The retreating sun paints the waters of the Tennessee River with golden streaks of light, beckoning the _Southern Belle_’s passengers onto her breezy decks to take in the resplendent evening. Making daily jaunts along the Tennessee Valley, the three-story riverboat evokes the majesty of days gone by with her snowy white exterior and elegantly appointed interior that includes a dining room, dance floor, and a crew of old-timey ghost captains. Staffed by friendly crew members, the boat regularly pushes off from Pier 2 for a daily lineup of lunch, dinner, and sightseeing cruises. Along with everyday tours, the majestic vessel also plays host to a variety of special events, from festive Thanksgiving cruises to elegant weddings and exciting school trips. Back on the dock, Pier 2, a stationary boat that functions as the _Southern Belle_’s docking facility, bustles with events ranging from teas to high-school reunions, while chefs in the 3rd Deck Burger Bar grill up succulent patties for hungry visitors.
Gee whiz, is it true that Cheeburger Cheeburger’s been voted Best Burger in 29 cities? Yup. This is a real 1950s-style hot spot, a place that takes pride in serving additive-free, 100% all-natural Angus beef and frothy milk shakes in thousands of possible flavors.
Amidst vintage-inspired decor, cooks fry freshly cut Idaho potatoes and onion rings in cholesterol-free peanut oil and top American-bred, vegetarian-fed beef with more than 25 toppings. Modern day soda jerks also add one of more than a dozen syrups to flavored sodas and scoop ice cream into floats fizzing with cola, root beer, Dr. Pepper, or the lesser-known Pepper sibling, Gary, who forever lives in the shadow of his brother’s medical degree.
Inside a restored Colonial Revival mansion a stone's throw from the Tennessee River, Chef William Oglesby blends American and international dishes. Classic southern recipes take on worldly flavors, such as fried green tomatoes crowned with prosciutto and herbed goat cheese and sweet potato-crusted shrimp with fennel slaw. Local ingredients star in dishes such as the New York strip steak rubbed with espresso from nearby Rembrandt's Roasting Co and flanked by truffle-infused potatoes. Chef Oglesby and his culinary team also meet unique dietary needs with many gluten-safe options. A terrace overlooking the river, two naturally lit sunrooms, and an intimate library create a romantic atmosphere wherever guests choose to dine.
Though T-Bone’s cooks can appreciate simple mainstays, such as chilidogs and fried bologna sandwiches, some of their pub-style meals require more painstaking preparation. In an onsite hickory pit, boston butt smokes for 12 hours before chefs pile it onto the hand-pulled pork platter, and beef brisket slow cooks until it’s tender enough to recite sonnets without using a goofy voice. As diners decimate their entrees in T-Bone’s smoke-friendly restaurant and bar, they can pass the time watching SEC football on 1 of 20 TVs (including three big screens) or listening to the live musicians who play a few nights a week.
Since opening its doors in 1985, the recently renovated Comedy Catch has induced giggle fits with performances helmed by famed jesters such as Bobcat Goldthwait and Jerry Seinfeld. The main showroom comfortably seats up to 250 guests, with a crystal-clear audio setup preventing punch lines from getting lost in the laughter. Downstairs, the Giggles Grill serves a savory menu of steak, fried shrimp, and tall drinks to replenish calories lost chuckling or trying to huff, puff, and blow the venue’s brick walls down.
The staff at Zarzour’s Eats and Jackie’s Treats, made up of members of the owner’s own family, whips up homestyle fare for breakfast and lunch within the kitchen and handcrafts desserts inside an in-house bakery. They fire up the grills at 6:30 a.m. each day, feeding hot skillets eggs, meats, and pancakes before switching culinary gears at 10:30 a.m. to prepare daily lunch specials. Meanwhile, Jackie bakes pies, cakes, and specialty breads that customers can bring home that day or order in advance for special occasions or stoogeless dessert receptions.