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:
3406 Pleasant Ridge Rd
Knoxville, TN 37921
Smokehouse Barbecue and Sub shop
7800 Asheville Highway
3430 Wilson Ave
Knoxville, TN 37914
M&M Catering Barbecue
7409 Middlebrook Pike Knoxville Tn 37909
865 692 1003
EAST SIDE SOUL FOOD
2255 MCCALLA AVE
1201 E Magnolia Ave
Knoxville, TN 37917
Scruggs Real Pit Barbecue
1920 E Magnolia Ave, Knoxville,
2701 WHITTLE SPRINGS RD
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
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?
On a recent pass through Knoxville to see Hank 3 I was rewarded with a pigsburger at Scruggs. It's a bit like a sloppy joe with Christmas-y flavor accents. I had the feeling it was something I would've loved had I grown up eating it.
Nearby Chandler's Deli does not offer the pigsburger but will put an iconic meat and 3 in front of you for ten-ish bucks.
They're about as good as Wright's Cafeteria which is saying something. Had a great conversation about the history of Southeastern Championship Wrestling with Mr Wright. All the old workers [Mongolian Stomper, Tennessee Stud, Don Carson etc] used to come into Wrights.
He was a tad excited to chat with somebody that knows the whys and wherefores of banana puddin AND a good loser leave town match at Chilhowee park.
Too bad about 501 Arthur shuttering. It felt like San Francisco a million years ago in that joint.
5403 N Middlebrook Pike, Knoxville, TN 37921
will be in Knoxville in 2 days, so thanx for some good leads. BTW, as you may have heard, Peter Chang departed the Hong Kong House long ago, and went to Charlottsville VA. The place has subsequently gone downhill rather significantly (last health score 49!!)
BBQ is not as easy to find in TN as in Austin--just got back from that area in April, and had memorable visits to City Market in Luling and Royer's Round Top--both were worth the drive east.
Hong Kong House
8079 Kingston Pike Ste X, Knoxville, TN 37919
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.
Ye Olde Steakhouse has a tarvern feel ...it 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)
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.
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.)