Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Lunch at The Firefly Café

During Dawn Marie’s recent visit, I decided to take us all on a drive out to Townsend Tennessee and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  Laurie and I had viewed a local Knoxville TV show that talked about a new restaurant in Townsend and it really sounded great.  We always like trying new restaurants!

This is the Firefly Café in Townsend Tennessee.  It’s a small place at the end of a small strip shopping center.  It certainly stands out…very colorful and bright in relation to the other retail operation in the strip center.  Laurie and Dawn Marie gave the exterior décor an “A+” for Cute!
OK… This restaurant is cute and colorful inside as well.  Also, like an old-time diner, it has the requisite lunch counter with stools. 

We are always looking for places in East Tennessee that serve breakfast.  We noted that the Firefly Café serves breakfast from 7 AM to 11:30 AM Monday through Saturday…and until 3 PM on Sundays.  The menu is limited but it covers almost anyone’s needs and the pricing is right!
Vienna Coffee with 1 refill is $1.00.  Two eggs with bacon or sausage, grits or potatoes and toast or a biscuit is $5.99.  Firefly Crunchy French Toast is $6.99 and if you wanted to add bacon or sausage that would add $1.99 to the bill.  Other choices include a Banana Split Fruit and Yogurt Parfait for $5.99 and a Biscuit and Meat...choice of pork tenderloin, sausage, bacon, country ham or bologna. ($2.99)
This is the view looking from our table toward the front of the restaurant.  The person by the door on her computer was the owner and she knew many of her customers.

We were just looking for lunch so we didn’t order any of the 8 “Happy tizers” listed on the menu.  Fried Green Tomatoes ($8.99), Hot Potato Chips ($2.99) and Fried Frog Legs ($7.99) were among the more interesting items shown.  Fried Green Tomatoes apparently have more value than Frog Legs…interesting…
Laurie ordered Dee’s Grilled Cheese, with American and Swiss Cheese and Tomato . ($5.99) All of the sandwiches come with ‘Firefries’ and a pickle wedge.  Laurie reported that it was a good grilled cheese sandwich and she’d order it again.

Other menu options include Fried Shrimp, Chicken (tenders) or Fish Baskets.  The shrimp basket is $8.99 and the other two baskets are $7.99.  All of the ‘basket’ entrees come with Firefries… A Firefly Salad is also available. ($8.99)  It comes with fresh mixed greens, feta cheese, pecans, chopped eggs, onions, tomatoes and home-made croutons.
Dawn ordered a nice Turkey Sandwich with Special Sauce and Olive Spread on Foccacia Bread. ($7.99) FYI…we all agreed that the Firefries were quite nice, a little crispy on the outside…and they were served in these nifty little wire baskets.

FYI…for the carnivores among us there is a Rib Eye Steak Sandwich ($10.99), a Country Fried Steak Sandwich ($7.99), a Fried Bologna Sandwich with Cheese ($6.49) and a couple of hamburgers. ($6.99 to $8.49)
I personally went with the item that had been stressed on the TV broadcast… I ordered the Fried Green Tomato BLT. ($6.99) Hey, what can I say…I really like BLT’s and I really like fried green tomatoes… I meant to add a slice of cheese to my sandwich but it slipped my mind. 

OK…this highly touted sandwich was a bit of a letdown for me.  The fried part of the fried green tomatoes plus the grilled bread overwhelmed the other ingredients.  I couldn’t taste the bacon or really even the tomatoes… Maybe it’s just me.  Also, it comes with a 'special sauce'.  When I ordered the sandwich, I asked what the sauce was and the server said she would have to ask the chef.  I told her that I don't like pimentos, red or green bell peppers or mushrooms.  She never came back until she brought us our meal...and my sandwich had a red pepper/mayo sauce on both sides of the bread!!  I scraped it off before it could soak into the bread too much.   

This is the Firefly Cafe's signature sandwich… I think that I’d add a slice of cheese if I were to try it again.  Actually, a couple of slices of Benton’s Bacon with its more distinctive flavor would have fixed everything!
Laurie tried one of the Firefly Café’s signature “famous” Firefly Pies.  She said that it was OK…but nothing special.  I tasted it too…and I agreed with her.

With the exception of my problem with the 'secret sauce', service at the Firefly Café was efficient and pleasant.  Everyone seemed to be in a great mood and the customers all seem very comfortable.  The café does have a homey feel to it…
Where did the Firefly Café get its name?  Elkmont, in the nearby Great Smoky Mountains National Park, is the home of the famous synchronous firefly display!  Every June the firefly mating season begins and it brings thousands of visitors to watch the event.  This is one of the few places in the world where…for unknown reasons…the fireflies all lite up repeatedly at the same time.  If you’d like to learn more, go to
Dawn had a cup of coffee and she also ordered one of the café’s special cookies to go.  It was a very good cookie!

We enjoyed the Firefly Café…although we may have expected a little extra from it based on the very upbeat TV report.  We will return…probably for breakfast the next time!  The Firefly Café is located at 7967 East Lamar Alexander Parkway (US Highway 321) in Townsend Tennessee.  It’s in the IGA Shopping Center right next to the Dollar General.  Phone: 865-758-3507.  For more information and to view the menu, go to
Just click on any photo to enlarge it…
Thanks for stopping by for a visit…and if you’re wondering, after lunch we did visit Cades Cove in the park and we saw 3 bears…but none close enough to take a decent photo.
Take Care, Big Daddy Dave


  1. That's a new one----a fried balogna sandwich. Don't think I've ever seen that on a menu. Colorful little cafe!

  2. Dear Dave, This is a cute cafe. It it bright and cheerful.
    Sounds like everyone had a nice meal. It is too bad that you had to scrape the sauce off. Although, as I was reading I thought you might go with the fried bologna sandwich. Blessings friends, Catherine

  3. Love this site David look so cute and the food nice!!