Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Looking For Pizza! Casual Dining…

Laurie and I keep looking for a good thin crust pizza here in East Tennessee.  Living in St. Louis, and Chicago, plus having consumed some very nice pizza pies in upper New York State and in south Florida, we’d like to find something comparable here in our new home stomping grounds. 

We’ve tried a lot of local places to no avail.  The Palace was only OK and Big Ed’s just isn’t what it used to be… Of course, we realize that everyone has their very own opinion and taste when it comes to pizza.  It’s partly what the pizzas are like that you’re used to eating as well…
We went out to for a casual dinner the other night with our friends Edera and Dennis.  Our choice was the Smoky Mountain Brewery in Maryville Tennessee.  We stopped there with friends a year or two ago when another restaurant that we’d planned to eat at was closed.  We had vague memories of a decent pepperoni and sausage pizza...and we hoped to recapture that impression.

Laurie and I have stopped for lunch a couple of times at the Smoky Mountain Brewery in Turkey Creek/Knoxville Tennessee.  We had some pretty decent burgers… 
This is the inside of the restaurant.  Sorry for the dark photo…I took it…but you get the idea.  The Smoky Mountain Brewery is a casual brew pub/sports bar setting. 

The 4 area Smoky Mountain Brewery locations are part of the Copper Cellar family of restaurants.  Other company restaurants include Cherokee Grill, Chesapeake’s and the popular Calhoun’s locations. (Note: Neither of us cares for Calhoun’s BBQ, which is one of their specialties.  Perhaps we’ve been spoiled by our Kansas City and Memphis experiences as well as by the BBQ we’ve had from our friend Larry, aka ‘Big Dude’.
Dennis ordered from the Snacks and Appetizers menu.  He had the Roasted Chicken Quesadillas with green peppers, onions and cheddar cheese as his entrée. ($8.50) He said that it was just OK…and that it had a vaguely ‘off’ taste that he just couldn’t pinpoint.  (Dennis was in the restaurant business for many years) 

Both Dennis and I sampled one of the Brewery’s beers.  We liked the fact that they gave us a taste of our selected brew before actually ordering a stein of beer.  The beer was quite nice…
Edera ordered the Brewmaster’s Club Salad. ($9.50) She said that it was a nice salad.  She’d figured that it was a safe bet.  It included ham, roasted chicken, bacon, green peppers, tomatoes, onions, black olives, banana peppers and cheddar cheese.  She had her blue cheese dressing on the side…

In addition to Snacks and Appetizers and Garden Fresh Salads, other items on the menu include Wings, Sandwiches and Subs, 6 Brewery Entrees, Burgers, Vegetarian, Italian Selections (pasta), plus of course, Pizza and Calzones.  FYI, the most expensive item on the menu is the 12 oz. ribeye steak with mashed potatoes and the choice of another side. ($22.50)
Then of course, there are the sections entitled 'Hand Tossed Pizza and Calzone' and 'Specialty Pies and Calzone'.  That of course, is what Laurie and I were looking for!
So, as planned, Laurie and I ordered a large 16” pizza…our usual with pepperoni plus double sausage. ($23.50) Pizza tastes are much like politics…everyone has an opinion!  Laurie and I agreed that we couldn’t taste the pepperoni.  The pizza looked good, the sausage had a nice flavor and the crust was pretty decent.  However, we both felt that there was too much tomato sauce…she felt that the sauce was too sweet but I didn’t think so… We also thought that the pizza lacked the requisite amount of cheese. 

Wait a minute!  Didn’t I just say that the most expensive item on the Smoky Mountain Brewery’s menu was the Ribeye at $22.50?  A large plain cheese pizza is $14.50 and it’s $3.00 per additional ingredient…or $23.50 for our pizza.  Based on that scale, a large meat lovers pizza, with ham, bacon, sausage, pepperoni and ground beef…would cost $29.50! 
Our search for a really good thin crust pizza here in East Tennessee continues… We welcome any suggestions regarding restaurants in the area that serve a really good pizza!
The Smoky Mountain Brewery in Maryville Tennessee is located at 743 Watkins Road.  Phone: 8656-238-1900.  For more information, go to the website at
Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them…
Thanks for stopping by for a visit!
Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

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