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Knoxville lunch recommendation

Will be driving from Maggie Valley, NC to Knoxville airport on a Tuesday. Since I don't have any idea where the airport is and have never been to Knoxville, what are some good lunch recs that won't take me too far out of the way? We don't mind venturing off a little, but don't want to wind up in someplace way far out of the way. Thanks.

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  1. Litton's has the best burgers! www.choppedonion.com

    5 Replies
    1. re: Choppedonion

      I agree with Littons, but it might be a bit out of the way for that route.Puleos off the Strawberry Plains exit is good and on the way.

      1. re: Spreadhead

        Get good up to date drving directions before you start. I-40 is closed through the center of town, so you'll have to take I-640 (and Littons is just up the road from the Broadway exit on 640.)
        Then you'll head towards downtown either 640 to old 40 east bound, or 640 to 275 south and 40W with an almost immediate exit to Alcoa Hwy southbound, which is where the airport is.
        Please get a really good map and leave enough time to enjoy lunch. (Puleo's would be my choice, and Littons a close second.)

        1. re: shallots

          Thanks for the recs and the driving info. Obviously Littons has the best burgers, but what kind of food does Puleo's have?

          1. re: pilches

            Shallots is right about the 640 detour taking you out near Litton's, and they do have a killer burger, but you can hit Litton's and then keep on going on I-40 until you get to I-140, a straight shot to the airport with no need to head back into a construction zone.

            Funny, I grew up in Knoxville and lived there until 1997, and I couldn't tell you one place I'd call a 'must go' for lunch - Litton's is a good call, though - I used to end up there for lunch a lot back when. Puleo's has a good reputation, but that mostly means it's popular with E. Tenn. folks - not necessarily a 'foodie endorsement', that.

            1. re: coryphaena

              I have lived and dined in Chicago, Houston ane New Orleans, and I like the food at Puleo's.
              It's fresh, well cooked and well seasoned.
              Lunches can be pedestrian: burgers, the pizza of the day, fried fish, grilled smoked pork chop, as well as the daily special. For vegetarians, the choices of vegetables include kale (which a kale addicted friend of mine says is the best he's ever had), mushrooms in burgundy, a confetti slaw with a nod to chinese fusion seasoning, grits (don't laugh, they are cheese grits served with andouille or other cajun smoked sausage gravy, or a white gravy, as well as the usual fries, baked potatoes, baked sweet potato, broccoli and carrots.
              And their fried green tomatoes with grits and gravies are beloved by the locals, and that IS an endorsement.

    2. My family and I are planning to drive to Nashville this year and plan to stop off at Pizza Palace in Knoxville for lunch.Does anybody know if Pizza Palace is any good?

      6 Replies
      1. re: wench31

        I think Pizza Palace is AWFUL. I have seen it on Diners, Drive Ins and Dives and they make it sound great BUT, trust me unless you just want the experience, it is not good. Sonic for a drive in or Pizza Hut for pizza is better and believe me I never eat at either one of those places.

        1. re: LGD

          A friend from Connecticut likes it.
          But we saw the day old Pizza from there in her icebox and didn't want to taste it (and we think second day pizza is a test of how good a pizza is (if it makes it to the second day).
          Does Knoxville have a pizza place worth the drive?

          (Oak Ridge has big Ed's but there the history of the place and its niche in the community are part of the visit.)

          1. re: shallots

            i lived in Knoxville for years and NEVER heard of this place until DDD.

            1. re: shallots

              Try Roman's Pizza at 179 N Seven Oaks Dr
              Knoxville, TN 37922
              (865) 539-1784

              1. re: rfirpo

                Is Roman's Pizza the one next to the 'dollar cinema'?

                And for PILCHES, on getting to the airport.
                Take 640 around town, as the road re-merges with I-40, there's an airport sign on the huge signboard over the interstate that tells you left lane to airport (and downtown Knoxville).
                Then you are east bound on old I-40 and the Alcoa Highway exit will be the first exit to your right and then it's a straight shot out to the airport.

                1. re: shallots

                  Yes, Roman's is next to the (now more than a) Dollar Theatre.

                  I also like Mangia at Turkey Creek (next to Five Guys Burgers & Fries).

                  And may I say that a slice of Sam's Club pizza often hits the spot while on a shopping expedition?

        2. I wish I had seen this earlier, it's probably too late. I liked Puleo's. Pizza Palace was fun just cuz I'm from L.A. and it's so unlike anything here. But the food at other places is probably better.
          I want to recommend more but they're probably not real close to the airport