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“Great Dinner”
Review of Eatz

Ranked #3 of 91 Restaurants in Bristol
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: American, Barbecue
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Kids, Local cuisine, Families with children
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Seating, Takeout, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Description: Established on December 10, 2007 located in the historic downtown area of Bristol, VA/TN we continue to serve the best homemade food just like Grandma used to make.
Johnson City, Tennessee
Level Contributor
66 reviews
55 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Great Dinner”
Reviewed June 21, 2014

This was our first time at Eatz. It came highly recommended by a friend and we weren't disappointed. We enjoyed great down home food in a comfortable atmosphere. Eatz is a family run restaurant. Our waiter was the owner's son and his service was friendly and attentive. My wife ordered the fried catfish and I decided to try the ribs - which we saw outside on the smoker on the way in. A few minutes later the owner, Mark came out to break the news that they had sold the 14 racks that he smoked overnight and the next round wasn't ready yet. He apologized and suggested several alternatives. I went with the catfish too and it was a great decision. All of the food came out hot and it was obviously all home made. The catfish was lightly breaded and perfectly cooked. The Collard greens were well seasoned and the mac and cheese was also very good. Desert was blackberry cobbler made by our waiter's mother. There is no doubt that we will be back to Eatz very soon.

  • Visited June 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1 Thank JCseminole
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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145 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Norton, Virginia
Level Contributor
41 reviews
24 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Great Southern Comfort Food”
Reviewed May 7, 2014 via mobile

Read the reviews on here and had to give it a try. We were not disappointed. The staff was great, the atmosphere was nice and the food was wonderful. I had the catfish dinner with coleslaw and baked Mac & Cheese. The sides were good but the catfish was the star of the show. My husband had the BBQ platter. It came with bbq pork, fries, coleslaw and bbq baked beans. He also ordered a side of collard greens. All of his was good too. The pork was amazing but in my opinion the collard greens were out of this world, the seasoning was perfect, no need for vinegar. You get cornbread with your meal also. It's sweet cornbread and its so good. I think it's family owned/ran. They were some of the nicest people you will ever meet. We were the first ones there today and when we left it was packed. There's not alot of tables. Also it's not a huge menu to choose from but what they fix as amazing. Definitely going back.

Visited May 2014
2 Thank ascrappinmom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bristol, Tennessee
Level Contributor
10 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“What happened guys?”
Reviewed May 7, 2014

When Eatz first opened in Bristol, my boyfriend and I were very eager to try it, and it did not disappoint. This was the first place I'd ever eaten at which could reproduce the kind of food my grandparents used to make: collard greens, meatloaf, banana pudding and other southern classics. I remember us going all-out and ordering ribs and jerk chicken, and both were delicious and huge, with the jerk chicken actually being half of a whole chicken! And the jerk spices were their own blend, not some prepackaged, granulated stuff. However, as time went on we noticed that Eatz was, quite frankly, never open when they were supposed to be. We thought they were simply out of town, but this became a regular occurrence.

Once in a blue moon we'd be lucky enough to catch them, and once, upon entering we were startled to see a majority of the tables were empty, but hadn't been bussed. I've worked in a few restaurants myself, and wondered why no one could be bothered to clean the tables when there were no customers around. This was quite a turn-off for us, but a dream come true for the flies buzzing about.

We were willing to forgive all this, I suppose out of sheer thankfulness that the place was even open to begin with. Eatz was closed so often after this that we pretty much wrote it off as a downtown option. However, the other day we were walking past Eatz to hit up the Burger Bar, and lo and behold - the "open" sign was on! We had to go, as this opportunity doesn't present itself very often. There were three other parties seated, and none of the tables were laden with half eaten food, so we were excited. We ordered the catfish and a vegetable plate with greens, a sweet potato and the day's special, corn pudding, which our server recommended.

Then the waiting began. I quickly noticed that none of the seated parties had received their food, and knew that we were in for a long wait as they were all there before us. So we sipped our sickly sweet brown sugar water (also known as "sweet tea") and chatted. I was actually pretty alarmed by the tea, as silly as it sounds, because if they can't get that simple southern staple right, then what would our meal be like?

When it finally arrived, after around 45 minutes, I immediately zeroed in on the corn pudding. I have no idea what they had done to it, but it was a ramekin of corn kernels with what looked like scrambled bits of egg white in it! I'm no Top Chef, but I know what corn pudding should look like, and this wasn't it. The greens and potato were okay, but we had to ask for butter and were given one tiny pack each. Then my boyfriend asked me to try his catfish. The breading was amazing, but there was a very odd mushy consistency about it. We knew it had been frozen and hadn't cooked all the way through. His other piece was fine, though. But yet again, after other tables began to leave, their dirty dishes just sat there the entire time while our waiter chatted with a friend at the remaining party's table.

In all, I'm starting to get the feeling that Eatz just cannot fully get it together. Maybe they're concentrating on building up their catering business, but if so I suggest closing the restaurant. I'm not sure how they stay open in the first place as they're closed more often than they're open. This place started out as a serious contender for some of the best food downtown, but it has been on a steady decline since then. The people who own Eatz are always nothing but kind and courteous, and are well known and liked in the community, especially when that barbeque pit appears during special events downtown. I could easily see people being willing to overlook their shortcomings because of this, because I've done it myself. But the bottom line is: this place isn't what it used to be...

  • Visited May 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
5 Thank Tangerine1490
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
32 reviews
20 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Very good food, friendly service”
Reviewed April 28, 2014

Excellent fried catfish, chicken, pulled pork, cornbread. Very reasonable. Nice family run atmosphere.

  • Visited April 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Mike O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Arlington, Virginia
Level Contributor
31 reviews
29 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Family owned/operated soul food”
Reviewed March 27, 2014 via mobile

This was hands down, the BEST fried catfish I have ever eaten. It was fresh, lightly coated in a corn batter and perfectly crisp on the outside yet tender and juicy in the middle. The sides (collard greens and Mac) were delicious, though my coworker ordered the black beans, and they were the clear winners in my book.

The owner was our server and one of his boys worked behind the counter. He was friendly, chatting with all of the tables like we were lifelong friends. He was quick w refills, clearing and witty retorts. What a find. This place was number one for a reason.

Don't leave without tasting the bread pudding.

Thank caroline k
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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