Monday, April 29, 2013

Breakfast in Alcoa Tennessee!

Laurie and I are always looking for a restaurant that serves a nice breakfast… Here in East Tennessee, there don’t seem to be very many options where they serve a consistently good morning meal.  We’ve continued to search the area… Recently, while in a Dentist’s office in Maryville Tennessee, we overheard a patient talking about a local restaurant that we hadn’t heard of…


This is the Midway Restaurant which is located in the “New Midland Mall”…a very large but partially deserted mall in Alcoa Tennessee.  This restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner and its open 7 days a week, with abbreviated hours on Sunday.   For late risers like Laurie and I, the best news of all is that Midway Restaurant serves breakfast “All Day, Every Day”!
 
This is an interior photo of the Midway Restaurant.  Our waitress told us that the same owners have operated this restaurant for 30 years.  The Midland restaurant has been in business for 30 years!  We’ve been in the area for almost 4 years now…and we just discovered it.  Shameful on our part!

More good news… The prices at Midway Restaurant are very reasonable.  For example, the 6 omelets on the menu range in price from $5.75 to $7.85.  These 3-egg omelets with their specific ingredients are served with toast or a biscuit and sawmill gravy, plus hash browns, home fries and grits.  Quite a deal indeed!

The first thing that made my day was that our waitress at the Midland Restaurant brought this nice big bottle of Tabasco to the table.  Now…with such a great start, what about the food?

This is part of Laurie’s breakfast…  This is her standard breakfast with one exception…two eggs easy-over with 2 strips of bacon, hash browns and toast…or…

biscuits and gravy.  She would normally have gone with the toast or just asked for the biscuits with butter and jelly. 
And what is the cost for all of this food?  How about a very reasonable $4.99!

Of course, I took it up a notch!  I ordered the “Hungry Homer Breakfast”!  This spread included 3 eggs easy over, 3 nice sausage patties, hash browns, orange juice and I chose toast over the biscuit and gravy.  So what did this plentitude of food set me back?  How about only $8.49!  It was all good…a competently prepared, tasty, and properly served breakfast!
We really enjoyed our breakfasts.  The only downsides for us were the fact that, because of all of its business over the years, the restaurant could use a touch up, and I’m afraid that brown or ‘sawmill’ gravy is just not our thing.  We’re used to white gravy with bits of sausage…but hey, we’ll just get biscuits without the gravy or toast and we’ll be perfectly happy!
FYI… The menu at Midland Restaurant is very large…and contains pages of sandwiches and entrees for lunch and dinner.  Midland Restaurant is located at 155 Calderwood in Alcoa Tennessee.  Phone: 865-984-0684.  Website:  http://www.midland-restaurant.com/.
Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them...
Thanks for stopping by and sharing breakfast with us!
Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

Friday, April 26, 2013

Great Trips – New Zealand/Final Chapter

For those of you that have followed us on this trip, this is Chapter XII, the last segment/blog about our 2000 New Zealand travel adventure.  Just in case you haven’t picked up on it, we loved this trip!  The scenic beauty, combined with a minimum number of very nice people, with plenty of available amenities, equaled a great travel experience…


This is a view of the interior of the Otago Peninsula near Dunedin.  Yes…just in case you noticed all of those little white dots…those are sheep…lots of sheep!  The Otago Peninsula is one side of an extinct volcano, encompassing Otago Harbor.  One small part of the peninsula consists of part of Dunedin’s suburbs and there are a few small scenic settlements around the shore line.  Only 10,000 people live here…and most of them live close to the city, and much of the land is given up to pastoral beauty such as seen above…

This is a satellite view of Dunedin, the Otago Peninsula and Otago Harbor.  The city circles around the base of the harbor and the landside end of the peninsula.  The highest point on the peninsula is about 1,339 feet.  At one point along the shoreline, sand dunes reach up to about 330 feet high.  This striking peninsula is home to a fort, old homes, Larnach Castle and the Royal Albatross Center.  For more on what to see and do, go to http://www.dunedinnz.com/visit/see-and-do/tag/Otago-Peninsula.aspx.


An architect named George Troup, aka ‘Gingerbread George’ designed the Dunedin Railway Station beginning in 1903, completing it in 1906.  The renaissance revival architecture was employed using dark basalt, light colored but dense Oamaru limestone, with pink granite columns and terra cotta shingles or tiles from France. 
The clock tower is roughly 121 feet tall.  The railway platform along the tracks stretches for 1,640 feet…or more than a quarter of a mile!  This is actually the 4th station serving Dunedin.

Believe it or not, these are the ticket windows in the ‘booking hall’ of the Depot.  Spectacular!  For those of you that are collectors, the frieze of Royal Doulton porcelain stretches entirely around the wall and balcony in this hall…   

This is the tile medallion decorating the center of the ticket or booking hall.  Almost 750,000 Minton tiles were used to cover and decorate this space.  Back in the days when Dunedin was ‘the happening place’ on the South Island, over 100 trains per day came through this depot. 
Today, only the Taieri Gorge Railroad’s daily passenger tourist trains arrive and depart from the Dunedin Depot.  I wish that we’d had the time to take this tour… For more on this spectacular train ride, including some great photos, go to http://www.taieri.co.nz/index.htm.

This is another spectacular building in Dunedin.  Believe it or not, it’s the old Dunedin Jail.  This Victorian courtyard prison was built in 1896 and it wasn’t decommissioned until June of 2009, after 115 years of operation.  Fund drives are under way to raise $2.6 million (NZ) to allow the Dunedin Charitable Trust to remodel and repurpose the interior of the structure.  Currently, guided tours are being given by prison trustees who’ve lived there as well as guard guides.  Cost is only $10.00!

This is a postcard view of our favorite city in all of the South Island.  This is Oamaru.  Perhaps it was the stunning architecture, the wide streets, the covered sidewalks, the laid back atmosphere, the nice people…or all of those things that caught our fancy. 
In this postcard, you can see what the downtown shopping district looked like back in 2000. (Remember…there weren’t any US style malls) Also visible is the old post office dating from 1883 with its 92 foot high clock tower, (added in 1903), St. Luke’s Anglican Church (1866) and, off in the center right, Columbia Presbyterian Church (1883).  

As you probably noticed from the postcard photo, many if not most of the buildings were built in the style shown above…and all of them were built from local Oamaru Limestone, a very dense and strong form of that type of stone. 
The building shown above is the Criterion Hotel and Bar.  It was built in 1877, later was a temperance hotel, closed, opened as a boarding house, then it was used as a warehouse with a confectionary and soft drinks shop… In 2012, it was purchased and renovated, reopening as a hotel and bar.  For information, just go to http://www.criterionhotel.co.nz/.  Oamaru is a visual delight…

Laurie of course took this and almost all of the other photos from this trip.  I do believe that I know that tourist who’s walking down the covered sidewalk in downtown Oamaru!  This town especially…and to be honest…most of the South Island of New Zealand felt like we’d stepped back to a gentler, kinder place in time.
For more about Oamaru, its sights and attractions…plus photos, you can go to: http://www.markstravelnotes.com/oceania/new_zealand/otago/oamaru/.

I actually took this photo!!  This is Laurie at the Christchurch airport with our loaded luggage cart after unpacking our rental car.  We put some miles on that car!   I know one thing for sure… In today’s world, taking that much luggage on a trip would cost hundreds of extra dollars! 
 
And…finally…here’s our plane coming in to pick us up.  From here we flew to Auckland where we changed planes and flew directly to Los Angeles and then to Chicago.  We loved Air New Zealand!  The people were very nice and they really acted like they cared about their passengers.  Of course, thanks to frequent flyer miles, it didn’t hurt that we were first class passengers to Auckland and we flew business class back to Los Angeles…
For information regarding flights and fares on Air New Zealand, you can link up at http://www.airnewzealand.com/.
Thanks for tagging along on this 12 chapter photo travelogue!  We had a great time on this trip and I hope that you found it interesting and informative.  I think that the photos spoke for themselves… Visit New Zealand!!
Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them…
Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Exploring Meigs County Tennessee # 4

This next group of buildings in Meigs County Tennessee that are listed in the National Register of Historic Places turned out to be very difficult to research.  There must be a place where some history of these buildings can be found…but I had almost no luck with my efforts.

The good news is that this will be a short blog!

This is apparently the James Cowan House.  My initial research determined that it was located at 2059 Cameron Road near Big Spring Tennessee.  So we turned right on Cameron Road just north of the Hiwassee River…and we followed the road as far as we could…to a fancy wrought iron gate blocking the road.  It appears that someone bought or owns a lot of land, along with the old James Cowan House…and the ‘county road’?
This was as close as we could get to the home.  We could see that it was built out of squared off logs, that much of the chinking was missing but that the roof appeared to be in one piece.  It was apparently built in 1825.  I found wedding records in Meigs County for James A. Cowan (to Jane Collins in 1844), then J.F. Cowan (1878), Jacob Cowan (1877), Jeff. D. Cowan (1878) and Luther Cowan (1897) Perhaps the Cowan family still owns the place…as I noted an Anita Cowan still in the area.

This stone building is listed in the NRHP as the Scott Hooper Garage…aka the Myers Garage.  It was built back in the early days of the auto, in 1925.  It’s right on TN Hwy. 58 in Georgetown Tennessee.

This is an interesting building… We’ve seen lots of stone structures but I can’t recall one built so painstakingly from so many relatively small stones.  This had to take a lot of time and patience!

We just liked this ‘artsy’ photo of a large shuttered window at the Hooper/Myers Garage.  I couldn’t find any record of a Hooper back in the early days of Meigs County…but the current County Clerk is Janie Myers, a possible link to the second owners/operators of this fancy garage…
 
This is the only photo we managed to take of the H.C. Shiflett Barn, which is located on Hickman Road in Meigs County.  We had to keep moving as there were a couple of large dogs at the farm house who objected to our stopping to take pictures!  I did note a Francis Shiflett on one record I located from 1865.  The barn was apparently built in 1850 and it’s also known as the Hickman barn.

So…enough about Meigs County for just a moment!  More importantly, spring has arrived here in East Tennessee and I wanted to share our view from our deck on another beautiful day here in paradise…
Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them…
Thanks for stopping by to share in our continuing exploration of East Tennessee!
Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

Monday, April 22, 2013

Revisiting Wok Chow - Knoxville Tennessee

Laurie and I were out and about as usual…and I’d purchased a ‘Groupon’ coupon for Wok Chow in Knoxville.  We’d eaten at Wok Chow back in December when David II, our daughter-in-law Amy and our two grandsons, David III and Emmett Lee came down for Christmas…

Amy hadn’t been too happy with her meal but the rest of us were fairly well satisfied.  However, we all concurred that we didn’t think that the food was quite as good as the now defunct Wok Star which was in Lenoir City Tennessee.

As I previously noted, for 2012, the Knoxville News Sentinel reported that 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. 

Given the popularity of Wok Chow…plus the fact that Laurie and I had both enjoyed our previous meals here…and that I had what was virtually a ‘get a meal free’ coupon, revisiting this restaurant was a no brainer!
At Wok Chow, customers order at the counter...and then the food is delivered to your table.  You do have to pick up your own silverware, napkins, drinks and fortune cookies...

I ordered the Spicy Chicken. ($7.75) This is advertised as Wok Chow’s most popular dish.  It consists of fire-seared chicken in a spicy sweet chili sauce with sugar snap peas, carrots and broccoli.  Of course I asked them to kick it up a notch on the ‘heat’ scale… I ordered the brown rice instead of the white, not just because it’s healthier but because I like its distinctive flavor.
This was just an excellent meal…spicy…plentiful…with lots of flavor!

For her entrĂ©e, Laurie ordered something new.  This is the Curry Panang. ($8.00) You can order it with beef or chicken.  She went with the beef in red curry sauce with celery, onions, spinach, mushrooms, chili, and red peppers. 
She loved this dish!  She likes celery in her Asian food…and with my picky food habits she rarely has chunks of onion or mushrooms at home.  The curry was just right too.  Laurie told me that given the opportunity, she’d order this again and again…
So, this visit to Wok Chow was a definite winner!  Wok Star is now only a distant memory that has been equaled or surpassed...
Wok Chow is located at 4612 Kingston Pike in Knoxville Tennessee.  Phone: 865-766-5457.  Their website is www.wokchow.com.  The restaurant is open 7 days a week for lunch and dinner. 
Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them…
Thanks for stopping by for a taste of Asia with us!
Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

Friday, April 19, 2013

Great Trips – New Zealand #11

Continuing with our New Zealand adventure… Leaving Invercargill and Bluff behind, Laurie and I continued our drive along the South Island’s Scenic Southern Route toward the city of Dunedin. (The route stretches from Queenstown to Dunedin)

As was usual on this trip, the scenery didn’t disappoint us! 

This is the Nugget Point Lighthouse.  It was built back in 1870 using locally quarried stone.  In the early days the light was fueled with oil.  Today it’s fully electrified…but the original 1870 lens for the light is still in use!
Incidentally, the walk along the path in the photo to the lighthouse provides many different views of the ocean and the coastline…

I particularly liked this photo.  The play of the sea, waves, rocks and the colors just kind of works!  Nugget Point is one of the most notable landforms along the southeastern coast of the South Island of New Zealand. 

This is why they call it Nugget Point… These are the ‘nuggets’ or rocky islets just beyond the lighthouse.  The area is home to penguins, gannets, spoonbills and a breeding colony of Southern or New Zealand Fur Seals.

These are the Matai Falls… While they’re only about 33 feet high, they are just one of several beautiful waterfalls in the South Island’s ‘Catlins’ region.  The tallest waterfalls in The Catlins are the McLean Falls at about 72 feet. 
The Catlins or, as it’s sometimes called, the Catlins Coast is a rugged, sparsely populated area in the southeast corner of the South Island.  It has scenic coastal landscapes combined with dense temperate rainforests. (About 150 inches of rain falls in The Catlins each year) The highest peak in this area of about 730 square miles is 2,360 feet.  One of the area’s charms is the fact that only about 1,200 people live here…or a little more than 1.5 persons per square mile.

This is St. Paul’s Cathedral in Dunedin on the South Island.  It is the ‘mother church’ for the Anglican Diocese of Dunedin and the home church for the Bishop.  The cathedral is located near the heart of the city.  It was first planned for in 1895…but the first foundation stone wasn’t set until 1915 and it wasn’t consecrated until 1919.

This photo from Wikipedia shows how Dunedin surrounds the head of Otago Harbor.  The harbor and the hills are remnants of an extinct volcano.  This 2nd largest city on the South Island was first settled in 1848 and it’s now home for about 127,000 New Zealanders. 
The city is also the home of the University of Otago with its 21,000 students.  The university was founded in 1871 and it was the first university in New Zealand.  The town definitely had a student ‘vibe’ to it and so did the cuisine…some of the best we had during our trip.

This is New Zealand’s only ‘castle’… The Larnach Castle is located on the Otago Peninsula not far from Dunedin.  Construction started in 1871…and was completed in 1886.  William James Mudie Larnach, a wealthy merchant baron and politician built it for his 1st wife.  It took 200 workmen 3 years to build the structure and it took a group of European master craftsmen another 12 years to finish the interior. (Sounds like a Chicago highway construction project!) The ‘castle’ has 43 rooms and a ballroom.
Unfortunately, Mr. Larnach was predeceased by his 1st wife, his 2nd wife and his favorite daughter…for whom he’d built the ball room adjoining the ‘castle’.  He committed suicide in New Zealand’s Parliament Building in 1888…only one year after the death of his daughter and 2 years after completion of this impressive structure!  The castle is allegedly haunted by Mr. Larnach’s 1st wife as well as by his daughter and it’s been featured on the TV Show, “Ghost Hunters International”.

This is a view from the castle…looking down on the ballroom he added to the property as well as part of Larnach Castle’s gardens.  The gardens are only 1 of the 5 in New Zealand that have been rated as a ‘Garden of International Significance”.

The Royal Albatross Centre and Colony is also located on the Otago Peninsula at Taiaroa Head.  This is the only mainland breeding colony for any species of albatross in the Southern Hemisphere.  The population of this colony is about 140 birds.  They have successfully hatched over 500 chicks since the Centre was established in the 1930’s.  Other exotic seabirds are also resident here…including over 3,000 Red Billed Gulls.

The Southern Royal Albatross with the Northern Royal Albatross are the largest seabirds in the world.  They have a wingspan of up to 10 feet 10 inches.  These birds spend 85% of their life at sea and they travel as much as 118,000 miles each year.

Here’s one more photo of a New Zealand or Southern Fur Seal.  We found them all along the coast…especially beginning at Nugget Point and stretching back up to the Otago Peninsula.  I know that they bite…but I think that they are probably the most attractive seals we’ve ever seen…
That’s about it for this edition of our 2000 New Zealand Trip…only one or two more chapters before I complete this saga!
Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them…
Thanks for stopping by and viewing my ongoing travelogue!
Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Exploring Meigs County Tennessee # 3

This is ‘Chapter 3’ highlighting, or trying to highlight, some of the listings from the National Register of Historic Places that Laurie, Dawn Marie and myself ‘found’ during our mid-March exploration of Meigs County Tennessee.   Once again, I found very little history about two of these structures and I’ve supplemented what I did find with other information regarding the county and/or its former and current residents…


This is the Buchanan House on Vernon Street in Decatur Tennessee.  It was built ca. 1875 and it was listed in the NRHP in 1982.  The Buchanan’s must have been relative ‘late comers’ to the area as I couldn’t find any of them included in the 1860 census for the County. 
Meigs County was formed in 1836.  It was formerly a portion of Rhea County…that portion that was east of the Tennessee River.  As of 2010, Meigs County had a population of 11,753 and Decatur, the County Seat, is the only incorporated town in the county.  Today, with the building of the Watts Bar and the Chickamauga Dams…the county’s border on the west now consists of the Watts Bar and Chickamauga Lakes.  There are no Interstate or US Highways in the county. 
 
Just to deviate from the historical sites for the moment… I personally liked the appearance of this house in Decatur.  It looked Victorian/Gothic…and in style, it is.  If you’re interested, it’s for sale.  This 1920 home has 1,756 sq. ft. with 3 bedrooms and 1 bath.  The lot is 70 ft. by 231 ft. and it includes a large outbuilding, (studio?), and a big covered area.  FYI…The asking price was only $145,000 and it’s only a couple of blocks from downtown Decatur!  Hey…this could be 'the place' for you to retire!
 

Back to the historical structures… The stately old Meigs County Courthouse has been completely renovated, the fireplaces reopened and the clocks repaired.  The original portion of this structure was built in 1905 to replace an earlier courthouse which burned down…

Meigs County was named after Colonel Return J. Meigs. (Born in 1740, died in 1823) He was a Revolutionary War hero and he was one of the founding settlers of the Northwest Territory…in what is now Ohio.  Colonel Meigs fought at the Battles of Lexington and Stony Point.  His wartime claim to fame was Meigs Raid…a daring nighttime raid on the British Fleet at Sag Harbor New York.  Meigs and his team of 200 plus soldiers rowed across Long Island Sound in the dark from Connecticut and managed to burn 12 British ships and capture 90 prisoners without any American loss of life.
Colonel Meigs later moved to Tennessee where he operated a ferry across the Tennessee River… He became both a military and Indian agent in the area.  He was allegedly fair and honest with the Cherokee Indians.  Before 1819, Rhea and what was to become Meigs County were part of Cherokee Territory.  The Colonel’s son became Governor of Ohio and served as a US Senator.  Meigs County Ohio is named after him.  The Colonel’s brother was a lawyer who was President of the University of Georgia and later, served as Surveyor General under President James Madison.  A grandson married the daughter of the principal chief of the Cherokee and he ‘emigrated’ to Oklahoma to join his wife’s forced immigration via the “Trail of Tears”.
For more on Colonel Meigs and for links to other distinguished members of the family, go to   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Return_J._Meigs,_Sr.   Even more interesting is the Meigs Family Genealogy at http://meigs.org/.  It dates back to the 1600’s and includes the ‘Chicago’ member of the Meigs family for which the former Meigs Field Airport on Chicago’s waterfront was named… 

In 2004, a 2-story addition was added to the Meigs County Courthouse, utilizing modern equipment and technology, including the addition of an elevator.  This photo is from the reverse side of Decatur’s Courthouse Square…opposite the original entrance in the previous photo of the courthouse.  The courthouse lost many old records in earlier fires but they do maintain marriage and probate records from 1836.  The bell from the original (pre-1905) courthouse is now being used in Decatur’s Baptist Church…
The Associated Press filed the following report on 9/4/87 regarding a bit of excitement that took place at the Meigs County Courthouse:
200 Riot in Tennessee Courtroom as Slayer Is Freed
A county-wide curfew was in effect and jurors were under guard today after more than 200 people rioted in a courtroom when the jury declared a man not guilty of murder.
The defendant, Jerry Allen, and his family went into hiding for their own protection, the authorities said.  Mr. Allen testified he had lived in fear of the victims for years and had shot them in self-defense.
Mr. Allen, 27 years old, was cleared Wednesday in the slaying of Eddie Lee Anderson, 25, and the wounding of Tim Keaton, 23, and Mike Roberts, 21, on March 27 at a tavern, the Dew Drop Inn.
About 200 people went on the rampage in the Meigs County Courthouse when the verdict was announced. The authorities said most of those involved in the melee were friends or relatives of the dead man. Another 200 people milled about outside the courthouse, the authorities said.
The Highway Patrol and about 100 law-enforcement officers from surrounding counties helped restore order in this town of 1,190 people about 45 miles north of Chattanooga.
Roger Delp, the Meigs County Assistant District Attorney, said today that Mr. Allen had feared the three men since quarrels and at least one fist-fight about six years ago with one of the men.  Mr. Allen testified that he shot them with a shotgun after they threatened to kill him, Mr. Delp said.
The two men who survived the shooting testified that they did not threaten Mr. Allen, although they said one had produced a pistol from inside his shirt and placed it on the bar when Mr. Allen left the tavern briefly, Mr. Delp said.
After the jury announced its verdict, Sheriff McKenzie said the mob overturned benches, hurled chairs and shattered windows as some tried to grab Mr. Allen and break into the jury room.  Mr. Allen was rushed from the courtroom into a nearby office. . . ''He got under a table and started crying and screaming,'' Sheriff McKenzie said. "The crowd was after him.''. . .

This is the former Jacob L. Grubb Store on TN Highway 58 in Meigs County.  It was built in 1925.  Dawn Marie was hoping for a true ‘old time’ store where she could spend a little money but she was disappointed to discover that it was out of business.  The “Discover Tennessee – Trails and Byways” website suggests that the Grubb/Erwin’s Store is a "great place to grab a snack and experience an old time country store as they used to be…” The website has been updated this year but they missed the fact that this ‘store’ is now closed.
That’s about it for now… Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them.
Thanks for stopping by for a bit of East Tennessee history!
Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

Monday, April 15, 2013

A Search for Greek Food in East Tennessee…

Laurie and I do miss the ethnic restaurants that we enjoyed during our 27 years in the Chicago area. (Please understand that we don’t miss Chicago’s traffic, the scenery, the millions of people or the weather!)

In downtown Chicago’s ‘Greek Town’, there is a very nice restaurant named Santorini. We had a corner Greek restaurant called Rose Garden in Elk Grove Illinois where we went for heaping platters of gyros and pita with tzatziki sauce.  There was enough garlic in this dish that we both had to order gyros to be able to stand each other.  We also didn’t order gyros if we had any appointments or social engagements within the next 24 hours!
We just never got around to trying Ali Baba’s in Knoxville before they decided to retire and we discovered that our ‘dining out card’ for Athena was useless because that restaurant was closed… Was there no hope?!

When Dawn Marie’s last visit drew to a close, she flew back to Miami via Chattanooga’s airport…so that gave us a chance to check out any Greek restaurants in the southeast corner of Tennessee.  This is The Acropolis, just off of I-75, north of Chattanooga.  It has been in business for many years so we were very hopeful!

Our first visual was promising… Like many Chicago neighborhood Greek owned restaurants, there was a display of desserts by the front door.  The dining room, (above), had a warm feeling…and it felt right as compared to our past experiences.
Teddy Kyriakidis opened his first restaurant in New Jersey back in ca. 1958.  The Acropolis is his second restaurant in the Chattanooga area.  His first place was in business for 13 years and The Acropolis Grill has been open for almost 18 years!

I couldn’t find our appetizer on the Acropolis Grill’s on-line menu.  This was a combination of Greek spreads with pita bread and toast points. ($7.00) This really wasn’t my thing but both Laurie and Dawn Marie thought that it was pretty good.
 
I had a bowl of the Avgolemono soup with my lunch.  Laurie also had a cup of this soup… Avgolemono or egg-lemon soup is a family of Mediterranean sauces and soups made with egg and lemon juice mixed with broth…  As a soup, it usually starts with chicken broth.  Typically, rice, orzo, pastina, or tapioca is cooked in the broth before the mixture of eggs and lemon is added. 
Unfortunately, this version of Avgolemono soup just didn’t do it for us.  It appeared that a little orzo had been added to the mix but the soup was much thinner…more broth-like…than what we’d become used to in Chicago.  It lacked the substance which I believe usually modifies the lemony taste.

I ordered the Gyros Dinner. ($9.95) It came with the preceding bowl of soup… I’m guessing that this is a luncheon portion as the price listed on-line is $10.95.
What’s with the ‘chunks’ of gyro meat?  We’ve never seen gyros served this way before.  Proper gyros should be sliced in strips from a ‘loaf’ of lamb, or beef and lamb, rotating on a vertical rotisserie spit.  Gyros usually have quite a bit of flavor as well…and this product didn’t ‘pop’ at all.  Spices used to make Gyros usually include salt, sweet paprika, white pepper, black pepper, parsley, garlic powder and dried oregano…and sometimes others!
Our impression was that these were pre-formed strips of gyro meat (or some semblance of gyro meat) that were pan-fried and served.  The only flavor that really came through was because the ‘chunks’ were grilled/fried.  Our gyros at Acropolis Grill were very disappointing.  For anyone interested in learning more about gyros, you can go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gyro_(food).

OK…enough about the gyros themselves!  The second key to great gyros is top notch tzatziki sauce.  Tzatziki sauce is to gyros like butter is to bread… Sadly, the tzatziki sauce at Acropolis matched the gyros themselves.  You could taste the yogurt and the cucumbers, but what happened to the usual ingredients…garlic, salt, olive oil and dill?  Can you spell ‘bland’?
In summary…for gyros and tzatziki sauce…you’d be better off ordering yours at the Sweetwater Flea Market in Sweetwater Tennessee.  While the Flea Market version isn’t great, they do have a bit of flavor and no chunks...they were sliced off of a vertical spit!
To be fair, Acropolis Grill has been in business for 18 years so they must be doing something right!  Our sampling of their offerings was very limited indeed.  I checked Trip Advisor and Acropolis Grill had a 70% recommended rating and it was listed as 61st out of 537 area restaurants.  http://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g54946-d394214-Reviews-Acropolis-Chattanooga_Tennessee.html.  Acropolis Grill is located at 2213 Hamilton Place Road in Chattanooga Tennessee.  Phone: 423-899-5341.  Website: http://www.acropolisgrill.com/.
Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them…
Thanks for stopping by for a visit!
Take Care, Big Daddy Dave