639 Dolly Parton Parkway
My official 500th restaurant turned out to be — for no particular reason other than it just happened to fall next on my list — Holston’s Kitchen in Sevierville. Open for just a few weeks, the eatery sits on Dolly Parton Parkway, where it is well positioned to meet the needs of local diners as well as those heading to and from Dollywood via Veterans Parkway.
Even though our visit was on a weeknight, the parking lot was pretty full. The newly constructed building’s facade is an earthy blend of brick, plank and stucco, and as entered, we noticed a couple of comfortable-looking outdoor seating groups, each complete with its own private fire pit.
Inside, the ambiance is semi-upscale, embracing a decor mix that ranges from vintage black-and-white photographs of Sevier County sites to pottery to local high school and UT Volunteer football memorabilia. The main dining area offers a combination of table and booth seating, while a separate bar area offers full alcohol service.
The cuisine is straight-ahead American fare, although we started with a Tex-Mex-influenced appetizer, the Avocado Fiesta. A fresh avocado half is stuffed with shredded chicken and habanero, battered and deep-fried. Served with a couple of different sauces, this unique and enjoyable app was essentially the avocado version of fried green tomatoes.
The menu features several half-pound burger variations as well as sandwiches like a smoked turkey club, Tennessee pulled pork, French dip and a Reuben. You’ll also find a trio of pasta dishes as well as nearly a dozen entree and side salads. The Grub Spouse came close to ordering the strawberry chicken salad, which is also topped with red peppers, sliced almonds, dried cranberries, raisins and much more.
On the entree side, we found poultry dishes like grilled Hawaiian chicken and the Smoky Mountain Grill — a marinated breast topped with bacon, barbecue sauce and Monterey Jack cheese. The Spouse wound up going with the Margarita Grilled Chicken — a breast marinated in margarita mix and topped with pineapple mango sauce, tortilla strips, pico de gallo, Jack cheese and served on rice pilaf.
I hovered near the signature dishes, where I considered items like spare ribs, country-fried steak, pork chops and open-face prime roast beef. Of the several steak options, I took our server’s recommendation and went with the 12-ounce rib-eye, a prime Angus cut, which I ordered with rice and Spinach Maria.
Speaking of service, I had read a few early online reviews that were critical of its slowness, but it’s possible that those folks visited Holston’s Kitchen while its new legs were still wobbly. Our server was awesome, and never missed a step in taking care of us, despite having her hands full.
Both entrees were quite good. The steak had a tad more marbling than I prefer, but the cut was tender, juicy and very big on flavor. The chicken offered up its own fiesta of flavors, both sweet and savory, and our rice and spinach sides were a nice complement to the meal.
Of the three desserts listed on the menu, we went with the homemade carrot cake, which was excellent but perhaps a little undersized for its $5.99 price tag. Overall, however, the prices were reasonable, especially considering the quality and Holston’s Sevier County location. In other words, this might be one tourist trap worth getting caught in this summer.
Address: 639 Dolly Parton Parkway, Sevierville
Hours: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays
Full bar service
Bottom Line: If your summer plans call for playing in the Smokies this summer, consider put this new American restaurant on your vacation itinerary.
© 2013, Knoxville News Sentinel Co.
Want to use this article? Click here for options!