The family and I went on vacation to Tennessee last week. Every time we go on vacation, we pick a finger-lickin’ restaurant to have dinner at one night. Usually, the restaurant ends up being the highlight of our trip. (In Phoenix, we visited the Fry Bread House; in Williamsburg, Captain George’s Seafood Buffet…Our family can be pretty food-oriented.)
This time, we went to Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen in Pigeon Forge. This restaurant came highly recommended by our extended family members, and knowing Paula Deen’s affinity for butter, we anticipated an excellent meal. We were not disappointed.
The food here is served “family style,” meaning you pick several meats and sides for the table, instead of something different for each person. The food is unlimited and everyone gets dessert as well.
The service was punctual and our server was friendly and professional. We arrived at 4:30 PM, expecting an awful wait, but the place wasn’t too crowded and we were seated immediately.
As for the layout and appearance of the restaurant, we were very impressed. The restaurant is on the second floor with a store on the first floor. The interior decorations are super cute, with a mixture of soft blue, brick, and glass. The restaurant is located on the Island in Pigeon Forge, surrounded by other shops, restaurants, and a Ferris Wheel. The views from the second-story restaurant are pretty awesome. The restrooms are very clean.
But I don’t care what the place looks like as long as the food is good! And boy, did Paula deliver. Most restaurants serve one or two amazing foods and the rest is mediocre; the Kitchen served up dish after dish of extremely high-quality food. It was the typical restaurant food–fried chicken, mac and cheese, green beans, etc.–but done exceptionally well.
It was the typical restaurant food–fried chicken, mac and cheese, green beans, etc.–but done exceptionally well.
As for dessert, I ordered Paula’s famous ooey-gooey butter cake. When it came, I was mildly disappointed. It just looked like a big brownie!
One bite put my discontent to rest. The butter cake was just a brownie, yes–WITH a layer of caramel and gooey butter slathered on top. The piece was generous, and after all the other food a normal stomach might have been discouraged. But BOY, I ate every crumb.
My mom (who is, for reference, a banana pudding snob), ordered the banana pudding. She was genuinely shocked at the quality. It was full of real banana slices and topped with genuine whipped cream. Plus, again, the presentation was really cute.
After we ate, we rolled around in the store downstairs. I got a tee-shirt (didn’t get a picture of it, sorry) that says “Bless Your Heart” and my mom got one of Paula’s high-quality cookie sheets.
In conclusion, I highly recommend stopping by Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee the next time you’re down that way!
What’s your favorite finger-lickin’ restaurant? Leave me a comment and let me know!