Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Downtown Grill and Brewery

Once a month or so, we accompany a local group and we visit a restaurant in our area of East Tennessee.  Sometimes the locales are fancy and sometimes they’re easy going and laid back.  This latest experience relates to the laid back category…

In this instance, we drove into downtown Knoxville to partake in a dining and social experience at the Downtown Grill and Brewery.  This restaurant and brewery is only a block from the Tennessee Theatre and about the same distance from Knoxville’s Market Square. 

Downtown Grill and Brewery is located in the 107 year old Woodruff Building.  There are rumors of a curse on the property… It’s referred to as The White Mule Curse and it refers to the death of a gypsy’s white mule adjacent to the building.  Fire leveled the structure, actually the entire block, back in 1897.  Then, in 1904, an explosion leveled the second iteration of this structure.  This is the third building in this spot. 

In addition to outside dining, the Downtown Grill offers a main floor dining room surrounding the large bar and the brewing vats, as well as a mezzanine area with dining toward the front and pool tables with a second bar in the back.

Laurie started out with a side Caesar Salad, which she rated as quite satisfactory.  Greek and House side salads were also available…

Service was a little confused and uneven, partially due to the size of our party and the fact that over 60 people were spread out at tables ranging from 8 to 4 persons per table.  It’s always difficult to evaluate ‘normal’ service, or food for that matter, when a large group like ours is all eating at the same time.

OK, I ordered the Seasoned Mesquite Grilled Pork Chops ($12.95).  I should have known better!  Laurie warned me of the likelihood that the chops would be overcooked.  So, I told the waiter that I didn’t want the pork chops over cooked...That I would like there to be a little pink in the middle.  He assured me that he would pass my request onto the chef/cook…

Well, the message was either ignored or it never made it to the broiler cook.  The chops were indeed dry and overcooked. (It happens to me 80% of the time when I order pork chops… I should just give it up!)  The potatoes were OK and the veggies were cooked just right!
Other items on the menu include: Sandwiches ($7.95 - $8.95; 4 entrée salads ($9.95 - $15.45); 2 steaks ($13.95 - $15.95); 6 pasta dishes ($8.95 - $11.95); Salmon, Tuna and Swordfish at Market Price and; 5 specialty pizzas ($7.95 - $10.95). If you’re still hungry, there are 6 desserts to chose from…($4.95 - $5.25)

As usual, Laurie made the right dinner choice!  She ordered the Mesquite-Grilled Delmonico Ribeye Steak ($15.95). She liked her skin-on mashed potatoes as well as her medium rare steak!  Given the price, I was pleasantly pleased with the size of her entrée.  I’d expected a smaller or thinner cut of beef.

There are no less than 14 appetizers on the menu at Downtown Grill and Brewery… That shouldn’t be too much of a surprise given the fact that selling the home brew, their craft brewed beers, is a key business goal.   Nothing like appetizers with a few beers!  Try a little New World Porter, or Downtown Nut Brown, and how about White Mule Ale!  
Laurie and I will return to the Downtown Grill and Brewery to try the food and the service again.  The next time it will be on our own or with a couple of our beer 'affectionado' family members.  The place has character, the prices are right and it’s very popular.  Maybe I’ll go for the steak this time…
Downtown Grill and Brewery is open from 11 AM – Midnight Sunday through Thursday and from 11 AM – 3 AM Friday and Saturday.  The address is 424 South Gay Street in Knoxville Tennessee.  Phone: 865-633-8111.  Website:
Just click on any photo to enlarge it…
Thanks for stopping by for a visit!
Take Care, Big Daddy Dave


  1. I'm not surprised in the chop - I cook mine to 140* and I don't think many restaurants will.

  2. Very nice photos :-).