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Jun 28, 2009 09:25 PM

Pig Burgers,Fried Baloney and Banana Pudding:Eating Like It's 1922 In Knoxville,Tennessee

The home of Mountain Dew and Mr.Fuji has some very promising sounding restaurants.I've been doing some heavy lifting on the research for the last couple days in anticipation of being there in a couple weeks and have gleaned the following:

Sarge's Bar-B-Que
3406 Pleasant Ridge Rd
Knoxville, TN 37921

Smokehouse Barbecue and Sub shop
7800 Asheville Highway
Knoxville, TN
(865) 933-7448

3430 Wilson Ave
Knoxville, TN 37914

M&M Catering Barbecue
7409 Middlebrook Pike Knoxville Tn 37909
865 692 1003

(865) 637-1611

Dixson's Barbecue
1201 E Magnolia Ave
Knoxville, TN 37917

Scruggs Real Pit Barbecue
1920 E Magnolia Ave, Knoxville,
(865) 524-4333

(865) 524-1929

1224 West 5th Avenue
Knoxville, TN 37921


Pauline's by Marky Mark
1518 University Ave
Knoxville, TN 37921-4847
865 522 2256

501 Arthur St[name of restaurant?
]501 Arthur St
Knoxville, TN 37921-6437
(865) 951-2523

Since I pulled alot of the information off the wayback machine I'm not sure how much of it is current and relevant.

The iconic joint that put a head of steam into everybody;Brother Jack's, is apparently now just a barbecue sauce company.How's the sauce? Can you pick it up in local markets?

On last years visit I ate at Hong Kong House and liked it but I get world class Sichuan right here in Austin,Texas so I'm really looking for food that defines Knoxville.

As a lover of old bars,restaurants and taverns;how is Opal's Lounge?

And last but not least, who puts out the best bowl of banana pudding in town?

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  1. I had my first OTT'S BBQ in 1970. It has to be the BEST I've had anywhere...even in BBQ capital cities. Now I'm going to have to make a road trip from Florida to get some!!!

    1. Ott's was closed for a couple of years but is open again.

      Without going to the phone book (which is now 6 months out of date, anyway, Sarge's near Western Ave closed, moved to near John Sevier Pike and was closed there when we tried to find it.
      I think Spooky's is gone, too.
      We were on the part of western where Boo's is supposed to be...didn't see it, but could have missed it. Lots of changes in that part of the city.
      Pit Stop on Whittel Spring is still around, and we've a new one where Rutlege Pike intersects the road that to the west is Love Creek Road and to the east is Chilhowee Drive.

      About Banana Pudding: How do I tell you this? Mr. Shallots loves Banana Pudding. Then we discovered the #2 1/2 cans of vanilla pudding at Sam's. And I fear that that vanilla pudding is the base for 95% of the banana pudding in Knoxville. (The other 5% I'm still looking for.) I've gotten him off of that version and onto home made pudding with home made vanilla wafers. (not inspired by any local experiences.)

      1. M&M on Middlebrook is in business and worth a stop. Not sure if they are open every day. For banana pudding made the old fashioned way- Wright's Cafeteria on Middlebrook Pike (not open on Sat or Sun and only serve lunch.) Check out Metro Pulse on line and look for a recent column by Jack Neely. He discusses several local places including one that serves fried bologna sandwiches. There is a little place on Washington Pike just off the I640 exit near the new Target called Kitts - standard atmosphere, plain chairs and table and tile floor but great cornbread, full house (which is chili served over tamales) and every day they have a couple of meats and several vegetable choices.

        3 Replies
        1. re: LGD

          Thanks for the tip on Jack Neely.That guy can really write.Here's a link to one of his pieces:

          Lots of Knoxville soul food and barbecue talk in his article

          1. re: scrumptiouschef

            thanks for the Jack Neely post too LGD-you helped me with my post too!

            1. re: scrumptiouschef

              Jack Neely's elegant writing on 501 Arthur led me to Mike's little joint in Mechanicsville a few times over the last year or so.

              Sad to report that 501 Arthur has closed.

          2. Ye Olde Steakhouse has a tarvern feel has great cheeseburgers...and steak but the peanut butter pie is out of this world.
            You know scrumptious, I am not a huge que fan but Pup's isnt to bad.
            King Tuts is also a must do in Knoxville area...the greek salad will leave you craving it.
            This going to sound off the wall but the thing I crave most from my years in school in the Knoxville area is the hot ham and cheese sandwich with banana peppers from White Star Deli ...a little gas satation / deli in Seymour (in between Knoxville and sevierville)

            1. Actually, the real name is PIGSBURGERS!.
              WIth the permission of a friend from a non-food forum, I give you the following from him about this now departed Knoxville institution:

              but the best part of a pigsburger was the atmosphere (dirt floor, Grade D Health Dept rating with an 18" possum tail hanging down over it, and the ...uh clientele)

              He served those things on white bread that were dripping with sauce and they basically disintegrated on the first bite. I really miss that place.

              For the record, it is a "Pigsburger" ...

              From 1971-1979 I probably spent more time at Bro Jacks than 20 UT students, and I was rewarded for my worship of the Pigsburger with an invitation to come watch Tip (Bro Jack) prep for opening one afternoon where we made sauce and patted out some pigsburgers.

              Anyway, much to my surprise he didnt haul a carcass or a dead cat/dog/possum out of the trunk of his car as was the local legend. He merely flipped over a couple of sides of St Louis ribs and cut off the big hunk of meat on the back and salt and peppered it and threw it in a grinder. Then after taking a pull on the Old Stillwell that he kept in his back pocket he grabbed a handful of meat, rolled it into a ball and threw it down on the cutting board. G... if it didnt make a perfect patty when it made contact with his board that btw hadnt been cleaned since WWII.

              He would cook these things a long time. If it was a hamburger I would say they were XXWell Done. He threw these things in an electric skillet with onions that were still there from the day before as was the bacon grease, turned it up to 300 and there you go. I always hated going in there at 3:00AM and having to wait on those .... things to come out of the cooker. They were only $0.50 and the Screamin Sauce was the perfect compliment.

              ... I miss that guy, and he also made the best tequila I've ever had, but it looked like there were human organs floating inside the gallon jar so you had to have faith.

              3 Replies
              1. re: shallots

                That's a million dollar post.I'm copying it cause it's so good the mods will never let it stand.Thanks Shallots.

                Is Dixson's in any way shape or form comparable?

                1. re: shallots

                  Brother Jacks. Brought back memories. Went for the 1st time when I was a freshman at UT in 1980. We used to stop in late and get pigburgers, ribs and chicken. All served with white bread.

                  1. re: Tennessee


                    Metropulse has a new guide to Knoxville barbecue. On my last trip through in March I was amazed at how big the city is getting. Can't wait to roll back through in December and do some more eating.