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Dining options: Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge


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I realize that I am probably asking for the impossible (after looking at the maps of Gatlinberg/Pidgeon Forge), but here goes nothing. We are spending six nights at the Buckhorn Inn right outside of Gatlinberg. We are eating at the inn two of those nights, but are looking for good places to eat the other nights.

The map shows 15 each of every fast food restaurant known to man. We will be hiking almost every day, come back to the inn to clean up, and then will be after some decent food to replenish the muscles for the next day's hike. Does anyone have any experience with the restaurants in that area?

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I grew up in this area, and these are the places I still go back to on visits:

In the main part of Pigeon Forge, the best place is undoubtedly the Applewood Farmhouse Restaurant/Apple Barn Cider Mill. It's a couple of miles outside the main tourist trap area of Pigeon Forge, but it's well worth the slight detour. They've converted an old farmhouse and barn (with attached orchard) into a celebration of all things apple-y, but even the food that doesn't have apples in it is pretty good. I love their vegetable soup and chicken pot pie, and both the apple fritters and the apple stack cake are excellent.

In Gatlinburg, the Pancake Pantry is a must. The lines to get in on a Saturday morning will stretch a couple of blocks - there's a reason. I've been going to this place for 30 years that I can remember, and I've never had anything bad. I'd recommend the Peach Delight, potato pancakes, blintzes, or buckwheat pancakes; I'm not a big fan of pigs-in-blankets, but they do have awfully good sausage. They'll also pack box lunches for hikers.

If you don't want pancakes, the Burning Bush does a nice breakfast/brunch (also apparently dinner, although I can't remember the last time I had dinner in Gatlinburg rather than breakfast). It's owned by the same folks as the Apple Barn, and it has the benefit of gorgeous location; the restaurant is located 10 feet from the edge of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and the dining room has a really lovely view of the forest. I've always liked the songbirds in the dining room as well.

Relevant URLs:

Apple Barn

Burning Bush

Pancake Pantry

"Tea and cake or death! Tea and cake or death! Little Red Cookbook! Little Red Cookbook!" --Eddie Izzard
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Thanks for the info. My niece and her brand new husband were just there on their honeymoon and recommended the Applewood Farmhouse. We were slightly skeptical as they love the fried food in Mississippi, but we will definately give it a try. Will let you know what's happening.

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  • 1 year later...

Bet you will have a wonderful time in that area of Tennessee! Here are some opening options ... do click on any links which may please your personal tastes:

Gatlinburg dining

Pigeon Forge and Sevierville dining

and, when you return home, hope you'll share your opinions and advice on where you ate! :wink:

Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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Previous thread on Gatlinburg/PF in the Southeast forum - recommendations made then still apply.

Another thread on Sevierville - which pretty much merges into Pigeon Forge at this point, so is easily doable for dinner as long as you have a car.

Plus there's always The Inn at Blackberry Farm, which is on the Cades Cove/Townsend side of the mountain - with the full multi-star tasting menu experience. I'm not sure whether they let non-guests dine - at one point you could, then you couldn't, now their web site doesn't say one way or the other. Probably worth emailing to find out, though.

"Tea and cake or death! Tea and cake or death! Little Red Cookbook! Little Red Cookbook!" --Eddie Izzard
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Somewhere else.

Can you elaborate on this succinct comment? I would love to hear about the food there.

I've never had what I would call a good meal in that area and only one or two that were decent. I take that back, there's a Cracker Barrel in Pigeon Forge and it's good for what it is. But then you can eat at Cracker Barrel most anywhere without having to deal with PF/Gatlinburg.

Having grown up in Knoxville, I've come to regard the "Entrance to the Great Smokey Mountains" with about the same favor as the the "Entrance to Eternal Damnation." Although I suspect the BBQ is better in the latter place.

Kevin

Part of the secret of success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside. -- Mark Twain

Visit my blog at Seriously Good.

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Having also grown up in Knoxville, I cannot agree more. The mountains are absolutely fantastic. The surrounding towns, however, are scary as hell; home to the largest population of hillbillies, mountain-gnomes and bridge-trolls in the United States. Surely you have experienced Dollywood; did you ever suffer through Magic World?

Formerly known as "Melange"

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Surely you have experienced Dollywood; did you ever suffer through Magic World?

I managed to avoid both. Although a couple of times (many, many years ago) I auditioned with a bluegrass band at Dollywood. And I did spend a summer playing in Gatlinburg. But I was young and foolish back then.

Kevin

Part of the secret of success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside. -- Mark Twain

Visit my blog at Seriously Good.

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Damn you guys are killin me ...I am being dragged...I mean going to Knoxville for a hootnanny, I mean the Honda Hoot in June.....

All I want is biscuts and BBQ I will be on a motorcycle all day and looking like a proper hillbillie I hope, should I buy some overalls?

But really I want to find the greasy spoons of the area with great breakfasts and pie...the kind of places you hoped that the Crackerbarrel would be..

we are staying in Knoxville, the event is at Chilhowie Park, and we are going to ride in the Deals Gap area.....

tracey

The great thing about barbeque is that when you get hungry 3 hours later....you can lick your fingers

Maxine

Avoid cutting yourself while slicing vegetables by getting someone else to hold them while you chop away.

"It is the government's fault, they've eaten everything."

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All I want is biscuts and BBQ

Tracey,

http://www.metropulse.com/dir_suncity/dir_...rg_feature.html

Dixson's is probably the best that's at least somewhat convenient to Chilhowee Park. Buddy's is a local chain and can be found all over Knoxville. It's good, if not great.

Kevin

Kevin

Part of the secret of success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside. -- Mark Twain

Visit my blog at Seriously Good.

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Damn you guys are killin me ...I am being dragged...I mean going to Knoxville for a hootnanny,  I mean the Honda Hoot in June.....

All I want is biscuts and BBQ I will be on a motorcycle all day and looking like a proper hillbillie I hope, should I buy some overalls?

But really I want to find the greasy spoons of the area with great breakfasts and pie...the kind of places you hoped that the Crackerbarrel would be..

we are staying in Knoxville, the event is at Chilhowie Park, and we are going to ride in the Deals Gap area.....

tracey

Oh, geez, we accidentally rode through Deals Gap a couple months ago -- eat after you ride, not before! Too many twists and turns and twists on the "Tail of the Dragon" for my comfort.

However, we had a delicious BBQ experience in a shack shortly afterward. I believe it was in Dillsboro, NC. I don't remember the name of the place, but it was in Dillsboro on the main street, and there wasn't anywhere else that fit the description.

Good luck with the ride and the BBQ if you find some!

Cooking and writing and writing about cooking at the SIMMER blog

Pop culture commentary at Intrepid Media

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318 turns in 11 miles so I have heard...actually found a video from someones helmet cam...makes you sway at your desk very funny

so I now have the story on BBQ what about breakfast...and fried pie

The great thing about barbeque is that when you get hungry 3 hours later....you can lick your fingers

Maxine

Avoid cutting yourself while slicing vegetables by getting someone else to hold them while you chop away.

"It is the government's fault, they've eaten everything."

My Webpage

garden state motorcyle association

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  • 3 weeks later...

Adding to the comment about Dillsboro above. The BBQ place they mention is good, but your best bet if you are there, is the Jarrett House. Greta home cooking served family style. Not to be missed, if you are in that neck of the woods.

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  • 3 years later...
Previous thread on Gatlinburg/PF in the Southeast forum - recommendations made then still apply.

Another thread on Sevierville - which pretty much merges into Pigeon Forge at this point, so is easily doable for dinner as long as you have a car.

Plus there's always The Inn at Blackberry Farm, which is on the Cades Cove/Townsend side of the mountain - with the full multi-star tasting menu experience.  I'm not sure whether they let non-guests dine - at one point you could, then you couldn't, now their web site doesn't say one way or the other.  Probably worth emailing to find out, though.

Do the recommendations "made then" STILL apply? :laugh:

I have close friends visiting Gatlinburg for a week and they'd love to not eat chain food.

Thank you!

"You can't taste the beauty and energy of the Earth in a Twinkie." - Astrid Alauda

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Food Lovers' Guide to Santa Fe, Albuquerque & Taos: OMG I wrote a book. Woo!

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Do the recommendations "made then" STILL apply?  :laugh:

I have close friends visiting Gatlinburg for a week and they'd love to not eat chain food. 

Thank you!

I think that thread's been merged into this one since the links are broken, but yes, Pancake Pantry and the Apple Barn are still safe bets. The Burning Bush has actually been converted into a second location of the Apple Barn, so there's no point in recommending both any more except for the park view at the former Burning Bush location. There also appears to be a Calhoun's in Gatlinburg now - it's a local chain, but it has pretty reliable ribs.

I'd have to agree with carpetbagger, though - just have a big breakfast at Pancake Pantry and that'll pretty much do you for the rest of the day. :laugh:

"Tea and cake or death! Tea and cake or death! Little Red Cookbook! Little Red Cookbook!" --Eddie Izzard
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If they have a car and are willing to drive the Foothills Milling Company in Maryville is fantastic. In Townsend the Dancing Bear Lodge is another great dining spot. Non-resident dining at Blackberry Farms is rare now but I would check with them anyway they may get lucky.

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  • 2 years later...

If they have a car and are willing to drive the Foothills Milling Company in Maryville is fantastic. In Townsend the Dancing Bear Lodge is another great dining spot. Non-resident dining at Blackberry Farms is rare now but I would check with them anyway they may get lucky.

We had dinner at Foothills Milling Company last Thursday evening. It was the best restaurant meal I have had in some time. We were fortunate to be seated just before 7pm without reservations. Making reservations is definitely advisable. Romaine wedge salad, fried grouper entree, Octoberfest Special (pork chop, sausage, mustard sauce, kraut, potatoes), individual peach cobbler a la mode were our choices that evening.

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