Tis the season to celebrate and indulge from the Thanksgiving table to Christmas parties. However, in this 865Eats, we visit a new cafe in West Knoxville where you can leave your guilt at the door.
Simon’s cafe is the first Whole 30 restaurant in the state of Tennessee.
You'll find a menu packed with Southern style cuisine at the West Knoxville restaurant.
“Our most popular dish so far has been our meatloaf," chef Simon Hall said.
But it's not your grandma's recipe.
“I don't cook with any sugar, gluten, grain, soy, dairy,” Hall said. “Nothing processed. No corn, no legumes and no alcohol is used in cooking at all.”
It's the Whole 30 way, a totally different approach from Hall's early days in the kitchen. He started in the restaurant business at 15. After culinary school, he perfected his skill in kitchens from California to the British Virgin Islands.
He even became a private chef.
“I started working with several families and life just kind of grew from there," he said.
It was a personal journey for Hall that prepped a new endeavor.
“It's crazy and it started two-and-a-half years ago on my weight loss journey that I started with one friend just making meals for the two of us to get through Whole 30," Hall said.
Since then, he’s shed nearly 180 pounds following the food program.
“The Whole 30 program has changed my life," he said. "It's great for people that have auto immune disorders or celiacs or for people who just want to eat clean, healthy foods.”
His meal prep business is satisfying taste buds.
“I make over 3,000 meals a week for the meal prep service,” Hall said. “We deliver to Knoxville and surrounding counties, and I deliver to Nashville, Brentwood and Franklin.”
Customers kept requesting a healthier lunch option, so Hall recently opened Simon’s Cafe, the first Whole 30 restaurant in the state of Tennessee.
“We make everything from scratch here, which is what people really love," he said. "So the lunch menu is soups, salads and hot entrées from a pork tenderloin and meatloaf to chicken curry to a turkey burger.”
Here you can leave with a fully belly without the bulge.
“It's all Whole 30 approved and delicious!” Hall said.
Chef Hall is the only Whole 30-approved chef in the state. His business is the seventh Whole 30-approved meal prep service in the nation.
Simon's Cafe also features grab and go items. It's open for lunch Monday through Friday.