Saturday, June 6, 2009

Vacation Day 1 - Pittsburgh to Knoxville, TN

Last Saturday, SP & I set off at 7:30 am for Knoxville, TN. It was a nice day for an 8 hour car ride!! We were en route to our final destination of Dahlonega, GA, which is where my brother & his family live. Since it's about an 11 hour drive from Pittburgh to Dahlonega, we decided to take 2 days to do the drive. Since neither of us had ever actually explored Knoxville, we decided to stop there.

The University of Tennessee must have been done for the spring semester because there were not many people in Knoxville on a Saturday afternoon. That's OK with me - I don't really like crowds! We walked around for a while and then drove over to see the Sunsphere & World's Fair Park. We drove around some more, driving around Old City and Market Square, just to explore Knoxville and get a feel for the neighborhoods. We ended up at Volunteer Landing along the Tennessee River.

Volunteer Landing is a very nice area. There's a lovely walkway along the river with water fountains/water falls, park benches, and swings. There's also a restaurant called Calhoun's, which we had discovered when researching Knoxville. In 1984, the very first Calhoun's won "Best Ribs In America" at the National Rib Cook-Off. We decided we would eat dinner there.

It wasn't too crowded around 6pm and we were seated immediately alongside a window looking over/down at the river. The restaurant is actually built out over the river a bit and there's a dock outside where we saw people pulling up in boats and getting out to come eat inside Calhoun's.

We were in the south, at a BBQ place, what else would we order?!! I ordered the Hickory Smoked BBQ Plate - pulled BBQ pork topped with BBQ sauce, a side of cole slaw, and a choice of several sides. I chose Spinach Maria - baked spinach in a creamy cheese sauce. Other sides one could choose: baked beans, baked cinnamon apples, broccoli, baked potato, and corn pudding.
SP ordered a half slab of Hickory Smoked BBQ Ribs with cole slaw and baked beans.

Ohhh the hickory smoked pork and ribs were delicious, a wonderful smokey taste. The spinach was delicious, everything tasted so darn good!!! We ate everything on our plates and decided against dessert and in favor of a stroll along the riverfront complete with a delightful swing on one of the swings looking out at the river, bridges, and boats going by. A terrific beginning to vacation.


Calhoun’s: http://www.calhouns.com/page.asp?id=156

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