Grub Scout: Service snafus detract from downtown spot's pub grub
Published 02/17/2014 at 1:52 p.m.
I had been faintly aware that Sky Box Sports Bar and Grill on Gay Street had previously been known as Sky and functioned mainly as a watering hole. But when The Grub Spouse and I started seeing it rebranded on ...
Grub Scout: Panda Express in Turkey Creek serves up fresh flavors, plentiful portions
Published 02/10/2014 at 12:05 p.m.
The fast-casual Asian-food market has been a bubbly one in recent years with the arrival (and sometimes departure) of names like Wok Hay, Wok Chow, Ghengis Grill and the like. The latest entry in the field, Panda Express, occupies a ...
Grub Scout: Farmers Family Restaurant's buffet covers lots of ground
Published 02/03/2014 at 5:01 p.m.
I think there’s only one other time in 10 years that I’ve Grubbed a buffet-style restaurant. The main reason I chose to review Farmers Family Restaurant on Kingston Pike was that it wasn’t a national chain. There’s one in Murfreesboro ...
Grub Scout: Pleasant staff, ambience round out Potbelly experience in Turkey Creek
Published 01/27/2014 at 1:37 p.m. 1 Comment
One thing I can always say about the Turkey Creek neighborhood is that it’s helped keep my restaurant queue nice and full for more than 10 years now. And with the opening of Potbelly Sandwich Shop a few weeks ago, ...
Grub Scout: Alcoa's Metro Pizza boasts primo pies, sandwiches, more
Published 01/20/2014 at 12:33 p.m.
The pizza craving trumps all. So last week, I scanned my to-do list and found only one pizzeria in the official Grub queue — Metro Pizza in Alcoa. The Grub Spouse and I headed Blount County way and found the ...
Grub Scout: Indian eatery Woodlands of Knoxville flourishes with revamped menu
Published 01/13/2014 at 2:42 p.m. 1 Comment
I’ll admit that I’ll make almost any excuse to dine on Indian food. In this case, all it took was learning that the former Taj Indian restaurant on Kingston Pike had rebranded itself as Woodlands of Knoxville and majorly revamped ...
Grub Scout: Yummy breakfast options at First Watch leave lasting impression
Published 01/06/2014 at 2:52 p.m. 2 Comments
It had been a while since The Grub Spouse and I had visited Turkey Creek to check out a new eatery. But with the recent opening of First Watch, we set aside a morning to investigate this national breakfast-and-lunch chain.
Rev up your taste buds: Grub Scout's food-truck tour yields tasty results
Published 12/30/2013 at 2:55 p.m.
I’d been given the green light to review some food trucks for a while now, but I never could make my schedule line up with an event where multiple mobile vendors would be stationed. As it turned out, The Grub ...
Dining: The Grub Scout's Top 10 of 2013
Published 12/23/2013 at 1:54 p.m.
It’s already been another year and another 50 restaurants for me and the fam. That means it’s time once again to look back and showcase this year’s creme de la creme. And as always, I don’t claim that these restaurants ...
Grub Scout: At Dean's in Oak Ridge, hearty home cooking well worth the drive
Published 12/09/2013 at 11:56 a.m.
The Grub Scout and Grub Spouse get their just desserts at Dean's Restaurant & Bakery in Oak Ridge.
Grub Scout: Mama Mia Cuisine delivers across-the-board satisfaction
Published 12/03/2013 at 6:25 p.m.
The Grub Scout zeroes in on a Cedar Bluff-area eatery that fuses Greek/Middle Eastern and Italian fare into one delicious menu.
Grub Scout: Caribbean flavors shine brightly at Rocky's Jamaica Sunrise in Maryville
Published 11/25/2013 at 2:26 p.m.
The Powers That Be at the News Sentinel recently opened the door for me to expand the scope of my dining adventures to food trucks. I haven’t explored that option yet, but in the meantime, I learned about a little ...
Grub Scout: Bida Saigon delivers authentic Vietnamese flavors in West Knoxville
Published 11/18/2013 at 1:19 p.m.
As many restaurants as I’ve had the privilege of visiting in the past 10 years, I don’t claim to have a comprehensive knowledge of area restaurants. For instance, I was totally oblivious to the existence of Bida Saigon, a Vietnamese-food ...
Grub Scout: Backwoods Bistro in Halls boasts bangin' burger
Published 11/11/2013 at 1:53 p.m.
One of my editors hipped me to the existence of Backwoods Bistro, a fairly new eatery on Maynardville Pike in Halls. Doing a little online pre-scouting, I saw where the place had gotten overwhelming positive feedback on one review site. ...
Grub Scout: West Knoxville's La Cabana houses savory Cuban dishes
Published 11/04/2013 at 1:48 p.m. 2 Comments
For a while, it seemed that Knoxville was a revolving door of Cuban-cuisine restaurants. In recent years, however, that door has been stuck, with the only notable Cuban eateries I’ve noticed being ones flourishing in Townsend and Maryville. (What up ...
Grub Scout: Windy City pies inspire Stefano's creations
Published 10/28/2013 at 11:48 a.m.
On our way to and from our recent visit to a new Cumberland Strip burger joint, The Grub Spouse and I walked right past Stefano’s Pizza. Then it struck me that I must be the only person to have lived ...
Grub Scout: Cumberland Ave. burger joint should rank high with UT crowd
Published 10/22/2013 at 9:59 a.m.
First things first. I was not familiar with the term “gyrene” before learning about this restaurant. For inquiring minds like mine, the word is an amalgam of “G.I.” and “marine,” which makes a lot of sense, considering the restaurant’s military-theme ...
Grub Scout: Li'l Joe's barbecue is big on flavor in Maynardville
Published 10/14/2013 at 5 p.m.
A recent reader e-mail strongly recommending Li’l Jo’s Bar-B-Que was enough to send The Grub Spouse and me journeying north to Maynardville for our visit to that territory in a number of years. We easily found the restaurant on the ...
Grub Scout: Doc's serves up revamped menu, superior service
Published 10/07/2013 at 2:05 p.m.
You’d be surprised what will get me and The Grub Spouse out to any given restaurant. In this case, it was a coupon for half off the price of an appetizer at Doc’s All American Grille. Doc’s has replaced what ...
Grub Scout: PawPaw's brings Cajun flavors to Wears Valley
Published 09/30/2013 at noon 1 Comment
While visiting the Smokies a couple of months ago, my sister stopped for lunch one day at PawPaw’s Kajun Kitchen in Wears Valley. She was very pleased with her experience and recommended that I give it a try. Finally, The ...
Grub Scout: W. Knox's Best Bagels In Town lives up to its name
Published 09/23/2013 at 12:58 p.m.
In the past 10 years, I’ve eaten at more than 500 restaurants in the Knoxville area. So needless to say, it’s unusual for me to stumble across an eatery I’ve never heard of and then learn that it’s been around ...
Grub Scout: A traditional taste of Italy in Alcoa at Il Sapore
Published 09/16/2013 at 2:09 p.m.
It occurred to me that it had been quite a while since The Grub Spouse and I had dined on non-pizza Italian fare. So we decided to try Il Sapore, located in Alcoa, across the highway from McGhee Tyson Airport.
Grub Scout: Market Square's Stock & Barrel serves a great burger
Published 09/09/2013 at 11:27 a.m.
With an eclectic array of menu items (including beef, lamb and turkey options), all you burger lovers should try to corral some grub from this Market Square eatery.
Grub Scout: With tasty options, North Corner Sandwich Shop really stacks up
Published 09/03/2013 at 11:26 a.m.
The North Corner Sandwich Shop in North Knoxville offers a concise menu, but its sandwich flavors (and friendly service) make this lunchtime location worth a visit.
Grub Scout: Parton's BBQ in Seymour offers smokin' array of succulent meats
Published 08/26/2013 at 12:57 p.m.
Parton’s BBQ is another example of a restaurant that I was drawn to primarily by positive word-of-mouth advertising. Word on the street was that their barbecue was smokin’ in more ways than one. The Grub Spouse and I headed to ...
Grub Scout: P.B.'s Woodfired Pizza crafts near-perfect pies in Blount County
Published 08/19/2013 at 2:02 p.m. 1 Comment
I generally follow two guidelines when choosing my next dining destination: 1) Try to put at least two months between visits to outlying markets; and 2) Don’t do the same type of cuisine two weeks in a row. I broke ...
Grub Scout: East Knox County's Pizza Plus a good value
Published 08/13/2013 at 2:52 p.m.
For you pizza lovers, Steph & Andy’s Pizza Plus may be the biggest pizza chain you’ve never heard of. I know I hadn’t until just a few weeks ago, when a friend pointed out to me a consistent string of ...
Grub Scout: Don't skip dessert at Cheesecake Factory
Published 08/05/2013 at 11:57 a.m. 2 Comments
I had hoped that a month after its grand opening would be long enough for the crowds to die down at The Cheesecake Factory. Boy, was I wrong. The Grub Spouse, The Grub Sprout and I showed up on a ...
Grub Scout: Fresh, healthy and delicious options at Grinder and Grains in Maryville
Published 07/29/2013 at 2:12 p.m.
All you Blount County fans of Vienna Coffee Company should at least be familiar with the location of the new Grinder and Grains Cafe near downtown Maryville. It’s in the converted house that VCC did business in for years before ...
Grub Scout: Tellico Grill a satisfying stop for Loudon County diners
Published 07/15/2013 at 4:10 p.m.
It had been quite a while since The Grub Spouse and I had ventured into Loudon County for a dinner outing, so when we heard about a little place called Tellico Grill, we decided it was time to re-establish contact. ...
Grub Scout: Service suggestions for restaurateurs
Published 07/08/2013 at 12:49 p.m. 1 Comment
I’m taking a break from my usual reviews this week to address one of the cornerstone components of any restaurant business — service. This was prompted by a recent visit to a Farragut-based sports bar that I had intended to ...
Grub Scout: For flavor and value, Townsend's Campfire Grill a real hot spot
Published 07/01/2013 at 2:54 p.m.
Campfire Grill in Townsend has been open since 2012, but I evidently have been blowing right by it every time I’ve passed through that town. It’s easy to miss, a small space tacked on to the end of the corner ...
Grub Scout: Joshua's may be off the beaten path, but is spot-on for tasty food
Published 06/24/2013 at 4:56 p.m.
Every now and then, I’ll learn about a restaurant I’ve never heard of through good old-fashioned word-of-mouth. Such was the case with Joshua’s on the River, which more than one acquaintance (none of them knowing that I was The Grub ...
Grub Scout: For freshness and flavor, Uncle Maddio's is a slice of heaven
Published 06/17/2013 at 12:23 p.m. 1 Comment
I’d been looking forward to Uncle Maddio’s opening at Northshore Town Center, primarily because I’m a pizza nut. However, I did manage to wait more than a week before I stormed their doors for a rare solo dinner outing.
Grub Scout: Icon Ultra Lounge takes global approach to cuisine
Published 06/10/2013 at 4:21 p.m.
Let’s face it: Although the new Icon Ultra Lounge is as much (if not more) a lounge than it is an eatery, The Grub Spouse and I weren’t about to pass up a chance to dine inside that shiny, highly ...
Grub Scout: Burgers, sandwiches make up all-American fare at We're Cooking
Published 06/03/2013 at 11:27 a.m. 4 Comments
I had been aware of We’re Cooking since it opened a few years back, but for some reason, I always had a vague notion that it was some sort of family-style cafeteria. Investigating their website recently disabused me of that ...
Grub Scout: Sushi offerings at East Knoxville's Tangerine Japanese Cuisine utterly appealing
Published 05/27/2013 at 12:13 p.m.
A colleague recently recommended Tangerine Japanese Cuisine, and after doing some pre-scouting online, I saw enough good buzz to justify The Grub Spouse and me heading out to the Knoxville Center mall neighborhood to check it out. The restaurant sits ...
Grub Scout: A foodie's fiesta awaits at Farragut's Azul Tequila
Published 05/20/2013 at 12:43 p.m. 1 Comment
I happened to be running around out Farragut way the other day and noticed a Mexican-food restaurant that hadn’t previously crept onto my radar. Since my short list has been uncomfortably short lately, The Grub Spouse and I decided to ...
Grub Scout: Flaherty's Irish Pub delivers Emerald Isle flavors to Blount County
Published 05/13/2013 at 2:32 p.m.
There’s a restaurant space in Maryville that most recently was home to a Roaming Gnome, although that underwhelming pub went bye-bye a few months back. Now, there’s a new eating-drinking establishment in place that, in my opinion, looks much more ...
Grub Scout: For flavor and value, Oscar's Taco Shop can't be beat
Published 04/29/2013 at noon 1 Comment
It seems that new fast-casual Mexican-food chains have been about as ubiquitous in Knoxville lately as pre-meal chips and salsa are in the sit-down establishments.
Grub Scout: At Burchfield's, enjoy upscale Southern with a down-home pricetag
Published 04/22/2013 at 5:27 p.m.
Every now and then The Grub Spouse and I are open to trying out restaurants located in area accommodations. The latest such venture took us to Burchfield’s, inside the Double Tree Hotel in Oak Ridge.
Grub Scout: New Sevier eatery Holston's Kitchen excels at American favorites
Published 04/15/2013 at 2:09 p.m.
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 ...
The Grub Scout reflects on 10 years, 500 eateries and one happy diner
Published 04/08/2013 at 11:18 a.m. 1 Comment
I’m doing something a little different this week. Instead of my usual restaurant review, my overlords at Knoxville.com have allowed me a moment of reflective self-indulgence, in which I am marking a milestone in my tenure as The Grub Scout. ...
Grub Scout: Don't dawdle; hit Doodles in Hardin Valley for amazing BBQ
Published 04/01/2013 at 2:30 p.m.
Some of the early online reviews I read about Doodles BBQ Bistro weren’t very kind. I read multiple accounts of slow or even neglectful service, but these were written right when the new Hardin Valley eatery opened about a month ...
Grub Scout: Elvira's Cafe may become your go-to haunt in Wears Valley
Published 03/25/2013 at 1:07 p.m. 1 Comment
Multiple readers have recently sent me e-mails urging me to try out Elvira’s Cafe in Wears Valley. It’s been open for just a few months now, but based on my pre-visit research online, the new eatery seems to have already ...
Grub Scout: N. Knox diners will dig Happy Badger's varied options
Published 03/18/2013 at 3:20 p.m.
The Grub Spouse was not able to accompany me on my recent drop-in at The Happy Badger Cafe on Clinton Highway. But the elder Grub Sprout was free last Friday, so he and I made it a parent-child lunch outing ...
Grub Scout: India Cuisine delivers bold, palate-pleasing flavors
Published 03/11/2013 at 2:41 p.m.
Just in the past six months, three Indian-food restaurants I had not tried yet made their way onto my radar, and being the fan that I am, I made a point of checking them all out. The most recent, India ...
Grub Scout: Macadoo's barbecue will leave folks talking
Published 03/04/2013 at 3:16 p.m.
Recently, The Grub Spouse and I tried out a Blount County establishment called Shiloh Brew & Chew. Recently, we dropped in on another new restaurant with a mastication-friendly name, Macadoo’s Chat and Chew. It’s in the former Vernon’s spot, just ...
Grub Scout: Fox Dogs in Rocky Hill elevates the humble frank
Published 02/25/2013 at 12:45 p.m.
The poor hot dog. While countless chains are devoted to fast-food staples like burgers, pizza and chicken, the lowly frankfurter is typically relegated to the bottom of the restaurant menu. An also-ran. An afterthought. Outside of sports stadiums, the hot ...
Grub Scout: West Knoxville's Plum Tree rooted in traditional Chinese flavors
Published 02/18/2013 at 5:21 p.m.
Every now and then my list of restaurant prospects gets pretty short. So the other night, I went to Urbanspoon’s Knoxville page and just started scanning the lists of popular eateries in hopes of finding one I had managed to ...