern cooking.
RICKY: You know, southern cooking to me is really a dying institution because there’s not that much of it. It seems like we’ve gotten away from our southern roots. Most of us, if you were born in the south, you grew up on pinto beans and fried chicken and cornbread and sweet tea.
RICKY: That’s just a part of our southern upbringing.
RICKY: But it seems like we’re getting away from that. But we want to bring that back in because even among our young people they don’t get enough greens; they don’t get enough vegetables. It’s always fast food and all this. So we’re trying to bring southern food back like you said with a little taste and a little flavor, a little seasoning just like grandma...
TIM: You’re right. It’s a different ball game and it’s not like this. Ricky, do you have a special for the people that come in and say they want to put some south in their mouth and they saw it on Taste of the Town?
RICKY: Yeah, if you come in and say that you saw this program, we’ll give you a free drink.
TIM: Your drink free for coming in here and trying some of Ricky’s food. And I’m going to tell you, you won’t regret it. That’s about it for this edition of Taste of the Town. And remember, if you’re thinking real estate, think Tim Dutton.