Friday, September 25, 2015

Eating Knoxville

Eating like a local:
Regional food specialties
- Passing thru Knoxville  

Biscuits and Burgers. That's what's good in Volunteerland. At least that's what I had on my rides thru on a roadtrip to Asheville last year. Never one to let an opportunity to try a roadfood-esque place pass me by I stopped into the Roadfood recommended Litton's Market on the way down.

Locals favorite since 1946, serving burgers since '53

First thoughts upon entering is "this place is huge" as should of been evident from the parking lot, there were at least a couple hundred people dining in there for lunch on this early afternoon stop. Litton's doubles as a bakery and they bake their own hamburger rolls and get their beef patties supplied fresh. I didn't have the hunger to try and pie but I probably should have.

a peek inside

Their most popular offering is the Litton "Thunder Road" burger which comes topped with pimento cheese, sauteed onions and a jalapeno. Served with fresh cut fries for $12. Not bad but not great, they didn't ask how I wanted the burger cooked and as expected I got a medium well done one. Not sure if the option for medium rare was there or not.

Thunder Road Burger (an ode to the states old moonshine runners)

On the way back to Chicago I chose to get another one of America's classic drive-in's documented into my food folder. I don't know how I came across this place but it was on my list and somehow stopping in made our trip 7 miles shorter despite exiting the highway.

On the outskirts of town

Interesting Menu Selection

Lots of stuff I would of liked to have tried but I had other stops in mind not to mention dinner reservations in Cincinnati that evening. I asked and the Chuckwagon was just a breaded steak sandwich so I didn't need that. I enjoyed a slaw dog at the WNC Farmers market the day before. The chipped ham sandwich was tempting but I instead went with a pimento cheese sandwich and a couple breakfast sandwiches made with house baked biscuits from the all day breakfast portion of the menu.

Pimento Cheese Sandwich at a Drive-in...we must be south of the Mason Dixon

The pimento sandwich was pretty damn good. Simple but I could see how it would be comforting to many who grew up on them. I just question those who don't order one with bacon which was really all that this sandwich was missing. Some crispy hot slices placed right atop the cheese causing it to slightly melt would of won them the football game. Not that it was necessary as the biscuit sandwiches made the game a route. I had quite a few biscuits down in Asheville and while they were all very good none of them were on par with these little guys. Only thing on par I can remember eating were the offerings at the Nashville Biscuit House. Tennessee sure knows how to do these.

Bacon, Egg and Cheese Biscuit

Litton's Market Restaurant and Bakery
2803 Essary Dr
Knoxville, TN 37918
(865) 688-0429

Cardin's Drive-In
8529 Asheville Hwy
Knoxville, TN 37924
(865) 933-3251

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