The last thing I expected to find in downtown Chattanooga was a New York diner, particularly ensconsed in the corner of a motel. But the moment I walked in I knew that's what City Cafe is: the bright marble and mirrored walls, the impossibly tall cakes displayed in glass cases. The owner is, in fact, from New York. The only clue that you are south of the Mason-Dixon line is the lilt in the way your waitress calls you honey.
The place was packed for breakfast. I jumped at the chance to have potato pancakes. They didn't disappoint: cruncy on the outside, soft on the inside, served with applesauce (my favorite) and sour cream. All served with the courteous, bustling efficiency of the New Yorker.