You know them, you love them, you can’t live without… their FOOD!
Dolly, Guy, Trevor, Blake, Paula, Drew, and Peyton all have local eateries and hangouts that have been swarmed with customers all hoping to get a peak at the celebrity faces that may be in their midst. Let’s see why they have come to east Tennessee to set up shop, starting with Mr. Manning!
Peyton Manning’s Saloon 16
The night Tennessee beat Alabama on the football field, Sheriff Peyton was in town and The Graduate Hotel on the strip became the OK Corral for the after party. It was a night to remember. But what do the hotel and Peyton Manning have to do with each other? How about a little speak-easy just off the lobby called Saloon 16. Truly, you kinda gotta ask where it is as it’s not the grand entrance you might expect. It’s a nondescript, smaller than you’d think, Vol-colored hang out with memorabilia galore. Traditional pub food dominates the menu at this cozy watering hole located in the heart of a boutique hotel.
Downtown | 1706 Cumberland Ave. | graduatehotels.com
Blake Shelton’s Ole Red
Blake Shelton came to Gatlinburg and turned it up a notch. The Singer/Music Show Judge/Celebrity Husband has put together a signature restaurant and music venue and has become THE place for live country performances in east Tennessee. If you’re having lunch in Gatlinburg on a Monday, Ole Red will have a singer on stage. The Kiss My Country Grilled Chicken Sammich and Sugar Bear’s Peach Cobbler round out the experience that Blake wants you to enjoy while discovering the next great country singing talent, just like he does on The Voice.
Gatlinburg | 511 Parkway | olered.com/gatlinburg
Drew Brees’ Walk On’s Sports Bistreaux
Former NFL Quarterback Drew Brees was such a fan of Louisiana’s Walk On’s restaurant that he became an owner. Walk On’s is a family sports bar with a taste of Louisiana. I have eaten there multiple times since they walked on to Kingston Pike in Knoxville, and I can’t even begin to tell you how good the food is. Come hungry. The University of Tennessee shows up in the Walk On’s origin story but I’ll let you discover that for yourself as you salivate over the Voodoo Shrimp and Grits or the Black Jack Chicken Sandwich. And yes, there is alligator on the menu. Nothing is over-the-top spicy and the bar is a centerpiece. Walk in to Walk On’s.
West Knoxville | 7621 Kingston Pike | walk-ons.com
Trevor Bayne’s Mahalo Coffee Roasters
Daytona 500 winner and local dude Trevor Bayne jumps in and out of the NASCAR drivers seat at 200 miles an hour to enjoy a much slower pace at his Mahalo Coffee Roasters locations in Powell, downtown Knoxville, and Alcoa. The coastal coffee shops of Hawaii inspired the name and theme of the joint with a laid back, open air lanai feel. Your coffee’s beans were probably roasted by Trevor himself, and he is the most likely celebrity glimpse of all the famous places featured in this issue. Robust flavors burst from Mahalo’s cups with plenty of take-home bagged bean and merch options available.
Powell/Halls | Downtown | Alcoa | mahalocoffeeroasters.com
Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen
Paula and her boys emblazon the side of the building. Smells of Paula’s cooking waft down the escalator when you enter through the gift shop. Paula Deen’s face predominates the cookware and the ornaments and the cookbooks for sale. You know you’re at Paula Deen’s when you’re at Paula Deen’s. Name any comfort food you’ve ever had and it’s on the menu. Chicken and Dumplings, check. Pot Roast, check. Ooey Gooey Buttercake, check. You’ll believe you’re in Paula’s Kitchen in Savannah when it’s actually The Island in Pigeon Forge.
Pigeon Forge | 131 The Island Dr., Suite 8101 | pauladeensfamilykitchen.com
Guy Fieri’s Downtown Flavortown
Is it a restaurant, an arcade, a bowling alley or a Tiki bar? It’s all of them and one of the newest hotspots in Pigeon Forge. Food star Guy Fieri’s head burst wide open and Downtown Flavortown stuck to the walls. A place that implores you to Play With Your Food. And at a whopping 43,000 square feet, there’s plenty of room to do just that. From delectable shareables like Trash Can Nachos to the unimaginable Spaghetti and Meatball Waffles and Guy’s own vintage Chevy Camaro on the play floor, Downtown Flavortown is worth the long wait for a table. I challenge you to spend less than 2 hours here.
Pigeon Forge | 2655 Teaster Ln | downtownflavortown.com
AND DON’T FORGET TO VISIT….
Dolly Parton’s Stampede
America is on full display at Dolly Parton’s Stampede from the theme of the show right down to your plate overloaded with comfort food. Country music legend and homegirl Dolly Parton has added to her extensive portfolio by buying and renaming Dixie Stampede, and the show reflects the changes as the Mason-Dixon line isn’t anywhere to be found. Horses are the main attraction and can be visited upon entering the theater. A full roasted chicken highlighted my four-course meal and was sumptuous. A weekend trip to Pigeon Forge wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the Stampede.
Pigeon Forge | 3849 Parkway | dpstampede.com