Tonight, we tried the Smoky Mountain Brewery restaurant at Turkey Creek, 11308 Parkside Dr., Knoxville, TN 37934. We were less than pleased, as you will find out.
My first thought upon entering the restaurant, was wow, that is a lot of televisions. I have always found that going out to eat for me is more about spending time with my family and having someone wait on me. It is not about watching sports events on television. The place was so noisy that I wouldn’t have been able to hear the sporting event anyway, but wherever you sit, you can see a television or see the reflection of a television. Reading the menu was a bit difficult, as I kept seeing flashes in my side vision from one of the televisions or from a reflection of the televisions. (Their website says they have over 25 televisions at this location. I have to say I believe it.)
Next we looked over the menu and I was less than pleased with the menu. The sides were rather limited, mashed potatoes, french fries, baked macaroni and cheese or broccoli and cheese. Oh, I forgot the honey mustard potato salad. For me most of these are somewhat high fat and just were not interesting sides. I wanted to order a side salad, but apparently I had to order the meal which included a side and order the $3.50 side salad. In the end, I ordered the grilled chicken sandwich, no cheese on a whole wheat bun and barbecue sauce on the side, with the broccoli, no cheese, and a salad with the Low Cal Sundried Tomato Vinaigrete salad dressing. My son ordered a burger and fries as he usually does and my husband ordered a Swiss Mushroom burger I believe with the potato salad. We also ordered a the bread pretzel with beer cheese, as there was a brewery restaurant in Wisconsin that served this and we rather liked it.
The pretzel and cheese and the salad came out fairly quickly. I went to open my napkin in order to grab my fork and start on my salad. But when I opened the napkin, the steak knife was covered in dried on food and there was a small piece of dried food on the fork. My husband then offered me his napkin wrapped utensils, which I opened and inspected, then started on my salad. My son checked his napkin wrapped utensils and his utensils was sticking to the napkin as there was some wet food on his. Then I started on my salad. My first thought was large salad, and my hubby and son grabbed some green pepper from the side of my salad plate. I do not like green pepper raw, as they know, and the salad had a lettuce salad in the middle of the plate/flat bowl and then the different toppings around the edge including cheese, green pepper, tomato, and some yellow pepper and onions. When I dipped some salad into my dressing, served on the side as I requested, I noticed the dressing tasted more like a honey mustard than a Sundried tomato vinaigrette. When the waitress came back, we requested fresh silverware and the correct salad dressing and she didn’t seem to apologize or anything. I have to say that it is hard for a restaurant to recover in my eyes when they put silverware that dirty on the table. I have never had silverware that dirty in a restaurant.
After eating some of my salad, I decided to grab my one pretzel. The appetizer comes with 5 bread pretzels of a similar size to the Superpretzel Pretzels you can buy in the Frozen section at the grocery store. To me they tasted similarly, except of course they have the salt on them that one can put on their Superpretzel pretzel, but I do not. The cheese sauce was okay, but not as good as what we used to find at the Brewhouse in Wisconsin.
As my salad was fairly large, our meals came out before I was finished with it. Our sandwiches came with the buns open showing the toppings. When my husband saw the honey-mustard potato salad, he realized it was a mayonnaise based potato salad. He used to work fast food and saw them leave the mayonnaise out on the counter all the time and just has a somewhat hate relationship when it concerns mayonnaise. He had assumed the honey mustard potato salad would be a more German based potato salad where it is more a vinaigrette. The waitress offered to bring him another side, to which he requested french fries, as I had tasted my broccoli already and warned him they were dead and gone. This is our expression for they are overcooked. We typically steam our frozen veggies until crisp tender and don’t like melt in your mouth broccoli with or without cheese sauce.
My sandwich was reasonably good and the barbecue sauce had an interesting flavor to it. My husband also had some of the barbecue sauce on the side with his hamburger. His main comment on his burger was that he never did find the mushrooms. My son seemed to think his was okay, but clearly did not like the french fries. He offered his plate to the waitress to take it away without eating hardly any of his french fries. You have to understand my son has well, I think never done that before. He typically munches on fries, just because they are there. I stole a few fries from my husband’s plate as I typically do and my thought was that they were as salty as McDonald’s french fries. (We always order McDonald’s fries no salt. This way you get them straight out of the fryer. Some of their fries can taste very old sometimes.)
So in the end, the wait staff didn’t try and make our stay better after the fiasco of the silverware and the food wasn’t overly good either. I also hate the atmosphere. Unless someone is having a party there and invites me, I doubt I will ever go back. We really did not like it. I guess for watching a sporting event on television with some buds, and some cheap finger food or something. Maybe they have a good beer menu, but we don’t like alcohol much, so for us, nothing to recommend the place and much to dislike.
Oh, and I did send the restaurant my usual email of do you have any nutrition information available and did mention our disappointing experience. Wonder what kind of response I will receive from them. I truely hope they encourage their staff to look at the utensils when they take them out of the dishwasher. I know dishwashers have trouble with utensils, as least mine does sometime, but inspect your utensils before you put them on the table then. Dirty utensils makes me wonder about the cleanliness of the whole place.