Monday, January 4, 2016

Song and Hearth Cafe inside Dream More Resort at Dollywood

Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg are as much about Dolly Parton as they are about bears and the Smoky Mountains, so it was much anticipation we watched as Dolly's latest venture, Dream More Resort was being built. As with everything that Dolly does the resort is impressive with 300 rooms and hotel suites conveniently located next to Dollywood. When I heard about the breakfast buffet served inside the resort in Dolly's Song and Hearth Café I couldn't wait to try it out. Just pulling up to the entrance of Dream More Resort is exciting and we chose the valet parking as it was pouring down rain, however free self parking is available for restaurant patrons. It was Christmas Eve and as we exited our car we heard Dolly singing Jingle Bells on cue. I think wherever one goes in the public areas of the hotel Dolly is singing, which is okay by me. The Song and Hearth Café is located on the ground floor , easily accessed from the front entrance by stairs or the elevator. It was fun looking at all of Miss Parton's record album covers displayed on the wall leading to the Café. The Café was beautiful with vaulted ceilings, stone fireplace, stain glass and comfortable seating. The buffet was amazing. Sixty five items served on the buffet and the different serving stations including an omelet bar and a pancake bar. Pancake offerings include flavors like banana pudding, birthday cake, cinnamon roll and double chocolate. Fresh fruit with fresh made whipped cream and sugar spiced nuts, homemade jams, biscuits and gravy, kielbasa (something one never sees on breakfast buffets in the Smokies),ham,sausage, bacon, waffles, potatoes O'Brian and more and more and more. The best thing about the food was not the quantity, although the selection was huge, it was the quality, by far the best place to have breakfast in the Smokies. Friends and family be aware , when coming for a visit we will be having breakfast at least once at the Song and Hearth Café. Adults $14.95,Kids 4-11 $7.95,Kids under 3 free,beverage included, tax and tip extra. Breakfast buffet served 7 - 11 a.m. however times are based on seasonality and subject to change. Call to check @ 800-365-5996

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Carver's Apple Restaurant, Cosby

Carver's Apple Orchard and Restaurant is a perfect excuse take a peaceful morning drive and get away from the hustle and bustle that is often associated with dining out in the Smokies. Carver's is located in Cosby, a quiet community tucked away in the mountains a short drive from Gatlinburg on RT # 321. Breakfast is served from 8:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. seven days a week. Guest are treated to a glass of Carver's Homemade Apple Cider and Warm Apple Fritters with Apple Butter. Yum !!! They also offer their Apple Fritters with Apple Butter by the bag to take home. Breakfast meats are the usual Bacon, sausage, ham, Country Ham and Pork Chops, served with eggs, pancakes, biscuits and gravy, grits, omelets and fried taters. The food was wonderful, served hot and fresh with huge portions. Service was perfect and the interior bright and cheerful. After breakfast visit the Apple Barn to choose from a large selection of apples just picked from one of Carver's 40,000 trees, a jug of fresh pressed apple cider, apple jelly and vegetables in season. Don't forget a homemade apple pie made fresh daily, available with sugar or sugar free. Carver's 34600 Cosby Highway, Cosby. 423-487-2419. Open daily from 8:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Flapjacks Pancake Cabins

Pancakes, pancakes , pancakes!!! No visit to the Smoky Mountains would be complete without a visit to one of the many restaurants specializing in pancakes. One of the oldest and most visible with six locations is Flapjacks Pancake Cabins. Flapjacks was the brain child of Brent Collier and next year will be celebrating 15 years serving over 5 million guest and untold millions of pancakes. Flapjacks was one of the first restaurants I covered in this blog and since it had been over a year I thought it was time to revisit one of the most popular pancake places in the Smokies. We arrived just before ten on a week day and the parking lot was empty. By the time we walked inside and were seated there was a line out the door. People on vacation like to sleep in. I originally thought I was going to have Flapjack's Sticky Bun Pancakes, probably their most popular and the winner of a pancake recipe contest.
Then I thought maybe I should try the Wild Cherry or Grandma's Peanut Butter and Banana ? In the end I choose The multi grain & Nut Pancakes made with Old Mill Grain and added bananas. My order came with four large fluffy pancakes with a healthy serving of pecans. I managed to finish two pancakes before my stomach called it quits.
Flapjack's also serves French Toast, waffles, Omelets, skillets, Cat head biscuits with sausage gravy, sandwiches , platters etc. Many of the dishes carry names associated with the Smoky Mountains; Townsend Skillet, Elkmont Breakfast Platters, Cades Cove Sandwiches. Flapjacks is open 7 days a week from 7 a.m. until 1 p.m. Check them out at

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Miss Lily's Cafe, Townsend, TN

I love Townsend, TN. It is billed as the quiet side of the mountains and for anyone seeking peace and the beauty of the mountains without the crowds and commercialization of Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg, this is the place to go. At first glance there is a fair number of dining establishments along RT #321, through Townsend. All are locally owned and with the exception on Subway, none are part of a chain. Yeaaa!!!! But if visitors look a little closer , they will discover gems, hidden off the main drag in Townsend, like Miss Lily's Café. This little log cabin, off the beaten track is known for serving lunch and dinner. I think the Smoked Trout Cakes are some of the best I have ever eaten, and the Key Lime Pie is legendary. The restaurant doesn't serve breakfast, however, Miss Lily does serve a Sunday Brunch from 10 until 2 p.m. Diners can choose from the traditional biscuits and gravy, grits, bacon, sausage, fruit and pastries a vegetarian breakfast casserole, chicken, BBQ Ribs, and lasagna . At the omelet station patrons can choose from ham, bacon, mushrooms, onion, green pepper, spinach, artichoke, Sun dried tomatoes, Cheddar Cheese, feta or Parmesan Cheese and salsa. Sorry no pancakes but a wonderful French Toast!
Miss Lily's is located at 122 Depot St., Townsend. 865-448-1924. Price at the time of my visit was $13.99 , plus coffee, tax and tip.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Pumpkin Pancakes

My granddaughter in the Ozarks posted on her FaceBook page the first day of Fall " I'm making Pumpkin Pancakes for breakfast as part of our new family tradition". What a fun family tradition to welcome the fall season. Here in the Smokies the leaves are starting turning and Pumpkin Pancakes are popping up. October is the 2nd busiest time in the Smoky Mountains. People flock to the mountains to see the beautiful fall colors and get one more glimpse of the bears before they go into hibernation. Due to the government shut down, now in it's 4th day, many visitors are having to re adjust plans to visit the National Park. However there is much to see and do in our area and the colors and the beauty of the mountains are still available for people to enjoy, so don't let the shut Down deter a trip to the mountains and a meal featuring pumpkin pancakes. So far I know of two restaurants featuring Pumpkin Pancakes. IHop has been advertising their Pumpkin Pancakes heavily on TV and rolled them out on October 1st. Flapjack's, a favorite Pancake house located all over the Smokies, is offering Carmel Apple Pumpkin Pancakes and Stuffed Pumpkin French Toast. Yummy !!!!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Bear visits Pancake Pantry

This week Gatlinburg had a visit from a black bear that surprised visitors along the Parkway at the Convention Center. The bear walked through the crowds of tourists and even crossed the street at a crosswalk before he preferred the peace and quiet of the mountain to Gatlinburg's busy streets. WBIR's reporter Stony Sharp did this cute tongue in cheek interview with Zeno the bear ( Gatlinburg's Mascot) that has the bear visiting one of my favorite pancake places , The Pancake Pantry. Enjoy at;

Monday, August 26, 2013

Grandmother's Kitchen Golden Cathead Biscuits

I can’t count the number of times my husband and I have passed by Grandmother’s Kitchen and remarked, “We have to stop in there sometime.” The small, unassuming cafe is located in Wear’s Valley and has an equally small unassuming sign that boasts ‘Grandmother’s Kitchen’ Golden Cathead Biscuits. For the un- initiated a Cat Head Biscuit is a biscuit as big as a cat’s head.
Grandmother’s Kitchen (not sure why it’s not called Granny‘s or Ma Maw’s Kitchen?), is the kind of place I seek out when traveling. I like to eat where the locals eat. I like food that is homemade and from the region. It also doesn’t hurt if the prices are down to earth and not inflated for the tourist. This place has it all. The menu is basic. Eggs, pancakes, breakfast meats including Country Ham, grits, gravy, nothing fancy. That said the biscuits were beautiful; light and fluffy. The sausage gravy had real pieces of sausage in it! I am so tired of ordering biscuits and gravy and getting white paste with no flavor or sausage . The eggs were large and perfectly cooked. Grandmother’s Kitchen is open from 7a.m. until 3, serving breakfast and lunch. Another visit is planned real soon to try the fried chicken and homemade desserts. Grandmother’s Kitchen doesn’t accept credit cards so bring cash. 3030 Wear’s Valley RD., Sevierville. 865-428-7237.