by Laura Locke
I’m a big fan of supporting local businesses, and especially local restaurants. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with a big national chain, but there’s something special about discovering a hidden culinary gem in your own backyard.
Henderson is home to its share of local eateries, but the undisputed king* is Bell’s Drive-In, home of “The Best Hamburger This Side of Heaven,” and repeat winner of Tennessee’s Best Burger accolades. Since the 1940s, generations of hungry locals and Freed-Hardeman students alike have flocked to the family-owned burger joint located just down the road from the university on Church Street. Cheap and delicious, Bell’s is a favorite of students meeting up after chapel for lunch, local families enjoying the ice cream milkshakes and sundaes, old couples who’ve sat at the same table every Tuesday for 30 years, and alumni reuniting and reminiscing with old school friends.
They say if something aint’ broke, don’t fix it, and I’ve taken that to heart with my Bell’s order: each and every time I go I get the cheeseburger, fries, and a chocolate shake, and each and every time I leave with happy tastebuds, a full stomach, and no regrets
Wondering if all the hype is true? Schedule a campus visit and plan to stop afterwards at Bell’s or one of the other local eateries for dinner. Just remember to leave the plastic at home – Bell’s is a proud cash-only establishment.
*Honorable Mentions include The Lunch Box, The Chow Wagon, Snookum’s Steakhouse, and Jacks Creek BBQ.