Monday, November 14, 2011

Del's Pizza--Kodak, TN

Strip mall dining can be a throw of the dice.   Some good....many are almost awful. 

Arrived at Del's about 1235PM.   A few people had arrived before me and had placed their orders at the counter.   NO table service go to the counter, place your order, find a table and then go get your food when it is ready.  I don't have a problem with this type of service...but Del's prices were the same as any  restaurant in the Smokies with full waitstaff.    Their price did not reflect my jumping up and down to get my food order.    The food was expensive.  

I ordered one of their two baked pasta selections, lasagna for $8.99.  This included a house salad and garlic knots, Garlic Knots: Dough tied into knots topped with Garlic Dressing.  I ordered an ice water and paid for my meal.  My cashier told me it would be 20 minutes.   I said OK and found a seat.   Time wasn't an issue since I was busy with some work and tried to use their WiFi internet.  The service didn't work...but I was lucky since a neighboring business had access.  

After ten minutes, my salad was ready and I retrieved it from the counter.  The basic iceberg lettuce salad, black olives, green peppers and onions.  On the surface it looked very good...but as I got to the bottom of the salad, I found the yellow lettuce leaves that always are bitter.   Then to my shock, I found an ice cube in the middle of the plate.   Obviously, they were trying to revive the old lettuce.  

I finished the salad and waited for the garlic knots....they never showed up.  OK...will wait a little longer.  Finally at 115PM my lasagna was ready.  I picked this up from the counter again and there wasn't any garlic knots.   I knew that they should have been there, they knew they should be there, but offered none. 

My entrée arrived in an aluminum pan.    For nine bucks, I expected the lasagna to be plated.  Obviously, I was mistaken.  Around the edges it appeared to be very greasy.  I started into my selection to find it was VERY HOT from the oven.    Letting it cool a bit, I found the flavor to be very good with a meaty Bolognese sauce.  The only thing this needed was the addition of salt from the table.  

The interior of the restaurant was clean and tidy but very spartan.  Decor was at a minimum but then again...this was a strip-mall  destination.  There was nothing to compel me to return to Del's Pizza. 

Del's Pizza on Urbanspoon

Friday, November 11, 2011

Plum Tree--Knoxville

The Plum Tree in Knoxville is more of a fixture than anyone could imagine.  This little treasure as been here for longer than I can recall and I have NEVER been to dine.  Today was the day. 

The Iconic Roof Sign
Let's be honest...The Plum Tree Chinese Restaurant is in a small and  rather shabby building.  It appears that it might have been an old fast food drive thru restaurant but upon entering, I found it charming and cozy.  

The booths are very comfortable and I have found out the doors on the booths have been removed.   From past comments, each booth used to have privacy doors that closed and you had your own intimate dining space.  I loved that idea. 

After looking at the menu, I soon discovered that Plum Tree is much more than a "Chinese" restaurant.   They feature many Far East cuisines including Thai, Authentic Chinese and Malaysian food.  A Vegetarian selection was also expansive.  

The Lunch Menu was my choice for the day.    You choose your "main ingredient" which includes vegetable, chicken, pork, tofu, shrimp and beef.  Then you can choose your style and sauce including, Szechuan, kung pao, curry and a long list to choose from.   Included with  your choice is egg roll or soup.  I choose the the Hot and Sour Soup....a terrific full flavored soup with the addition of a little salt at the table. 

A very large bowl for $1.75...what a deal. 

My entrée today was Twice Cooked Pork with Brown Rice.  
It was served promptly and very hot. My server was always on the spot with service.  

Twice Cooked Pork with Rice for $6.75
The Plum Tree will be a restaurant that I never over look again.   
I loved the flavors....the preparations and the whole experience.  
They are living up to their long and sustained reputation.  

The Street Marquee

Plum Tree on Urbanspoon

Carver Applehouse--Newport, TN

We have been blessed with a beautiful Fall Season here in East Tennessee.   Our "color trip" took Miss G and I to the Newport area.   What a great day road trip.

The highlight was stopping at Carver Applehouse Restaurant located on the Cosby Highway.  

The Applebarn

The Entrance took Us to a VERY large dining room. 

The View from the expansive Dining Room Windows
was incredible....what a vista to enjoy
while enjoying lunch.  

Carver's Restaurant features a daily special and a full service breakfast, lunch and dinner choices.  We decided on the daily special of BBQ pork sandwich with fries or slaw.    Miss G chose the sandwich with slaw and I chose the sandwich with fries...then we could split our included side dish.    Also included for $7.75 was our beverage and dessert. 

The pork was sweeter than I would expect but remained a moist and tender sandwich.  Fries were crispy and hot....and the cole slaw was crisp and well chilled.  I really enjoyed the kind of semi-tart creamy dressing.

After our tasty lunch, our server returned to our table with our brownie for dessert...moist and dense.   A nice touch to finish our lunch.

After lunch, it was time to head to their Apple barn to pick up a few things.....including a half bushel of apples and a nice cheese pumpkin for a pie.  I had never heard of a cheese pumpkin, but it takes this name since it looks like a wheel of cheese.  We couldn't resist a jar or apple and peach butter made on premises.  I have never seen so many apple varieties before...incredible selection.    The one thing I did notice is that the apples were fresh picked...not like the waxed and polished apples in the grocery. 

We couldn't leave without our freshly made Fried Apple Pies! 

A great afternoon and I will be returning to Carver's the next time in Cosby, TN....well worth the trip.  Carver's will be featuring a Thanksgiving Day Feast that looks well worth the trip for anyone here in East Tennessee.  

Carver Applehouse Restaurant on Urbanspoon