Saturday, March 15, 2014

Where to Eat in Knoxville, Tennessee: A Short Guide

So, I shared the places we toured with you already but now I need to share the places we filled our bellies with while we worked our way through the whirlwind our. Something that I enjoy most about traveling in general is having the chance

Inside the Oliver hotel was the golden speakeasy called the Peter Kern Library. With drinks named aptly after classical literary characters I had to go through the whole bar menu (cleverly hidden inside vintage encyclopedias) before I finally decided on a drink called the Artful Dodger. After I got my drink, it was a little too easy to relax in the slow, easy ambiance and get to know my fellow travel tourists and our hostesses.

As we were chatting, we were treated to lunch from the Tueplo Honey Cafe attached to the hotel. If you have ever been to Asheville, North Carolina, you undoubtedly know about Tupelo Honey Cafe. Known for their transformation of traditional Southern food, they serve the best shrimp and grits and biscuits you will ever come across. With everything farm fresh and made from scratch, you can't beat the creativity and taste that comes from the arts of Asheville. I, of course, has to try out the shrimp and grits and I was far from disappointed.

That afternoon, after our Knoxville Museum of Art tour, we hit the new to town Knox Mason located in the Historic district. Using hyper-local staples and local craft and micro brews, Knox mason keeps its seasonally focused menu fresh and down home Southern. With appetizers like pork rinds and pimento cheese, you can't help but get into the atmosphere. I had the braised beef as my meal and let me tell you, I have never had a cut of beef melt like that before. I'm talking no knife needed, eat with a fork tender. You would think that after having such a huge lunch I would not have been able to eat another bite but I couldn't stop.

The next morning, we were treated to a little hideaway called the Plaid Apron in the Sequoya Hills district. We had a family style meal of frittatas and pork belly with home made biscuits, gravy, and local jellies that make my mouth water just thinking about them. We had a beet salad that I would not have thought to enjoy for breakfast but made an excellent addition to a heavy meal.

Overall, there was a Southern fusion feel to all of the places we had the pleasure of dining with but they were all different enough that it didn't seem like we were being forced to chose between the same Southern staples each time. Knoxville is blooming into a culinary destination in its own right. It is rapidly growing and seeing a restaurant renascence in the downtown area with less chains and more resident owned restaurants. So, if you are a typical foodie (or just love to eat like me), Knoxville is a place to see and taste the movement towards something oh so tasty.

*For more information on any of the restaurants listed, just check the links in this post. If you are looking for more indepth information about the culinary experiences of Knoxville, you can find a comprehensive list of the best of the best on the Visit Knoxville website.

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