Category Archives: Joel Lucks Tennessee Back-Roads

Food Trucks Today Serve More Than Just Hot Dogs and Burgers

Good delicious dishes that are heartwarming and satisfying!

American Press Travel News-June 7th, Smyrna, TN. from Correspondent, Joel Lucks— OK, this is another one of those incredible finds for those living in or near Smyrna, TN. Mr. Tips’ roadside food truck. You’ll pass it if you’re not specifically looking for it. But the fall- off- the- bone, incredibly delicious BBQ ribs are beyond compare. It’s worth the stop, even if you’re not looking for a full meal. Truly, this has to be a generational recipe and technique that’s been handed down; if not, it could be. The ribs are big and meaty, with a finished crust that peels off the meat and yields some of the most succulent rib meat I’ve ever tasted. The meat is moist, juicy, and has just enough smoke, not overpowering, that really rounds out the taste.

We haven’t tried the rib- tips or the sausage, yet, but I have a feeling we won’t be disappointed. We’ve driven by this place hundreds of times, and most of the time it’s closed. That’s because they’re open only on Fridays and Saturdays, all day. There’s a food truck on the property and the smokers are behind the truck; once started, they are constantly smoking while the food lasts. When we rolled up, Travis (Mr. Tips) came out to say hello and introduce himself. He started the business about three years ago, and pound for pound, dollar for dollar, his ribs are some of the best ribs we’ve ever eaten. After devouring our first take-out, I called Travis back and asked him what kind of ribs they were: “Just spare ribs.” Yeah, but they were big spare ribs! They have a proprietary rub, plus a base, and they smoke ‘em over hickory wood for three hours.

Ribs to call home about! Off the bone, on the chew and look out tummy, here it comes!

From Sam Ridley Parkway, take Old Nashville Highway, south, heading towards Murfreesboro. Check them out on Facebook, for more specifics, or give Travis a call at (615) 681-1979 and tell him Joel and the Redhead sent you!

Rustic Charm Found By Correspondent Joel Lucks Tennessee Backroads Granny Fishes House

American PressTravel News-May 31st,- Granny Fishes House (Wartrace, TN): A Back Road Catfish House For Those In The Know from Tennessee Backroads Correspondent, Joel Lucks

I am constantly amazed at the beautiful landscapes here in Tennessee, and, as well, at the diversity of restaurants. The Middle Tennessee region, in particular, is as cosmopolitan as anyone could desire, to include restaurants that sport great menus and the quality of food that you might find in any other major city around the country, to restaurants that serve up simple, southern comfort food. Granny Fishes House in Wartrace, TN is one of those “comfort food” restaurants and a hidden treasure that you really must try at least once. If someone didn’t tell you about it, you might never find it or know about it. Guaranteed. The restaurant is literally on a back road that you might almost never go down unless you were encouraged to do so.

Granny Fishes, open since the early 60’s, serves up some of the best catfish, trout and frog legs for miles around. Best known for their catfish and trout combo dinners, diners travel from as far south as Alabama and, many, easily, from Nashville. Entrees include chicken, shrimp and hamburger steak dinners, a standard menu of burgers and chicken sandwiches and a new addition, fresh cut rib eye steak.

The restaurant is a cross between a log cabin and a shack, and seriously, you could pass it a half-dozen times before realizing it is a restaurant, assuming you’re on the right back road. The menu is limited, but if catfish and trout are your game, you will not be disappointed. Served either fried or grilled, with an assortment of sides, and their famous hush puppies that I certainly have never had the likes of before, and an ambiance that is simple but very country. The walls are decorated with an assortment of cool antiques and newspaper clippings right around the time the restaurant was built. The service is courteous and friendly and it is definitely a fun place to visit. There is a catch, though; they are open only three days a week. You really need to plan your visit and check their dining times. For more information call them at 931-857-4025, or visit them at

Joel Lucks Meets Songwriter/Musician, Furniture Maker, Turkey Call Maker and Fireman.


Americanpresstravelnews-May 26th,  from Joel Lucks, Tenn. Backroads- Dan Demay (Trousdale County, TN): Songwriter/Musician, Furniture Maker, Turkey Call Maker and Fireman. Creativity displays itself in different ways. Some call it talent. Some may even think of it as a form of genius. Arguably, though, we homo sapiens are quite inventive; some more than others, and each in different ways. But when someone distinguishes himself as Dan Demay does, it’s a genuine pleasure to say he’s my friend and to share with my readers his talents.

I met Dan several years ago at the Wilson County fair. He had a booth there and was showcasing his turkey box calls and mouth calls. We got to talking and sharing stories about hunting and fishing and became fast and good friends. Since learning, too, that Dan is a furniture maker of extraordinary talent I commissioned him to build a number of pieces of furniture for our home. In fact, he is slowly replacing all our conventional furniture with a Tennessean country style of furniture of his own. He claims he is self-taught and that’s where the genius aspect of his style and craftsmanship comes in; it’s very unique. Dan can create from memory nearly anything he sees and adds an element of elegance that any homeowner would be proud to have in their home.

Dan is also associated with a saw mill in Baxter, TN, and to listen to Dan speak about the diversity of trees in Tennessee, you begin learn about hardwoods, softwoods and which woods are best for tables, furniture and why. Dan’s connection with Mother Nature and the woods he lives in is amazing; hence, the sometime reference to being a “wood whisperer.” He’s knowledgeable and experienced, and to listen to him you quickly learn he is a Master of the “wood.” For information about his furniture or turkey calls contact him through his current website, Happy travels from the back roads of Tennessee – Joel Lucks

NOTE*  “Listen and see Dan’s latest music video…” This is a music video link to Dan’s most recent music video. It will take you right to the YOUTUBE video.

Joel Lucks, APTNews TN. Back Roads Correspondent Introduction

Meet Joel Lucks and Baxter…



Joel Lucks is an outdoors writer/photojournalist, a media professional and lifelong conservationist. Lucks’ career as an outdoor writer and photojournalist spans 25-plus years. (Baxter is a 5-month yellow Lab.)

Lucks has traveled to Alaska to the Kenai Peninsula to fish for salmon and halibut; has traveled to Venice Louisiana since 2008  to fish for redfish, speckled trout and for offshore species, such as yellowfin and blackfin tuna; to Arkansas to fish the famous White River in the Ozark Mountains for world class brown trout and to fish Ouachita Lake for freshwater striped bass and Kentucky largemouths. He has hiked several times into the Grand Canyon; hiked to 10,000 feet into Rocky Mountain National Park and has fished and hunted throughout a good deal of New York State.

He is a former field editor for The Fisherman Magazine, arguably one of the largest specialized sports angling magazines in the northeast. He is a former Special Correspondent and photographer for who reported on the April 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf. He is a past contributor to ESPN Outdoors Saltwater, Cabela’s Outfitter Journal, Bass Pro Shops and Kayak Angler magazine. 

He is a former president and current member of the 
New York State Outdoor Writers Association (NYSOWA); a member of Outdoor Writers Association of America (OWAA); a member of Southeastern Outdoor Press Association (SEOPA); a member of Tennessee Outdoor Press Association and a past member of The Explorers Club, NYC Chapter. Joel will be featured weekly in his TN. Back Roads Column. The columns will cover an entire gamut of what you’d find as you travel the back roads of TN., and will include restaurant, fishing, hunting and boating information that Lucks will uncover as he drives through the countryside on roads less traveled, but offering some of the best experiences for those who seek life off the least trodden paths in TN.