"It's cool," my brain told my body. "Two Benadryl won't make us drowsy."
Fast forward an hour later and the alarm is going off on my phone, waking me from a short nap in the driver's seat of my minivan in the parking lot of Spicy's North. Allergies, 1; common sense, Zero.
As my somewhat common ritual, I was on another run of going out to bars and clubs to review them without drinking any alcohol. I didn't want to have my health suffer due to my occupation. Kinda like how Adam Richman from "Man vs. Food" had to take extended breaks from filming eating challenges so he didn't end up having a heart attack. So, with that thought in mind, I decided to order a large order of wings and attempt my own eating challenge. (Add Richman's voice for effect) "I am going to try to finish this large order of wings before the Benadryl kicks back in!"
Located in North Knoxville not far from where Interstate 75 meets Emory Road, Spicy's is a sports bar with affordable dining options to munch on while you watch any one of the nearly dozen HD TVs stationed throughout the establishment.
When you first walk in the door at Spicy's, you are greeted by red-topped pool tables to the left. To your right is a large dining area and a stage complete with criss-crossed guitars mounted directly over it. Music played all through the joint on a Bose system connected to a jukebox. Playing was a remake of the song "Bad Company," reworked by the band Five Finger Death Punch. Apparently, not only has Hollywood given up on original ideas by pumping out remakes, but so has the music industry. Where have I been?
It was early on a Thursday night, which makes my falling asleep in my car all the more hilarious. Folks were finishing up dinner while others were ordering some grub to go with their beers. A weak hum wafted through the room mixing the sounds of many conversations with occasional clanging dishes. Brandy Hodges moved quickly behind the bar, getting drinks for the servers and helping folks at the bar. She smiled and handed me the menu and water I had asked for, and headed off to help another customer.
Spicy's sits pretty much all by itself in North Knoxville. The last place I covered in Powell also had a strong food focus, which was Corvette's Bar-B-Que.
Spicy's kitchen manager Michael Dougherty told me that the menu had been simplified not long ago at his behest. The wings came, and they were just what the doctor ordered. I had ordered the "hot" sauce on the wings and I was not disappointed by the level of fire that met my lips. Although somewhat smaller than some of the chains that use only steroid freak chickens or Turckens (that's right, a turkey/chicken), the wings were not greasy and fell apart from being perfectly cooked. The rest of the menu consisted of burgers, pizza and more traditional bar food. The venue serves liquor by the drink, and a healthy selection of draft and bottled beers.
Spicy's North is named as such because the original locations were on UT campus and in the Old City where Urban Bar and Cafe now stands. The restaurant has been known for its food for years and thanks to a dedicated staff and smart relocation, the business is alive and well.
There was no entertainment on the night I visited, however, I found a schedule posted on the wall promoting live music on Fridays and karaoke every Saturday night. Although the crowd didn't seem bad for a Thursday night, the staff I spoke with downplayed how busy they were compared to Friday or Saturday nights.
If you are looking for a good place to take the family for some reasonably priced food, or if you are looking for some fun live entertainment to have some beers and wings, check out Spicy's North on Emory Road.
© 2012, Knoxville News Sentinel Co.
Want to use this article? Click here for options!