Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Meat and Three's anyone?

I first heard of the concept of a "Meat and Three" about 2 years ago.

I think that hubby and I were perusing the website:
looking for a good fried chicken joint and trying to plan our next road trip (Yes, we plan our road trips around food - and it's SO worth it.).

In our browsing, we must have happened upon the listing for a restaurant like Arnold's Country Kitchen and read the first review, "Best Meat and Three...."

And then the realization! If I want macaroni and cheese, fried chicken, mashed potatoes and green beans, I go to a meat-and-three!! (named as such because one commonly orders a meat and three sides)

Wow. I'm gettin' hungry already.

But since Chase and I first discovered Meat-and-Three's, we've been on a mission. A mission to find the most awesome southern food around. And we've found some amazing places!

I'd love to tell you about the local restaurants, but first, I have to tell you about the Pièce de résistance: Arnold's Country Kitchen. (see link above)

Hubby and I got Fried Chicken, Mac and Cheese, Mashed Potatoes and Black eyed peas.

oh. my. gosh.

Best fried chicken I've ever had! Best Mac and Cheese I've ever had. Best mashed potatoes I've ever had. Best everything!! Best sweet tea too.
Yes - they're in Nashville, but that's not really that far away from Knoxville. And it's so worth it. Please. Do yourself a favor. Put Arnold's Country Kitchen as a destination next time you're headed out West on I-40. You won't regret it!

Now for more local fare! (in order or preference)

Chandler's Deli
Located off Magnolia Ave., right across the street from Pizza Palace (which was featured on Food Network), I can't say enough good things about this restaurant and it's staff. I think when I first ordered there, the owner served me. He was so kind and friendly! He inquired if it was my first visit, and where I was from. As we were leaving, he apologized to Chase and I for the dinner fare, stating, "We got a lot more sides out at lunchtime, and everything's sure to stop by at lunchtime." How could he have possibly thought that the food we got was anything less than excellent!?! In lieu of napkins, a roll of paper towels on the table and to drink - amazing Sweet Tea and Kool-Aid in a huge iced tea dispenser - the experience was everything we'd hoped it would be and more! The food was second only to Arnold's.
Oh - and cost? Hubby and I each ate (I got fried chicken ($3.00 for a breast, $1.40 for a thigh or leg) mac and cheese, and mashed potatoes - and Hubby got something similar...but with different sides) for around $14.00. That's including drinks and tax!

Big Fatty's
These guys are located on Kingston Pike, close to Gourmet's Market and Carpe Librum in Bearden. They have all your standard meat and three fare, and seem to have a knack for takin' it up a notch. For example: a plain ol' grilled cheese not your thing? How about a grilled cheese with caramelized onions, mushrooms, and bacon. Oh yeah! Now you're talking.
This food packs some serious flavor. Their spinach maria is amazing, and their cheesy potatoes sinful. The only downside to this cute little spot is their price. We can never get out of there without spending at least $25.00 for the two of us.

Cracker Barrel
I hate to include a corporate entity on this list, but hey - they have their pluses. I'm sure I don't need to provide you with any sort of info on this place as you've probably eaten there countless times with your family on Sunday after church.

S & S Cafeteria
This cafeteria is also located in Bearden-in the Kroger shopping center closest to campus. I don't have much to say about this place because my memory of it is pretty un-spectacular. I'm sure it's because the food was un-spectacular and bland to say the least. Don't waste your time, or your money - unless you just have no choice. Who knows - maybe I just caught 'em at a bad time. Either way, it's a gamble I'm not willing to take.

And since we're talking about local food, I gotta give some shout-outs!

King Tut's
-Prepare yourself. This place is unlike any other. I can't even describe it. Oh - wait! I can give you this much - Best Greek Salad in Knoxville!!! (If you want to read more about this hole in the wall adventure offering exciting Mediterranean here.)

-Indian food! I love their paneer. I'm sure it's not the best Indian food, but I am sure it's the best that Knoxville has to offer.

Louis' Original Restaurant
-This is a spaghetti joint. Don't go here and order something that's not spaghetti and expect it to be amazing. But do be excited about their amazing, one-of-a-kind meat sauce and their awesome onion rings!

Elidio's Pizza
-Authentic New York Style Pizza! And the price sure is right! My favorite pizza. ever.

Chez Guevara
-I love fish tacos. I lovelovelove fish tacos. These are the best fish tacos I've ever had. Also? The best spinach queso ever. I hear their margaritas are unbeatable. If fish tacos aren't for you - don't despair! Take a bite of the Elvis Burrito: Chicken, black beans, (and some other stuff I can't remember) all covered in spinach queso. YUMMM.

Oh! And don't forget - make yourself heard and support local business - Review your favorite businesses on!


The Adkins Family said...

For some reason, Nashville is like the meat and three capital of the world... there are TONS of good ones there... Copper Kettle and also Vittles are good choices there. Knoxville is behind the times on the meat and three front for sure although I'll second your recommendation of Big Fattys. That place is insane... have you had the pork loin with fresh peach salsa?

As my friend Alan used to say, that'll make you smack your granny it's so good.

I still don't know what that means.

- greg

Miss Emily D. said...

Wow - Copper Kettle looks gooooood.
I agree. Why isn't Knoxville lovin' the meat and threes? All of its residents sure do.

And that pork loin sounds amazing! I'll definitely have to try that. yumm

I'm sure I'll - smack my granny?