Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Rockwood Street Grill--Rockwood

Restaurant CLOSED

A small photo excursion and shopping trip took me to Rockwood, TN today.   Such a charming little hamlet!   Three or four antique shops featured a nice selection. Since I hadn't been to Rockwood before, we asked the antique vendors about eating lunch.  Three out of four recommended Rockwood Street Grill on the "main drag". 

The Daily Specials
Upon entering, the hostess immediately escorted me to a table and returned with my beverage.  Just moments later, my server appeared to tell me about the lunch specials.  They offered four entreés with two sides for $6.49.   Now that is a deal!    Summer still oppresses East Tennessee and I wanted something "cooler".  

On to the Salad Entreés.  Rockwood Street Grill offers the usual offerings...taco salad, chicken salad, chef salad...all the usual choices.  Sandwich selection remains typical.  Burgers, BLT, Philly Cheese, Hot Dog.   All sandwiches are in the $4.99 to $7.99.  Good prices.    I had to look at the dinner selection which featured a Ribeye Steak  for $16.99, Hamburger Steak for $10.99, Grilled Pork Chop $11.99, also Catfish, Shrimp, and Chicken. 

Pauline's Chicken Salad

I choose Pauline's Chicken Salad for $7.99.  It featured the signature chicken salad made from freshly cooked chicken and garnished with peach half, pineapple slice and served with their cranberry banana bread with a cream cheese filling.  I must add the cream cheese filling was nothing more than a "whisper" of filling.  I couldn't taste the cream cheese.  The chicken salad was well prepared but needed table seasonings.  For the price, it was a good value.  

Main Dining Room
The main dining room was clean, tidy and well maintained.   The truth is this dining room has all the charm and intimacy of a church basement  dining hall. The all brick interior was cold;  too bright, very glaring and no personality.   Over would deserve more lunch return visits but the evening ambiance would be  a major drawback.  

Rockwood Street Grill is open 
Tuesday-Saturday, 11AM to 8PM 
Sunday 11AM-2PM   Closed Monday  
Visa/MC accepted 

Rockwood Street Grill on Urbanspoon

Saturday, August 20, 2011


A Knoxville Landmark
Getting downtown is an unusual event for me.  Today provided the opportunity.  Miss S and I decided that neither of us had been to Chesapeake's in quite a while.  I believe I was there about three years ago to celebrate a birthday.  

The Foyer at Chesapeake's
Upon arrival, I see this landmark has remained the same.  Nautical theme...something you might see at the beach.  The water view at this destination.  Love the food here but a nice water view would seal the deal.  

We looked the over the menu and it also has remained the same.   One constant at Chesapeake's is their Crab Bisque.  Velvet texture on a delicious.    The Dinner Menu features the old standards.    We were immediately seated with the Lunch Menu.   It looked as it did the last time I dined.  The Special of the Day menu had more interesting selections than the typical fried shrimp plate. 

The Asian Seafood Salad

A delicious fresh and crisp Asian Seafood Salad for $14 featured shrimp and scallops.  A very good Kung Pao dressing accompanied the salad.  The dressing was rich with ginger, garlic and a moderate "pepper" bite.  

Seafood Stuffed Tomato with Fruit
My Seafood Stuffed Tomato for $10 was very good.  Nice salad greens and very good fruit.  The seafood stuffing was well seasoned and flavorful.  The "local" tomato missed the mark.  Looked pretty but remained flavorless.  Not sure how local this tomato was but it wasn't from Grainger County.  

Chesapeake's remains a mainstay in Knoxville Seafood dining.  Enjoyable and you could feel comfortable dressed for the evening or just as welcome on a hot afternoon for lunch in flops and shorts.    Lunch Monday to Friday with Dinner served nightly.

Beautiful Aquariums frequent the Dining Room

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Fountain City Diner--Knoxville

"....a well deserved FIVE STAR diner"...

The Entrance

Fountain City Diner has been open long enough for me to venture in.  I typically let a new place get their ducks in a row for six or more months.  A new place deserves the time to get their policy and procedures in place.    In Knoxville tradition, every new restaurant is mobbed the first night and everyone then complains.  If a Knoxville restaurant can make it six months, their odds have been established in spite of what the naysayers spew after a first or second time visit.   

Upon arrival at 12 noon, there was a few people seated.   My greeter immediately approached and offered a nice booth...but it was in a darker section of the restaurant. I asked to be moved to another booth by the windows.  They never missed a step to assist me to another selection.   It appears the entire restaurant is booth only seating since I didn't see any tables.   

My server immediately approached and offered beverage service while I looked at the menu.    Many items jumped out at me.  I did like the feature of offering breakfast all day.   Sometimes, breakfast is great for lunch.  But I was more interested in a sandwich.  My usual choice is a burger and fries, but today something else caught my attention...the Buttermilk Fried Chicken Breast Sandwich for $8.99. 

ON the first bite, I knew that I had hit the jackpot on good flavor and real home made cooking.   It actually was a hand prepared chicken breast with flavors reminiscent of Fried Chicken at your grandma's house.  It just had a Sunday after church flavor and crunch.  

 I love onion rings...hands down before fries and always order onion rings.  Fountain City Diner has to be the ONLY restaurant in Knoxville that knows how to make onion rings.  Every restaurant in this town makes over battered, pre-prepared institutional onion rings...or at least, that is what they deliver from the kitchen.  Fountain City Diner onion rings were crispy and light with a perfect tempura like batter...perfectly seasoned.  I didn't need to add anything but ketchup at the table.  

My entire lunch plate was a real treat.   As the dining room filled, I began seeing some of the best looking food coming out of their kitchen.  Turkey & Dressing...meatloaf, and the feature of the day was Salmon Croquettes with two sides.  They feature a different "blue plate" through the week.  While I was enjoying my meal, Mrs. Wagner, (the delightful owner) was visiting with everyone making sure their food met every diners satisfaction.  Upon leaving, I did meet with her and personally compliment her and staff about all the good things I enjoyed.   

But.............I couldn't stop with the sandwich plate.   I had heard rumors about their Coconut Cream Pie.   That was it!   I NEVER eat dessert for lunch but today was the day my world rocked with the first bite of the pie.   My server placed the plate in front of me and I could tell this WAS better than anything my championship grandma prepared.  The crust was home made, from scratch pastry.   Just looking at the flaky layers gave that away.  The filling was rich, creamy and full of coconut flavor.  The topping was not what I would call a meringue but a creamy topping dusted with toasted coconut.   Every bite was perfect.   My only issue was it was served directly from the refrigerator.   I like my pie at room temperature.   Next time, I will ask my server to set my pie out when I place my order so it will have time to acclimate. 

Heaven on a plate

The Blue Plate Special

Comfortable Diner Seating

Building frontage, entrance next to the side parking lot
This DON'T MISS diner is open Monday to Saturday from 8AM to 9PM.   Visa/MasterCard accepted.   Next time I will have to try the Ice Cream Fountain treats.   The Diner-Saurus!, a huge ice cream sundae,  sounds like a treat that any family would enjoy.   

Fountain City Diner on Urbanspoon