Friday, April 29, 2016

A Promising New Market Plus a Laid Back Day…

Somehow we’d never heard of a local market named Basket Case despite the fact that they had been in operation in the old depot in Greenback Tennessee for a few months before they moved to a new location…

This is Basket Case’s new location at 6811 US Highway 411 South in Greenback Tennessee.  The problem with their old location, in addition to definitely being off the path well-traveled, was that they couldn’t prepare food for lunches or takeout.  The old train depot just wasn’t critter proof even if it was charming. 

As I mentioned in the beginning, we didn’t even know that Basket Case existed.  This market had just opened when we stopped by for our first visit.  In addition to an interesting selection of mostly locally sourced food products, they are planning weekly farmer’s markets, hot lunches, sandwiches, specially prepared foods to go, etc. 

This load of goodies was the result of our first visit to Basket Case.  The peppered bacon was very good, the Caramel Puffcorn is long gone, (Laurie really liked it!), the Peanut Butter Spread is a winner, the Red Hot spice mixture does indeed kick it up a notch…and Troyer’s ‘Trail’ or ring Bologna is a real treat.  We haven’t tried the butter yet nor have we gotten around to the frozen spicy sausage.

We are hoping the Basket Case is a success!  It would add real variety to the food scene here in the Loudon and Monroe County areas.  Phone: 865-229-2416.  Basket Case is on Facebook at

On another spring morning, I decided that it was time to go fishing my way… Big Daddy Dave’s fishing preference is defined as a no pressure, laid back, comfortable, low energy effort…

It would be hard to find a better setting for a relaxing day of fishing.  The skies were blue, it was warm but not hot, the trees were greening up and some were still in bloom.
Better yet, Bev and her husband and fellow blogger Big Dude, (, have a great dock up a little cove on the lake that comes equipped with a cover, tables and lots of chairs.  There are even overhead fans to drive away the insects and provide a cool breeze when necessary.  I have been granted ‘fishing privileges’ on their dock so I just park my car, unload my gear, set up chairs on 3 or 4 spots on their big party dock and chill out… Sometimes I even catch fish!

I’m not even sure what types of fish these 4 were but I didn’t catch the usual bass or catfish.  The action wasn’t exactly fast paced on this particular day, but I did catch enough eatable size fish that I could have provided a meal for Laurie and me if I wanted to…or had to.  Of course, if that had been my goal I would have felt pressure to produce and then I would have had to clean and cook the fish… Just too much work… I released the fish back into the lake so I could catch them again on another day.  Then I went home I grilled a couple of steaks instead!

Retired and living the good life…

Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them.

Thanks for stopping by for a visit!

Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

More Leftovers for Breakfast

Of course, leftovers have to start with a previous meal, albeit from home or from a restaurant where too much food was served…or ordered!

So this posting about leftovers for breakfast started with a Fried Catfish Dinner at Z Fish House at 846 Mulberry Street in Loudon Tennessee.  The normal catfish dinner at Z Fish House includes 2 big filets along with French fries, coleslaw or beans with a big hush puppy on the side.  However, I talked her into adding another filet to the feast…in order to provide me with subsequent lunch or breakfast options.

It turned out that I didn’t really need to double up her order as Laurie couldn’t eat more than 1 filet.  I ended up with lots of leftovers!

So…I reheated the French fries and 1 filet in a frying pan with butter.  Then, once that everything was heated up, I placed the filet on top of the fries. 

Then of course, I topped the French fries and catfish filet with a couple of easy over eggs, adding Tabasco after I took the photo.  It was very good indeed!

This is what I did with the second leftover filet… I heated it in a frying pan in butter as before, but then I smothered it with shredded sharp cheddar cheese.  Much of the cheese crisped up in the fry pan and I scattered that crispy fried cheese over the melted cheese on top of the filet and then added the eggs and Tabasco.  This was an even better breakfast than the first one!  That crispy cheese added a flavor and texture level that made this breakfast pop!

My next leftover adaptation began with a Hawaiian food themed wine tasting party with some of our friends. 

I volunteered us to come up with a Hawaiian rice dish…something that we’d never made before.  It turned out very well and I was lucky to have some left over to enjoy later.  Here is the recipe that we used.

Hawaiian Rice
(Adapted from a recipe found at
Serves about 12


·       1 can of Spam (diced)
·       1 20 oz. can of diced pineapple (We drained the canned pineapple but if you wanted the dish to be sweeter, you could use some of the juice with the pineapple.  The original recipe called for crushed pineapple)
·       2 cups of long grain rice
·       4 cups of chicken stock
·       4 tbsp. of butter
·       1 medium onion (We used the equivalent in dried onion flakes)
·       2 cloves of garlic (We used the equivalent in pre-diced garlic from a jar)
·       A dash of salt
·       ½ tbsp. of crushed red pepper flakes (The recipe called for 1 tbsp. which would have made this dish too hot for some diners)
·       1 tbsp. of coarse ground black pepper
·       1 tsp. cumin
·       1 tsp. paprika
·       1 tsp. allspice
·       A small dash of cinnamon


·       Cook the rice in chicken stock with butter, salt, cumin, paprika, allspice and cinnamon.  Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer until the chicken stock is absorbed.
·       While the rice is simmering, brown the Spam, onions, garlic and pineapple in a large skillet with a lid on high heat.  Add the black pepper and the crushed red pepper flakes just before the mixture is done.
·       Combine the rice and Spam mixture.  Stir, reduce heat and cover.  Simmer for 5 more minutes.
·       Serve warm…

So, for breakfast I heated the Hawaiian rice mixture with butter in a frying pan.  Then I added a little leftover bacon…after all, it was breakfast time!

Then I dumped a ‘little’ sharp cheddar cheese on top of the mixture and let it melt in… I added a bit of spice to kick up the heat as well.

This is what it all looked like after everything had melded together…

Then of course, I just had to drop a couple of easy over eggs on top!  Tabasco was added after the photo was taken.  With the runny yokes, this made a nice creamy textured and satisfying way to start my day here in East Tennessee!

FYI…At least 98% of all leftovers in our house do not go to waste…

That’s all for now… Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them.

Thanks for stopping by for a light breakfast!

Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

Monday, April 25, 2016

Chinese Food in Madisonville Tennessee

We love good Chinese food so when we heard a few positive comments from our friends about a Chinese restaurant in nearby Madisonville Tennessee, we decided to give it a try…

This is La Fortune Cuisine.  It’s located in a strip mall just off the east side of US Hwy. 411.  A big Wal-Mart is located just north of this strip center.

The interior of La Fortune was a bit more upscale than we expected for a small town Chinese restaurant.  It is spacious and comfortable, providing a relaxing atmosphere…

We started out with hot tea, the usual crisps and a bowl of hot and sour soup.  The soup was decent…lots of mushrooms…but it wasn’t as spicy hot as we prefer and it could have been a bit warmer.

Then we ordered the Crab Rangoon as our appetizer. ($4.95) One of our friends who was their with a group, had cautioned us on this offering but we had already placed our order.  Our friend was right!  This was the strangest Crab Rangoon that we’ve ever had!  The wonton wrappers used to enclose the crab and cream cheese mixture were super thick and heavy…and they seemed to have sugar on them.?  Worse yet, if there was any crab in the filling, we must have missed it!  Not a winner…

Laurie chose the spicy Chicken in Szechuan Sauce for her dinner. ($8.95) It looked appetizing... The first problem was that despite the fact that she told our waitress that she wanted it extra spicy, there was absolutely no ‘heat’ in this dish.  Beyond that, the little bits of chicken seem ‘old’ or odd and didn’t taste right.  Needless to say, Laurie didn’t finish her meal…

I went with one of my standby choices for my entrée.  This was the Royal Chicken…white meat chicken battered and deep fried in a hot spicy sauce with broccoli. ($9.75) It was OK although it wasn’t spicy at all.  Once I procured some Chinese chili sauce, I was OK with my dinner.  It wasn’t my favorite version of this dish though, that’s for sure.

La Fortune Chinese Cuisine was a disappointment for us although the locals have supported it for a number of years.  The most positive comment I can offer is that you get a lot of food at a low cost.  

This restaurant is located near the Wal-Mart at 111 Kefauver Lane in Madisonville Tennessee.  Phone: 423-442-8899.  They are open Tuesdays through Sundays for lunch and dinner.  I couldn’t find a website for La Fortune Chinese Cuisine.  

Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them…

Thanks for stopping by to see what was for dinner!

Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

Friday, April 22, 2016

A Busy Spring Day in East Tennessee

Another spring day in East Tennessee… It turned out to be a busy one!  We started out by driving over to the AAA office in Maryville to stock up on maps and Tour Books so I could refine our trip plans for 2016…

After loading up with several bags of AAA items…including car trash bags…I decided to drive east on US Hwy. 321 and then take a back road south in the general direction of our house.  Well, I missed my turn and we ended up almost in the Smoky Mountains… I decided to jump on the Foothills Parkway as our alternate route home.  The views are always nice and there is usually very little traffic.

The Foothills Parkway is a National Parkway, only part of which is completed despite the fact that construction began back in 1960!  Funding for National Parkways has always been a problem and when coupled with environmental issues, progress on these projects has always been extremely slow.  The spectacular Blue Ridge Parkway took 5 decades to complete…

Despite cool temperatures for the day, the Smoky Mountains did indeed have that ‘smoky’ look.  The green in this valley helped enhance the photo.

The portion of the Foothills Parkway that we were on is called the Chilhowee Mountain Section.  Its 16.8 miles long.  The other portion of the Parkway that’s open is located in Cocke County Tennessee and its 5.7 miles long.  Despite the fact that a couple of major bridges have been completed on the ‘missing’ section of the Parkway, this 16.1 mile missing link still has a long way to go before it will open for visitors…   

As we drove along the Parkway, Laurie spotted this lone male turkey picking his way through the undergrowth just off the road… She has an eagle eye when it comes to spotting wildlife!

After driving the Parkway we stopped at our friends and fellow blogger, Big Dude (Larry) and Bev's house for some snacks, a lite lunch and adult libations... ( it was back home to reality. 

All play and no work makes me happiest but there comes a time when one has to face up to basic tasks that must be done!  One of our early spring chores was to clean up our garage and discard or recycle as much clutter as possible.  Laurie and I also cleaned up our storage room and sorted out about 150 paperback books for the local library’s spring book sale and fund raiser…

I just thought that I’d end this posting with a smile worthy photo!  This beautiful male red-bellied woodpecker just loves our feeder on the back deck!  He’s a daily visitor… The squirrels haven’t been too bad about raiding the feeder this year, although they do succeed once in a while.  The latest visitor has been a crow that somehow holds on while grabbing a bite from one of the suet cakes at the ends of the feeder.

Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them…

Thanks for stopping by for a visit!

Take Care, Big Daddy Dave 

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

This Could be a Good Location for a Restaurant!

Laurie and I are always hopeful whenever any new restaurants open anywhere within 30 minutes of our home in East Tennessee. 

Recently, Good Eats Café took over a spot in the center of downtown Loudon Tennessee, after the latest in a series of diner style restaurants in this location deservedly went out of business.  This is Good Eats Café’s 2nd location, the other being in nearby Lenoir City.  We’d eaten at the Lenoir City location a couple of times…and it was OK.  But it had been quite a while since our last visit to Good Eats so we decided to give this new location a try.

Note: Good Eats Café is located right next to the Tic Toc Ice Cream Parlor, in our opinion, the best ice cream parlor in the greater Knoxville area.  I reviewed the Tic Toc Ice Cream Parlor on Trip Advisor back in 2011.  To check it out go to

The inside of Good Eats has only undergone minimal changes since it operated as Shane’s.  Like most small town diners, the décor is simple and straightforward…

We arrived in time to order a late breakfast.  Laurie decided to forgo her normal bacon and eggs, instead going for the French Toast.  Unfortunately, it was not hot when served.  Not even warm! Note the 2 strips of bacon in the upper right hand corner of the photo.  Have you ever seen bacon that is practically transparent?  It didn’t have any flavor either…  Laurie’s breakfast was not a winner!

I ordered 2 eggs over easy with sausage, crispy hash browns and toast.  Apparently the grill cook doesn’t know how to make crispy hash browns and trust me, no butter or much else was used in cooking them either.  So I ended up with a mix of burnt hash browns in with the rest… The eggs were fine and the sausage patties were OK too.  The single slice of unbuttered toast came to the table with no butter on the table…

I had to ask for butter and the waitress forgot to bring ketchup and hot sauce as requested.  After 3 trips I had everything that I’d asked for.  FYI, the coffee was good… Nothing seemed to flow smoothly despite the fact that the restaurant wasn’t busy.

This view of downtown Loudon is looking up Grove Street toward the old Railroad Depot.  An art gallery, a clothing store an upscale liquor store and a special events theatre line the street.  The county courthouse facilities are right across the street in the other direction and there is a large furniture store across the street to the left of Tic Toc.  Two other antique stores are located within a block of the location…

Just across the square (actually a triangle with US Hwy. 11, the Lee Highway, on one side, sits this old home that has now been transformed into an antique store.

Right alongside that converted home sits Annabell’s Emporium, an antique shop, gift shop and café.  We haven’t eaten at Annabell’s yet but we will give it a try soon.  We have noted some positive local feedback…

So to revisit the title of this posting…   The location that is currently occupied by Good Eats Café could be a great place for a quality local diner!  It’s too bad that one hasn’t come along yet to take over the space…

Good Eats Café in Loudon TN had been open for a few weeks when we visited.  Perhaps it will improve.  The prices are very reasonable but I’d be willing to pay a dollar or two more per person for quality!

The Lenoir City location of Good Eats Cafe (for breakfast) is at least average.  The Loudon location has to improve just to get to average.  They are open for breakfast and lunch.  Perhaps lunch is better… The Loudon restaurant is located at 502 Grove Street.  Phone: 865-657-6368.  Website:   

Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them…

Thank for stopping by to see what’s for breakfast!

Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

Monday, April 18, 2016

Springtime in East Tennessee

Isn’t springtime wonderful!  It’s a season of rebirth, color and hope…

Here’s a view of some redbud trees mixed in with our dogwood trees just off our back deck…

This view is from our screened in porch looking out toward Tellico Lake.  In a very short period of time we won’t be able to see the lake or any of our neighbor’s homes other than the one close in to the left…

Another sure sign of spring…JD, the owner of the home we are allowed to share with him, back on the screened porch catching some warm morning sunshine!

A beautiful spring day and we decided to celebrate by making the drive over to Tellico Plains for lunch at the Tellico Grains Bakery.  We’re just lucky that this bakery isn’t closer to our house… The temptation would be strong to completely forget about that low carb diet.

The Tellico Grains Bakery was very busy on this beautiful day.  We arrived just before the lunch crowd hit while they still had some goodies in the bakery case as well as a decent selection of bread.  Tellico Grains Bakery has been open in this location since 2003.  They must be doing something right, don’t you think?!

I ordered my favorite sandwich for lunch…the “Waucheesi Club”.  This sandwich is constructed with thinly sliced smoked ham, roasted turkey, Benton’s Bacon, pepper-jack cheese, red onion, mayo, Dijon mustard, lettuce and tomato on toasted Sourdough bread.  This sandwich is very satisfying indeed!

Laurie ordered the “Sandwich Joe’s Italian”.  It’s made up with Genoa salami, pepperoni, Benton’s prosciutto, provolone, pesto mayo, pepperoncini’s, black olives, red onion, Dijon mustard, lettuce and tomato on an Herb Flatbread roll.  This is Laurie’s standby favorite at the bakery…

 Thinking back on it, if we’d just stopped with our sandwiches, from a dietary point, there would be no harm, no foul… But hey, the bakery case was loaded with goodies plus we needed some fresh bread to make some bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwiches for dinner the next day!

We ‘restrained’ ourselves…sort of.  We ‘only’ bought 4 each of the coconut cookies and oatmeal raisin cookies. (The oatmeal raisin cookies are the best ever!) But then we did buy 2 of the blueberry scones and 2 of the raspberry scones…breakfast for the next 2 mornings.  We also picked up a loaf of Tellico Grains’ sourdough bread for those BLT’s… 

FYI, Tellico Grains Bakery is located at 105 Depot Street in Tellico Plains Tennessee.  Phone: 423-253-6911.  The Bakery is open Tuesday through Saturday from 8 AM to 4 PM.  Website:

Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them…

Thanks for stopping by for a visit!

Take Care, Big Daddy Dave 

Friday, April 15, 2016

Quality Local Dining Options – Loudon County TN

Recently we returned to a couple of local restaurants for dinner… In both instances, we were pleased with our meals so I thought that I’d share them with anyone living in the area or who might be passing through.

Our first stop was at Aubrey’s in Lenoir City.  This big restaurant is at somewhat of a disadvantage due to its location sitting back high on a hill near US Hwy. 321.  It’s next to a Hampton Inn, a hospital and behind a Cracker Barrel.  Visibility by prospective diners from the highway is limited…

We both started out with a Caesar Salad. ($4.00 with entrée) While it isn’t the prettiest salad ever, it was very nice indeed with the necessary bite of anchovy as well as the parmesan cheese.

I tried something new for me… This is the Peanut Crusted Catfish. ($13.00) Aubrey’s flash-fries catfish filets and serves them with a nice lemon caper sauce.  I chose the baked yellow squash as my side.  I liked the catfish but I was disappointed with the squash.  It wasn’t very warm and it didn’t have much flavor.

Admittedly this isn’t the prettiest entrée you’ve ever seen… However the Haystack Pasta is one of Laurie’s favorite dishes. ($13.00) It consists of grilled chicken, sautéed mushrooms, parmesan cheese and mushroom cream sauce served over linguine.  Once again she was a happy camper! She took half of it home & it made for a nice meal the next day!

Aubrey’s in Lenoir City is near the I-75/US Hwy. 321 interchange at 401 Town Creek Road East.  Phone: 865-986-3113.  Website:

One of the best additions to the local dining scene has been Z Fish House on the Lee Highway in Loudon.  The owner/chef spent many years working in restaurants in the Florida Keys and he’s brought his experience to this new and very casual restaurant.

Like the Haystack Pasta shown in the previous photo, this may not be the prettiest foodie photo ever but it was good eating!  This is the Fried Calamari Appetizer. ($10.00) It was very good indeed with a nice dipping sauce and lots of fresh shaved parmesan…

I decided on the Shrimp Dinner.  You can have them fried, grilled or blackened.  For sides I ordered the coleslaw and the black beans.  Many of our friends love the coleslaw but since I don’t like peppers, it isn’t for me.  I really like the black beans though…

During our previous visit to Z Fish House, I noted that they will double your fish/seafood for your dinner for only $5.00 more.  Without hesitation, I doubled my order. ($17.00) The shrimp were large, fresh and not overly breaded.  They were just excellent!

After all of that calamari, Laurie decided that she’d just be happy with a big bowl of Z Fish House Clam Chowder.  At only $3.00 a bowl, this is a sweet deal!  The chowder is excellent too…

Other seafood options include a very nice fried clam basket, an amazing fried catfish dinner (2 huge filets!), as well as rainbow trout, grouper, salmon and mahi-mahi…all prepared in multiple ways as requested by diners…

Z Fish House is located at 846 Mulberry Street in Loudon Tennessee.  Phone: 865-657-6200.  I could not locate a website for this restaurant.

Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them…

Thanks for stopping by for a taste of East Tennessee!

Take Care, Big Daddy Dave