Sunday, December 11, 2011

Food In Tourist Towns

I gave my opinion of restaurants in tourist towns in THIS post last year but I guess its worth repeating. I am usually not impressed at all. Most local restaurants in touristy type towns are overpriced for dinky portions of less than delicious food. I realize that statement is a pretty broad and is certainly not true in every case. The post I referenced above is proof that I know there are exceptions to the rule.

We began thinking about this again while in the Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge area last week. It is definitely tourist mecca and restaurants abound all over the place. We didn't think about it ahead of time but we find ourselves NOT eating at the many local restaurants much while there. With very few exceptions we gravitated to the chain restaurants that we can find almost any where.

I am not saying that there are no descent local restaurants there but most of them fit the pattern of typical tourist town diners. Although we have had good food at some of them through the years (For example The Apple Barn, The Old Mill, The Wood Grill and various local and regional BBQ joints) but none of them call my name as do MANY local places across the country in non tourist towns. A few examples would be Ron's in Tulsa, Jantz Cafe in Atwater, California, Humberto's in El Mirage, Arizona, Chelino's in Oklahoma City, The Boiling Pot in Mobile, Alabama, assorted Catfish buffets all across the south and even the gas station deli in Riverdale, California.

(I actually had to make myself stop listing the great local and regional restaurants all over this country that reach out and grab me as I am driving within 50-100 miles of their parking lot! lol)

We did have a good meal at the Apple Barn last week. It seems to be pretty consistent and they are usually very busy with lots of tourist traffic. But I couldn't remember what I ate there the last time to save my own life. That is further indication that it isn't calling my name even though it is always a good experience. I would remember EXACTLY what I had before if it was REAL good for me. I guess two ounces of their special fruit juice and an apple fritter isn't enough for me...

It is not that we loathe tourist towns. We love the whole Gatliburg/Pigeon Forge/Smoky Mountain area. It is probably my favorite place to relax and unwind. But as much as I love the place I do not go there for the food. For a guy that loves to eat as much as I do that's pretty unusual!

We went to our home church today both services and we sure did enjoy it. It was great to get to hear our Pastor preach twice and to experience the love and warmth of our home church. These folks have loved us through thick and thin and back to thick again! It was so good to be home.

It is definitely winter in Ohio. It was 17 degrees when I checked my phone at 8:00 this morning. That is not a very encouraging way to begin a day but we made it OK. Spring will come and soon we will be sweating under the tent. I can hardly wait!

God bless all,


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