Comfort Food Cravings at Urban Plantation in Shelbyville
Serving up tasty comfort food with a unique twist, Urban Plantation is a can’t-miss dining spot in Shelbyville that draws locals and tourists alike.
The restaurant, owned by mother-daughter team Martha and Andrea Akers, opened in October of 2015 when Martha decided it was time to share her lifelong love of cooking with a broader audience.
“My kids encouraged me to open up a restaurant, and at the perfect time, the space we’re in now became available,” Martha says. “My daughter and I just went for it, and it’s been a lot of fun so far.”
Located in Shelbyville’s Merchant’s Walk complex, which also contains a jewelry store and dress shop, Urban Plantation offers a relaxed, casual atmosphere that features works created by Tennessee artists. A portrait of Willie Nelson hangs over the fireplace, and one room solely comprises paintings of Columbia’s famous Mule Day event.
“I like to say the restaurant is ‘urban-y’ or a little funky,” Martha says. “It’s always been my goal to create a fun atmosphere where people can feel relaxed and comfortable while they eat.”
It’s safe to say Martha and Andrea have succeeded. Urban Plantation stays busy, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner Monday-Friday, with a menu offering everything from classic Southern staples to new favorites.
For example, the restaurant’s breakfast menu has the usual suspects – eggs, bacon and homemade English muffins – but lunch and dinner offer a few surprises. There’s Martha’s made-from-scratch, original hot chicken, plus one-of-a-kind creations like the Plantation Burger, an all-beef burger topped with grilled vegetables and herbed aioli on a yeast roll. Daily specials include dishes such as corned beef and cabbage, shrimp and grits, and a ribeye sandwich, while sides are stick-to-your-ribs classics like mashed potatoes and green beans.
“A lot of our menu items are meals I’ve cooked my whole life after watching my parents and learning from them,” Martha says. “I knew I was doing something right because my kids’ friends would come over and eat everything I made when they were growing up, and now I’m just sharing those foods with a larger group.”
Martha and Andrea mix it up throughout the year, offering a leg of lamb for Easter – something Martha has always served her family to celebrate the holiday – and a Thanksgiving Day buffet that features turkey, ham, salmon, prime rib and much more. In 2017, the restaurant also offered a free Christmas Day buffet with the aim of serving those spending the day alone, which Martha says was an opportunity for she and Andrea to give back to the community that’s given them so much.
Looking to the future, Martha and Andrea plan to grow more of the food used in their recipes, such as herbs and vegetables, and the duo hope the restaurant remains a local favorite for many years to come.
“Urban Plantation is for anyone who loves fresh, homemade food,” Martha says. “Most things on our menu are made from-scratch, including all of our dressings, and we’re pretty proud of that. We also have fantastic desserts, like a pie named after one of our server’s, Mikey – all I say can is you’d better save room for it because it’s just that good.”
The Dish on Urban Plantation
Hours: Monday-Thursday from 9 a.m. until 8 p.m.; Fridays from 9 a.m. until 9 p.m.
Address: 764 N. Main St., Shelbyville, TN 37160
Phone Number: (931) 488-7840
Catering is also available; for more information, contact Martha Akers at (931) 488-7840 or firstname.lastname@example.org. As always, please call ahead before traveling long distances.