Friday, January 11, 2019

Friends and Food…

If you’re not into food photos, this posting won’t be your cup of tea.  Once you get to the photo of our friends Bev and Larry, it’s literally all about pictures of food either from restaurants or at home! 

We invited Bev and Larry over for snacks/brunch and wine before they began their annual travels to Marco Island.  Bev, her sister Pat, Bev and Larry’s housemate Cindy and Larry himself…all take turns going back and forth for a couple of weeks.  Pat and Bev stay the whole time while Larry and Cindy trade off so someone is home to take care of the dogs.

So the cheese plate included several varieties including brie, Gouda, Manchego, sharp cheddar, feta and blue.  Crackers and French bread with Amish butter provided support for the cheese and meat plates.

We had this nice bowl of marinated shrimp.  They were from Fresh Market and the shrimp were nicely seasoned… (There were leftover shrimp which I ‘re-purposed’ as you’ll see below)

We had 4 different types of salami that we’d picked up at Costco and we’d purchased some terrific grapes at Fresh Market.  Those big green grapes were exceptional!

You’re right!  We definitely overbought for a party of 4… The good news is that Laurie and I didn’t have to cook much for a couple of days as we worked through the excess goodies.

The 3 varieties of salmon came from Costco while the marinated olive/feta cheese/garlic clove mixture were from Fresh Market.

I took this photo of Bev, Larry and Laurie seated around the table.  Did I mention that we also partook of a bit wine too? 

…and of course, we just had to have dessert after all of the other goodies!  This beautiful fruit tart was purchased at Fresh Market.  It’s one of our standby desserts when we have company.

Remember all of those shrimp in the preceding photo?  In the spirit of Larry, (aka Big Dude at, who is the Master of Breakfast Creations, I decided to create a simple breakfast of shrimp on English muffins halves topped with a couple of over-easy eggs.  It might have been OK if the shrimp weren’t marinated.  It was however, a breakfast fail! (I ate it though…) 

Confession is good for the soul…right?  This was another breakfast fail!  Laurie, Dawn Marie and yours truly had dinner at Hot Rod 50’s in Maryville Tennessee one night before Christmas.  We had ordered a large portion of French fries with Chili and Cheese. (It was very good at the time!) The order was so huge that we brought a big part of it home.  Dawn thought that I could heat it up in a frying pan and top it with an egg for breakfast. 

It sounded like a good idea at the time but it just didn’t translate well in reality.  Perhaps more chili would have helped…

Laurie doesn’t bake very often…a good thing for our mutual health.  But at Christmas she got the baking bug, producing a raft of sugar cookies, some lemon frosted as well as Scottish shortbread. (Latter not pictured here)

We’ve been eating cookies ever since, even as I wrote this a few days after Christmas!  Laurie packed up a bunch of the sugar cookies along with some shortbread for delivery to friends Linda and Norm.

Now onto some restaurant cuisine… These are Winter Shrimp from Thai Bistro in Loudon Tennessee. ($8.00) Pretty, aren’t they?  Whole shrimp are marinated in Thai herbs, wrapped in rice paper and deep fried then served with plum sauce.  They were very nice but they were a bit too bland for my taste. 

Talk about nice presentation!  This is Thai Bistro’s Chili James Mussels. ($16.00) New Zealand mussels are sautéed in a sweet chili sauce and they’re served with onion, scallions, bell peppers and Thai basil.  Laurie really liked this entrée and she would definitely order it again.

FYI, I didn’t include photos of items we’d ordered previously at Thai Bistro.  Laurie had her usual favorite appetizer, Crab Rangoon. ($6.00) For my entrée I had my usual Pad Thai with Chicken (Heat Level 5) ($11.00)

After the appetizers and entrees, we decided to share a dessert.  This was the Banana Delight. ($6.00) Pastry skins were filled with banana, chocolate and coconut and then deep fried.  It was topped with chocolate drizzle and vanilla ice cream.  Yum!

Thai Bistro at Tellico Village is located at 222 Lakeside Plaza in Loudon Tennessee.  Phone: 865-657-6440.  This restaurant’s website is at:

A bit earlier, Laurie and I had a late breakfast at Scrambled Jake’s in Knoxville Tennessee.  I’d seen this huge cinnamon roll during a previous visit and I ‘had to’ give it a try!  It’s called the Sin-O-Man Roll. ($4.45) I thought that while parts of it were tasty, it was too dry with inconsistent flavor throughout.  Perhaps it was because it was made earlier in the day.

For her breakfast, Laurie ordered the Florentine Scrambler. ($11.00) It included 3 cage free eggs scrambled with fresh spinach, cremini mushrooms and Duroc pit ham topped with Swiss cheese and baked over a breakfast potato casserole.

Laurie wasn’t very happy with her breakfast.  The dish was too dry…not creamy enough…and there were too many potatoes under the egg mixture.

On the other hand, I was quite happy with my breakfast.  It’s hard to go wrong with Grilled Salmon. ($14.25) In this case, wild Scottish salmon was chargrilled and served with 2 over-easy cage free eggs, sided with grilled asparagus and Hollandaise sauce. (The menu called for the salmon to be topped with fruit salsa?  In my mind that would have ruined a good breakfast entrée…

Scrambled Jake’s certainly has an imaginative menu and it is a popular place.  We’ll return to try the pancake, waffle, French toast part of the menu.  This restaurant is located at 7428 South Lakeshore Drive in Knoxville Tennessee.  Phone: 865-540-6199.  The restaurant’s website is at

On yet another occasion, Laurie and I visited Hot Rod 50’s in Maryville Tennessee.  I’ve only pictured items that we hadn’t tried before as we’ve been here many times.  This was my Woody Dog. ($9.99) This big Angus hot dog was stuffed with cheddar cheese and then wrapped with 6 slices of bacon…and of course it was deep fried!  Terrific!  It came with a side and I chose cottage cheese.  Of course, we’d already shared an order of Laurie’s favorite Fried Pickle Chips…

Laurie decided to try Hot Rod 50’s Pastrami Melt on Rye. ($9.99) The fresh pastrami and Swiss cheese and served on grilled rye bread.  She liked it but she would have preferred it if the stack of pastrami had been sliced thinner.  

As I’ve gotten older, I have found that I crave sweets more often than I did before.  In this case, I really went over the top, ordering Hot Rod 50’s Fried Honey Bun Sundae. ($5.99) A Honey Bun is dipped in cake batter and deep fried.  Then it’s topped with vanilla ice cream and drizzled with warm caramel sauce and topped with whipped cream.  It was pretty good but it was a bit too sweet for me… I prefer the Fried Twinkie Sundae!

Hot Rod 50’s menu is huge!  We love this place for its atmosphere, food and pricing.  Hot Rod 50’s is located at 373 Hannum Street in Alcoa Tennessee.  Phone: 865-984-7171.  This restaurant’s expansive website is at:

One last stop on my 2018 end of the year foodie trek!  We had dinner one evening at Z Fish House.  Laurie started out with a big bowl of Conch Chowder. ($6.00) She really enjoyed it!

FYI…Z Fish House is an unassuming family operated seafood restaurant in Loudon Tennessee.  They do serve other cuisine but unless you don’t like seafood, ordering ‘standard fare’ wouldn’t make sense.  This local restaurant offers catfish, mahi mahi, grouper, rainbow trout, salmon, tuna, flounder, oysters and clams.  The fresh fish can be prepared in just about any way that you might want!

I ordered the Clam Chowder. ($6.00) Unfortunately, although it was ‘white’, it wasn’t what I’m used to and prefer…good old New England clam chowder.  This chowder just had too much going on with added ingredients for my taste.

Laurie ordered the special for the evening, Coquilles St. Jacques. ($21.00) This entrée consisted of scallops in a wine and cream sauce topped with grated cheese and then browned in a broiler.  Laurie thought that it was quite nice.  She chose cornbread muffins and potato salad as her sides.

I went for something a bit more straightforward.  This was my Fried Shrimp Dinner. ($12.00) The jumbo shrimp were accompanied with seasoned French fries and 2 nice oversized hush puppies.  I was very happy with my dinner!

Z Fish House is located at 846 Mulberry Street (US Hwy. 11) in Loudon Tennessee.  Phone: 865-657-6200.  This restaurant is on Facebook at

…and so ends this lengthy food post!  Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them.

Thank for stopping by for a food tour!

Take Care, Big Daddy Dave


  1. I love salmon....
    seems that you have a big party....
    happy new year

  2. This post is food heaven pure, friend Dave … smiles … Meanwhile in Canada ... this cat is climbing back onto the Keto wagon after falling off the said wagon in Mexico … smiles … Love, cat.

  3. It surely was a fine spread you laid out for us and I like your leftovers breakfast - I believe you may now be the master of leftovers. Laurie's Florentine Scrambler sure looks good as does her scallops from Z's - I need to pay more attention to their specials.