Crowned Best Overall Restaurant by the Knoxville News Sentinel in 2010, Puleo’s Grille takes tongues on a whirlwind taste tour with its eclectic menu of Southern and Italian classics. Circle tooth wagons around scrumptious orders of fried green tomatoes partnered with a savory side of stone-ground cheese grits and country gravy ($6.99), or lay a delectable claim on Italian mainstays such as lasagna ($11.99) or artichoke- and caper-flecked chicken piccata, which gets its beauty sleep atop a bed of linguini draped in lemon wine sauce ($14.99).
A family of Floridians opened Dylan's Restaurant in 2006, bringing their native flavor to Tennessee via dishes such as fried, broiled, or blackened grouper and key lime pie. In addition to classics from the Sunshine State, the menu includes all-American staples: steak and eggs for breakfast, cheeseburgers for lunch, and hearty seafood dinners accompanied by hush puppies and deep-fried baseballs. Chefs even accommodate special requests for customer favorites whenever possible. The restaurant's interior has a bold color scheme, with electric-blue booths and hologram pictures adorning the walls.
Tully's is the realized brain baby of executive chef Tully Wilson, a graduate of the prestigious Culinary Institute of America. This villa of victuals features classic American favorites presented in a French-influenced, aesthetically pleasing manner. Menu options vary, though sample dinner items include two pounds of fresh Prince Edward Island mussels ($12) served in a white-wine-butter sauce, and pecan encrusted chicken tender salad ($12), a sprightly summer salad that evokes thoughts of William Blake's romantic salad-inspired poetry. Savorlicious steaks gratify meat-believers, like the eight-ounce filet mignon ($19) and the 10-ounce Cajun rib eye ($23) with grilled shrimp and Creole sauce that can be shared with your significant other or an insignificant identical twin. Climb a mountain of chocolate with Tully's six-layer chocolate cake ($9), slipping and sliding on the fudge icing along the way.
A sense of well-loved Americana infuses every corner of Tom's Blue Moon BBQ as thoroughly as the scent of hickory-smoked meats. Vintage bicycles ridden by notable founding fathers dangle from the ceiling, license plates from across the country line the sky-blue walls, and red-checkered tablecloths evoke a down-home picnic ambience. This nostalgic decor complements the barbecue, which draws inspiration from time-honored family recipes. The cooks begin by hickory-smoking cuts of pork, beef, and chicken for as long as 14 hours before glazing it with the restaurant's signature sauce. To accompany the hearty platters, they also make more than 10 side dishes in-house—including turnip greens, fried green tomatoes, and sweet-potato waffle fries—and craft a tantalizingly sweet banana pudding.
The Cockeyed Pig permeates a menu of ribs, brisket, and pulled pork with an outback smoker's timber-tickled flavors, complemented by headline-grabbing Ol' South Fine Swine barbecue sauce. Fire up chompers and high-octane sporks to slash through the Chainsaw's Favorite belief-beggaring feast of St. Louis–style ribs, pulled pork, and Hoot's Texas brisket, coupled with a duo of sides including the customer-favorite potato salad and Mama's style mac 'n' cheese ($20, serves one to two people). Pepe's burrito entree channels a border-bridging tortilla stuffed with sliced brisket into a basket trimmed with ranch house beans ($9.50). Hushpuppies huddle around the catfish dinner's stream-torn centerpiece ($8.95) to form a table decoration fit for a grizzly bear graduation.
Hot Spot Tanning combines state-of-the-art sunless-bronzing technology with friendly, committed service. Marinade your melanin with a month of unlimited tanning in one of Hot Spot's standard bulb-based beds, which boast a bevy of advanced amenities, including built-in timers, optional air conditioning, and inspirational photos of the world's sexiest gingerbread men (a $41.99 value). Or, achieve the perfect sun-un-kissed glow thanks to the ray-less power of two airbrush tans, applied by a trained tantress to deliver a UV-free dose of customized color (each a $27.99 value).
Unlike unmellow mushrooms that make you take hour-long showers and nag you for tracking mud in the house, the Mellow Mushroom makes pizzas. The joint specializes in surrounding your dining experience with a dazzling atmosphere, artwork oozing with pizzazz, crisp bottles of happy beers, and the kinds of pizzas that got all the best solos at the fifth-grade choir demonstration. Sip on a cold draft of beer while ogling the Mushroom’s spread of Kosmic Karma pies that merge sun-dried tomatoes, spinach, feta, fresh tomatoes, and pesto ($12.49 for a 10’’); gourmet white pizzas with the harmonious offerings of olive oil and garlic, sunny-dried tomatoes, provolone, mozzarella, feta, and onions ($12.49 for a 10"); and the Magical Mystery Tour, brining pesto, portobello and button mushrooms, spinach, feta, and jalapenos back together for a reunion jam in your mouth ($12.99 for a 10").