Roadfood, Boat Food, Fast Food and Show Food

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chezkatie
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Roadfood, Boat Food, Fast Food and Show Food - Fri, 08/26/05 1:03 PM
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Part One

We started our two week trip on August 18. We were en route from Baltimore to Memphis, Tenn where we were going to get on The American Queen steamboat for a trip to New Orleans.

Our first stop was lunch inMarion, VA. at The Dip Dog. We ordered 8 "dogs" for 2 adults and 3 children; also had 2 orders of unmemorable french fries along with our dip dogs and sodas. A dip dog is a great thing. It is a bright red hot dog on a stick which has been dipped into a sort of pancake-like batter and then deep fried. When the dog is removed from the fryer, it is swirled around in a tub of mustard and then put into a brown paper bag. They are great and the kids loved them. Our 2nd time here and we were not disappointed.

Dinner that night was at Aubrey's in Knoxville, TN which was just a short distance from our hotel and it was just what we were looking for after driving all day with 3 small children. The atmosphere was very nice and the service was terrific. We loved the menu. The 2 older children shared a dinner platter with a selection of four vegetables. The vegetables were as delicious as could be. The youngest one ordered the child's chicken which turned out to be 2 very large pieces of perfectly fried chicken served with fresh french fried potato chips which were excellent. My son had broiled grouper which was the fish of the day and I had the peanut crusted catfish. We both enjoyed Caesar's salads and 2 sides of vegetables. (Thanks to Carleton Pierre for having this on his list..........I recognized the name from the list of restaurants which were right by our hotel.)

Friday Aug 19, we headed on toward Memphis. We had wanted to eat at Wilma Kaye's (in Nashville) for lunch but it was too early to stop so we went on and took a detour to Lexington, TN where we had a wonderful meal at Hay's Smokehouse. There we had the pleasure of meeting Dennis Hays and his lovely wife and enjoying some great food. The pulled pork was awesome and the ribs, although a little fatty for my taste, were really good. We enjoyed visiting with the local folks who were enjoying their lunches there. Someone told us about Scott's Barbeque which is the western edge of town and advised us to try it there as their Q was great too, but they did not offer the selection of sides that Hay's does. Mr. Hays came over to visit with us (even though the place was crowded) and offered to take our smallest one home with him! Thanks to all the roadfooders who have posted on this great place.

When we arrived at hotel in Memphis, my oldest daughter was already there, having flown in from Syracuse. We were glad to see her and just had to wait for the children's mommy to show up who was going to fly in that evening after work. We watched the ducks parade through the lobby of the hotel and then took off for dinner at Charlie Vergos’ Rendezvous where we enjoyed both ribs and pulled pork. (Both were delicious but my daughter said that the dry ribs that I make at home are better.) We had a real fun waiter and enjoyed lots of laughs with him. After a carriage ride, we went to a couple of places on Beale street where our youngsters really enjoyed the show with the Elvis "impersonator" and did lots of dancing with other youngsters there. We watched street performers for a while and then back to hotel to wait for daughter to show up. Unfortunately, her first flight was late getting in to Atlanta and so she missed her flight to Memphis and had to spend the night in a dreadful hotel by airport.

Sat. August 20. When she finally arrived at hotel, we took cabs over to steamboat landing and went on board.
We had lunch buffet and then it was time to go to our cabins (which were beautiful) and unpack. We were really fortunate that we boarded early as we later found out that the line of people to get on board became long and that some of the people waited in line for one hour due to the strict security screening which took a long time. After exploring the boat and admiring the lovely public areas, it was time for dinner.

I will not post every menu but will do this one night so that you can get an idea of what dinner on the steamboat is like;

First course:
Crispy Fried Oysters
Chilled Fresh Berries
Black Bean Soup
Cream of Mushroom soup

Salads:
Mixed Greens with Grilled Asparagus
Steamboat Tossed Salad

Entrees:
Filet Mignon with Gratin potatoes and steamed mixed vegetables
Caramelized "Diver" Scallops with lemon risotto and Julienne vegetables
Veal Marsala topped with Mushroom sauce with creamy risotto

Featured New Orleans Fare:
Pecan crusted Salmon with gratin potatoes and Champagne Vanilla Beurre Blanc

Vegetable Selection:
Baked Lasagne with grilled vegetables, cheeses and Marinara sauce served with grilled French Bread

Heart Healthy and Lighter Fare:
Grilled chicken breast with steamed vegetables and baked potato
Pasta with Olive oil and garlic
Fresh Baked potato plain or loaded

The food was first quality in every instance but a recurring problem was that some of the food served was too cool. The service (and especially the wine service) lacked the polish that we have found on cruise ships but, overall, we were very happy with our dinners each evening.

Part 2 to come later.

carlton pierre
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RE: Roadfood, Boat Food, Fast Food and Show Food - Fri, 08/26/05 1:29 PM
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Kay, Part 1 was an excellent report. I took my parents on a great carriage ride through downtown Mamphis last fall and they really loved it. Can't wait to read about Part 2.

mayor al
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RE: Roadfood, Boat Food, Fast Food and Show Food - Fri, 08/26/05 1:41 PM
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Kay, We will await Part 2 and the others that we hope will be forthcoming.
I am so glad you had the chance to visit with Dennis Hays at his establishment. It is places like his that make traveling such a fun experience.
Have a great trip and keep us in mind as you record the roadfood you find!

aleswench
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RE: Roadfood, Boat Food, Fast Food and Show Food - Fri, 08/26/05 3:12 PM
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This sounds like a wonderful trip - my mother and father in law went last year on the American Queen (who incidently brought Bob back a tee shirt that I chide him relentlessly on when he wears it . They loved it!! They said we have to do it someday. They flew down, but reading your first 1/2 of the report we would drive it and make all the stops you did. We are dying to go to Hays. Next year's vacation is not yet planned - we may follow in your footsteps! Can't wait to hear part two- dying to hear what "fast food" YOU had and dying to know what show food is (with the kids you never know - I'm thinking wide open mouths full of mashed potatoes Sue

tiki
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RE: Roadfood, Boat Food, Fast Food and Show Food - Fri, 08/26/05 5:35 PM
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great report--sounds like you had a wonderful time too! I too am glad you got to stop at Hays--it is certainly a must stop for anyone going through that part of the country! -----and you got to see the ducks!!! Looking forward to "the rest of the story!"

wanderingjew
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RE: Roadfood, Boat Food, Fast Food and Show Food - Sun, 08/28/05 11:28 AM
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Enjoyed reading Part I....Looking forward to Part II

chezkatie
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RE: Roadfood, Boat Food, Fast Food and Show Food - Sun, 08/28/05 1:29 PM
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Part 2

Early on Monday, Aug 22, our boat arrived at the landing forHelena, Arkansas. We were scheduled for a family tour which would take a few hours. We decided to go to the buffet for our breakfasts. I will have to say that the breakfast buffets were really outstanding; much better than any cruise that we have been on. Omelets were made to order.........I loved the crawfish omelet that I enjoyed that morning.

Our first stop, after driving through the small town of Helena was the Civil War cemetery. While the children did "rubbings" of the gravestones, we were given an excellent talk on the battle of Helena which was won by the Union troops. (Our guide let us know that this was not very pleasing for him to have to tell us.) We then had a bus ride through town and the nearly deserted downtown section with a majority of the buildings being vacant.

The guide told us that the downtown had suffered dreadfully because of the large "Wal Mart" which had been built out "out on the highway." Many of the downtown businesses closed down or moved out to be by Wal Mart. It was sad to hear. We were dropped off at the Delta Cultural Museum which was most interesting. We then walked over to "Blues Alley" which was just great. When the bus picked us up, we headed out of town for about 10 miles..During this time, we were given a talk by our guide on the agriculture in the area as we passed through huge soybean fields and rice fields.

Our stop was at a dove hunter's lodge where a terrific "blues" singer sat out on the porch and entertained us during our stay there. We were served a delicious barbeque lunch buffet by the lodge's caretaker's wife. The pulled pork was the very best that I have ever eaten. When I told her this, she took me out and showed me her smoker and told me exactly how she did the pork. (The smoker was so clean that it looked like it had never been used.) After games for the children and relaxing and listening to music for the adults, we took the bus back to the boat landing. It certainly was a wonderful tour.

We had wonderful tours each day but did not have any food off the boad except for tasting water lotus seeds for the first time. Each person (on a bayou boat ride) had a different opinion on what they tasted like. It ranged from green beans to nuts to coconut. When one person declared it tasted like chicken, we decided to end the debate.

On Saturday, Aug 20, we arrived in New Orleans and took a van to our hotel (Iberville Suites) and immediately went walking down Bourbon Street. Our five year old asked this question:
"How can this city be so famous when it is so dirty?" He had observed many men hosing down the streets and so knew it had to be dirty.

A big mistake we made was our lunch. Everyone wanted to go to Mother's but as it cost $9.50 for the seven of us just to get into the taxi, we opted for Acme Oyster House. The oysters that we ordered were at room temperature. I could not believe it. We ordered the "Po-boys" that had both shrimp and oysters. My son declared the bread to be really inferior and we all agreed. The seafood was over-cooked and there were very few oysters. The sandwiches were filled with shredded lettuce and not much else. The rice and beans that the children had were fine. We were really sorry that we did not go to Mother's.

Saturday evening, we had a big splurge and went to Commander's Palace.......what wonderful service and meals. I had the turtle soup and the largest soft shell crab that I had ever seen. My dessert was (of course) their famous bread pudding. We had ordered 3 desserts and the wait staff brought us 7 (I think they wanted to make sure the children would get some) so that we tasted every dessert on the menu.

Sunday morning, my son took his wife and the youngest child out to airport for their flight home. He picked up our rental van there, and after our breakfast at Cafe Du Monde for cafe au lait and beignet, we headed north and back to Memphis.

Part 3 to come.

carlton pierre
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RE: Roadfood, Boat Food, Fast Food and Show Food - Sun, 08/28/05 8:48 PM
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Kay, Part 2 as excelent as Part 1. I find it hard to believe that Wal-Mart did all the damage to downtown Helena though that's what they want one to believe. That is sacred ground in the blues world.

mayor al
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RE: Roadfood, Boat Food, Fast Food and Show Food - Sun, 08/28/05 8:57 PM
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Great coverage again, Kay. Keep the segments coming. It Sounds like you had a great family vacation!

Sundancer7
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RE: Roadfood, Boat Food, Fast Food and Show Food - Sun, 08/28/05 9:02 PM
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Kay, what a wonderful trip so far. I really wish I could do what you did. I am glad you had the opportunity to visit Hay's. Even though it was a littly fatty for your taste, I enjoy it.

How was the trip down the Mississippi?

Paul E. Smith
Knoxville, TN

chezkatie
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RE: Roadfood, Boat Food, Fast Food and Show Food - Fri, 09/2/05 6:04 PM
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Part 3 of trip

We drove up I-55 and I narrowly escaped a potential dreadful accident. Right after we got through the main part ofJackson, Miss., we went onto a local road seeking out a good Roadfood lunch. I was desperately seeking hot tamale stands and Art was looking for barbeque. It being Sunday, it seems that we were out of luck.

We stopped to get gas and the kids became all excited and said "Look, there are girls roller skating with bags of food. And lo and behold there was a Sonic Drive-In Restaurant. I thought "Oh well; this does not happen often and now I can try one of those cherry lime-aides that some Roadfooders have posted on." We pulled in and put in our order and sat at an outside table. The place was packed but our food arrived in no time (of course, it was the skates that did it!) The kids enjoyed Texas Toast grilled cheese sandwiches and fries. My son had some sort of really large Jalapeno burger; my daughter had a plain hamburger and I had a hot dog. The food was ok (in fact, my son said his burger was really good) and I would stop at one again if I had no Roadfood choice.

We arrived at hotel in Memphis, checked into our rooms. We then got our car out of garage and I followed son to airport to drop off the rental. We found that the place we wanted to go for dinner (Automatic Slim's Tonga ) was closed on Sundays as well as the other Roadfood places. We ended up going to Issac Hayes at Peabody Place and listened to some great live music and had a good meal in very nice and spacious surroundings. My son and I shared a Barbeque platter for two which consisted of chicken, ribs, pulled pork, sliced beef brisket, a ton of fries, and sides of cole slaw and collards. The highlight of the meal for me was the huge side of collard greens. They were the very best that I had ever tasted. I decided that I have been overcooking them when I make them and I am hopeful that I will be able to make some as good as these.

The next morning after breakfast at hotel, we bid farewell to my daughter who was flying out later in the morning. Our next roadfood stop was to be Wilma Kaye's for lunch in Nashville. We found the place easily (thanks to the good directions from Poverty Pete) and could not believe our eyes when we saw the sign telling us that it was closed on Monday. This was so disappointing for us. We saw nothing around there that looked promising so continued on for a bit and stopped for gas and picked up cheese and salami and crackers. Along, with some cold soda's, we had a real Roadfood lunch as we ate as we drove. We had reservations at the Crowne Plaza in downtown Knoxville and were planning to eat at King Tut's that night.

More to come.

wanderingjew
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RE: Roadfood, Boat Food, Fast Food and Show Food - Fri, 09/2/05 6:44 PM
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What a wonderful trip Chezkatie!
You know how to do roadfood right!!!

chezkatie
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RE: Roadfood, Boat Food, Fast Food and Show Food - Tue, 09/6/05 7:39 AM
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Part 4

Shortly after lunch, my son asked how much further Gatinburg was than Knoxville. I told him that it was 40 miles and his response was that we should cancel our reservations in Knoxville, make some in Gatlinburg and stay there for three nights and so that is just what we did.

We stayed at this great motel where we had a balcony hanging over a really fast rushing brook. The sound was fabulous. That evening, we went to our favorite place for for mountain trout. It is Maxwell's and they have the most delicious mountain trout, filleted beautifully and cooked to perfection. The trout, along with a Caesar's salad and an excellent au gratin potato made for a terrific meal. Then it was back to the balcony over the rushing brook with juice for the kids and adult after dinner drinks............we called Jill to let her know our change in plans and than sat and planned our stay there.

The next morning, we had a really nice continental breakfast at motel and then Art was off to Ripley's "Believe it or Not" and some 3-D shows with the kids. I did laundry and then relaxed. We went to the Alamo Steakhouse for lunch. I would never go there again. We ordered our hamburgers medium rare and the waitress told us that they would only do them well-done. At that point I should have ordered something else but did not. We asked for a cup of the soup of the day for one of the children and were told that they could only serve the bowl size. We said "OK" but what a waste of money..................over half of it was uneaten as it was much too large a portion. The other youngster ordered a child's burger and fries. This was priced three dollars cheaper than ours but was the exact same size. We could not believe it. Food was fine but this place was crossed off our list for future visits.

Back to motel for swimming and reading and just relaxing. We went to the complimentary cocktail hour at 5 and enjoyed some "ok" wine and snack plates consisting of a nibble mixture, squares of cheese and sliced Kielbasa.

Afterwards, we went to Pigeon Forge to bookstore and then on to our 8:30 Dixie Stampede show. I will have to say that the food was quite good...........some of it excellent. We were served whole rotisserie chicken, a hickory smoked slice of pork loin, creamed vegetable soup, a homemade biscuit, corn on the cob, herb-basted potato, a apple pie and an assortment of beverages. The chicken was excellent; the potato was stone-cold. It was a very nice meal but I would have enjoyed it a lot more if we did not have to eat the whole thing with our fingers! I was not particularly impressed by the show but the little ones just loved it.

Part 5 to follow soon.

carlton pierre
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RE: Roadfood, Boat Food, Fast Food and Show Food - Tue, 09/6/05 10:23 AM
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Another excellent report, Kay. Smart move to stay in G'burg.

chezkatie
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RE: Roadfood, Boat Food, Fast Food and Show Food - Thu, 09/15/05 1:42 PM
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Part 5 of Our Trip

We had early breakfast at our motel and then took off for the Smoky Mountain National Park. It was Wednesday so the auto trip that we planned to Cade's Cove could not be done. This road is closed to vehicles on Wednesday mornings until 10 am. We knew we would not have to time to wait and do it and opted for another road trip that a ranger suggested to us. It was very relaxing and interesting. We learned a lot of the history of the early settlers and saw some wonderful old buildings. The children were most impressed with a tiny dwelling which had housed a family of thirteen people.

When we returned toGatinburg, we decided to eat at "No Way Jose" which is a Tex-Mex place right by the aquarium which dad and the kids were going to that afternoon. I would highly recommend this restaurant to anyone. It was very attractive inside, attentive service, cheerful surroundings and a very nice owner. Best of all the food was delicious and very inexpensive. The children had soft tacos with french fries. (Do not laugh---------these were the best french fries we had on our entire trip.) My son and I shared an appetizer platter which was great and just right for the two of us as we were planning on an early dinner show that evening.

Dad and the kids went off to the wonderful aquarium and Grandma went back to motel to get most of packing done for our trip home the next day. When the aquarium trip was finished, we went to Pigeon Forge to browse in a bookstore and then on to the dinner show which we had reservations for. We went to Fiddler's Feast, which is a brand new show this year, and enjoyed every moment of it. It was an outstanding bargain, priced at $30.00 per adult and free for the children, and the best show I have ever seen in this area. The meal was excellent; everything was served hot and was delicious.

It consisted of sirloin steaks and chicken fillets grilled over a hickory-wood fire and served with new potatoes , home-style cooked beans, bread or biscuits and for dessert a choice of apple cinnamon or blackberry cobbler. The show featured bluegrass, mountain and gospel and was terrific.

The next day, we had a quick breakfast at motel and then started toward home. We decided ahead of time that we would stop at Stone's Cafeteria located in Christiansburg VA. The review of it in the latest edition of Roadfood sounded great. When we walked into the place, we immediately knew that it was different than what we had thought. Instead of a cafeteria counter, there was a bar running down one side of the room. When we sat down and looked at the menu cover, we could see that big changes had been made. It was now called Stone's Backyard Grille & Tavern. The menu seemed more like a Bennigan's type offering of food with lots of appetizers, wraps, sandwiches and a few platters. The kids ordered a Turkey club sandwich to share, my son had a barbeque sandwich (most expensive one I have ever seen.......about $7.00) and I ordered a side of macaroni and cheese plus a couple of vegetables and corn bread. Interestingly enough, this was the first place on our whole trip that we had cornbread that was not sweet and it was good. The vegetables were straight out a can "ugly" and the mac and cheese was pretty tasteless. The kids would not eat the club sandwich (it was so high that they did not know what to do with
it so I traded with them. The sandwich was huge because it contained the thickest slice of onion I have ever seem; also thick slices of cucumbers. I dismantled it in order to eat some of it but should not have bothered. The slices of cheese were processed cheese product, the ham and turkey came right of the cold cuts case from the local grocery store. What a disappointment (and $8.00 wasted) . My son's barbeque sandwich was very good and he was happy with it. On the way out, we read a newspaper article on the way saying that the owners were losing money on the cafeteria and decided to change the whole style of the restaurant about a year ago. This is certainly no longer a Roadfood destination. I suggest you put a notation next to it in your Roadfood book.

We arrived home late in afternoon and sat down to a home-cooked spaghetti and meatball dinner, complete with lots of wine!

mayor al
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RE: Roadfood, Boat Food, Fast Food and Show Food - Thu, 09/15/05 2:09 PM
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Kay,

Thanks for another good report. I have added your note about STONE'S to my book!.
Sounds like you guys had a great vacation but were glad to get home!

Sundancer7
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RE: Roadfood, Boat Food, Fast Food and Show Food - Thu, 09/15/05 2:17 PM
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Chez, what was the alternate trip you took in Gatlinburg when you found out Cades Cove road was closed on Wednesday morning. I hope you found the Cherokee trail by the old apple orchard.

Paul E. Smith
Knoxville, TN

seafarer john
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RE: Roadfood, Boat Food, Fast Food and Show Food - Thu, 09/15/05 3:27 PM
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Thanks for a great report on your trip, we really envy your riverboat part of the trip - something we have been promising ourselves for years but have never done. Maye this will spur us to some action.

Cheers, John

chezkatie
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RE: Roadfood, Boat Food, Fast Food and Show Food - Thu, 09/15/05 6:41 PM
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quote:
Originally posted by Sundancer7

Chez, what was the alternate trip you took in Gatlinburg when you found out Cades Cove road was closed on Wednesday morning. I hope you found the Cherokee trail by the old apple orchard.

Paul E. Smith
Knoxville, TN


We did the Cherokee Orchard Road and Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail and enjoyed it just as much as Cade's Cove. It was a wonderful road tour.

carlton pierre
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RE: Roadfood, Boat Food, Fast Food and Show Food - Fri, 09/16/05 2:19 AM
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Kay,

just a wonderfully done trip report!

No Way Jose's has an excellent chicken tortilla soup as well.
Roaring Fork Trail is one of the best ways to visit the mountains if you don't want to stray far from town and it's beautiful and is one of my favorite trips.

The road thru Cades Cove is closed on Wed mornings for bikers and walkers and really sorry you missed it. It's one of the most beautiful areas of the park IMO, full of history and scenic beauty. I like to go around dusk, just as it is being closed to car traffic and walk around Cades Cove in the moonlight with just a flashlight.

chezkatie
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RE: Roadfood, Boat Food, Fast Food and Show Food - Fri, 09/16/05 8:05 AM
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quote:
Originally posted by carlton pierre

Kay,

just a wonderfully done trip report!

No Way Jose's has an excellent chicken tortilla soup as well.
Roaring Fork Trail is one of the best ways to visit the mountains if you don't want to stray far from town and it's beautiful and is one of my favorite trips.

The road thru Cades Cove is closed on Wed mornings for bikers and walkers and really sorry you missed it. It's one of the most beautiful areas of the park IMO, full of history and scenic beauty. I like to go around dusk, just as it is being closed to car traffic and walk around Cades Cove in the moonlight with just a flashlight.



Carlton,

I agree with you about Cade Cove. We have done that a couple of times and loved it. The last time we drove through there, we stopped as there were so many cars pulled over to the side of road and a whole group of people standing there looking into the woods. Of course, we stopped too and this man told us that he saw a bear walking in the woods. We could see a little movement so just waited and then all of a sudden the man decided he was going to walk in to try to get a close-up shot with his camera. We all thought he was crazy and just waited as he continued on in. Soon, we heard a lot of rustling and held our breathes.

Imagine the laughter when the red faced guy came out explaining that it was just a an angry wild turkey.




Sundancer7
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RE: Roadfood, Boat Food, Fast Food and Show Food - Fri, 09/16/05 8:24 AM
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Chez, I ride my bike around the cove pretty often. A few years ago, I bought a new bike for Christmas and early on Christmas day, I hauled my bike up the mountain cause I knew that I would have it all to myself and could enjoy the peaceful place without noise pollution.

Boy was I wrong, There must have been several thousand folks that got bikes for Christmas.

Glad you enjoyed Cherokee Orchard and Roaring Forks.

Paul E. Smith
Knoxville, TN