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Jim Oliver's Smoke House Restaurant and Old General Store
850 West Main, Monteagle, TN 37356
931-924-2091
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Ranked #3 of 23 Restaurants in Monteagle
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Price range: $4 - $16
Cuisines: American, Dessert, Barbecue, Family Fare
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Large groups, Special occasions, Doing business, Local cuisine, Dining on a budget, Families with children, Entertaining clients
Dining options: Lunch, Breakfast, Dinner, Dessert, Buffet, Late Night, Reservations, Takeout
Description: Since 1960,Jim Oliver’s Smoke House has been serving up delicious and fun Southern Hospitality at the _Restaurant and _shopping at the Old General Store. _Live Music every weekend by a special Nashville Music Artist guest, No Cover Charge, Bring the Family, food and beverages served during show. Regional Southern cookin’ offering three generations of family recipes on the menu and the daily buffet & Salad Bar, Homemade everyday! The Old General Store has Vintage and Nostalgic merchandise_old fashioned _candies_antiques_homemade fudge_Ice Cream_ Moonshine Museum Attraction, and the_Louvin Brothers _Country Music _Museum. /live music/shopping/lodging/cabins/Sewanee/Winchester/ Cowan/Manchester/South Pittsburg/Tullahoma/AEDC/Nissan/Chattanooga/ Lookout Mountain/McMinville/Murfreesboro/Desserts/Coffee/Full Service_Childrens Menu_Family_Regional_BBQ_Breakfast_Lunch_Dinner
Franklin, Tennessee
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
“Would not go back”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 21, 2014

Crossing Monteagle, my wife and I decided to grab something to eat on our way to Barnsley Resort (which is awesome, by the way) in Adairsville, Georgia. We like to avoid fast food chains and try to seek out local places. In this particular case, we should have hit Hardee's.

The place certainly tries to be funky, however, it comes off as junky. The place is very dark and is filled with, and decorated with, all means of crap, little of which is interesting. There were cats roaming the restaurant (maybe charming to some, creepy to me).

The restaurant has an all you can eat buffet, and if you want to put on the feed bag, I suppose this might be an option. My wife and I were just in the mood for something on the lighter side. When we tried to get some information out of our waiter about some of the items on the menu, he was not very knowledgeable...said he was a yankee, as if that excused him from knowing anything about working in a Southern restaurant.

My wife ordered the open faced smoked turkey sandwich and I ordered the pulled pork BBQ sandwich. My wife's sandwich in no way resembled what was described on the menu. It looked and tasted artificial. We both agreed it was gross. She sent it back and asked for a BLT. My BBQ sandwich would rate a 5 on a scale of 1-10. The service was inattentive...I had to get up 3 times to find the waiter to ask for things and this was at 3 in the afternoon...not exactly prime time.

The manager came over to "apologize" about the turkey sandwich, but did so in a manner that indicated she disagreed with our assessment of the quality of the product and which made us feel we must me wrong since it was from a turkey that she assured us had "just been smoked that morning." After over 45 years of working in the restaurant business, I think I know food quality by now, and this item was not at all appetizing.

Long story short - Do yourself a favor and don't drive past other restaurants to get to this place if you are expecting an outstanding, memorable (or even average) dining experience.

  • Visited August 2014
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
hamper1960, Owner at Jim Oliver's Smoke House Restaurant and Old General Store, responded to this review, August 23, 2014
Thank you for your response, we appreciate feed back, we apologize for your experience. This kind of response is rare, we usually get rave reviews about our food and atmosophere. Your negative comments about our vintage and nostalgic atmosophere leads me to believe that you are not fond of antiques, homemade anything, crafts, BBQ sauces, jams, pickles or nothing else we have,; and that is what we are all about, you should have known that when you walked in the door. Not everybody loves the Smoke House, nor the food, and we cannot be 100% on every plate of food that we serve, no one can; we apologize for that and don't expect customers to pay for food they don't eat or food that isn't worth the money. Granted, the server could have given you better service, we apologize. Obviously we cannot change what we are or who we are, so you would be better served to stop at another business. If in fact you've been in the food business for over 30 years, your response doesn't indicate that.
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256 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    129
    70
    23
    22
    12
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Houston, Texas
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
“BBQ Nostalic Bliss”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 19, 2014

Great buffet. Best fried chicken with mashed potatoes and gravy anywhere. BBQ brisket is as good as Texas has to offer. Old fashioned treats are everywhere and are not only very cool but of great quality.
A refreshing blast from the past you can walk right into with hometown friendliness.

Visited August 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
hamper1960, Owner at Jim Oliver's Smoke House Restaurant and Old General Store, responded to this review, August 21, 2014
Thank you for taking the time to write your review, we certainly appreciate your comments. It's nice to hear comments from people that get what we are doing. Thanks!
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Basel, Switzerland
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Good corn bread with bacon grease”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 17, 2014

The Smoke House does its theme very well - its good food, good service, good value, and a fun old timer general store that makes for a good visit without being too overtly cliché. I'm glad they still had the thick cut smoked bacon I remember from years ago.

Visited August 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
hamper1960, Owner at Jim Oliver's Smoke House Restaurant and Old General Store, responded to this review, August 19, 2014
I will definately pass your comments on to the staff, they will certainly enjoy your review. Come see us again whenever you are passing our way.
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Chickamauga, Georgia
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“Yummy”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 13, 2014

Have eaten in this restaurant several times, but only the buffet so can't review menu items. The buffet is not large, but the food is excellent - Southern cuisine. The salad bar is not your usual run of the mill salad makings. There are several tasty prepared salads and jars of assorted pickles. Also, homemade soup, cornbread and bread pudding to top off the meal. The fried pies are large and look wonderful, I just haven't allowed myself to partake. As you enter there is a store area which offers every sort of sauces, relishes, pickles, old time candies, etc. I noticed they do have live music on the weekends, but have never been there in the evening. The wait staff is friendly and the atmosphere is Southern Comfort, oh, speaking of...they, also, adult beverages.

  • Visited August 2014
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
hamper1960, Owner at Jim Oliver's Smoke House Restaurant and Old General Store, responded to this review, August 19, 2014
Thank you so much for your comments and review. I will pass your review on to Betsy, my sister, and her staff for their enjoyment. Come see us again soon.
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Apopka, Florida
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Not worth the money”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 7, 2014

Didn't really read the menu enough to notice the hash browns didn't come with the bacon & eggs I ordered so was an extra charge that wasn't worth the buck. The waitress was constantly moving the chairs around I think she saw it was bothering us so stated " he likes the chairs a certain way so I gotta fix it before he comes in and yells!" Didn't really need to know all that but she was more worried about HE than the customers in the resturants!

  • Visited July 2014
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
hamper1960, Owner at Jim Oliver's Smoke House Restaurant and Old General Store, responded to this review, August 11, 2014
Thank you, we appreciate your business. So sorry that you had a mis understanding about the menu, the menu is very clear about this information. As you saw from the servings, we over serve the food portions, and our prices are in line with any other restaurants up and down the highway. You can eat in the Smoke House cheaper than at McDonalds, and we have full service and home cooked meals, prepared from scratch. We'd be glad to mail you a discount coupon for your next trip, please send us your mailing address.
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