Choo-Choo Bar-B-Que, Chattanooga TN

I visited three locations of this quasi-chain that has several independently owned stores in the region. Amusingly, each store’s cashier, when pressed, proudly claimed that their restaurant was the best. Continue reading “Choo-Choo Bar-B-Que, Chattanooga TN”

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Petro’s Chili & Chips, Knoxville TN (take two)

I had planned for us to sample one more barbecue place around Knox County, but our day was too long and we were too late. Plans B and C crumbled and so we hit a reliable old friend for a bowl of chili before coming home. Continue reading “Petro’s Chili & Chips, Knoxville TN (take two)”

Helen’s Hot Chicken, Nashville TN

For the third stop on our day trip to the Music City, I did something silly. I pulled up our map of restaurants we’ve visited and selected a neighborhood we have not visited before, and then looked for the most promising place for a snack. Hot chicken is always very promising. Continue reading “Helen’s Hot Chicken, Nashville TN”

Armando’s Restaurant, Chattanooga TN

One of the neatest discoveries that I’ve made since moving here is finding there’s a small chain of burger joints I’d never heard of before, each quietly doing their own thing at locations dotted around the city. I visited three of them across five days to see what I could learn. Continue reading “Armando’s Restaurant, Chattanooga TN”

Pal’s Sudden Service, Kingsport TN

Pal’s Sudden Service is known as a drive-thru fast food place. In fact, the small chain is the industry leader in speed, efficiency, and accuracy in its drive-thru. But before it started putting its brand together and constructing identical buildings – beautifully oddball, but identical – it opened a store in Kingsport that is nothing like the others, and that’s the one we went to visit. Continue reading “Pal’s Sudden Service, Kingsport TN”

Farewell Atlanta 3: Zesto

I was sketching out our “Farewell Atlanta” week at the blog and wanted to visit four Atlanta restaurants that I enjoy that don’t get very much hobbyist press at all, the sort of fun, ultra-regional places that really only Atlantans know about. I wanted to write about the sort of places that, if Marie and I had been based in some other city all this time, we’d come to Atlanta on our road trips to sample alongside its barbecue. Now, if Martin’s was an obvious choice, then Zesto had to be included as well. Ages ago, I mentioned that Zesto and Martin’s were roughly similar to Birmingham’s Milo’s and Jack’s. Very roughly; it’s not a really good analogy, but there are some comparable points. Continue reading “Farewell Atlanta 3: Zesto”

Farewell Atlanta 2: Martin’s

A couple of months ago, Drew from Man Up Texas BBQ tweeted that he’d driven 45 minutes for breakfast at Milo’s, a Birmingham-area fast food chain, and asked to be told if there was a better chicken biscuit anywhere. I immediately complied. Atlanta’s Martin’s chain has the best chicken biscuits of any chain in the south. Continue reading “Farewell Atlanta 2: Martin’s”