1. Trios Cafe - 2 words: Blueberry Balsamic. Also candied walnuts. Truly the world's best salad dressing and served only at Trio (that I have found.) Also, from a girl who would eat steak or sushi every night of my life the fact that I order a salad with not meat on it here says something. They put all the ingredients in a bowl and toss them with the dressing so every bite is perfect.
2. Krystal - Yes, I know this is a chain. Yes, I know they are gut bombs. Yes, I miss them. I traveled to Dallas in February and flew back into Charleston at 11:30 PM. Yes, that is 1.5 hours past my bedtime and I had been up for most of 40+ hours at this point. Anywho, after I deplaned, got my luggage, I was
about to chew my leg off starving. And I wanted a Krystal burger (or two.) And this is when I realized that I live in a city of 5 star restaurants with 3 star prices that do not offer small, square burgers 24 hours a day. Depression set in and I seriously considered driving to Savannah, GA, or Myrtle Beach (yuck), SC, the following weekend just to eat a small, square burger. But alas, I am cheap (sometimes) and did not want to waste my Saturday nor my gas in search of a small, square burger.
3. Calhoun's - I do not like most bar-b-que. But I love Calhoun's. Steak Calhoun is a nice sized steak grilled with bar-b-que sauce and is simply divine. Throw in some spinach maria, some cinnamon apples, or steamed broccoli and you have one happy person. Or their char-grilled shrimp over rice pilaf. So good. Dear, S.S. Scotts, next time I am in town we may need to forgo our normal dining options and go here.
4. Chesapeake's - This was a favorite for a nice alternative at lunch. I must admit I never ate here past noon, but what I was served at lunch never failed me. I tried as many unique, fresh fish dining at Chesapeake's as I have had in Charleston. Their lobster bisque paired with a side Ceasar salad was also the perfect lunch during the cooler Winter days in downtown K-town.
5. Downtown Brewery - Man, oh, man. They have some of the best pork chops I have ever eaten at a restaruant. Paired with their mashed potatoes and cinnamon apples and it was divine. If you do not know how perfect pork is paired with cooked apples, then you need to remedy this quickly. Also, at lunch you could get a half order of chicken nachos and they would happily leave off the items you did not want and the cheese was perfectly melted across the top. You cannot go wrong with anything at this place. It's a definite winnter.
So, there you go. The 5 places I miss the most. Please note I did not include Litton's burgers because frankly I was not impressed. Nor did I include the Italian place in Alcoa that everyone loves (Little Italy maybe?) because again, not impressed. I could have easily made this a top 10 though and added in Wasabi's, Connor's, Puleo's, Copper Cellar (where you can get a good burger), and Silver Spoon (another chain, but again, not in Charleston.) Possibly next Friday will be these 5 and I'll call it Fave Friday Five - Outside the Lunch Routine Knoxville Dining.