TN - Gatlinburg
My mother and I went on a vacation to the Smokies over last summer, and I thought I'd share some of the great places we ate while we were there.
The place is SO commercialized. My mom and I actually experienced a little bit of culture shock upon driving in through Pigeon Forge. We expected a quiet, rustic mountainside town, instead we got mini-Vegas. Anyway, it's easy to get caught up in the glitz and make some poor dining choices (I know we did). Here's our list of favorite places:
Atrium Pancakes: Not only was our waitress such a lovely woman, but when I told her I couldn't decide which pancakes I wanted she told me to wait one second and went and got a picture frame off of the wall. She handed it to me, and it was a review from a popular cooking magazine about the restaurant's "Baked Apple Pancakes". I decided to order them, and oh boy! It was more like an apple fritter, with pancake batter poured over caramelized apple slices. So yummy.
The Old Mill: It's located in Pigeon Forge, and it's absolutely worth visiting. I ordered country fried steak, mashed potatoes and green beans. It came with corn chowder that was out of this world, and then when the meal came I was in sheer, country heaven. The gravy on my steak was perfectly peppery, and I told my mom: "I've never had green beans make my eyes roll up in the back of my head before."
Lineberger's Seafood: Whatever you do, if you get a chance to try gourmet seafood, do NOT order anything fried off of the menu. There's only so many ways you can fry a fish, and you end up wasting your money on something you could have gotten from Long John Silver's. My mom, however, was smart and ordered a trio of filets: swordfish, salmon and tuna. The tuna was so light and wonderful, I cannot tell you how delicious it was. Their homemade hush puppies are equally good.
Blaine's Bar and Grill: Don't go here for the food. It isn't bad, it's just your average, Applebee's fare. Go for the cocktails. Our bar bill ended up being more than our food bill that night.
Okay, last but not least, let's talk barbeque. Do not- I repeat, do NOT- go to Bennett's BBQ. It boasts a big reputation that does not measure up. Two-year-in-a-row-award-winning ribs? Yeah right. The ribs were tough, the brisket was dry, and the sides were generic. We were really disappointed.
However, the very next day we went white water rafting. They took us in buses to a location somewhere along the Pigeon River. I wish I could tell you where, because after we arrived back at the starting point there were two restaurants. One was a little, new agey place with hummus and sushi. The other was a barbeque pit run out of the back of a gas station. The smell when you walked into the gas station was indescribable. My mom and I split the BBQ basket, which consisted of: beef brisket, spare ribs, pulled pork, bbq chicken, fries, cole slaw and garlic toast. It was out of this world. We went in afterwards and thanked the man working the pit for the best barbeque we'd ever had.
Oh, I wish I knew where this place was, you guys! Maybe someone local will post here and tell us.