Heirloom Eating: The Steele House continues local family’s restaurant legacy

The southern Biscuit and Gravy Platter is a popular Steele House breakfast choice. It features a homemade biscuit, gravy, eggs cooked your way, plus your choice of bacon, sausage, or home-style taters. {Lynchburg Times Photo}

Running a restaurant and serving food to a community she loves is literally in her blood. That’s what Donna Sullenger, co-owner of one of Moore County’s newest restaurants, says about her latest endeavor, The Steele House, a restaurant located just off historic Highway 55 in Lynchburg.

In fact, her great grandfather on her mother’s side, Buster Bill Steele, inspired the eatery’s name. He and his wife, Beatrice, founded Bea’s Restaurant, a Chattanooga tradition 70 years strong. Opened in the 1950’s, the restaurant has been owned by the same family for four generations.

Sullenger says she’s been blessed with fabulous recipes from both sides of her family as well as friends who feel like family. Collecting those recipes and photos of loved one in their southern kitchens has been part of the process of opening, she says.

Donna Sullenger
Donna Sullenger poses with pictures of family members that have inspired Steele House recipes. {Lynchburg Times Photo}

“When we had a family gathering, it was always around a meal,” Sullenger says.

It’s that sense of tradition and family that Sullenger’s baked right into her menu with items like Nanny’s Chicken Casserole, Papa’s German Chocolate Cake, and Pendergraff’s Peach Cobbler.

The Steele House serves breakfast and lunch Wednesday through Saturday from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Breakfast offers southern favorites like biscuits and gravy, pancakes, as well as omelets. The JJ’s Smoked Bologna Biscuit is a kitschy favorite.

The lunch menu changes daily and features a meat and three vegetables. To us, it’s the dessert menu that really shines featuring southern-style banana pudding, Brown’s Banana Cake, Nanny’s Chocolate cake, and others on a revolving menu.

Sullenger, who once catered Little Richard’s Thanksgiving dinner, says catering, fresh-smoked meats, and live music are all in the works.

They are currently open for both dine in and take out Wednesday through Saturday. They also offer picnic-style outdoor seating. They feature their daily menu on their Facebook page. Click here to give them a like and see it daily. Or you can reach them by phone at 931-759-4145. Their address is 65 Farm Bureau Street. •

{The Lynchburg Times is the only independently owned and operated newspaper in Lynchburg. We cover Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

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