It’s just a slip of a place, this cottage on West Main, but it’s full of love, life and good food. Jan and Dale Stumbo opened Love Language Cafe in mid-July as an extension of their successful catering business by the same name.
That fetching name came about on a New Year’s Day a few years ago as the couple pondered the future and a new business.
“Dale, food is your language – it’s who you are,” Jan told him. Their motto is founded on this conversation: “Food is our Love Language, Let Us Do Your Talkin.”
And thus the spirited couple set out to be in the catering business; both are talented cooks along with a myriad of other talents. He is a musician and entertainer; she is a professional dancer/instructor. Both have huge personalities which translates to success in any endeavor.
This new Franklin eatery is meeting with great reviews from diners. It’s a darling little spot with its menu written on rolls of brown butcher paper mounted on the wall. Tables are fashioned from antique doors. In addition to seating inside, there’s a sweet patio out back and tables on the front porch.
Part sandwich shop, part meat and three, Love Language will speak to you in its made- from-scratch offerings. Dale’s favorite sandwich, a Reuben, is executed with finesse. It’s filled with high quality meat, sauerkraut and a special sauce created by one of the couple’s sons, DeMoss, who is a chef-in-training at Nashville’s celebrated Catbird Seat fine dining restaurant. The couple’s other son, Dewey, is dad’s right-hand man nightly.
Dale is also a hot dog lover and he delivers on his menu offerings with Hebrew dogs served in a number of fashions, including a Chicago style version that is spot on. Salads are fresh and topped with made-in-house dressings.
The meat and veggie offerings vary by the day. Monday’s plate is filled with roasted chicken; Tuesday is smoked pork or chicken, Wednesday is pasta, Thursday is chicken pot pie. The week finishes with pot roast and meatloaf.
Veggies include mashed potatoes and home style green beans.
What’s not to like?
In addition to Dale’s Reuben, sandwich offerings include a veggie pita, a West Main Hero, Chicken Cordon Bleu and a build your own sandwich. They’re served with chips and a delicious potato salad. Appetizers and snacks include Redneck Oysters, chips and salsa and hummus with veggies.
For a sweet finish, try the decadent dark chocolate brownie – true love on a plate.
“My dream has long been to have a restaurant,” said Dale. “We want to serve up love and great food in an intimate, casual and welcoming setting. We plan to be that favorite neighborhood hang as well as a destination eatery both at lunch and at dinner.”
The Cafe serves up locally brewed craft beers. Guests may bring their own wine; a small corkage fee is applied.
Plans call for special pop up dinners on Sunday and Monday evenings when the Cafe is normally closed. Guest chefs will be invited to cook; Jan and Dale will offer special meals.
Some Friday and Saturday evenings feature Dale the musician out of the kitchen with his guitar instead of a spatula. Diners are treated to dinner and a show.
Love Language Cafe is a laid back little gem where love and food are the native language.
Love Language Café
1210 West Main Street, Franklin
Hours: Tuesday -Friday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. for lunch and 4-8 p.m. for dinner; Friday and Saturday dinner is served until 8:30 p.m.
Take out, offsite catering, order ahead for pick up