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Jan 17, 2000 09:59 PM

Knoxville and East Tenn eats

  • j

I'm headed to Knoxville and eastern Tennessee in search of distinctive local joints serving great bbq and Southern cooking, preferably those places that have been around for a long time -- the kind of place with a history. So far I have the Ridgewood Restaurant in Bluff City and a few bbq spots in Knoxville. Any help would be appreciated.

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  1. In Elizabethton there are two places downtown that are old, established places for food: the Southern and Dino's. Each is as you would expect from a small town serving southern, italain food respectively. Take a walk into each and you will meet the locals in all the glory. They are two doors apart in the first block of the downtown section of this small rural city. Stop in for a tour of the fire dept and tell them I sent you before walking to the historic Covered Bridge past fine old homes. Be well and enjoy Ridgewood that is not to be missed. Also in the area are Salsa's in Asheville (my favorite) and the Pepper Mill in Abingdon Va.

    1 Reply
    1. re: john chris
      Ilyich Ulyanov

      Hey...don't know if you've already gone on your trip, but if not you ought'n to try and see if the great, great Fort Marx in Cosby still exists. It has pretty tasty German food, but the big draw is the moonshine and other homemade liqueur/homebrew. The moonshine's pretty decent...the rest is not always so hot, but still fun and strong strong strong. Jeez, I can't believe I'm not dead after all the times I drove back from there to Knoxville.
      Don't be scared off by the looks rough from the outside, but it's totally safe and friendly.
      Here's some pretty good descriptions I stole off the Roadside America site:
      (by the way, if you need a map, I'm make one up on Mapquest. Just holler)
      We found an honest-to-goodness moonshine bar right here in the hills. Located on Dark Hollow Road (unmarked) in Cosby, TN (a decades-old moonshine town), Fort Marx specializes in homemade beer and spirits. You'd never know the place is a public establishment because it's housed in two ramshackle double-wide trailers that rest uneasily against a thrown-together wood building. There's a tiny, scrawled sign in the window that reads Fort Marx.
      Anyway, the bar is run by an old German couple — the wife makes an awesome sausage and potatoes dish. The beer tastes like apples (incredible) and the moonshine, flavored like banana, hazelnut, and a bunch of others....well let's just say you never know til it hits you! Take-home mason jars filled with moonshine and cherries or pears are available for 20 bucks, but I highly recommend the sit-down experience. Local flavor at this place is amazing — very backwoods! [S., 3/27/98]

      Read visitor's note regarding Ft Marx the moonshine bar in Cosby TN. As native of this area who has been sipping Fred and Maria's concoctions for over 20 years (They used to own the "Turtle" bar here.... are you a Turtle?) let me assure you that TOURISTS BETTER USE A DESIGNATED DRIVER!!!! The roads surrounding Ft Marx are very curvy and difficult to drive at night if you don't know them already. Add a few of Fred's moonshine marinated cherries (called belly bombs around here) and you are ripe picking for the local authorities of Cocke County. Now a mandatory 7 days in jail for FIRST dwi offense. and TRUST ME..... you do NOT want to spend 7 days in Cocke County jail with the extras from Deliverance... Good source of income for the County they determined. [Jsstpnby, 7/4/98]

    2. There's a barbecue joint west of Knoxville way out on Kingston Pike named Ott's Bar-B-Que. It's sort of a western KY style that is cooked over wood coals. It's the best in Knoxville and it sure beats the other places I've tried there. Buddy's BBQ is only fair for wood-cooked, but there several locations in town.