Johnson City, TN...
I'm going to be in Johnson City for the next 2 weeks, and I'm hoping to find some good chow. I'm already in the south, so I don't need recs for "Southern" or BBQ. Just good, well prepared food, and preferably with a cocktail involved. Non-chain restaurants preferred.
70 miles for dinner is a bit much- I may as well go to Asheville.. :p I'll be working long days, so the VA spots aren't really an option.
The drive from Asheville was indeed beautiful. I'll be making that drive a couple more times before the 17th of Oct, and I imagine it will get more and more spectacular, with the change of seasons.
I'm at the Carnegie Hotel, and the restaurant downstairs- Wellington's- is rumored to be good. I've also had some feedback about Gourmet and Company.
Since JC seems under-reported, I'll make it my mission to scare up some good eats while I'm here.
Take I-81 to Abingdon ,Va, a pretty town with a good downtown for strolling. Try Allisons ( good soups and salads) and the Wildflour ( a more ambitious menu for dinner) Neither serve alcohol. There are several interesting looking places ( Withers, the Peppermill) which serve drinks, but I haven't eaten there. I don't think JC has many non-chain non barbeque restaurants.
Ridgewood BBQ just up the road near Bluff City is a must, for a lunch, but there's no booze. They do have a good descriptive website.
Stir Fry Cafe (in Knoxville) has a sister restaurant in Johnson City and the recipes are a step above many oriental restaurants. (And they have a full bar in the one in Knoxville).
If the weather is clear, you owe yourself a drive down I-26 to Asheville NC. It's the newest interstate through the mountains and a really lovely drive. (and you'll find scores of Asheville recommendations here.)
If you go down 11E to Tusculum, there's a neat lunchplace across the road from the college.
(I'll try to remember names of places, but sometimes the names aren't distinctive, although the food is.)