Friday, April 5, 2013

Tellico Grill – A Promising Beginning!

A new restaurant has opened in Loudon County Tennessee.  It took over the site formerly occupied by a succession of restaurants…Catino’s, Ayala’s and American House of Pancakes.   

Catino’s had been fairly popular but internal discord brought that operation down.  Ayala’s, a Mexican restaurant, opened in the same building, which is just a couple of blocks down the street from the locally popular Lorenzo’s… Despite having a license to sell beer, Ayala’s was in effect ‘boycotted’ by nearby Tellico Village residents loyal to Lorenzo’s and the new operation folded fast.  AHOP never did get its act together…we once waited an hour for our food after the order was turned in!
So, hoping for the best, we called our friend Karen and we all met at Tellico Grill for dinner earlier this week.
The restaurant is bigger than it looks.  There is a large back dining area behind the front room and, in warmer weather, there is a very large deck or patio for outdoor dining. 
This is an interior photo of Tellico Grill.  The casual ambience of the restaurant has been upgraded with brick accents, a bit of artwork and white tablecloths under glass. 

Word on the street is that the owner of Tellico Grill is one of the partners who operate The Market, which is a meat and specialty grocery operation with 2 locations in nearby Maryville and Knoxville Tennessee.  The Market also offers a limited luncheon menu.   Assuming that The Market or a partner from that operation is indeed the owner of Tellico Grill, fresh high quality ingredients should be a given!
This is another view of the inside of Tellico Grill.  The archway to the back right of the photo leads into the second dining room and the door to the back left of the picture leads out to the deck/patio dining area.

The following picture shows the temporary menu currently in use at the Grill… I was told that a formal menu is under development, a second chef is being trained and that Tellico Grill will eventually be open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  Right now the staff is focused on training and working the bugs out of the ordering system.
Laurie and I like the idea of an a la carte menu… In effect, it allows the diner the opportunity to ‘construct’ his or her own meal with whatever sides are desired...and as big or as small as desired.
Laurie and Karen started out with the side Caesar Salad. ($3.00!) This salad is a bargain…and it was very good!  The Caesar dressing was very good and the croutons are probably the best we’ve ever had… I only wish that I’d started with one of these salads!
This was Karen’s entrée…the Classic Chicken Piccata. ($7.00)  She had a bite or two of the chicken before Laurie took the photo.  For Karen’s side, she ordered the Sour Cream Mashed Potatoes. ($3.00) She really liked those potatoes!
Laurie also went with the Chicken Piccata.  For her side, she ordered the Seafood Chowder.  The chowder came with a hush puppy in the middle.  Both the chowder and its floating hush puppy were winners from Laurie’s viewpoint.

I also tasted the Chicken Piccata.  We all agreed that it was unlike any other chicken piccata we’d ever had…but we liked it and would order it again. (Maybe a bit of Tarragon?)  
Since I’m always looking for a good hamburger, I ordered Tellico Grill’s Grass Fed Cheeseburger...with cheddar cheese. ($7.00) My side was this humongous order of Sea Salt Fries. ($3.00) The fries were good but there were enough for two people!
As for my burger…I like them medium rare …juicy and flavorful!  I was impressed when I cut my sandwich in half and discovered that this cheeseburger was cooked perfectly.  This was a very nice burger and the bun was better than average as well!

OK… We’ve heard and read a few negatives re: this brand new restaurant.  They’ve almost all revolved around service.  In our case, the entrees arrived too soon after Karen and Laurie got their salads... But...give these folks a break!  Opening a new restaurant with an unproven menu, new equipment and a brand-new crew is a challenge for sure.  They’d only been open a few days when we went for dinner… The food was good and we need a quality alternative dining opportunity in the area.  Time will tell but in the meantime we will support this new venture, giving it a chance to develop and succeed!
Tellico Grill is located at 222 Ritchie Road in Loudon Tennessee.  For those from around this area, the restaurant is on Ritchie Road just west of County Road 444.  Phone: 865-458-2210.  We're looking forward to the official grand opening...and we understand that they've applied for a beer and wine license.
Just click on any of these photos to enlarge them…
Thanks for stopping by, and if you’re in the area, give this new restaurant a try!
Take Care, Big Daddy Dave 


  1. It sounds like a place worth visiting again. I loved your comment about the fries. Is there really such a thing as too many French fries when they are good :-). I hope you and Laurie have a wonderful weekend. Blessings...Mary

  2. It looks like pretty good food there! That burger looks wonderful, cooked just the way I like it! It gets me how whenever I order beef rare, the waitperson gives a little lecture. Warming up into the 40's today! Hope you and Laurie have a good weekend!

  3. Dave, have they changed out those horribly uncomfortable wooden booth seats? Part of the reason that we don't go there is because the seating just kills my back. If your back hurts, no matter how good the food is you just can't enjoy it. Hopefully they have improved the seating.

  4. Sounds delicious Dave, now Im hungry!!
    I love the laurie plate look dleiicous and your burger look amazing;)

  5. Sounds like it has a chance to be a winner and the prices seem modest enough for the Village.

  6. Agree with your review of the burger and fries. Definitely a cut above the norm. However, we ate there again last night and began with crab bisque. We know crab and this bisque (milk-based tomato cream) contained large chunks of pink-tinted pollock (imitation crab). The server insisted it was blue crab. The bisque had none of the distinctive genuine blue crab flavor or texture. Tobacco onions looked and tasted remarkably similar to French's fried onions. They taste great in a green bean casserole but add little when sprinkled atop a rib-eye steak. The staff was very friendly and service was swift, but there is more than a normal portion of kitchen chicanery.