Glints of sunshine and rich West Tennessee soil nurture more than Crown Winery's lush vines; solar energy powers the vintners' Tuscan-style villa and headquarters, which is built into a hillside to reap the earth's natural cooling capabilities. Principal co-owners Peter and Rita Howard—a descendant of father of meteorology Sir Luke Howard, and a member of the National Baton Twirling Association Hall of Fame, respectively—bottle a dozen wines every year. Whites, such as the citrusy cayuga, may evoke memories of summertime fruit salads and fragrant floral bouquets sprouted from Chia Pet experiments. The winery's roster of reds includes the medium-bodied chambourcin, served at room temperature to liberate its berry-laced tang, and the royal red, a savory mishmash of norton grapes and estate-grown noiret. Winery tours invite guests to gambol along the vines and learn about the winemaking process. The idyllic 50-acre setting is also a popular spot for weddings, particularly in the Queen's Pavilion, with oak beams and sweeping vineyard views, orchestrated by Crown Winery's designated wedding coordinator.
Chef Reggi, the reigning pit master at Reggi’s BBQ & Wings, piles hickory-wood-smoked and sauce-slathered pork, chicken, and beef high on hearty dinner plates or inside hefty sandwiches. Sauce-friendly fingers can leaf through the menu before settling on the Monterey chicken sandwich, featuring a juicy poultry serenade with a sautéed-onion and bell-pepper accompaniment on a bed of jack cheese ($4.89). Regular ($5.89) or jumbo pork sandwiches ($6.89) mingle with french fries, laze alongside baked beans, or play horseshoes with onion rings, and platters of rib tips ($8.99), pulled pork ($7.89), and beef brisket ($8.99) convene with cool coleslaw, texas toast, potato salad, or french fries. Weighing in at either a half pound or a full pound, bulk packs of pork, beef, rib tips, or barbecue bologna expedite the journey from the lips to the stomach with an irresistible heft of meat and promises of a better tomorrow ($4.29–$8.59).
Inside HoneyBaked Ham, chefs uphold the same traditions that Harry J. Hoenselaar created more than 40 years ago. Back then, he chose individual hams, cured them in his secret marinade, and smoked them over hardwood chips before offsetting the earthy flavor with a crisp, sweet glaze. To this day, the staff makes the signature bone-in hams one at a time and glazes them in the shop.
To go with the meats, the kitchen whips up classic side dishes and desserts, such as the sweet-potato souffl?. For less formal feasting, party trays and packed lunch boxes fuel business meetings, backyard grad parties, and lengthy end-zone celebrations.
Tennessee State Park Restaurants has eight eateries under its umbrella, all of which can be found in scenic locales sprinkled across the state. Park-goers can take a load off after a long day of hiking and sightseeing to dig into different specialties. Each spot offers a unique menu?Cumberland Mountain specializes in catfish on Fridays, whereas Pickwick Landing combines Southern cuisine with views of the water.
Back Yard Burgers serves up North American Black Angus burgers hash-marked to order on genuine flame-licked grills. Third-pound patties dress for dinner with lettuce, vine-ripened tomatoes, red onions, dill pickles, and a condimental trio of ketchup, mustard, and mayo ($3.59). Or gussy up for patty prom with premium add-ons such as coleslaw, chili, sautéed mushrooms, bacon, and more ($0.35–$0.60 per topping). The grill masters also flip the first white meat, prepping Hawaiian chicken sandwiches with grilled pineapple, mustard, mayo, and lettuce ($4.09). Away from the flames, feel free to enjoy a loaded baked potato ($2.79) and a wide range of pairable plates such as chili cheese fries ($2.59 for regular size), garden salads ($2.19), and sweetly baked fruit cobblers ($1.99).
Dishing out all-you-can-eat portions, Barnhill's Country Buffet provides families with a friendly place to feast, offering a spread of comfort cuisines designed to sate appetites both big and bigger. Wander the sleek, spot-lit countertops to seek out servings of fried chicken, vegetable medleys, fresh seafood, hot bread, and homey biscuits, or skip straight to the dessert bar to make a sweet start and work backward to an entree ending. Vegetarians will find themselves in herbivore heaven at a salad bar stacked with 15 toppings, potato salad, and fresh fruit, and protein lovers can pull up a stool at the carved-meat bar to drown their sorrows in a slice of steak, a slab of ribs, or a tall glass of pot roast. With an ever-changing array of cuisines, including special themed-meal nights, Barnhill's creates an atmosphere where dining companions of many differing tastes can come together and bond over their mutual disdain for leftovers.