Friday, May 4, 2018

A Casual Dinner at Buddy’s bar-b-q

We’ve lived here in East Tennessee for almost 9 years…and although Buddy’s bar-b-q is a well-known multi-location local restaurant chain here in East Tennessee, we’d never gotten around to eating there.

Laurie, with a local ladies’ golf group, had enjoyed a nice luncheon that had been catered by Buddy’s bar-b-q but I usually shy away from chain BBQ restaurants in favor of stand-alone locations that, in my mind at least, are more focused on their product…

I decided to try the Buddy’s bar-b-q location just off of US Hwy. 321/Lamar Alexander Parkway in Maryville Tennessee. (FYI…Maryville is pronounced locally as ‘Marville’)

FYI, there are 14 Buddy’s bar-b-q restaurants scattered in and around the greater Knoxville area… Franchises are also available.

Like many restaurants of its genre, Buddy’s bar-b-q is a counter service operation.  You place your order after reviewing the menu on the wall and they call you when your food is ready.

In 1966, Buddy Smothers had invested in his wife’s skills by helping her become the owner of her first restaurant, the Pixie Drive Inn in Seymour Tennessee.  Business was great but a desire for barbeque that they liked led to Buddy quitting his job and joining his wife LaMuriel in opening the first Buddy’s Bar-b-q restaurant. 

The dining area at the Maryville Buddy’s bar-b-q is open and bright.  It was quite well maintained as well.

Buddy’s bar-b-q is still a family operation with immediate family members and in-laws from the second and third generations managing the company.

Laurie decided to try a variety of Buddy’s offerings so she ordered the Combo with pork, chicken and ribs. ($9.99) It is served with hush puppies or on a bun and your choice of 2 sides: corn, baked beans, green beans, French fries, or coleslaw.  Her medium Lemonade drink was $1.99.

Laurie asked to substitute potato salad and pickles for her sides…no problem.  She liked the pulled pork and she really enjoyed the potato salad and pickles,  as well as the hush puppies.  The ribs were very good!  The chicken was the only negative… It was a BBQ breast and it was quite dry…overcooked.  I can support that opinion as I ended up finishing it for her.

All I was really interested in were the ribs.  I don’t really care for smoked fowl and I’m kind of burned out on pulled pork.  So I ordered a pound of Buddy’s pork ribs ($11.49) accompanied by a side of coleslaw. ($1.49)

I thought that the coleslaw was quite bland…but I did like the ribs!  They were very nice…cooked to the point where you still had to ‘work them’ a little.  We don’t really like ‘falling off the bone’ ribs.  The seasoning was right too.  Buddy’s barbeque sauces were OK but I prefer a little more ‘tang’ or ‘bite’ in my sauce.  I approximated what I prefer by mixing some hot sauce with Buddy’s spicy BBQ sauce.

To summarize, while Buddy’s bar-b-q isn’t the best restaurant barbeque we’ve ever had, it’s better than any of the other barbeque restaurants that we’ve sampled here in East Tennessee.  We’re still looking for premier area barbeque…but we will come back for more of Buddy’s ribs and pulled pork!

The Maryville Tennessee Buddy’s bar-b-q location is just off US Hwy. 321 at 2020 Bridgeway Drive.  Phone: 865-984-4475.  To view their full menu and to check out their catering operation, you can visit the company’s website at

Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them…

Thanks for stopping by to see what we had for dinner!

Take Care, Big Daddy Dave


  1. Looks like a good experience - it is virtually impossible to keep chicken from being dry when it's held for any length of time.

  2. I meant to say chicken breasts - you have a lot better chance with thighs and legs.

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  4. ... appreciate your post as always, friend Dave ... thank you, hmmm? Love always, cat.

  5. I'm not big on BBQ restaurants and would never order ribs, I'd be a mess. But hush puppies would work for me! Love them and I haven't one restaurant around here that serves them. The best ever is King Fish restaurants in Louisville...

  6. This caught my attention since two of my sons now live very close to that same Buddy's BBQ in Maryville. We haven't tried it yet --but may sometime..... Thanks for the review.