Nestled in The Village shopping area in Gatlinburg is a small cheese shop called the Cheese Cupboard. On its own, it is a very nice cheese shop with a good variety of cheeses. When you add to it the restaurant that is upstairs you’ve found a hidden gem in Gatlinburg that most people don’t even realize is there. The Hofbrauhaus Restaurant boasts the best Reuben in town and that is a reputation that they live up to.
The Cheese Cupboard opened in 1969. The variety of cheeses, snack foods, imported chocolates and imported beers that they carry is surprising when you see the size of their store. Every inch of space is covered with merchandise. From cheddar to Camembert, from Brie to Blue the Cheese Cupboard is a great spot for the turophile (cheese lover) in your traveling party. Whether you are looking for something specific or if you just prefer to browse, the selection at the Cheese Cupboard is always beyond your expectations.
The real hidden treasure lies upstairs. Literally up the stairs at the back of the shop. Climb the very narrow staircase and you will pop out at a small dining area with an even smaller kitchen on the left hand side. You have arrived at the Hofbrauhaus. Their menu is modest. Sandwiches, hotdogs, cheese snacks all reside on one page but the main reason for making the climb is their Reuben. They are renowned for this specialty, called the “The Super Reuben.” Stacked high with corned beef, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese and homemade sauce, this bit of heaven is the purpose for making the trek up the stairs. Every bite is loaded with melted cheese and tangy sauerkraut and it really is the best Reuben in the area. On the table they have coarse ground mustard, horseradish and relish so you can condiment to your hearts content.
The Hofbrauhaus dinning area is also part of the appeal. Very cozy and quaint, with seating for no more then 12 or 16, this is one of those places where your group might be dining alone, something hard to find in Gatlinburg. The interior is designed to look like a small German pub and it certainly does bring that to mind with the dark wood and furnishings. Remember when you go, that the person waiting on you, cooking for you and bringing your drinks is also going to be the person working the register downstairs in the cheese shop so don’t get impatient, good things come to those who wait.
Instead of going to the place you always go in Gatlinburg for lunch, or going to a fast food restaurant, make the small effort to seek out and stop by the Hofbrauhaus. Get the Reuben or one of the other fantastic sandwiches. Smear it down with fresh horseradish or mustard and have a great meal in one of those places that nobody knows about. Take some cheese home from the Cheese Cupboard as a tasty souvenir. When you tell people where you ate they are going to ask where it was and not believe you when you tell them.