Monday, February 10, 2014

Lunch Time! How About a Chain Restaurant?

Laurie and I were over in Knoxville running errands and it was time for lunch.  We’d seen repeated advertisements on TV for O’Charley’s Restaurants.  I hadn’t eaten at O’Charley’s for many, many years and the experience hadn’t been that positive.  Back in the 1990s a member of my team and I were visiting stores and we had needed a ‘fuel stop’.  As I recall, that’s about as high as I’d been able to rate it at the time…

So…it was time to give O’Charley’s another try…

This is the O’Charley’s location in Knoxville’s Turkey Creek shopping area.  It always seemed busy whenever we’d driven by…

The interior of the restaurant was clean, bright and cheerful.

O'Charley's is a chain of casual dining restaurants with more than roughly 220 company-owned locations.  O'Charley's is located in 18 Southern and Midwestern states, including 4 franchised locations in Michigan, 4 in Ohio, 3 joint venture O'Charley's restaurants in Louisiana, and 1 joint venture O'Charley's location in Wisconsin.

Here’s another view of the interior of Knoxville’s Turkey Creek O’Charley’s Restaurant.  Note the full bar.

This restaurant chain was ‘born’ in Tennessee.  Charley Watkins founded O'Charley's restaurant in 1969 with a single restaurant on 21st Avenue South in Nashville, just across the street from Vanderbilt University.  Watkins ran O'Charley's from 1969 to 1984 when he sold the restaurant to an investor who wanted to expand the concept.  

Our waiter started us out with these nice rolls.  Since we were ordering sandwiches, we didn’t need them but we took the opportunity to evaluate their quality.  The rolls were warm, had a decent chewy texture and the butter was soft and whipped…as it should be!  We have never understood cold butter served with bread or especially with warm rolls…

I ordered the Southern Fried Chicken Sandwich. ($8.99) This consisted of a hand-breaded chicken breast lightly fried and served on Ciabatta bread with white cheddar cheese, applewood-smoked bacon, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, pickles and O’Charley’s spicy jalapeño mayonnaise. I opted for a premium side of asparagus ($1.49) instead of French Fries.

The sandwich was large and it was very nice…with lots of flavor and textures going on.  I would definitely order it again.  The lightly grilled asparagus was good too but it was just a touch too salty. 

Laurie went with one of O’Charley’s lunch combos.  In her case she ordered the ½ Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato Sandwich with French fries and a cup of the soup of the day. ($6.59) In this case, the soup was cheddar beer cheese. I also noted that the menu mentioned that O’Charley’s rolls are automatically served with these lunch combos.
Laurie thouroughly enjoyed her lunch and we thought that it was an excellent value.  Overall, we enjoyed our meal!  O’Charley’s food was certainly much better than I remembered.  Based on our first glance, I think that O’Charley’s food is superior to TGI Friday’s, Chili’s or Applebee’s.  We will give it another try…perhaps for dinner.

This particular O’Charley’s Restaurant (#366) is located at 11036 Parkside Drive (Turkey Creek) in Knoxville Tennessee.  Phone: 865-675-4244.  For more information on this chain of casual dining restaurants and to view the menu, you can just go to

Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them…

Thanks for stopping by for lunch!

Take Care, Big Daddy Dave 


  1. Well I am glad that your second experience was better than the first! Those sandwiches look delicious and thick which is always a good sign...and those rolls look perfect. I agree. I hate cold hard butter on soft bread...never works.


  2. Dear Dave, This is a nice place to stop and get a bite to eat. The food sounds good and the prices sound affordable.
    I like what each of you ordered and I am happy that you both enjoyed it.
    Blessings, Catherine

  3. David I love when you and Laurie go to lunch or dinner, these food look delicious!! xxxxx

  4. I checked and saw that there are several of these restaurants around us, the closest in Acworth, GA. I have never visited them so we’ll give it a try next time we go in that direction.

    I read your post about your aunt’s 100th birthday. How wonderful to have an aunt of that age. It is also very nice that you live not too far away. My mother was an only child and my father had a sister who lived in Cairo, Egypt. To get her family together would have meant people coming from Turkey, France, Russia, Syria, Armenia, Albania, Lebanon, Japan, Singapore, Greece, Canada, Australia and more …. and me from the US, not that easy! Actually I only saw her 3 times I think, twice in France and once in Egypt.

  5. So I miss Southern fried chicken. I try making it at home but the chickens here are not tender, and I don't know the secret recipe anyway:)