Quaker Steak and Lube
This week's adventure takes me to Quaker Steak and Lube, just off Merchants Drive in North Knoxville. I have driven past the place many times on Interstate 75 to usually see it hopping with activity. Quaker Steak is a biker's paradise. Not your typical road-weathered barroom-brawl-style biker, but the high-end weekend motorcycle club/sports fan biker. You are more likely to find a guy who just made the spread on the game than a guy just out of prison at this spot.
Quaker Steak and Lube is a chain that began in Sharon, Pa., in 1974. The place is essentially a wings joint with a Motorhead theme. They have 22 different types of sauce for their wings, starting with mild ranch and ending with the scorching Triple Atomic. I am pretty sure that no one eats the Triple Atomic for enjoyment. Just for dares or proof of machismo. If so they are the most culinarily masochistic person I have ever heard of.
The parking lot for The Lube (as a big sign out front affectionately referred to the place) was gigantic. It butted up against the parking lot to a Red Lobster, which on this specific night had quite a few letters burnt out leaving folks to dine at the R obster. Robster? That's not good.
When you first walk in the door, it is a little overwhelming at The Lube. You are immediately greeted by a converted antique gas pump that has been repurposed to house a tiny television screen that was playing some random sporting event. Toward the door were shelves and boxes of various sauces. In case it isn't obvious from the name, everything at Quaker Steak and Lube looks like a Quaker State oil change place amplified by an infusion of NASCAR paraphernalia, plaques and awards from various other locations and a random picture of Bob Marley amongst it all. Really? Bob Marley? Which of these things is not like the other, which of these things does not belong?
In summation, the vibe was good, the band was quiet enough that you could still have conversation and I ran into a few enterprising young ladies for my picture. While I am not into chains, Quaker Steak and Lube in North Knoxville has a good enough mix of affluent bike hobbyists and working-class heroes to make just about anyone comfortable and able to have a good time. Check it out if you are in the area.
Quaker Steak & Lube
5616 Merchants Center Boulevard
Knoxville, TN 37912
Smoking Inside: No
© 2013, Knoxville News Sentinel Co.
Want to use this article? Click here for options!