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Aug 12, 2009 08:16 PM

BBQ in Eastern TN

My wife-to-be has to be the best wife ever. For our honeymoon, she actually suggested going to Tennessee to stay in the mountains and eat BBQ.

What are the best places between Pigeon Forge and Nashville. We'll be in Pigeon Forge for two days and Nashville for two days...looking for some good, local places as well as the trendy tourist places. Not afraid to drive a little ways if there's something worth going out of the way for.

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  1. A search will turn up lots of recs. For example:

      1. Hate to tell you this, but there's no barbecue in the mountains of East TN. Go to Memphis instead. Its on the other end of the state.

        1 Reply
        1. As the other folks suggested,you might seek out some meat and threes.

          It has often been the opinion,that bbq in Ky/Tn starts west of I-65 in both states.


          1 Reply
          1. re: TomFl

            To the contrary, BBQ exists rather well in East TN, it just doesn't have the snob appeal of having books written about it. (And you won't be puckering at both ends if you oversplash with vinegar based sauces.)
            Ridgewood BBQ in northeasternmost TN (Bluff City, to be exact) is wonderful even though it's different. Their sides shine from their blue cheese with celery to their baked beans to their fries and on and on (and their two very different slaws).
            Ridgewood is a reasonable distance from Pigeon Forge and by keeping to the backroads you'd have more of a feel for the valley than on the interstate. There are also a number of historic sites from two hundred years ago, if you are history based. (If you are NASCAR at all, Bristol Motor Speedway is very close to Ridgewood.)

          2. In Nashville try Neely's or Jack's. Both are good. Neely's is based out of Memphis. Calhoun's is good for Knoxville or Pigeon Forge.

            1 Reply
            1. re: turnrow

              if you're willing to drive over to Kingsport, TN, Bonefire Smokehouse has been good, in my experiences with them. They were originally owned by 12 Bones, of Asheville fame, and the food is still just as good, in my opinion.