Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Wok! Wok! Wok! Pan Asian Cuisine

First there were three…then two…and now just one!  We really liked Wok Star, a pan-Asian restaurant in Lenoir City Tennessee.  It’s gone now…disappeared amidst the rubble of failed dreams!  We really liked it.  We’d even taken our son and his family to eat there when they came in from the Cleveland Ohio area.  They had expressed envy that we had Wok Star and they didn’t. (To see my feedback on that visit, go to

The owner of Wok Star allegedly had a business relationship with another restaurateur…who in turn supposedly took the Wok Star format and opened his own place in Knoxville… The name of that restaurant is Wok Chow.  In addition, Ruby Tuesday’s operated this style of restaurant in the Turkey Creek/Knoxville Tennessee shopping area…and its name was Wok Hay!
In any case, with Wok Star closed, David II and his family were coming to visit us once again…and our son insisted that we drive down into Knoxville for dinner at Wok Chow.  It promised the closest menu in relationship to his experience with Wok Star…
As was with Wok Star, Wok Chow Fire Seared Asian restaurant is located in a strip shopping center.  However, it’s about 25 minutes further from our house than Wok Star was…
The format at Wok Chow is indeed very similar to the one we’d experienced at Wok Star.  The menu is posted on the wall near the door and you place your order with the cashier.  The kitchen is open to for the patron’s viewing and the dining area was clean and uncluttered.  You’re given a number and the food is delivered to your table as soon as it’s ready.
I’ll bet that you thought that the next photo would be food…!  Nope…We just had to include photos of our grandsons.  Emmett Lee (9) is on the left and David III (12) is on the right… We couldn’t ask for better grandsons!
Now…on to the food!!  Since I was buying, David II ordered a plethora of appetizers to start us out.  These are the Seared Chicken Potstickers. ($5.50) They were very good! (Note: Despite all of the food that follows, our bill at the diner the night before was still larger than this one...)
This is an order of the Dynamite Shrimp. ($8.00) They were flash fried and tossed in a spicy Asian sauce.  While they were good and I would order them again, we all agreed that we preferred the now ‘extinct’ Wok Star version.
Crab Rangoon is one of Laurie’s favorite appetizers. ($5.75) She liked the shape of this version of Crab Rangoon…easier to handle and eat…and she thought they were pretty good but not as good as Wok Star. 
David II also ordered 2 Hand Rolled Egg Rolls. ($3.50) I was able to claim half of one of these and I thought that these were done just right.

Other appetizers include Lettuce Wraps ($7.00); Vegetarian Lettuce Wraps ($6.50) and; Popcorn Shrimp Curry ($7.50).  There are 3 soups on the menu…Hot and Sour, Egg Drop and Wonton.  The Hot and Sour and Egg Drop soups can be purchased by the cup, ($2.50) or by the bowl. ($5.00) The Wonton Soup can be purchased by the bowl only. ($5.00)
This was Emmett’s dinner.  It’s safe to say that he has a limited palate at this point in his life… How about Chicken Lo Mein, basically chicken and noodles! (Kid’s Menu - $4.25) Emmett liked it and that was what was important…
David II’s better half, Amy, ordered the Shrimp Fried Rice ($8.00) Amy thought that it was OK…but had expected that the shrimp would be steamed and presented on top of the Fried Rice.  She didn’t feel that her meal had any visual appeal.

I personally ended up using the take home portion of her meal for breakfast a day or two after the family headed home… I thought that the whole thing lacked any definitive flavor…
David III ordered the Sweet and Sour Chicken. ($8.00) He finished his dinner so I have to assume that he liked his dinner just fine.

The menu includes 3 salads…a House Salad ($3.25), Thai Chicken Salad ($6.50), and an Asian Shrimp Salad. ($7.00)
Laurie’s choice for dinner was the Mongolian WokChow, beef with green onions, yellow onions, and mushrooms in a dark garlic sauce. ($8.00) She really, really enjoyed her dinner!

One significant difference between Wok Chow and its former ‘rival’ is the fact that Wok Chow offers a selection of Sushi Rolls with its dinner offerings.  These range from a California Roll (crab, avocado, cucumber and masago at $4.50), to a Unagi Roll (eel, avocado and cucumber at $5.50) to a Volcano Roll (tempura fried w/salmon, onion, masago and eel sauce at $8.50)
My entrée was the Spicy Chicken with Brown Rice…with added extra ‘heat’ please! ($7.75) I did enjoy my dinner…except that they didn’t add much heat and I had to ask for some pepper sauce.

The menu at Wok Chow seems to have more variety than we remember at Wok Star.  Of course, the clientele probably has a broader palate down in the city not too far from the University of Tennessee.  Among other choices there is Lo Mein ($8.00); Drunken Noodles ($7.75); Curry Malai ($8.50 w/shrimp); Teriyaki Tempura ($7.50 w/chicken); Moo Goo Gai Pan ($8.50); Curry Panang ($8.00) and Green Curry ($7.75 w/beef)
For David II’s dinner, he ordered Beef Kung Pao without the peanuts. (Emmett Lee has a significant nut allergy) ($7.75) Such a good son…he enjoyed his dinner and he cleaned his plate!

Perhaps its nostalgia on our part, but our memories of the food at Wok Star slightly overshadowed our immediate experience at Wok Chow.  Don’t get me wrong, we did like Wok Chow and we will return… FYI, afterwards Laurie and I decided that we needed to give Wok Hay a try so we’d have that to compare with Wok Chow.  The good news, (for Wok Chow), is that Ruby Tuesday closed all of their Wok Hay restaurants just before I planned to take Laurie and I there for dinner… So, as I said in the beginning…3 Woks, 2 Woks and now only 1 Wok!
Wok Chow is located at 4612 Kingston Pike in Knoxville Tennessee.  Phone: 865-766-5457.  Their website is  The restaurant is open 7 days a week for lunch and dinner.  It’s important to note that in 2012, Wok Chow was voted as the Best Chinese and the Best Take Out Restaurant in Knoxville.  They were also voted in as the Favorite Vegetarian Restaurant and Favorite Lunch Spot.  Pretty good credentials!
Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them…
Thanks for stopping by for a Pan-Asian feast!
Take Care, Big Daddy Dave 

Monday, January 28, 2013

When It Rains, It Pours!

What a January… If this amount of precipitation had fallen on us in Chicago, we could have measured the snowfall by the number of feet!  Fortunately, here in East Tennessee, the weather is usually warm enough to ensure that we have rain and not that other crummy white stuff!

However, it still gets messy when 8” of rain falls in only a week!  Our normal rainfall for the entire month of January is 4.67” and we had 9.36” in just the first 17 days!  
This is a view of the Tellico Village pavilion, beach and parking area on Tellico Lake…all underwater!
This photo of one of the marina docks/walkways on Tellico Lake and is meant to demonstrate a bigger problem.  Many private docks on Tellico and Ft. Loudoun Lakes were underwater and many floating docks and resident’s boats couldn’t be easily accessed because the approach to their docks was flooded.  One or our friends who lives in Tellico Village told us that he’d put on his wading boots so he could safely reach his dock.
You can see where the normal ‘summer pond’ waterline is normally.  The fact that the shoreline is flooded as much as it is startles when you consider the fact that the ‘winter pond’ was roughly 6’ below the summer pond’s shoreline.  These lakes with a combined shoreline of over 700 miles sure filled up fast after a week of heavy rain!  The ducks and geese love the fresh feeding areas though...
This is Harrison Creek which feeds into the south side of Tellico Lake.  In the winter, it’s normally no more than 20% of the size shown above… In the summer, it has about 75% of the water volume shown.
Here’s another shoreline photo of Tellico Lake.  You can see the shoreline vs. the flooded area.  The barrier to the right is the overflow spillway and it shelters a flood plain that would be used for really big flooding emergencies.
This is the Fort Loudoun Dam on the Tennessee River.  It holds back the waters of both Fort Loudoun and Tellico Lakes.  Note that all 14 spillways are wide open dumping water at the same time!  This doesn’t happen often… Because of the water levels and all of the turbulence below the dam, the lock was closed and all commercial shipping was shut down…
I realize that this photo is blurry.  We definitely need an improved pocket or purse-size camera that takes better photos with the zoom function.

In any case, this picture is proof that something profited from the heavy rains and flooding.  The blurry white dots are seagulls swarming over the turbulent waters below the dams as the white water churns up lots of fish that have been washed over the spillways.
Oh well, we’re now back to sunshine with temperatures in the low to mid-50’s.  Such is winter in East Tennessee!
Just click on any of the photos to enlarge it!
Thanks for stopping by for a visit!
Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

Friday, January 25, 2013

Mid-Winter Comfort Food

OK… It was cold outside plus we hadn’t seen any sunshine for a few days… What can we do to make ourselves feel better?  How about a little comfort food just to kick start a warm and secure attitude in the face of old man winter!

I convinced Laurie that she could do something with a box of Stove Top Stuffing and a pile of leftover roasted chicken.  She set her mind to the task at hand…using 2 cans of Progresso Chicken Pot Pie Soup with the leftover chicken…and then using the stuffing as a top crust for her creation.

The above creation was enough for 2 meals… It was definite comfort food, kind of like chicken pot pie, (with plenty of chicken), with a nice top ‘crust’.  This casserole was just a tad bland and she’d probably play with the spices a bit more the next time we tried this.  Of course, I added Tabasco and the heat level came in right where I like it!
We had purchased some smoked salmon during a recent shopping foray to Costco.  The other morning I cooked a late morning breakfast or brunch.  We used toasted English muffins for the base, then smearing them with whipped Philadelphia cream cheese, adding a layer of smoked salmon and then topping each half muffin with an easy over fried egg.  This was a real winner!
One of my/our favorite comfort foods is Laurie’s meatloaf!  It’s 1  1/2 lbs. of  ground beef to 1 lb. spicy pork sausage.  Add some Worcestershire sauce, a little mustard, some ketchup, an egg, Italian breadcrumbs, spices ( she uses course ground pepper plus a Hot Mix pepper, seasoned salt, onion flakes and garlic powder) Mix it all up till it sticks together like a dough and place in a loaf pan and press it down to fit the edges.  Top it off with a half inch or more of Parmessan Cheese and press that down a bit with a fork...Then shake some Herb de Provence on top of the Parmessan Cheese.  (The herbs flavor it well and it looks pretty too! ) Bake at 350 degrees for about 1  1/2 hours. ( Ovens may vary)...You can see what it's suppose to look like on the inside when done.)  Enjoy!  Everyone we've served this to seems to really like it!

In this case, we tried Gwaltney’s spicy sausage although we have used Jimmy Dean’s, Bob Evan’s and Tennessee Pride at other times.  This sausage did have a nice flavor to it, although we poured off quite of bit of grease when it was done cooking.
This was Laurie’s plate at dinner time…cheesy rice, tomato and her meatloaf.   That Parmessan coating on top is a key to her success!  Of course, I add Heinz Tabasco Ketchup plus Tabasco Sauce to the meatloaf just for that extra kick…
Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them…
Thanks for stopping by and checking out some of our comfort food creations!
Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Another East Tennessee 'Blizzard'!

Finally!  A snow storm hits the Tennessee River Valley in Eastern Tennessee… Heck, it’s only January 17 and here comes the winter weather!  To think that we set a temperature record of 75 degrees just a few days earlier! 

This is the second time that it’s snowed in these parts this winter…but this one included some serious wind and a little sleet.
Wow!  The green grass is acquiring a slight whitish hue to it!  This snowfall could be even less of a factor than the last one was…
Sorry for this photo on its side... I couldn't change it.  Why?
But it must be serious!  Our local weathercasters were sooo excited!  Knoxville’s West Town Mall closed at about 6 PM on a weekday.  The highways and byways are a disaster.  Traffic is at a standstill… (Note: We’re about 40 minutes south of McGhee Tyson Airport where the weather bureau recorded 2.5 “ of snow)

In fairness, Knoxville recorded 2 – 4” of snow depending on just where you live.  Also, because of the excessive rainfall, they couldn’t apply the brine treatments to the roadways as it would just wash away.

Where we live, it didn’t get much worse than this photo shows…and by 11 AM the following morning, any traces of snow were gone.  This ‘winter weather’ demonstrates precisely why we moved to East Tennessee from the Chicago area!  Please note however that almost all local schools were closed for the day.  The county and state road departments don’t have enough equipment to spread salt brine on all of the hilly roads…and the school buses just can’t complete their routes up and down through the coves and valleys…
Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them…
Thanks for stopping by for a visit!
Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

Monday, January 21, 2013

Upscale Dining – Cost vs. Value

Another dining coupon, another meal…  Where better to use a $25.00 Lifestyle coupon than at an upscale restaurant.  Laurie and I had wanted to have dinner at this particular restaurant for some time as we did have a very nice lunch there earlier in the year.  On top of that, Dawn Marie was visiting for a week around Christmas and I knew that there was one item on the menu at this particular restaurant that she tended to favor…

This is Seasons Café in Farragut Tennessee.  Their mission statement states that they want to offer a comfortable and casual environment for their patrons in conjunction with unparalleled service and product at a reasonable price.  They go on to say that this restaurant is an American style bistro designed around moderate pricing with high quality preparation and presentation as influenced by classical cooking.  There is also a significant focus on seasonal dishes and fresh ingredients.
The inside of the restaurant is indeed quite casual as were the patrons.  No one was really ‘dressed up’, with blue jeans and casual shirts outnumbering anyone wearing sports jackets or dresses. 

The menu is relatively short but it is varied… There are 5 Appetizers offered, ranging from Cinnamon Seared Diver Scallops ($10.00), to a Seared Blue Crab Cake ($10.25), and a Fromage Platter ($10.50).  For those who would just like a sandwich, there are 8 offerings available, including 2 hamburger selections, both priced at $10.50.  Other sandwich choices include Marinated Portabello ($10.25), Crab Cake ($12.00), and the Seasons Steak Sandwich ($12.00).
We skipped the appetizers and instead ordered salads and our entrees.  To start us out, our waiter brought us this flatbread and accompanying spread.  To be honest, the flatbread was flavorless… We would have preferred a nice basket of Italian or French bread…or perhaps a rustic sourdough. 

We have noticed that fewer and fewer restaurants these days automatically offer bread with dinner.  Call me old fashioned but I miss quality bread with my dinner!
Laurie started out with an elegant bowl of Grilled Zucchini Soup. ($5.75) She liked it very much… She had chosen the Chef’s Creation for her soup. 

The other soup option was the Pumpkin Bisque, a spicy and sweet favorite, garnished with crème fraiche and toasted pumpkin seeds.
Both Laurie and Dawn Marie ordered a half portion Seasons Fall Harvest Garden Salad. ($6.00) This consisted of mixed greens tossed with toasted almonds, crisp cucumber, red onions, artichokes, grape tomatoes, and creamy boursin cheese.  Their salads were very nice with really fresh ingredients.
For my salad, I went with my old standby favorite, a half Original Iceberg Wedge with Blue Cheese Dressing. ($6.00) Again, the ingredients were fresh…and the salad dressing was excellent.

Two other salads round out the menu.  They are the Spinach and Berry Salad and Seasons Classic Caesar Salad.  All of the salads are $6.00 for a half and $9.50 for a full sized salad.  Chicken, beef, shrimp, salmon or duck can be added to any of these offerings for an additional $2.75.
Dawn Marie and I ordered identical entrees.  This is the Rack of Lamb. ($26.00) This Almond encrusted rack of lamb is ‘prepared to perfection and presented atop a prosciutto-tomato demi-glace and it’s served with Seasons own purple fingerling potatoes.  Dawn ordered hers rare and I ordered mine medium rare.

Both of us, perhaps unjustifiably, expected more of a ‘roasted’ rack of lamb.  She said that her lamb was OK but she’d had better.  I didn’t like mine too much at all, as I sort of expected a crust from roasting and the seasoning wasn’t to my liking either.  Also, my lamb was also served rare and I had to send it back for a quick visit to the oven…
It must be “different strokes for different folks” because; to be fair…I must report that the rack of lamb is one of Seasons most popular offerings.
Laurie scored an entrée that was a solid hit with her… This was the chef’s special, Almond Crusted Grouper served over a bed of seasonal long grained rice with an Andouille sauce. ($26.95) I tasted it and it was very nice indeed…

There were 6 other entrees on the menu.  There was the Muscovy Breast of Duck ($16.50); the Cedar Planked Salmon au Poivre ($15.50); a NY Strip Steak ($26.75); the Autumn Breast of Chicken ($18.75); Garlic Infused Beef Medallions ($19.75), and; Spicy Seared Sea Scallops and Gulf Shrimp ($18.50).
What the heck!  We opted to try and share a couple of desserts.  This was the Crème Brule. ($5.95) It was very good…
This was the Chocolate Layer Cake. ($5.00) It was also very good…mighty rich and really a bit of a chocolate overload.  Other dessert options include cheesecake with fresh fruit and Key Lime pie with fresh whipped cream. 

It was too bad that Dawn and I really didn’t care for our entrees.  That ‘miss’ was somewhat ameliorated by the fact that my Lifestyle coupon almost paid for one of our entrees… Service was very competent and our waiter was helpful as needed.  The manager was a bit distressed about my overly rare lamb…which was a positive sign.  Pricing seems reasonable for upscale cuisine although I did twitch once when I saw that Laurie had ordered an $11.00 glass of cabernet.  Laurie and I will return…as we still have another coupon to use!
From my viewpoint, Seasons Café is a nice place to go for a special meal or perhaps as a treat for a loving couple.  It has 88% ‘Likes’ on Urban Spoon, got 4 out of 5 points on Yelp and it has almost 4.5 points out of 5 on Trip Advisor.  Seasons Café is located at 12740 Kingston Pike in Farragut Tennessee.  Phone: 865-671-3679.  Website: (Note: A second Seasons Cafe opened in the Bearden area of Knoxville back in November of 2012)
Just click on any of the photos to enlarge it…
Thanks for stopping by and vicariously sharing our dinner with us!
Take Care, Big Daddy Dave 

Friday, January 18, 2013

Pain Management…Spare Parts!

For any youngsters following this blog…or even just dropping by for a single visit, I want to let you know that aging is not for the faint of heart!  Of course, it helps some if you have a good genetic makeup, don’t smoke, don’t drink too much alcohol, get regular exercise, eat healthy foods and maintain your weight at a level commensurate with your frame and height. 
OK, I’ll admit it…I might be fairly fortunate re: the genetic makeup, but when it comes to the other 5 keys to good health, I’ve only realized a couple of them. Anyone who’s followed my blog recognizes that it’s food focused…mostly on foods that aren’t particularly healthy…that I’m not exactly into working out…and that I’ve spent many years building up my oversized body…in the wrong way!
The above photo is of the Tennessee Orthopaedic Clinic in Knoxville Tennessee. 

Hey…body parts do wear out!  To some degree, we all experience parts failures sometime in our lives.  If one is an athlete, is overweight, or both, joint failures are a likely outcome.  In my case, my right hip is kaput!  I’d like to think that my current situation was initiated back when I was playing high school football, track or wrestling…but I suspect it really occurred due to age and weight.  In any case, the pain has won out, worn me down and I need a new part if I want to be able to enjoy our retirement.

Ah yes…the symbolic long lonely walk toward the unknown!  Actually Laurie took this photo before Thanksgiving as I gimped along toward the Clinic and our initial meeting with my surgeon. 
The Tennessee Orthopaedic Clinic is right across the driveway from Knoxville’s Parkwest Medical Center…aka the Hospital where the surgery will be done.  I can tell you that the waiting room for my surgeon’s office ( in this building) was a very busy place… This has to be a great business for doctors given the growing number of baby boomers who will need joint replacement or repair of one kind or another.
Laurie also took this photo of me signing in for my appointment with the surgeon.  Harold E. Cates, M.D., was easy to talk to, had a good sense of humor and, most importantly, he does hundreds of hip replacement each and every year.  When it comes to hip and knee surgery, he is a ‘go to’ surgeon of choice. 
Did I mention that Laurie loves any of this medical stuff…?  She regularly watches operations and emergency medical procedures on TV.  So it should have been no surprise to me when she actually asked the doctor if she could ‘gown up’ and watch my hip replacement surgery in person!  Of course, the answer was no…but Dr. Cates did promise to provide her with photos of the operation.
The pre-surgery instructions include a lot about medications…what not to take and when, as well as what to start on and when.  Dagnab it!  They also gave me a bunch of pre-surgery exercises to do… Bummer!  However, not doing them isn’t an option if I want to recover and be able to do the things that we want to do in our retirement…

Early this month, we went across the driveway to the Parkwest Medical Center (Hospital), for pre-surgery registration, therapeutic instruction for exercises needed before surgery and for Hip Surgery Classroom Instruction.  I must admit, everything went as smooth as glass…although I do marvel at man’s continuous 'attempts to go paperless' in the medical field. (Is it a practical effort and will such documentation ever be accepted when the attorney’s get involved?)
So the next step will be the surgery…fixing the square peg in the round socket syndrome.  Then there will be therapy…and more therapy… I will actually have to exercise to heal and regain full functionality!  Also, for several weeks, Laurie will be ‘privileged’ to drive me wherever I need to go.  But the long range plan is that we’ll be playing golf in April…and on a road trip not too long after that!  
After the surgery later this month, I’ll blog again about this life altering, (enhancing), experience.  It sure wasn’t on my retirement ‘bucket list’!
Thanks for stopping by for the latest on parts replacement and repair!
Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Hot Rod 50’s Diner Again…and Again!

This is not the first time that I’ve blogged about Hot Rod 50’s Diner in Alcoa Tennessee… The first blog was back on August 17, 2012.  This is not gourmet cooking!  It’s comfort food…period!  Looking for healthy eating…forget it!  During the past month or so, we went to movies in Maryville Tennessee and then followed up with a ‘light’ dinner at the diner.

To view the exterior of Hot Rod 50’s Diner…along with some interior photos and food pictures not featured in this blog, just click on this link with my first article:
Dawn Marie was staying with us for week during the Christmas holidays.  After viewing the Quentin Tarantino movie “Django”, we were off to Hot Rod 50’s for dinner.  The restaurant is packed with signs and memorabilia from the 50’s…and other more recent eras as well.  There are even 3 pin ball machines near the front doors.  This is a happy, kid friendly place…

FYI…We all liked "Django" but in true Tarantino fashion, it was bloody and violent.  It made his classic "Pulp Fiction" almost look like a sweet fairy tale.  At the same time, it addressed some of the wrenching misery facing slaves before the Civil War...with our hero, (Jamie Fox), getting even in the end!    
Dawn Marie ordered the Pepperoni Burger…rare…with a side of Mac and Cheese. ($8.99) This 10 oz. burger is mixed with pepperoni slices and it’s topped with melted provolone and marinara sauce.  Dawn liked this combo, equating it with a hamburger and pepperoni pizza on a bun.  Her only negative was that her burger was medium rare instead of rare.  The mac and cheese was just fine…
Laurie went for the Bacon Cheese Burger, medium rare, with the chunky applesauce on the side. ($7.99) Her burger was medium rare as ordered and the meat had a nice texture and flavor.  She chose the provolone cheese to top her burger but other options include American, Cheddar, Swiss or Pepper Jack.

Note: Many restaurants in Tennessee will not cook a hamburger less than Medium so Laurie and I truly value a restaurant that will serve a medium rare burger…
I ordered the Country Fried Steak with white gravy. ($9.99) My two sides were the Ribbon Fries and Chunky Applesauce.  The Country Fried Steak was very nice…note my added Tabasco… We all really like their chunky applesauce but we all also agree that the ribbon fries are not what we hoped for.  They are a great idea but they’re too soggy or limp and just don’t make the grade.  I’d noted this on our earlier visit but at the time I’d attributed the soggyness to their placement on top of some hot food… Now I know better...
This is Dawn Marie and I as we prepared to exit Hot Rod 50’s Diner after our meal.  Yes indeed…it was cold outside!  As Dawn lives in Miami, she really feels the cold.

So…after Christmas, David II, Amy and our grandsons came down to East Tennessee from the Cleveland Ohio area to celebrate the Holidays.  Once again it was off to the movies, this time it was “Parental Guidance” starring Billy Crystal, Bette Midler and Marisa Tomei.  Even our grandsons liked this funny yet poignant movie…
Then it was time to eat!
Once again, we returned to Hot Rod 50’s.  Here, my namesake, David III poses with his mom Amy… David III is 12 years old.
This is Amy again, posing with her hubby and my immediate namesake, David II.  I was buying dinner…so my little boy kicked in with the appetizer orders!  Unfortunately, we failed to photograph any of them before we attacked them and killed off their photogenic qualities…

He ordered Fried Cheese Moons ($5.99); Jalapeno Bottle Caps ($5.99), and; Fried Green Beans ($5.99).  We agreed that the cheese moons were nothing special, the bottle caps were tasty…spicy hot…and the fried green beans were the best!  We would order them again for sure.  They are accompanied with Ranch Dressing for dipping…
This is Emmett Lee…our other grandson and a fellow blogger.   He’s 9 and he blogs primarily about computer games.  Other kids in his age group might enjoy his blogs.  Two of his sites can be found at: and

On to the food…
Laurie only photographed items that we hadn’t featured before…plus one outstanding sandwich worth another look!  Amy ordered the 10 oz. Gorgonzola Burger with a side of Tater Tots. ($7.99) She rated her hamburger as just OK…bummer!
Hot Rod 50’s Diner features a significant number of ‘specialty burgers’.  This is my dinner…a Spam Burger with Chunky Applesauce. ($8.99) This 10 oz. burger was topped with 2 slices of fried Spam and melted cheddar cheese.  The burger was cooked perfectly…medium rare and very juicy.  I was a bit disappointed in the fact that I could barely taste the fried Spam against the hamburger and cheddar cheese…but hey, this was a good burger!

Other Specialty Burgers are topped with your choice of fried cheese moons, an egg and bacon, peanut butter and bacon, a hot dog or sliced roast beef.  Another burger from the ‘regular’ burger menu is topped with pepper jack cheese and a layer of those hot and spicy Jalapeno Bottle Caps…
OK…This was our ‘little’ boy’s entrée sandwich… I featured this creation in my previous blog on Hot Rod 50’s Diner.  This is “The Hog”.  ($7.99) This is Hot Rod’s signature sandwich, a huge (and thick) cut of pork tenderloin breaded in the house's own homemade bread crumb mixture and then pan fried.  This is a great pork tenderloin sandwich!  After all of those appetizers, you can believe that part of this came home in a box for later consumption…

I should mention one other burger creation on the menu…The Chubby Burger.  This is a 30 oz. cheeseburger with 16 oz. of French Fries!  ($16.99) The Chubby Challenge involves the complete consumption of the Chubby Burger and Fries in 30 minutes.  If this goal is accomplished in the allotted time, you are awarded with your photo on the wall of fame and a Chubby Burger t-shirt. 
Hot Rod 50’s Diner is located at 373 Hannum Street in Alcoa Tennessee.  They are open 7 days a week.  Phone: 865-984-7171.  For a look at the full menu…which includes much more than hamburgers…go to
Just click on any of the photos if you’d like to enlarge them…
Thanks for stopping by for a visit!
Take Care, Big Daddy Dave