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Jun 27, 2009 05:10 PM

San Francisco Chowhounders Knoxville Bound

Calling out Southern Chowhounders... can you please give us some restaurant recommendations for Knoxville. Will be there for a quick weekend trip (headed to Bristol for NASCAR) and will have one night to taste the specialties of Knoxville and a chance to have breakfast.

We are looking for local restaurants offering up regional specialties. Also - what are the local specialties? Coming from SF, it is hard for us to get good steaks, BBQ, fried chicken, biscuits, grits, country ham, etc. I grew up in Alabama, so I really miss some of the regional specialties like those listed earlier and hushpuppies.

Any recommendations / ideas are greatly appreciated!


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  1. If BBQ is what you're looking for, Famous Dave's is definitely what you want. If you get stalled for some reason and want a simple lunch like subs, I recommend Firehouse Subs. Have fun in Bristol for me. I'm very envious. :-)

    1 Reply
    1. re: Amandalusian88

      I'm not familiar with eastern Tennessee BBQ, but isn't Famous Dave's a chain? If you're talking about the same Famous Dave's, then our San Francisco chowhounds already have one just south of them in Gilroy, CA. Hardly worth it for them to fly all the way out here for something they can get by driving 60 miles south of the Bay Area.

      and Firehouse Subs - isn't that also a chain? How about some locally-owned places? Like Dixie Barbeque Co. in Johnson City, TN.

      Or M&M Catering for BBQ and southern sides in the heart of Knoxville?

    2. I've only been once for the pimiento burger and the Italian cream cake but how about Litton's?

      1 Reply
      1. If you're flying into Knoxville, it's not that long a drive down to Benton's Hams in Madisonville TN. You will find the flavors there that you've missed for so long in hams and bacon (to take home).
        Then back up to Bristol, very close to Bristol in Bluff City is Ridgewood BBQ.

        The two other BBQ places in Knoville are Buddy's and Calhoun's. Both are local chains.

        Drive up from Knoxville to Bristol via 11W and stop at Ritter Farms, at the north end of Grainger County and pick up local produce to munch on. (as well as bottles of local sorghum, etc.)
        If the time of day is right, a short detour to the northwest on 25E up to the restaurant on the top of Clinch Mountain for a slice of Vinegar Pie could also be a pleasure.
        Saturday morning farmers market in Abindon Virginia isn't that far for artisan cheeses and breads, etc.

        1. Thanks for all the recommendations - I noticed on the other Knoxville thread - there was mention of:
          2255 MCCALLA AVE
          KNOXVILLE,TN 37915
          (865) 637-1611

          Has anyone been there? How is there fried chicken? Do they have good cornbread, fried okra, hushpuppies?