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From Asheville, NC to Bristol, VA

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Road trip northwards coming up in the Fall. Any can't-miss places along this route? North of Asheville through Johnson City, TN to Bristol. . . Looking especially for great BBQ, Southern/Soul Food and Diners/Greasy Spoons/Burger Joints, although more high-end spots are of interest, too, if they're really exceptional. Oh, and remarkable sweets of any variety! Have heard some talk about a burger place famous for being Hank Williams' last meal, anybody know more? Thanks in advance, 'Hounders!

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  1. Ridgewood BBQ just north of Johnson City. They've gotten a bit pricier, but their BBQ is superb. So are their baked beans. I really like their sweet slaw. DH loves their fries. And I like their Blue Cheese dip with crackers.
    Lots of reviews on the internet, the negatives are from Carolinians who only like BBQ the way they've always had it.

    2 Replies
    1. re: shallots

      Thanks, Shallots! Don't get me started on those Carolinians and their BBQ! Being a native Texan, I cannot, in good conscience, endorse what they call BBQ. However, I can and do wholeheartedly endorse their enthusiasm and dedication. It's one that I share for "real" BBQ! (Sliced Beef Brisket and Pork Spare Ribs; served with sliced white bread, cheese, onion and pickle; washed down by R.C. Cola or Big Red) :D
      Ridgewood sounds like a good spot, though, thanks again for the heads-up!

      1. re: IHateKiddo

        IHateKiddo,
        If you come to Knoxville, we have a new BBQ place on the east side of town, just off I-640, at the intersection of 11-W and Loves Creek Road called B&D. They still have some problems during lunch rush, but the food is good. You would find that their Beef Brisket could pass for Demaris BBQ (that used to be at Town and Counrty Mall in Houston). And they even have pork ribs and white bread. And they recommend hot sauce.
        When I had the brisket, I shook my head in wonder that someone here was getting it right.

    2. It's not exactly directly on your route, but I hear that Farmer's Daughter in Chuckey, TN (near Greenville) is really good. Haven't made the trip myself though. It's an old fashioned family-style place and friends who have eaten there say the food is wonderful.

      http://thefarmersdaughterrestaurant.com/

      Gonna stay out of the BBQ mudslinging....

      3 Replies
      1. re: Leepa

        Yes, Leepa! This place looks like exactly what we're interested in. Not far out of the way at all, either! Nice one.

        1. re: IHateKiddo

          We have made the trip to the Farmer's Daughter from Asheville, and it was well worth the drive. Delicous meats (we had fried chicken and country style steak) and about six or eight different sides. The service was great, very down-home and friendly, and the drive over is beautiful. Get there a little early, because the line starts forming quickly.

          1. re: IHateKiddo

            Good! I'll look forward to hearing your opinion of the place.

        2. A little further north from Bristol is Chilhowie. I have been hearing amazing things about the inventive dishes served at the Town House Grill! Based on those reviews I would go the extra distance to try them for a higher-end splurge.

          http://www.townhousegrill.com/