Monday, October 3, 2016

A Boat Ride to Dinner…

What a great way to spend an evening!  Dawn Marie came up from Miami and was visiting us for almost a week.  Our friends Charlie and Karen invited us to go out on their boat for a ride over to a local restaurant for dinner.

Here we are pulling away from the dock at Karen and Charlie’s home on Tellico Lake.  From the left: Charlie, Karen, Dawn Marie and my better half, Laurie.  It was a beautiful sunny day!

Although Tellico Lake has numerous developments along the shoreline, the northeast side of the lake is mostly wooded and pristine.  The lake is really a dam impoundment formed by Tellico Dam and connected directly to Fort Loudoun Lake and its hydroelectric dam.

Along the way to the restaurant, we passed a ‘raft off’, a situation where a number of boats/houseboats anchor and tie off together for swimming and/or a party.  It’s a common sight on Tellico Lake in the summer and early fall.

The bridge in the photo above carries US Hwy. 321 over the channel that links Tellico Lake to Fort Loudon Lake.  Between the 2 lakes, boaters can explore over 700 miles of shoreline!

The construction equipment on the bridge is part of a major construction project on the highway that will result in US 321 being redirected over a new 4-lane bridge that will cross the Tennessee River below the Fort Loudoun Dam as well as over a second 2-land span over this channel.  US 321 is a direct gateway from I-75 through Lenoir City Tennessee to Smoky Mountain National Park.

As we eased into the Fort Loudon Marina in Lenoir City Tennessee, we passed a number of larger boats including this rather spectacular houseboat, the “Little Palm”.  We were told that this houseboat was featured on a TV presentation about luxury houseboats.  To check out what life could be like on a very upscale houseboat, you can view photos at:

Another huge houseboat at the marina was pointedly named “His Idea”.  I believe there might be a story involved…or at least there was a dubious spouse who questioned someone’s judgment.  Unfortunately, my photo of the houseboat was too dark to publish.

While there are hundreds of boats and houseboats moored at the marina, there were a few easily viewed watercraft that really stood out.  Keep in mind that not only are there miles and miles of waterways just in these 2 adjoining lakes, but an intrepid boat or yacht owner can go from Knoxville to New Orleans if they are so inclined!

This was our destination for dinner.  This is Calhoun’s at the Marina in Lenoir City Tennessee.  Note the outdoor dining to the left of the photo.  Charlie pulled up and moored right next to those other boats.

This is an aerial photo of the Fort Loudon Marina in Lenoir City Tennessee.  The Fort Loudon Dam is at the right of the photo with the old/current 2-lane bridge that crosses over the top of the dam.  Fort Loudon Lake is in the foreground and tellico Lake is at the upper right beyond the bridge at the upper right center of the photo.  Calhoun's Restaurant at the Marina is located on the shore almost at the dead center of the picture.  

To learn more about the Fort Loudon Marina and the services offered, you can go to

Calhoun’s at the Marina is a large restaurant.  However, we opted to eat in the cozier bar area.  It has that ‘north woods’ rustic pine feeling that we like...

There are 9 Calhoun’s locations in East Tennessee.  Calhoun’s is part of the Copper Cellar Restaurant Group.  Other restaurants in the group include Smoky Mountain Brewery, Cherokee Grill, Cappuccino’s, Chesapeake’s and of course, Copper Cellar Restaurants.  To learn more about this restaurant group, go to

FYI…This was our view of the marina from our table.  Even though it was after Labor Day, it was a Friday and it was still quite warm out so we had a bit of boat traffic to view as we dined.

Our waitress started us out with this basket of garlic buns and corn bread muffins.  The garlic buns were very nice and the corn muffins were better than average…

Karen ordered the Chicken Teriyaki Dinner, one of her favorites. ($13.00)  The chicken was basted with teriyaki sauce.  Normally it’s served over rice but Karen ordered hers with a baked potato.

I went for the 10 oz. version of the “Ale” Steak Sirloin. ($18.95) This steak was marinated in olive oil, mustard, garlic and Calhoun’s Cherokee Red Ale.  Before serving it was topped with Worcestershire butter.  The steak was very flavorful and tender.  In addition, it was cooked medium rare as I’d requested!  My 2 sides were just fine.

Dawn Marie decided that she’d order the Southern Fried Salad ($11.00) for dinner…with a side of Macaroni and Cheese. ($3.00) There was plenty of fried chicken, bacon, egg and cheese on her salad and she liked the mac ‘n cheese. 

Dawn Marie pulled a ‘sneak attack’ on Charlie and me… When she excused herself to visit the restroom, she’d cornered the waitress and told her that she wanted the bill after dinner.  Thanks Dawn!  Talk about an enjoyable dinner…!

Charlie went for the more modest 7 oz. “Ale” Steak Sirloin and he chose rice for one of his sides. ($14.95) He had corn pudding as his second side and he really liked it.  His steak was also cooked properly and he enjoyed it very much…

Laurie decided that she’d go for the Prime Rib Sandwich. ($16.75) Her sandwich was served on a toasted bun and it was served with au jus and horseradish sauce.  For a side she chose the Spinach Maria.  She really liked her sandwich and her spinach side dish! (Note: The Prime Rib Sandwich is available only on Friday and Saturday)

In conclusion, we were a happy bunch of boaters!  Service was just fine and the food was very nice…certainly above average.  I will note that Calhoun’s is ‘known’ for its BBQ.  However BBQ comes in many different styles and everyone has their favorites.  No one in our group cares for Calhoun’s BBQ but we were happy to find entrees that we could enjoy…

Calhoun’s by the Marina is located at 4550 City Park Drive in Lenoir City Tennessee.  Phone: 865-988-9838.   The specific website for this Calhoun’s location is at

Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them…

Thanks for joining us for a boat ride and dinner.  When we got back to Karen and Charlie’s we played a rousing and highly competitive game of Mexican Train Dominoes… A good time was had by all!

Take Care, Big Daddy Dave 

1 comment:

  1. The boat ride looks like such fun, Dave, and the dinner...all the dishes look scrumptious! What a great time!