Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Our Wine Tasting Group – A Change of Pace

Our friends, Holly and Joel, had suggested that for a change of pace our wine group should meet at a local restaurant for drinks and appetizers.  The group enthusiastically seized upon the idea!

Our group agreed to meet at the Calhoun’s Restaurant, which is located at the marina on Fort Loudon Lake in Lenoir City Tennessee.  There are 9 Calhoun’s locations in East and Middle Tennessee.  Calhoun’s claim to fame is their BBQ pork ribs although I must admit that Laurie and I have never been impressed with them… Perhaps we’ve had too many great ribs in too many parts of the USA.  On the other hand, BBQ is a matter of personal taste and preference… 

This is an interior view of the Lenoir City Calhoun’s.  We were appropriately seated in the bar area.  Joel and Holly had arrived early to ensure that we had a table big enough for our gathering…

Calhoun’s is part of the Copper Cellar Restaurant Family of Restaurants.  Other Copper Cellar Restaurants in Eastern Tennessee include the original Copper Cellar, Chesapeake’s, Cherokee Grill and Steakhouse and 4 Smoky Mountain Brewery locations.  To learn more about these restaurants, you can go to

This is a winter view of the marina from our table at Calhoun’s.  It’s been a cold winter and we’ve even had a bit of measurable snow.  However those of you from the upper Midwest and Northeastern parts of the country may note the lack of ice!  By comparison with our former home in the Chicago metro area, this winter in East Tennessee has been a cakewalk!

We just took a few food photos… These are Joel and Holly’s Rocky Top Potato Skins with hickory-smoked bar-b-que pork, cheese and bacon. ($8.50) They’ve ordered them before and they really like them.

Did I forget to mention that Wednesday’s are special at the bar in Calhoun’s?  All appetizers are only $5.00, domestic beer is $2.50 and mixed drinks are $3.00!  What a deal!  Needless to say, the bar was busy when we arrived and it was packed before long…

Laurie and I ordered the Beer Cheese Dip With tortilla chips. (Normally $7.75) The price was right at $5.00 but the cheese dip was too bland for us.

Other appetizers on the menu include: White Chicken Chili Soup, (cup $3.75 or bowl $5.75); Spinach Artichoke Dip ($8.00); Southern Fried Green Tomatoes ($7.00); Char-Grilled Shrimp ($8.50); Fried Mozzarella ($6.75); Fresh Baked Soft Pretzels With warm pretzel mustard ($5.95), or with warm Beer Cheese Dip ($8.95); Fried Pickles ($7.00); Chicken Quesadillas Anaheim, jalapeño and roasted red peppers ($8.00) or; Hand Breaded Chicken Tenders ($8.75)

Our second appetizer was a double order of Naked Wings that are simply seasoned, fried crisp and served with a sauce for dipping.  We added a second sauce…Hot and Spicy!  A single order would normally cost $8.95 and a double order is $15.95.  Our double order was only $10.00! 

The wings were very good and we would order them again.  We’ll also be tempted to try the fried green tomatoes; the fried pickles and the spinach artichoke dip… On the regular menu, I really like the sound of the “Ale” Steak Sirloin which is marinated in olive oil, mustard, garlic and their Cherokee Red Ale and then it’s topped with Worcestershire butter. (7 oz. $13.75 and 10 oz. $17.75) Pork chops are prepared in the same way… (1 chop $10.50 or 2 chops $15.50)

This is Chris… He was our very patient and helpful waiter!  Serving a group like ours can be a challenge that is complicated by separate checks and different orders for each couple.  We did learn that Calhoun’s and many other restaurants have dropped the automatic 18% gratuity for large groups as it impacts the new government health care formula for businesses…

Chris also took the best photo of our group.  I tried to take a good picture and failed after 3 attempts.  Part of the problem was one unnamed member of the group who kept covering his face… In any case, this is the group.  Only Larry and Bev are missing.  From the left we have Charlie and his wife Karen, Holly and her husband Joel, Laurie and me, Irv and his wife Martha, Susan and her husband Dick and then Fred with his wife Jenny.

We had a great time!  This was a fun change of pace from our usual wine tasting.  Calhoun’s was a great venue.  We’ll be back for another round of appetizer and we plan to give the restaurant another try as well.  Calhoun’s at Fort Loudon Lake in Lenoir City is at 4550 City Park Drive.  Phone: 865-988-9838.  Calhoun’s Website and menu can be found at

Just click on any of the photos in order to enlarge them...

Thanks for stopping by for a visit!

Take Care, Big Daddy Dave


  1. OH, those potato skins and the wings look so delicious! I wish we had such a variety of food here in Sicily. Unfortunately Sicilians are very narrow-minded, they are not yet into ethnic food. In Catania and Palermo though there are several Indian, Japanese, Chinese and Mexican food. I hope they will come to Trapani.

  2. It all looks delicious and like great fun. There aren't enough words to express what this winter has been here. I was in through your old area of M.P. Saturday, not quite as much snow on the ground as here, but it's still nasty. And so cold--it's up to all of 2 degrees now. And I just heard we should expect up to 20" of new snow starting Friday through Monday. I'm speechless... I don't even want any pics of it all! Have a good rest of the week, my friend!

  3. Hate we missed it - our RV group sat at the same table back in Dec

  4. Dear Dave, This looks like a lot of fun and I am glad that you all enjoyed everything. Blessings, Catherine