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.   

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