Finally. We made it to the relaxing cabin high up on one of the Smoky mountains. We had a little trouble finding the place at first, but once we made it up, we changed into bathing suits to hit the top outside overlooking the wilderness. Great idea….until I got stung by a bee on my head. That hurt….a lot and it scared J from getting back in. I found some wasp & hornet spray, but it didn’t kill them off right away. I then dragged out a hose and tried to drown them out. No luck, so J called the leasing office and they sent someone up with more spray. He tried and thought he got rid of them, but they came back. So, we decided to go to dinner and give them time to die off.
The Sevierville/Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg area of Tennessee is really touristy and I’m not a touristy person. I don’t like fun I guess. I’m sure we’ll hit up some of the tourist spots while we’re here, but I really like the out of the way places too.
On our way in to Sevierville, we passed a BBQ joint alongside the road. It looked like an old joint and there weren’t a lot of cars, but it was a Monday night.
We drove back down the mountain and headed back the way we came. It was a few miles and I damn near missed it because the sign was knocked down, but I caught it out of the corner of my eye.
Tony Gore’s Smoky Mountain BBQ & Grill is on Winfield Dunn Parkway on the edge of Sevierville. If you’re a Southern Gospel music fan, that name should be familiar. I am not, so it didn’t mean anything to me. I just wanted good Q.
The joint looks like it used to be a motel. There are still some rooms on a wing that sticks out on one side. The longer side of the “L” shaped building is the restaurant. There’s a wood porch that runs the whole length and on that porch is a number of old wooden rocking chairs.
There were no other cars in the parking lot when we got there, but the “open” sign was lit. I was a little hesitant. Where was everyone? It was dinner time, but it was also Monday.
The waitress was waiting for us when we got inside. The dining room is a long narrow space with tables covered in old newspaper advertisements. She told us to pick a seat and we grabbed a table near the door and sat down.
The decor was sort of “grandma’s kitchen.” It was just a classic family place with a Southern tradition. Along the back wall was a number of head shots and autographs of people I assume are Gospel singers, but I didn’t see anyone I could recognize.
I didn’t really need a menu, but I looked it over as the waitress brought us our Pepsi’s. I ordered the Smoked Pork Sandwich with two sides. I chose fries and fried corn-on-the-cob. When my sandwich was delivered, I got just what I was looking for. True Tennessee style BBQ. The meat was soft and moist and most importantly, not sauced. There were five bottles of sauce on the table that the waitress went over with us. I tried the others, but the Memphis sweet sauce won out again. I didn’t over do it though because the meat was so good. The bun had been buttered and lightly toasted and the meat was just piled on. The fries were delicious. They were actually what I consider Chicago style. They were fresh cut and greasy, but still a little soft. The corn-on-the-cob looked good, but it just tasted like corn to me. I’m not sure what the deep frying does.
J ordered the Three Little Pigs which were Smoked Pork Sliders. She got one side with her sandwiches and she chose the baked beans. She also added a side of corn nuggets. J can be picky when it comes to BBQ. She doesn’t like the meat to be too meaty. These weren’t. She actually loved the meat and loved them in slider form. She said having three sandwiches prevents the bun from getting soggy. She loaded up with the Memphis Sweet Sauce and dug in. The baked beans had chunks of left over pieces of the smoked pork and there was a lot of it. She said they were good, but she filled up too quickly on the sliders to do much damage to the beans. She loved the corn nuggets and polished them off. She offered the last one to me, but I’m not really into them.
Tony Gore’s was a surprise. I was really hoping to find good, down to earth BBQ and that’s what I found. They’re not some big, slick operation that caters to tourists. It was a down home southern meal and that’s what I really wanted to find when we booked this trip. Our bill was just under $24 but it was because we added so many sides…although the pop was $2.25 a piece, but whatever.
If you ever make the trip to Pigeon Forge and want to get away from the Branson/Wisconsin Dells atmosphere, drive a little way out of the city and find Tony Gore’s.