Founded in 1974, The Fireplace Restaurant originally stuffed appetites with its juicy steaks and seafood in the Hayes House, a century-old cabin. Home to the area’s first salad bar—a smorgasbord of fresh produce—the Diners Club of America–honored eatery ultimately relocated to accommodate its growing clientele. Nowadays, the historic restaurant continues its growth and culinary tradition on Baird’s Cove Road, custom grilling steaks, slow cooking ribs, and heaping plates high with shrimp, mahi-mahi, and other seafood creations that are more nutritious than wheatgrass coated in Flintstones vitamins. The Fireplace Restaurant’s all-you-can-eat buffet rotates regularly between barbecue, seafood, and homestyle dishes, and on Sunday mornings, chefs whip up omelets, Texas-style french toast, and other breakfast classics.
Bucky's Bar-B-Q owner Wayne Preston honed his craft at a young age, spending boyhood afternoons in his father's meatpacking plant and Wednesday nights preparing suppers for his local church. Word about Wayne's saucy ribs and pulled pork spread shortly after he founded his own roadside barbecue stand, forcing him?like the barbecue-sauce barons of years past?to expand his operations to new frontiers. Today, each of Bucky's four locations fashions heaping plates of never-frozen Boston butt, tender chicken, and St. Louis?style ribs in the traditional country style: hand-rubbed with secret seasonings and slow-cooked over a smoky fire of hickory chips. Three housemade sauces garnish slices of juicy meat served alongside traditional sides of baked beans, coleslaw, and sweet potatoes. When they aren't dishing out meals in the restaurant, Bucky's tireless staff serves parties, formal events, weddings, and flash mobs as large as 1,500 people with fully catered barbecue feasts.
Wayne shares his more than 15 years of barbecuing expertise with aspiring grill masters during in-depth classes offered at his Roper Mountain and Donaldson Center locations. Students not only learn the art behind sauces and rub but also get to eat their class materials.
Pork loin, ham, turkey breasts, and certified Angus beef slow cook over plumes of piquant smoke at Clint's BBQ & Country Cookin', where plates of country-fried steak and deep-fried okra crown blue gingham tablecloths. Clint himself takes to the eatery's stage on Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday nights, where he and a small band croon and pluck guitars, banjos, mandolins, fiddles, and an upright bass beneath an antique Texaco marquee. Retro ephemera plaster the walls in the slope-roofed dining room, where old license plates hang beside photographs and metal placards painted with classic advertisements for Beech-Nut, Coca-Cola, and Acme teleporters.
If you don't smell the smoker as you approach Parton?s Smokin? Butz BBQ, the staff hasn't done its job. The smoker sits in the front of the dining space, its aromas wafting out into the parking lot, beckoning diners to come taste its wares. The eatery's family feast stuffs up to six diners with a sampler of the smoker's delectables, such as smoked pork, a whole smoked chicken, and a full slab of ribs, rubbed with a secret blend of spices. In true Southern fashion, the sauce remains on the table so customers can douse their food to their own taste or paint an image of ribs on their cheeks. Everything is prepared fresh in-house, from the meats to the sides, which include corn muffins, slaw, and baked beans.
Led by the husband and wife team of James and Beverly Black, JB's Ribs & More's barbecue masters slow cook pork, ribs, and poultry before plating the meat with hearty sides of comfort fare. As described in a feature from the Daily Times, the Blacks' culinary career began in James' mother's backyard, where he learned to whip up succulent chicken and ribs by barbecuing on the weekends. The barbecue pros soon outgrew their home-based business' finite supply of wet wipes and opened a full-time restaurant that could sate Maryville's hunger for soul food such as five-cheese macaroni and pulled-pork slow cooked for 14 hours. Patrons can lick their fingers while browsing the eatery's free WiFi, or carry out one of JB's family-size meals and feed all their novelty cookie jars some much-needed protein.
Chris Ford has barbecue sauce running through his veins. His passion of Southern cuisine built to a head in 2005 when he opened Sweet P's Barbeque and Soul House. It all began as a catering outfit, outfitting parties with barbecue Chris cooked in his backyard. Today, that backyard barbecue technique is applied daily at his family-oriented restaurant. Outside on the deck or inside the cabin-like dining room, he serves heaping mounds of chopped pork smoked with oak and hickory as well as St. Louis-style, dry-rubbed ribs. The menu is rounded out with other smoked meats, classic comfort foods such as mac and cheese and cole slaw, and, if guests save room, desserts ranging from bacon chocolate chip cookies to banana pudding.