The police aren't on to him––yet. But Capone can't leave anything to chance. He's bullet-proofed the hardwood floors with sand. He's dug secret tunnels, and rigged escape hatches on the roof. Despite his preparations, though, he never feels quite secure. With a final glance over his shoulder, he heads to the stone patio to kick back some contraband suds with Dillinger.
A lot of stories like this one fly around High Point restaurant, where the digging of the tunnels in the basement may or may not have been funded by Al Capone. Though these rumors are gospel to owners Ron and Jama Turner, they make sure that their eatery offers visitors more than just stories. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the three-story compound brings to mind a quaint ski lodge with its large courtyard and verdant hedges. Inside, the dining room is flooded with natural light from large bay windows, and a floor-to-ceiling stone fireplace sits atop the original 1920s hardwood floors.
Then, there's the food. At dinnertime, dark wood tables populate with fresh seafood and steaks in wine and butter sauce. The menu also bespeaks bayou influence, with zesty preparations of jambalaya, crawfish, and New Orleans–style barbecue shrimp. While spooling seafood pasta around their forks, patrons can question servers about High Point's catering services or question the owners about whether the fountain out front was ever used by Capone to make homemade gin.
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").
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).
Though Mexico is our neighbor, O.K. Jose's menu is extensive enough to read like a letter to a long-lost relative. In the kitchen, cooks top grilled nachos with shrimp and chorizo, stuff tortillas with spicy chicken and sauteed onions, and smother baked potatoes with cheese sauce and salsa. On karaoke nights, guests take a break from their meals to belt out tunes into a microphone topped with guacamole and sour cream.
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).
Barbecue is about balance, about finding the right suspension of smoky and sweet flavors even if it requires hours of labor and patience. At Slick Pig BBQ, chefs achieve flavor harmony by slow cooking and saucing up meats—which range from classic ribs to honey-barbecue wings—and then plate them with requisite sides such as corn bread, turnip greens, and mac ‘n’ cheese. They also tantalize visitors with an array of Southern staples, frying up catfish, baking chess pie, and sweetening tea by telling it how special it is.