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Brethren Road Trips The travel logs of our members. Q- joints, restaurants, entertainment, reviews while we travel around the 50 states. Also, Post here for a shout out to members to meet up with while on the road.


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Old 02-17-2021, 02:24 PM   #1
Groundhog66
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Default Heading to Gatlinburg, how about the BBQ?

Hello all, long time no see.

Heading to the Smokeys for a little family vacation, may as well seek out some BBQ while we're at it.

Quick search tells me there are some possible winners in the area, has anyone tried any of these places?

Delauder's BBQ
Bennett's Pit Bar-B-Que
Calhoun's in Gatlinburg
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Old 02-17-2021, 02:52 PM   #2
Bill-Chicago
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My wife and I were there October before last, there wasn't much there in the way of barbecue. From Pigeon Forge at the top of the strip to where it dead ends in Gatlinburg, it is one tourist spot after another. Places to eat are heavy on kids and families.


That couple mile strip has more pancake houses than I've ever seen. One every half mile or so.


So when in Rome, ..... we hit Paula Dean's place for some southern cooking and across the outdoor mall for some Ole Smokey's moonshine. Spent the next day walking about a 8 mile smokies trail and walked into Gatlinburg, did a wine tasting, ended up at Outback Steakhouse for lunch.


Still had a great time, but no BBQ to be found. Beautiful area for sure.


Have fun!
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Old 02-17-2021, 03:53 PM   #3
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Been to the Gatlinburg many times . . .never saw any signs of promising looking BBQ. Than again, I am from KC and there are only a handful of travel destinations I generally consider it in the first place.

The restaurant scene in Gatlinburg really isn't the calling card of the destination other than top class tourist fare-pancakes and candy apples and the like.

But there are a lot of cabin rentals in the area that come equipped with charcoal pits if you catch my drift.
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Old 02-17-2021, 03:55 PM   #4
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We were there last October. I'd have to agree with Bill on this. It is like one big carnival there, lots of kids and families. Get yourself a corndog and some moonshine samples and you should be good. For the record, we did eat at Calhoun's. It wasn't great, but not bad either, just not memorable. I believe the best thing we had were the bacon-wrapped burnt ends, which of course were not burnt ends, but chunks of tender chuck as I recall, still good though. Also had potato skins which I haven't seen on a menu in forever. After those appetizers, we were pretty stuffed.
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Old 02-17-2021, 05:00 PM   #5
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Welcome back! Being new to TN and having only been to Gatlinburg once, I asked kid neighbors who have been there many times. Showed them your lair and here’s what they said.

“Calhoun's is the only one that stands out to us. We really like the blue moose and the place called the brewery in pigeon forge.”
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Old 02-17-2021, 05:09 PM   #6
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The places I mentioned in my OP have a ton of positive reviews online, but you know what they say, that doesn't mean much in the grand scheme of things.
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Old 02-17-2021, 08:00 PM   #7
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Bbq in that area, meh....

Buddy's is a Knoxville based chained with about 20 stores and is probably your best bet (although I know nothing about Delauders). Calhoun's is a solid restaurant and has good ribs, but not really traditional BBQ IMO. Bennent's is similar to Buddy's but I like Buddy's better and then there is also a very similar Corky's (Memphis based chain).

Hit up Local Goat and AppleBarn in Pigeon Forge, and of course Pancake Pantry in Gatlinburg.
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Old 02-17-2021, 09:58 PM   #8
SlickRockStones
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I’m with Blake. Buddy’s takes it for consistently good and affordable bbq. Tuesday special $5.99 half smoked chicken, two sides, hush puppies, plastic utensils and a drink! Calhouns gets a nod only because you can park for free for four hours with paid receipt. Wolf down a plate of bbq nachos and spend the other 3 1/2 hrs across the street at Uber Gatlinburg. In Pigeon Forge be sure to hit The Old Mill for a feast you won’t soon forget. Meat loaf. Fried chicken. Catfish. Pot roast. Served up family style it borders on rediculous.
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Old 02-17-2021, 11:04 PM   #9
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Fried squirrel and oven roasted raccoon is as about as close as you are gonna get to Q in that area.Not hatin at all.Appalicia is not a BBQ destination.So I have been told.
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Old 02-17-2021, 11:41 PM   #10
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I grew up in Knoxville and used to work at the Calhoun's by Neyland Stadium - that's where I got my first exposure to cooking with smokers. Calhoun's is a fun, feed-the-masses kinda spot. By no means artisinal or transcendent BBQ, but it's a fun spot and the food is good enough. Good sides, apps, desserts etc. as well.

I don't know anything about the other spots, but I did eat Buddy's a lot growing up. Loved it then, not sure how I'd feel about it now that I've been exposed to so much other stuff. There was a Buddy's down the street from my high school and it was pretty great to smell hickory smoke all day every day.

I've had good BBQ at Dead End BBQ in Knoxville, but I don't think I'd be running down there from Pigeon Forge just to eat it.

I don't know if they still have the Corky's in Pigeon Forge. Whether it's there or not, it totally blows.
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Old 02-18-2021, 05:14 AM   #11
mike243
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I hit the Buddys most of the time, have eat at Calhoun's and Bennets and not overly impressed with them, Buddys has really good chili , a pint of it and a small pork sandwich is my goto lol, the Bennets in PF use to not smoke the meat there but some where else and haul it in , not sure if still the same now or not
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Old 02-18-2021, 07:48 AM   #12
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Ate at Bennet's last summer on vacation and it was just average at best. Pitmaster was cool though and took me and FIL in the back to see their smokers. Corky's is not worth your time at all. Haven't had the rest. However, I can tell you the best place to find southern cooking is Five Oaks Farm Kitchen. Excellent food great portions. Their smoked chicken is extremely good. If you find any other restaurants good let me know we go in June.
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Old 02-18-2021, 09:29 AM   #13
Groundhog66
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You guys are awesome, thank you for taking the time to give your feedback.
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Old 02-18-2021, 10:11 AM   #14
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Bennett's is pretty good for BBQ in Pigeon Forge. This isn't BBQ, but there's a restaurant called Five Oaks Farm kitchen, I've been once and really liked it overall. I ordered a brisket sandwich and the brisket came out dry and there wasn't a lot on the bun. I wasn't going to say anything because I don't like complaining at restaurants but the manager saw me not eating and came over so I then explained.


He was real nice and apologetic, hard me order something else so I got the fried chicken and it was some of the best fried chicken I've had. I was so full I couldn't order dessert even though I was dying for one of their HUGE cinnamon rolls. I usually got to PF a few times a year so I thought I would just go the next time I was in town, but the pandemic put a stop to that. :(
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Old 02-18-2021, 02:49 PM   #15
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So y'all are saying Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge/Sevierville are good places for an aspiring pitmaster to open up a barbecue spot...gotcha.
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