Cuisine of the Smokies

Our recent Gatlinburg vacation with the family may have added a few pounds to our frames. But every bite was enjoyable...some more than others, of course. Here were our dining experiences this past week, ranked in ascending order:

8. Mayfield Ice Cream Shop (pictured, left), just off the grounds of the Westgate Smoky Mountain Resort where we stayed. Loved the setting and ambience.

7. Smokehouse Grill (at the Westgate Smoky Mountain Resort). We had breakfast here with Aaron and Nina and the kids on their last morning in Gatlinburg. Loved the ambience. Spent too much.

6. Tony Roma's, Pigeon Forge (pictured left). Robin had shrimp scampi, a little too spicy for her, and I enjoyed the spinach stacked chicken breast thingy on rice. I think they called it something a little more sophisticated.

5. Hard Rock Cafe, Gatlinburg (at left). We made our second visit (I think) to this Hard Rock, and had a great time. But I need to remember to have a burger at the Hard Rock, because I've never eaten a tougher New York Strip Steak, fer sure. But Calleigh (giving Mick Jagger the cold shoulder, at left) had a good time.

4. Ben & Jerry's, Gatlinburg. I didn't eat a bite from here...but don't ask how many Banana Split Royales the lovely Robin had during the course of our week. Okay, okay, I'll tell you. THREE!!!!

3. Bubba Gump's, Gatlinburg (pictured at left). Our return visit this year was delightful. They seated us in record time, and believe it or not, Nina ate the rest of us under the table. I don't think that's the right expression, but suffice to say, she likes her some crab legs!

2. Capelli's Pizza, Gatlinburg (pictured at left). We would never have found this place without a tip from the resort...and we almost didn't stay to eat when we saw it. It just didn't look promising, in an old re-purposed motel kinda setting, and only three small tables inside. But we stayed. We ate. We loved.

And, the number one dining experience in our 2010 Gatlinburg vacation (drum roll, please)....

1. The Peddler, Gatlinburg (pictured at left). The lovely Robin and I enjoyed an early thirty-third anniversary dinner here (since we would be driving home on our anniversary). The setting (right on the river), the ambience (rustic), and the food (prime rib for me and filet mignon for Robin, cooked perfectly) were all wonderful.

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