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ISO best bbq and fried chicken, Knoxville/Oak Ridge adjacent

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Planning a return visit to Tennessee soon, I am the originator of the "New to Oak Ridge" thread. I haven't been in a few months and I'm really really craving good bbq and fried chicken. And that red velvet cake from Fatty's, but that's not the point of this thread.

What's the best, absolute best, I can find in Knoxville or Oak Ridge?
I've been to Calhoun's, I liked it a lot though I know it's a chain. Their cornbread is my favorite.

We are willing to drive up to 45 minutes from Knoxville. Not interested right now in anything beyond that, planning to stay in the immediate area.

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  1. Is M&M Catering the best place to go?

    1. Fried Chicken---go to Wright's Cafeteria on Middlebrook Pike. Serves lunch during the week. I have been going there for years but just last year discovered their fried chicken, as I usually eat only veggies. If you get there past 12:30, they may be out of chicken. Crispy outside, delicious white chicken inside. Also love their deviled eggs and their yeast rolls are incredible. I have eaten a lot of barbecue and I truly love Buddy's pork and their chicken. I am convinced that their meat is a higher quality than you find in other Knoxville bar b que places. Buddy's is simple and quick and the only side I like is their beans. Their lemon ice box pie is a "killer" way to finish a quick lunch!

      3 Replies
      1. re: LGD

        I saw this a little too late, just got back and had M&M bbq, it was the BEST. I'd consider checking out Wright's next time.

        Buddy's, you mean the fast food-type place?

        1. re: CookieEater

          Is M and M in the former Catinella's location on Middlebrook? I have to try it. And Yes, Buddy's is the "fast food-type" place. They slow cook all their meat-chicken, beef, pork-take your choice.Last year at Christmas, I got one of their smoked turkeys

          1. re: LGD

            I couldn't tell you where M&M is now (I wasn't driving), I only know it's not in the cinderblock hut in the laundromat parking lot where it used to be until recently (where we went first, via Google). I think it is on Middlebrook still.
            Can't promise I'll try Buddy's next time I'm in town, because I'll probably fill up on M&M first.