After spending much of the day driving and doing photography in the Great Smoky Mountains, we arrived back in Gatlinburg at 4:30pm and very, very hungry. The first restaurant we stopped at was not yet open, so we walked down the street looking for something inviting. The second place was under renovation. We crossed the street to Calhoun's and looked at their menu. OK, we decided. The doors open to a beautiful and lofty space. I was interested in trying Tennessee BBQ. We sat under a sign proclaiming that the restaurant serves the best ribs in the world. Could that be? Aimee, our server was extremely helpful. She answered our questions regarding the flavor of their cold slaw. Calhoun's is also a microbrewer and Aimee offered to provide me with a sampler. In a few moments she was back at the table with five glasses of many brewed there. They ranked from light to a more heavy ale. In the middle was a wheat beer. I tasted them and I preferred the Hellas and the wheat. Leaning toward the wheat beer, which really surprised me. All were very good. My wife ordered a serving of short ribs. Aimee recommend the BBQ brisket to me. I ordered the slaw and was intrigued by a side dish called Spinach Maria. My wife ordered fries and slaw as her sides. We also were served three different kinds of bread: a cornbread muffin, a biscuit (a farm biscuit like my grandmother made!), and a fresh roll. That the meal was delicious does not encompass the experience. I tried one of my wife's french fries after she remarked how good they were. Wow. Invariable, I have found that restaurants slide a bit on quality on some dishes. Calhoun's is consistently good. I have been to only one restaurant where every single aspect of the meal was consistently delicious. I eat out a lot and love food, love to cook. We finished up sharing a white macadamia nut banana pudding. Yum, yum! YUM! And the price for this delicious? My wife could not believe the bill. That other restaurant where I had such a great meal, that cost 4 times what we paid at Calhoun's. Wish we had one of these at home. They're not moving out of Tennessee. They do what they say. The food is as good as they can make it; making everything from scratch. Do yourself a favor. Eat at Calhoun's!
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