Monday, March 16, 2015

Another Restaurant Chain Comes to Town

Just about any chance we have, Laurie and I will go and check out new dining options in the greater Knoxville area.  When a new chain opened recently, we decided to give it a try…

This is the Carolina Ale House in Knoxville Tennessee.  This small regional chain is based in Raleigh North Carolina and it has locations in 6 states.  They can be found in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Tennessee and Texas. 

Here are a couple of interior photos of the restaurant.   This is a family orientated sports bar/restaurant.  Television screens are everywhere!  

As per the Carolina Ale House website, their “menu goes beyond the typical sports bar fare to satisfy all cravings and our wide selection of ales is recognized as one of the best in the market.  From open to close, multiple games are aired simultaneously on two large screens and 46 other TV’s at every Carolina Ale House location. The restaurants’ game area has activities for all ages, including pool tables, video games, pinball machines and foosball tables.”

Laurie started out with a crock of French Onion Soup. ($4.99) On the menu it is described as “Slow-cooked caramelized onions in a flavorful broth. Topped with house made garlic croutons and melted Swiss cheese.  She thought that it was just OK…nothing special.

The menu has something for just about everyone.  There are wings, chicken ‘tenders’, 9 appetizers, several sandwiches and wraps, chili, 7 different salads, pizzas, tacos, 10 entrees, 7 burgers and 3 desserts.

I ordered the Caribbean Fish Tacos. ($8.59) I had a choice of grilled or hand-battered Atlantic cod with spicy mayo, coleslaw, plus pico de gallo and mango salsa in soft flour tortillas. They are normally served with seasoned rice but I opted for a side of coleslaw.  The coleslaw was OK but the fish tacos were a big (or little) disappointment.  There was very little fish involved and if it wasn’t for the salsa, the tacos would have been flavorless…

Laurie ordered the Carolina Dipper. ($8.99) As per the menu, this sandwich incorporates tender smoked beef brisket on a toasted hoagie roll with caramelized onions and melted pepper jack cheese.  As you can see, it came with au jus and a side of French fries.  The sandwich was just OK and the fries were below average…

The restaurant was bright and cheerful, service was satisfactory and the price was right…for standard food ‘fuel’.  I would have gladly paid a dollar or so more to have enough fish on my tacos that I could actually taste it… Nevertheless, it probably isn’t fair to shoot down a restaurant after one brief visit and limited exposure to the menu.  The problem is…there wasn’t much to encourage us to return for a second try…

Carolina Ale House is located at 9045 Kingston Pike (US Hwy. 11) in Knoxville Tennessee.  Phone: 865-690-7800.  The Website can be found at:

Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them…

Thanks for dropping by for lunch!

Take Care, Big Daddy Dave


  1. Looks like a nice place and their prices were very reasonable. Too bad that the food was disappointing. We very rarely eat at chain restaurants for that very reason. There are a few exceptions, but they are few & far between.

    Happy St. Paddy's Day to you and Laurie.

  2. Always feel hungry with food you sharing with us David ! and still I dont make the dinner so Im hungry again!
    Tell Laurie I love french onion soup too!!

  3. Warm greetings from Montreal, Canada. This place looks friendly and laid back, and the onion soup looks delicious! :)

  4. Looking so lovely restaurant. I never tried French onion soup in my life, but it seems yummy. I just love the flavour of onion and garlic in my every dish. I am going to order Tacos and onion soup on my next visit to Boston restaurants.

  5. It is too bad that your food was so disappointing there because your pictures make it look delicious! Fish tacos are one of my favorite things, but your portion does look like it is severely lacking in the fish department. Hopefully they have stepped up and their food is a little better now!