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Jun 26, 2009 11:32 PM

Pigeon Forge for a week - HELP!

I'm heading to Pigeon Forge for a week long vacation with the extended family - and I'm looking for some insight and help. I've read the boards and there isn't really anything current; and coming from Orlando (another tourist spot with both wonderful and not so wonderful dining options) I understand how the climate of the restaurant scene can change often and quickly.

We are staying in a condo, so we'll be able to make some meals at home (thank goodness since I do love to cook) but we'll definitely eat out as well. I have read that we should bring our own liquor and beer, but that we'll be able to find some decent supermarkets. Are there any farmers markets? Farm Stands? Gourmet Stores? Or any other type of foodie store?

After all the reading on this and other sites, I think we should hit the Pancake Pantry for breakfast and Bullfish Grill for dinner, and if we make it to Gatlinburg I would love to eat at Havana Dreams. I have read mixed reviews about Applewood Farmhouse Restaurant - so not sure what to make of it - the menu seems pretty "cracker barrel" southern type food. As much as I would love to check out Blackberry Farm, we'll be with non-foodies that won't spend that kind of money and it will be too hard to try to break away and have dinner by ourselves.

We're looking for non-chain, mid priced restaurants - both for lunch and dinner. I don't eat meat, but do eat seafood and all the others eat everything, if there are any vegetarian options, I would love to hear about them.

I've heard we'll head to Cherokee & Dollywood - so help in those areas would also be great. Again, living in Orlando and near Disneyworld - I understand the concept of theme park dining and how it can run the gamut from horrid to pretty good.

Any information, leads or help would be so greatly appreciated. I'm hoping to make it through without having to eat fast food, chain food or gross southern food (canned veggies, fried everything).

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  1. You have answered all your questions. Gook Luck and enjoy the water slides and fudge shoppes. That extra "pe" was just an effort to class it up a bit. <vbg>

    2 Replies
    1. re: Brawny

      What do you mean by the extra "pe"?

    2. Was just there a few weeks ago at Dollywood--a whole story on its own. Admission was steep but the food inside seemed surprisingly affordable. We expected more kitsch, but it was mostly a very sweet place.

      We didn't really succeed in finding good food in town. There are pancake places every few feet, and we settled on Flapjacks for breakfasts and enjoyed what we had the two times we went to the chain. We also ate at Corky's BBQ for dinner once. My cornmeal breaded catfish was pretty good. It also appeared to be a chain, but they were careful with the food that we had. Cheap and cheerful.

      Gatlinburg, though wildly popular, was not really our thing. One too many shoppes and wedding chapels.

      Cherokee is a trip. I am not really sure how to enjoy that place, but with kids it could be fun. Between Dollywood and Cherokee, you'll be driving right over Clingman Dome which is the tallest point in TN. Beautiful and worth setting time aside to see.

      Corky's Bar BQ
      3584 Parkway, Pigeon Forge, TN 37863

      3 Replies
      1. re: Noel_B

        Thanks Noel - we'll be with kids when we go to Cherokee, so hopefully it will be a fun time. Not into wedding chapels either, so we'll breeze through Gatlinburg. I will make sure to check out Clingman Dome - thanks!

        1. re: Noel_B

          Had lunch at Corky's and it was not good at all. The pulled pork was just sort of blah and the sauce was overly sweet. I got the fried okra and baked beans as sides. The okra had been sitting around for some time and wasn't that crispy, the baked beans again tasted like eating a spoonful of sugar.

          1. re: MVNYC

            That is bad news, but thank you for reporting.


        2. The mixed reviews on Applewood have to do with two different places together....the applewood farmhouse grill that you come to first then the farmhouse which is in the back of the property.The farmhouse is very good and much better than a cracker barrell the grill is more like a cracker barrell.

          1. In no particular order, here are some Pigeon Forge food comments from a frequent visitor:

            1. Visit the Old Mill, a working gristmill dating to 1830. The adjacent Old Mill Restaurant and Pottery House Cafe use the mill's products for various baked goods. See for a preview.
            2. Bennett's is a fine barbeque joint.
            3. You'll like Bullfish. The same folks own the Flying Horse Grill. Its menu is extensive. ("Flying Horse" refers to the Italian carousel inside the restaurant.
            )4. Mama's Farmhouse is new, and it serves good southern food family-style.
            5. Numerous restaurants served beer and wine. There is no liquor by the drink. Groceries sell beer, but not wine.
            6. The Alamo Steakhouse is another good choice. Its menu includes a good trout entree.
            &. There's a new operation with a Thai, a Japanese and an Italian restaurant under one roof. It's on Community Center Drive.

            1. Best Italian restaurant in Gatlinburg - not a chain and great pizza, pasta, and salads.