Rocky Top Burger Shoppe
- Food: 3 1⁄2
- Service: 4
- Atmosphere: 3 1⁄2
- Overall:3 1⁄2
- Address: 11605 Parkside Drive
- Phone: 865-675-1515
- Hours: 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sundays-Thursdays; 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays
- Seating: First come, first served
- No alcohol service
I admit it; I’m a sucker for any business that ends its name with “Shoppe” (I like to pronounce it “shoppy.” You know — just like the British do). So when The Grub Spouse told me about a new burger restaurant in Turkey Creek with just such a moniker, I felt compelled to try out the grub.
Now, you know that any business with “Rocky Top” in the name has got to be local all the way, but this new restaurant already has the polished appearance and branding of an established franchise, from the slick, three-fold menus to the stained-concrete floors to the professional signage and décor. The single, spacious dining room is minimalist in its UT theme, however; highlights include a life-size set of goalposts and orange napkin dispensers, which complement a number of flat-screen TVs tuned in to sports-related channels.
Naturally, burgers are in the starting lineup at RTBS, and they start their customers off big with an entry-level half-pound burger for $5.99. There are also one-pound and one-and-a-half-pound burgers, the latter consisting of three stacked patties and three slices of cheese. Any burger can be embellished with bacon, sautéed onions, sautéed mushrooms or double meat.
But it gets even better. The S.O.B. (Sausage on a Bun) is a grilled sausage patty topped with provolone cheese, while the Dirty S.O.B. is the same but covered with three cheeses. All of this left me hoping that the owners had also installed a helipad on the roof so Lifestar can gain direct and immediate access to customers.
All kidding aside, there is fare for lighter appetites, including mini burgers, a grilled chicken sandwich and a turkey burger, which is what The Spouse wound up ordering. I decided to consume only a half-pound of beef, so I went conservative with the Boulder Burger, topped with cheddar cheese, onion rings and Rocky sauce.
Since burgers are cooked to order, we did have a short wait but not an unreasonable one, and our food was delivered promptly to our booth (overall, we found the staff friendly and accommodating). The Boulder Burger was pretty good — juicy and definitely hefty, even at its comparatively miniscule half pound. However, I felt the onion rings were an unnecessary distraction, and the buns were just a tad on the dry side for my taste.
The turkey burger, likewise thick and surprisingly moist, was seasoned sufficiently to make it a palatable alternative to beef, and The Spouse thought it was a solid effort in the fowl department. I admittedly don’t care for ground, grilled turkey, but I was able to agree that RTBS’s entry deserved a nod. The fries, though not served in the mammoth portions one would find at a 5 Guys, were still a sharable quantity and tasty in their own right.
Rocky Top Burger Shoppe has hand-made milkshakes, but for dessert, we decided to head a few blocks down to my new favorite “treatery” (as it calls itself), Maggie Moo’s. Similar in concept to a Marble Slab or Coldstone Creamery, Maggie mixes miscellaneous goodies into ice cream for a small fortune, except I prefer Maggie’s creative preset menu of flavor combinations.
And after downing a half-pound burger topped with cheese and onion rings, why not go for broke with ice cream? Maybe that helipad idea wasn’t so silly after all.
© 2009, Knoxville News Sentinel Co.
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