Thursday, October 23, 2014

Pigeon Forge, TN Edition

I recently went to Tennessee (Pigeon Forge, specifically) to visit my parents while on vacation. Pigeon Forge is a very tourist-heavy town, so it was tough to scope out restaurants that got to the real culture of the town instead of tourist traps. But we tried.

SATURDAY

Creamery CollageThe Old Mill Creamery - We went here mostly because we had a long wait for our dinner. But there were a dozen or so options in the form of bowls, cones or shakes. I got a two-scoop cone with a peanut butter moose tracks sort of ice cream and another that I can't remember. But overall, pretty tasty!

Grade: A
Old Mill Creamery on Urbanspoon









Old Mill CollageThe Old Mill Restaurant - This is where we chose for dinner my first night there. While our wait was incredibly long, once we finally got in, service was quick. A house salad and some corn fritters were rushed to our table. I ordered the meatloaf, with a side of macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes (which were served family style) and a pecan pie. The price was about $20 all inclusive. It comes in a nice set. And it was also pretty tasty. The meatloaf was ground pretty fine, so it was crumbly. But the top had a nice tomato flavor. The corn fritters, mashed potatoes and macaroni and cheese were all good. Average-ish. The pecan pie was good. Overall, a decent meal. Love comfort food, but the wait was so incredibly long. And nothing was totally mind-blowing.

Grade: B
Old Mill on Urbanspoon

SUNDAY

Alamo CollageAlamo Steakhouse - This is one I wanted to go to because I heard really good reviews. In an act of luck, we ended up going for lunch, so it's a good bit cheaper. I ordered the horseradish-crusted sirloin with a side of mushroom risotto and their potatoes. I ordered it medium, and it was definitely overcooked. I saw no pink. BUT flavor was on point. The horseradish-parmesan crust wasn't so much a crust as it was melted cheese with just a tiny tang (don't be scared by the horseradish - not potent). Mushroom risotto was flavorful, and the fried potatoes were average. Overall, though, very good lunch.

Grade: A
Alamo Steak House on Urbanspoon

MONDAY

big Daddy's pizzeria CollageBig Daddy's Pizzeria - My parents are a big fan of this place. It's laidback, and they have an arcade. We ordered a spinach artichoke dip for an appetizer, which was tasty. The pita chips especially were covered in salt and garlic and were perfectly crisp and soft at the same time. We went for a large herbivore pizza, which has marinara, mozzarella-provolone blend, spinach, roma tomatoes, roasted garlic, banana peppers, mushrooms, red peppers and feta cheese. It was tasty. Overall, decent meal, but nothing outstanding.

Grade: B
Big Daddy's Pizzeria on Urbanspoon
Smoky Mountain Brewery collage
Smoky Mountain Brewery - I was anxious to try some local beer, so we stopped at the Smoky Mountain Brewery for a snack. And beer, duh. We ordered their eggrolls, and I have to say I'm disappointed. They were just bland, and the sauce was overpowering. But I was a fan of their beer. So, maybe something else would be better.

Grade: B
Smoky Mountain Brewery on Urbanspoon
TUESDAY

Old Mill Pottery & Cafe CollageThe Old Mill Pottery House Cafe & Grill - My favorite place. Friends of my parents chose this place, and it was a good one. It's like the lunch equivalent of The Old Mil. I had a spinach quiche and their potato soup. Huge portions, served with fresh fruit and a piece of cinnamon raisin bread. Healthy, fresh and filling.

Grade: A
The Old Mill Pottery House Café & Grille on Urbanspoon
Dixie Stampede Collage
Dixie Stampede
Dixie Stampede - I don't have better pictures of this because we weren't allowed to take any. But this is the first time I did a dinner/show combo thing. It was pretty exciting. There's a constant horse show (and a really heavy focus on north vs. south - I thought we were over that). And it's quick! They bend our tickets depending on what kind of drink we want. I went with lemonade. Then in rounds they bring a creamy vegetable soup, a biscuit, an entire rotisserie chicken, pork loin, corn on the cop, a potato and a final pastry. I couldn't even finish the pastry, I was so stuffed. But it was awesome.

Grade: A
Dolly Parton's Dixie Stampede Dinner & Show on Urbanspoon

So, those are all the main restaurants we visited. BUT we also went to some other cool places, like the Smoky Mountain Opry, the Old Forge Distillery (where I bought chocolate moonshine) and two different candy shops: The Old Mill Candy Kitchen and the Smoky Mountain Candy Makers. Lots of taffy was had. And is still being had.

Pigeon Forge Collage