12 OZ Sirloin + Mac And Cheese+ Potato
Holston's Kitchen, on the outside, looks so crisp and clean. The doors were yelling "Come In" every time I have driven passed the restaurant. I finally had a chance to go in and dine. What I found was a chilling surprise.......
Chilling in the fact that the cold air almost took my breath away. It was hot outside, and I guess they were overcompensating. I wasn't sure if I took a wrong turn at the meat cooler. The hostess stand was as cold as the air. There was a bit of confusion on the seating, which confused me because the place was empty. However despite my confused first impressions, I found the interior to be delightful... in a cold, dark kind of way.
The waitress, however, may have actually saved the total experience. She was quick, yet attentive. My drink was filled at least twice before my food arrived, and she probably checked on me a little too much. In my opinion, she needs a raise because she is this facilities best asset. And that's when my food had gotten lost.......
Yes that's right! My food was lost on my plate. My plate was so big that it swallowed all of the food on it. Now you may not see it on the picture because I use good angles, but the gap between all three foods is literally two inches. Now I am grateful my food wasn't touching, but I did not expect a canyon between my food. It made me feel like I didn't get enough. Remember you eat with your eyes before you ever eat with your mouth.
With all the space on my plate, I figured there was something missing. I was right. Its called flavor. The steak needed some marinade, or rub on it. It tasted a lot like steak from home. The mac and cheese was surprisingly tasty! The potato.... was a potato. Don't get me wrong, it wasn't a bad meal. It just could have been so much better.
The Holton's experience may sound worse then it was. I really had a pretty good time. The waitress was awesome. I like the mac and cheese. The steak was cooked to my liking. For a chilly start, drinks in a flash, and a steak with potential, Holston's didn't get the cold shoulder with a picky 3.1 out of 5.
People say that breakfast is the most important part of the day. If that is true, the breakfast we eat should be as tasty as it is nutritious. This is what brought me to The Egg and I.
I walked in and was seated right away. I was handed a menu and waited on the server. As I had expected, the omelette section was quite large. After ordering a drink, in which the server was extremely helpful, I ordered the Classic Combo.
As a picky eater, I always enjoy breakfast because it seems that each meal comes with options. This meal was no different. It should be called the "Have it your way" combo. Each time can be different. I decided to try the scrambled eggs, ham, and Belgian waffle.
It seemed the food took a while to come out, but I may have been a little impatient. Finally the food came and I could see it was to my liking. The only thing I was concerned about was the amount of food, which later proved to be no problem. The ham was really good. The waffle was amazing. Now the eggs. Eggs are always risky when you dine out because some people like them less than done and others like them to bounce. I prefer somewhere in between. Some may say "fluffy". I took a bite of the scrambled goodness on my plate and the eggs were cooked just how I had imagined!
Overall I can say I had a really good experience at this restaurant. If you like good waffles, great eggs, and decent ham, you must try The Egg and I. For great food, an awesome server, and a small wait, I am giving this establishment a generous 4.2 out of 5.
Citrus Glazed Salmon
Walking in, I was surprised to see the bar area so segregated from the restaurant. It was like two different establishments. That being said, I was not a fan of walking directly into the bar. I think that part could have been petitioned better. So I walk in and am taken directly to my seat. It is a very dark setting with one bright, blinding spot light shining on my table, and my eyes.
The waitress came by and received my drink order. She was a fantastic waitress the whole night. She asked me if I would like some bread and, of course, I said yes. When the bread came, I was ready to dig in. What I didn't know is that if I wanted any soft bread, I would have to dig in. I would be digging in between the hard outer shell, This bread was dry and hard on the outside. One word comes to mind.....Unpleasant.
It was finally time to order and I decided to try the cirtrus glazed salmon. One of the side options was thick potato chips. I decided to give those a try. When I recieved my food, everything appeared amazing. However the taste was about to prove me incorrect. I found out that thick potato chips are a fancy way of saying fried potatos. As you can see in the picture, the seasoning was not in a uniform state. One potato would be bland with no taste, while another may make you sneeze with seasoning. The salmon was on a seasoned rice bed. The only word to describe the taste is different. The rice wasn't terrible and took some getting used to but I am still unsure if I would order it again. The salmon was cooked perfectly. The glaze was again different, but not terrible. I would eat the salmon again.
If you are looking for different tastes, you may want to try this dish. If you are like me and prefer to stick to a more normal style of cooking, this restaurant may not be for you. For a great server, confusing decor, and a meal that can only be determined by the taste of the beholder, I give Aubrey's a very generous 3.7 out of 5.
Sweet P's Sampler
Sweet P's is located down by the railroad tracks in downtown Knoxville. I must admit for a moment I thought I may be on the wrong side of the tracks but the smell of the restaurant was drawing me in. I entered and I suppose I looked as if I had never been there before. I must have looked lost because the employee standing next to the bar said the words, "Its cafateria style." I wasn't sure if that was a normal description or if I just looked like the kind of guy who typically eats at cafeterias but I continued through the small line anyway.
So there I was, standing in line, still looking lost. I'm looking up at the menu, stretching my neck and concentrating as if I was trying to decode hyroglyphic symbols. What I was really doing was trying to find a dish in which I could have a bite of evertything. When I finally found the dish to fit the bill, I asked the man behind the counter for it. I was supposed to receive a pork sandwich, brisket, and ribs. That seems to be the standard platter for barbecue spots. I was met by the response, "We are out of ribs, but I can substitute for four wings."
How can you run out of ribs? You are a barbecue dive. Isn't ribs kind of your thing? I chose the dry rub wings (not shown). If you go to this restaurant, you need to hope they run out of ribs. Those wings were some of the best wings I have had. The pork sandwich was good. The brisket was not bad but had a strong beer taste that I didn't care for. The macaroni and cheese was different. It was rich with a hint of barbecue seasoning. If you get it, keep an open mind. I know by my description it doesn't sound appealing but I will tell you it is worth a try.
Sweet P's is a unique experience, but a fun one. Keep an open mind and a hungry stomach and I believe you will really enjoy this one. For a strange but entertaining feel, a different food experience (in a good way), and a surprisingly amazing substitution, I give this restaurant a sweet 4.1 out of 5.
I know this may look like a common meal from a common Mexican restaurant, but hear me out. This restaurant shares a space with a liquor store. I was amazed to see people coming straight out of the restaurant and into the liquor store. However I do not think this was done by design. You see what you don't know about the little town of Kingston is that buildings seem to be at a premium. Yes Kingston, TN seems to have more to offer than one would think. There are many mom and pop restaurants to try in this small town situated by the lake. I heard from a local resident that I had to try Don Eduardos.
I walked in and my first impression was how small the restaurant was. The maximum capacity couldn't have been more than twenty-five or thirty. So far this place resembled every other Mexican restaurant I had ever been in. Nothing special. I was taken to my seat and of course the chips and salsa followed behind me.
I will say the salsa was very good. I made my order and the food was ready quickly. As I sat there I couldn't help but to wonder if everyone I had spoken with about this place were just excited to have a Mexican restaurant, or if I had missed something. The food came and I will say it was average. No onions in the taco, which I love. The red sauce wasn't my favorite, but it varies per restaurant. Then it happened.......
The owner came to see how the food was. I told him it was very good. He probably spoke to me for five to ten minutes. But not that kind of awkward talk in which you just want him to leave your table. No, he had a way about him. A way like a cousin you haven't seen in years but when you get with them you picky up right where you left off. For a few minutes, I felt like I was part of his family and he was part of mine. He genuinely seemed as if he wanted to see me again. I noticed him joking with some patrons who had come in. He knows and connects with the people in that town. A feeling that's hard to get in the city.
I will be very honest and tell you the food was very mediocre. However, the atmosphere was very good. It's a place you can feel welcome and have a good time. For decent food, good service, and that small town feel, I give this place a generous 3.8 out of 5!
Barbecue Brisket with Chips
Jason's Deli is an establishment that I have been told about by several people. Would it live up to the hype? I walked in not knowing what to expect. After some waiting, one of the staff came to take my order. I decided to go with a half barbecue brisket sandwich with chips and one trip to their famous salad bar (not pictured). The atmosphere was laid back. I felt very comfortable there. I did feel slightly robbed as one small television hovered near the salad bar. It was far off in the distance. I recommend more televisions or none at all.
I went to the salad bar and since it was one trip only, I piled up all the fixings I could. The salad bar seemed to be fresh and had a good variety of toppings. Everything on the salad was cold and crisp. It was a really good salad.
I received my sandwich and chips and the aroma from the barbecue had my mouth watering. At first bite I could tell this sandwich might break into my top five sandwiches of all time. The meat was tender and with a layer of cheese, this sandwich had everything I expected. However the best part of this trip was yet to come!
Could it be? Did I read that right? Yes! Free ice cream. Jason's Deli gives free soft serve ice cream to everyone. It was a very exciting and pleasant surprise. This meal seemed to have everything. For a good salad, a great sandwich, and a surprising desert, I give this establishment a generous 4.2 out of 5.
Cheeseburger With Egg
Let's just start with the obvious. Anyone who has probably ever went to this establishment probably will notice that they name the burgers with things like Vol Burger and Garbage Burger. If I am being totally honest with you, I did forget the name of this burger. In my defense, I could not find the name on the online website either which can only lead me to believe the website is not up to date. However, that is not something I usually look for. Your welcome.
For all intensive purposes, I will refer to this burger as the cheeseburger with egg. I think in actuality it was called something pertaining to a farmer. Should I really care about the name? Of course not, but I do care about the feeling I get when I walk in. This established left me feeling split.
As I walk in, I had an overwhelming feeling. The ceilings were very high and I felt it lost the potential comforting feel that I like when I dine. It appeared that half of the restaurant had been renovated and the other half had been forgotten. It made me feel like I was in two different restaurants. I sat in the old section.
I approached the register and found a helpful server. I decided to order the burger with egg. I do not like runny egg on my burger so I asked for the egg to be fried hard. The server assured me it would be no problem and I sat down. When my food was ready, and young lady brought out our food. Niceness was not her strong point. She walked around the store as if she just found out Santa isn't real. (Kids. I might be wrong so pay no attention to that.)
I took my first bite and I will have to say it was one of the better burgers I have had in Knoxville. The egg was cooked correctly, burger was juicy, and the bun was good as well. The fries could have used a different seasoning to complete the experience but, overall, a good meal. I normally do not mention drinks, however, I would recommend a new drink fountain for this restaurant. Water is what you want to order until then.
My experience was rough in places to say the least. Although I have mixed feelings on this one, the burger was the star of the show. For a mixed up décor, a great burger, and one young lady who may be on the naughty list this year, I give this restaurant a picky 3.9 out of 5.
Tacos And Cheese Enchiladas
Amigos is a brand new Mexican restaurant in East Town. I had to stop in for a meal. I walked in and the restaurant looked very typical of this kind of establishment. The hostess took me to my seat and it wasn't long before I met my server. Wait. Haven't I seen her before? Yes. She was the waitress that worked over at Monterrey (a Mexican restaurant across town).
At this point I knew what I could expect from my service. My cup was never empty and my order, I assumed, would be correct. A sigh of relief come over me as I get somewhat apprehensive when I try new places. When it came to my order, I knew exactly what to order.
How did I know what to order? In order to judge one of these types of establishments fairly, you can order the tacos and the cheese enchiladas. I judge by the sogginess of the tortilla, taste of the red sauce, and the amount of onions in the taco beef. As I expected, my food came really quick. I took my first taste of enchilada and I was pleasantly confused. The tortilla was not soggy and it had a good amount of cheese. However, the red sauce was not the best sauce I had ever had on an enchilada. My taco, on the other hand, was probably one of the best tacos I had ever had. There was nothing special about it. The meat did not have onions in it, which I am a fan of. The best part was that each taco had a generous amount of cheese on it. It was in a word: fantastic!
I did enjoy my time here at this establishment. The whole staff seamed nice but as all restaurants, I should probably come back in six months to see how they are doing. For friendly staff, and food that was not too bad, I give Amigos a picky 3.8 out of 5.
14 OZ. New York Strip
Connors is located in Turkey Creek and it can be tricky to get a table. I went on a Saturday and called for a reservation. My reservation was set for 8:15 which was a little late but I had to see if this place was worth the wait. I arrived at 7:45 knowing I would not get my table right away but I wanted to make sure I was on time. I waited, and waited, and waited until finally the hostess came over and informed me my table was almost ready and that she was just waiting on the people at my table to leave. I told her it was no problem and I waited. Yes waiting seemed to be the theme of this trip because at 8:45 I was still waiting. Finally my seat was open and I was ready to dine.
I sat down and began to look over my menu. I couldn't decide. Should I have lamb chops, pork loin, or steak? I finally settled on steak. So now I am waiting on the waitress. When she finally came and took my drink order, she was very polite and I appreciated that. I received my drink and ordered my food. I chose the 14 OZ New York strip with a baked potato only butter and a spinach salad with strawberries and walnuts. I waited......
I received my salad, which was supposed to come with a vinaigrette dressing and blue cheese but I felt that would be too overpowering. Instead I substituted the blue cheese with parmesan and I asked for no dressing. The salad came out just as I had asked. I wasn't sure what to expect with this flavor combination but the berries and nuts did compliment each other. It was very fresh and I did get a nice portion. I finished my salad and..... I waited.
I finally received my steak and potato. The steak looked fantastic. Perfect grill marks and a strong, pleasant aroma. The potato was very much your standard potato with butter. I decided to take my first bite of steak and it was phenomenal! Perfectly cooked and so many flavors bursting inside my mouth. By my third bite, I was in some sort of food heaven. The waiting had paid off. In an attempt to calm myself down from the bliss of the steak, I grabbed my drink only to find out it was empty. There I was in the middle of food paradise only to be disappointed by an empty cup. This would not be the first occasion in which this would happen.
To sum this experience up, it was nothing but a waiting game. I was there much longer than I had anticipated, however, the food was top notch. I could not complain about anything I put into my mouth. So for a delicious steak, a great salad, and a few timely mistakes, I have no choice but to give Connors a picky 4.1 out of 5.
Not Yo Mama's Chicken And Waffles
Let me just start by saying chicken and waffles is probably one of my favorite dishes. I have been searching for a really good dish that is savory and full of flavor but also has a great composition factor. Could I have found a dish to satisfy everything I am looking for?
I stumbled upon Not Watson's in Market Square as I was taking a stroll, searching for something unusual. The name was very odd. I thought "Who is Watson and what has he done to this restaurant?" I decided to go in and check them out. The hostess was very polite and took me to my seat. I sat at table number one. I know this because they have giant numbers on each of the tables. That décor I didn't care for but, for the most part, the restaurant itself had a very nice feel. It was the kind of place that made you feel like you didn't know if you should be there, but had no reason to leave.
My waitress was very polite as well. She got my drink and then returned to take my food order. What could I get off of this enticing menu. Then I see it. Chicken and Waffles! Served with spiced watermelon? What is spiced watermelon? I had to try it.
When my food come out, I was definitely impressed by the amount of chicken and waffles I received. As promised, spiced watermelon came on the side and a bourbon maple glaze to top everything off. My first bite was of the watermelon. I couldn't resist. It was a satisfying disappointment. The spices had little to no flavor and so I was left with a very delicious piece of watermelon. The real star of this dish was the chicken and waffles. I took my first bite of juicy chicken and savory waffle topped with a delicious bourbon glaze and I felt like I had traveled into another world in which food was the only thing that mattered. Not just any food but this food. This chicken and waffle. This amazing dish that was causing me to have a food experience like I have never known. I thought I may be in love.
The honeymoon fell short, however, when my glass remained empty for a long period of time and I was found with no way to quench the spices that were now tingling my mouth. Finally I did obtain more to drink and I was quite satisfied.
As for the name of the restaurant, you will have to go and ask them what it means. As far as the overall experience, I can tell you its definitely worth stopping in. For a lovely greeting, an empty glass, and a dish that you will not soon forget, I am giving Not Watson's a picky 4.7 out of 5.