Calhoun’s is an East Tennessee tradition. They started from their Pellissippi location and now they have several in Knoxville, one near Fort Loudon, one in Pigeon Forge and of course, one in Gatlinburg. The one in Gatlinburg is tucked right up next to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It is in a beautiful location, right on the parkway. The staff is always ready to make your day with a smile and one of the best selections of food you will find in Gatlinburg.
Calhoun’s is known for their ribs. They are fantastic. They are tender, slide off the bone tender and they are juicy. Calhoun’s ribs never disappoint and if you have never had them, then you have to try them the next time you go to Calhoun’s for lunch or dinner. But if I was to pick one of my favorite items on their menu it is their “Ale” Pork Chops. These chops have been marinate din olive oil, mustard, garlic and Calhoun’s own Cherokee Red Ale. This microbrew starts the tenderizing process and the chops come to the table fork-tender. You can get the dinner with one chop or two and the place a pad of Worcestershire butter on top of the steaming chops that melts around the plate when they sit it on the table. These are perhaps the best pork chops that I have ever had in a restaurant.
And with those chops you are going to get two sides. Now, they suggest mashed potatoes and one other side. And while those mashed potatoes are good, they are not as good as the Tennessee Corn Puddin’. And when paired with the Spinach Maria you have two of the best side dishes ever concocted. Spinach Maria is creamed spinach done Calhoun’s style. Cooked in a little ramekin, cheese is melted over the top and this serving of creamed spinach gives you just a little heat on top of the creaminess of the spinach to give you a perfect mixture of flavors. Then you have the Tennessee Corn Puddin’. This is a pudding made of creamed corn. It is the perfect consistency, almost like a souffle. The corn is buttery and works so well with the tang of the Spinach Maria that I have never tried any of the rest of their sides.
Calhoun’s is also very easy to find it is one of a hand-full of restaurants in Gatlinburg that has parking readily available for all of the people that walk through the doors. Now, it is located right on the Parkway and it is certainly within walking distance from a number of great hotels and motels, but it also has parking in the rear. If you turn off the parkway in between Calhoun’s and Cherokee Grill, you will continue up the road next to a set of retail shops and then find parking behind all of the Calhoun’s Village area. This is for people eating or shopping in this area only so make sure that you are there with a purpose and if you are there to eat make sure it is in Calhoun’s.
If you spend much time in Gatlinburg, you are going to pass Calhoun’s at some point. Stop by an check out their menu, they have one posted at the door. As you stand there, breath deep. Get the smell of the food in your nose. Follow your nose into the restaurant that has been winning awards for decades. Give Calhoun’s a chance to become one of your favorite places to eat in Gatlinburg.