Knoxville rec's for a solo diner?
Will you be getting your classes on the U of T campus? If so, the low- to mid-priced places I'd recommend in the general downtown area include:
* Sunspot -- Interesting mix of fusion-y entrees and sandwiches. Really, the only restaurant on the college strip worth going to (though Old College Inn has its stalwarts, and Mellow Mushroom makes a fine albeit expensive pizza).
* Tomato Head -- Gourmet pizzas, salads and sandwiches, with several vegan options. Also, a very nice Sunday brunch, though it's getting almost too popular.
* La Costa -- Nouvelle Mexican with interesting ingredients.
* Nama -- Untraditional sushi in a bistro atmosphere.
* Pete's -- Traditional diner grub.
* T. Ho -- Nice cafe in a shabby strip plaza, but with very solid selection of Vietnamese mainstays.
* Litton's -- Local favorite for all-American fare -- the hamburgers are considered the best in town.
* Frussie's -- Great sandwiches, maybe the best in town. Only open according to the owner's whims and not at night, so call first.
* Smokey Mountain Deli -- The best hummous and baba ganoush to be found at any Chevron. Not much space to eat in, but you can gas up at the same time.
Near West (far west is subsumed by casual dining chains):
* Big Fatty's -- High quality meat 'n' three.
* Sitar -- A very good Indian buffet.
* Philippine Connection -- Hole-in-the-wall Filipino; not much dining space.
* Pizza Palace -- How many drive-in pizzerias are there left? This one's 45 years old.
* Mary's Hot Tamales -- Sourthern-style tamales.
* A number of BBQ places, Dixson's, Chandler's, Scrugg's...
Knoxville is unfortunately dominated by chains, but there are some real gems if you do some searching, which you're doing now.
Tomato Head on Market Square is fantastic. Everything is made from scratch every day. I go there whenever I'm in Knoxville and would make that my must-visit restaurant if I were you. Here are some other recs:
Sitar - excellent Indian food for East Tennessee and the Carolinas, although veterans of larger cities might find it average at best.
Korea House - Last time I ate there in 2000, it was on par with the best Korean joints in DC.
Orangery - most upscale of this list; good food and wine list. Great service.
Regas - Old-school steak, seafood and game, with rich side dishes. Feels like 1955 in there, but the flavors work and the service is excellent.
I'm open to anything. I do like funky and unique restaurants, something not real "run of the mill" so to speak. Ethnic food is great but I doubt that Knoxville has alot in that area?? Is there anyplace that is a "must" while in Knoxville. I've read about King Tut's Grill. Anything else? I'll be there for a couple of nights. Thanks for the reply.