Friday, January 24, 2014

Hot Rod 50’s Revisited…

It was time for a movie, so Laurie, Dawn Marie and I went to see ‘American Hustle’ at Foothills Mall in Maryville Tennessee.  We all thought that it was a great movie… funny and entertaining with great acting!

So…where to eat after the movie?  It had been awhile since we’d been to Hot Rod 50’s, a nearby diner in Alcoa Tennessee that specializes in piles of comfort food… Since it was only a couple of miles from the theater, the location worked for us too!

This is Hot Rod 50’s Diner at night in the winter… Note the closed in patio which provides extra seating in the winter.  We checked and it was a bit too cold on the patio for us to be comfortable…

The atmosphere at Hot Rod 50’s is a bit over the top…a 50’s rock and roll diner to the max!  Hot Rods 50's Diner is not a franchise.  It is a family owned and operated business that relies strongly on what their customers tell them.  This restaurant’s motto is that they ‘offer great food, great atmosphere, and great service all at a great price”.

Laurie had been craving a Frito Pie… Hot Rod 50’s version is called a Frito Pie Casserole. ($7.99) Basically, it consisted of Frito corn chips covered with chili and cheese with more corn chips on top.  They bake their version and it’s served with sour cream, lettuce and tomato. 

Laurie reported that it was OK…but it wasn’t what she thought of when remembering back to Frito Pies in her teenage years.  She’d prefer a big dish of Fritos, smothered in hot chili and shredded cheese.  Forget baking it…as it changed the texture of the dish.

Hot Rod 50’s has a huge menu!  Among the entrees and casseroles listed, I noted the Deep Fried Turkey Dinner, Hot Rod’s signature dish. ($11.99) This entrée consists of sliced deep-fried turkey breast, served with dressing, gravy, and homemade cranberry sauce…along with 2 sides and Texas toast!  Another item on the menu, which was a regular at our house when I was a kid, is the Shepherd’s Pie. ($7.99) This casserole is made with seasoned ground chuck sautéed with onions, carrots, peas, and mushrooms, then topped with mashed potatoes and cheese and then until baked golden brown.

Dawn Marie ordered the Chili Cheese Dog Dip. ($7.99) This consists of Hot Rod 50’s Angus hot dog topped with melted American cheese and served with a side of homemade chili for ‘dippin’.  No complaints there…except that she prefers her chili without beans.
Hot Rod 50’s has 16 Hot Dog combinations you can order. How about the Inferno Dog? ($7.99) This is their Angus hot dog topped with pepper jack cheese and XXX peppers.  As they say, “CAUTION! Order at your own risk! VERY HOT”...  Then there is the Guacamole Dog. ($7.99) It doesn’t sound good to me…a hot dog topped with fresh guacamole?  My favorite would be the “Woody” Dog. ($8.99) This is a deep fried Angus hot dog wrapped in bacon & cheddar.  Yum!  All hot dogs are served with one side item…

Dawn Marie also ordered a side of Creamy Cheese Grits. ($2.29) While they certainly weren’t the best she ever had, they were good.

Other sides include; a House Salad; Baked Beans; Tater Tots; Cole Slaw; Ribbon Fries; French Fries; Steamed Broccoli; Fried Okra; Rice Pilaf; Sweet Potato Fries; a Cup of Soup; Cottage Cheese; Creamy Cheese Grits; Onion Rings; Sliced Tomatoes; Macaroni and Cheese; Candied Carrots; Chunky Apple Sauce; Sweet Kernel Corn; Mashed Potatoes; Caesar Salad; Side Spaghetti; a Cup of Chili, and; Stuffing.  Making a decision can be challenging!

I ordered the 2/3 pound Jalapeno Burger. (1/3 lb. $7.99 or 2/3 lb. $9.99) Hot Rod 50’s topped their large steak burger with pepper jack cheese and their jalapeno bottle caps.  Not only was the burger very good…cooked medium rare as requested…those jalapeno bottle caps with the pepper jack cheese provided that little bit of extra ‘bite’ that I enjoy!

The burgers at Hot Rod 50’s are a specialty and they’re very good.  There are no less than 47 varieties and combinations to choose from.  A customer’s first visit can be a bit overwhelming just trying to read the huge menu…and then make a decision.
For the truly ambitious…or who are just into gluttony, they can go with the Chubby Challenge!  This is a giant 33 oz. triple decker burger, smothered with American cheese and garnished with lettuce, tomato, onion and pickles.  It is served with a pound of French fries! ($17.99) The challenge is that if you eat it all, (including the French fries), within 30 minutes of its arrival at your table, you get a FREE Chubby T-Shirt and your picture will be posted on the walls of fame!  The scary part is that there are dozens and dozens of photos posted on the walls showing people who’ve achieved the Chubby Challenge!

Since we’d lost all semblance of control anyway…from a dietary standpoint…we decided to order some dessert.  I enjoyed this very nice vanilla shake! ($3.49) Hot Rod 50’s thick shakes are hand-spun made to order and, as you can see, they’re topped with real whipped cream and a cherry.

A number of fairly unusual desserts are offered as well.  How about a Fried Banana Split…enough for the table! ($6.99) This is a classic 50’s dessert with a twist. A banana is dipped in their cake and fried.  Then it’s served with chocolate, vanilla and strawberry ice cream.  Finally it’s topped with hot fudge, pineapple and strawberry toppings, chopped nuts, real whipped cream and cherries on top!  If that doesn’t do you in, try a Fried Twinkie Sundae. ($4.99) A Twinkie is dipped in their cake batter and deep fried.  Then it’s served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, topped with real whipped cream and raspberry sauce.  Wow!

Laurie and Dawn Marie both ordered ice cream with a topping. ($2.08 single scoop/$3.08 double scoop with a topping) The photo shows Laurie’s ice cream topped with caramel.  Dawn had hot fudge on hers.  Their desserts were a hit!

Our service was cheerful and helpful as usual and this is a fun place.  Although the ladies weren’t overwhelmed with their meals, sometimes it is just a matter of choices.  We can definitely recommend the burgers as well as the soda fountain productions!  My favorite sandwich of all is The Hog, a humongous pork tenderloin sandwich.  It comes with a side for only $7.99!

Hot Rod 50’s is located at 373 Hannum Street in Alcoa Tennessee.  Phone: 865-984-7171.  For the website and menu, go to

Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them…

Thanks for stopping by for a ‘lite’ après theatre dinner!

Take Care, Big Daddy Dave


  1. A movie and Hot Rods - hard to beat that for a good day.

  2. Hi Dave, Your post brings back memories of the good old days. That is what you get when you grew up in the 50's. The desserts reminded me of going to the soda shop where they had the old fashion soda bar. I have enjoyed reading your blog this morning. Have a great day. Hugs and Prayers from Your Missouri Friend.

  3. Dear Dave, That looks like a fun place to go and the food looks good. I bet you all had a good time.
    Glad to hear you all enjoyed the movie too. What a nice night out for the family.
    Blessings, Catherine

  4. What fun go to a movie and I love go to eat after it! Many times I dont see a movie.
    The food look delicious!