A Toronto Chowhound's trip report: Gatlinburg, Harriman, Nashville, Bowling Green and Covington
I'd read the posts, and realized we were in chain territory. We chose the Park Grille http://parkgrillgatlinburg.com/ and it was fine. Salad bar was on the limited side, but we enjoyed the Hawg Wild pork shanks and sweet potato casserole side.
We had lunch at Los Primos, probably the only non-chain restaurant in Harriman, TN. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Los-Primos-Mexican-Restaurant/190174667682905 Very economical Mexican lunch that hit the spot. We had chiles rellenos and extra guacamole. Most of the lunch specials were under $7.
First night, we were in a rush, and ended up grabbing sandwiches at the Which Wich http://www.whichwich.com/ the Opry Mills mall before a concert (which had been recommended as one of the better food court options near the GOO on a previous thread).
We had breakfast Prime 108 in the Union Station Hotel both mornings we were in Nashville. I enjoyed the Cajun Scramble (although it was a little greasy) and the Crabcake Benedict. The current menu is not as limited as the online breakfast menu. Neat space, attentive service.
After we visited the Country Music Hall of Fame, I noticed Diana's on Broadway. http://www.dianasnashville.com/ I used to visit the Diana's when it was located in Port Huron, and decided to give the relocated Diana's a try, for old time's sake. The only thing the old Diana's and the new Diana's have in common would be the furnishings that had been moved to Nashville from Port Huron. The old Diana's was filled with old fashioned candies, fudge, baked goods, and had a full menu, including souvlaki, gyros, pecan pie sundaes, chocolate sodas, cherry Cokes, etc. The relocated Diana's has some fudge, and some friendly servers, but the soda fountain doesn't work, and the food and sundae selection is very limited. What the new Diana's is missing is the spirit of the old Diana's, which I'm guessing was a time and place type of spirit that could only be found in Port Huron, Michigan. All this being said, the very friendly staff did add some cherry flavouring to a Coke for me, and the sandwich we ordered was fine for what it was.
We had a lovely dinner at the Capitol Grille. http://www.capitolgrillenashville.com/dinner.aspx I wasn't wowed by my farm salad (I couldn't tell if it had been dressed, to be frank) or by the trout with hominy, which was kind of plain, but I absolutely loved their creamed collards, which I had ordered as a side. The dessert, a strawberry almond tart, with strawberry sorbet, was delicious and beautiful. Very attentive and friendly service from our server.
Before leaving Tennesse, I picked up some Goo Goo Clusters (first time trying one!) and pralines.
BBQ lunch at the Smokey Pig in Bowling Green
Thanks to the hounds who had mentioned this place. We loved our lunch. I had the small shredded plate, baked beans, both types of cole slaw, Derby Pie. So glad I finally tried Derby Pie, after reading about it in Saveur years ago.
We stayed in Covington, and decided to give Blinkers Tavern a try. Great value. Fried chicken was one of the specials the day we were there. $11 for 4 juicy pieces, and some cornbread. Their fried green tomatoes weren't worth ordering again imo (I've ordered much better versions), but the daily special of blacked cod was tasty. Really nice servers. Good casual place to eat if you're in Covington, and less than a 10 minute walk from the Covington Waterfront hotels.
I had a hotel restaurant breakfast in Covington, and I had a chance to try Goetta at breakfast, in a Cincinatti Scramble (cheese, eggs, Goetta and hash browns). I liked the Goetta enough to order it next time I'm near Cincinatti. ;-)
I loved much of the food we tried on our visit, and hope to get a chance to try more of what TN and KY offer!