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Saturday, November 01, 2008

Tennessee

Spent a week in Tennessee, not anywhere near Memphis or Nashville but in a small group of towns (when you're in the hills all the towns sort of run together due to the limited space) about an hour northwest of Knoxville right in the heart of the Great Smoky Mountains.

Here are a couple of pics from my hotel room balcony:





As far as food goes...everyone in eastern Tennessee can do a good dry rub BBQ. I knew that from previous visits to the region so ribs weren't an issue. A couple of nights I just got salad and sandwich stuff from the grocery store because no matter how much I like Krystal I can still only eat there once on each trip to the South.

One thing that was kind of odd: In this almost 100% white sort of backwoods county in the Smoky Mountains there were 3 Japanese restaurants. I scoffed at first but then realized Knoxville is no more remote via airplane than Lincoln is. Knoxville has a way nicer airport, too.The word from the locals is that Japanese food is a recent fad and that most of the restaurants serve sweet and sour gummy gloppy Chinese food to pay the bills.

Speaking of the Knoxville airport...It's the first airport with a Ruby Tuesday in it complete with salad bar. The manager told me there are others going in around the country. I had some time to kill so I had lunch there on Friday and they actually use the same menus they do in their regular restaurants. The prices are even the same. I had a 22 oz. glass of Stella and the bartender told me it was $4.99. I told him that glass of beer would cost me at least $8 in Dallas or Chicago or Minneapolis. He said it was Ruby Tuesday corporate policy to charge the same prices in airports as their regular locations.

That's all well and good considering that was the only Ruby Tuesday in an airport in the world. I wonder if they'll stick to that policy when they try to compete with the awful Chilis and Applebees franchises that infest every other airport?

2 Comments:

Blogger gravy said...

I am all too familiar with that airport... It's a bit of a hassle to drive out from, imho.

10:04 AM  
Blogger Swoof said...

Yes, it is. It's way out south even more in the middle of nowhere. I forgot your fam lives down in those parts. I was in La Follette.

11:43 PM  

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