Out to Lunch: Jake’s, Gibson Girls among reviews of visits in 2013

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By Bethel Poston

This is the first of two reviews of our 2013 “Out to Lunch” adventures.

These are places that made a strong impression on my wife, Carol, and me as we look back on the year.

For more about the places we visit, email me at postonplace@bellsouth.net.

Jake’s Tavern and Grill opened last March in Rockwood on Hwy. 27 next to Fowler’s Furniture and behind Goodwill Industries.

We invited Don and Bonita Fowler to join us.

Don’s tavern burger was an 8-ounce Angus patty topped with lettuce, tomato, red onions, and pickles on a toasted bun. He had a side salad.

Bonita chose the Flying Alfredo, described as “grilled chicken, sautéed mushrooms, Parmesan cream sauce over penne pasta and served with toasted garlic bread.”

Carol landed on the Tucson chicken pasta of “grilled chicken, sautéed baby spinach, green peppers, chives, penne pasta and cream sauce, served with toasted garlic bread.”

I settled on the Rock’ n Reuben and fries. It was one of the best I’ve had in a long time with ample corn beef, Swiss cheese, and sauerkraut on toasted marble rye bread and a side of Thousand Island dressing.

One of Jake’s most-ordered meals is The Big Dog, touted on the menu as, “1 foot (more or less) all Angus beef hotdog, char-grilled, nestled in onions and fresh made chili on a roasted hoagie roll.”

I’m told 80 percent of the food is cooked on-site, including homemade soups and sauces.

Tanasi Clubhouse Café is on the left as you enter Tellico Village off Hwy. 321 from Lenoir City. Our son, Barry, and his wife Judy, recently bought a home in Tellico Village, and they invited us to Tanasi with our granddaughter and three great-granddaughters.

Barry ordered the Hawaiian burger (he likes pineapple). It includes an 8-ounce patty, ham, Provolone cheese and pineapple, spiced with honey mustard dressing and served with Tanasi fries.

Judy chose the Shrimp KaBoom — fried breaded shrimp topped with spicy “Boom Boom” sauce — with fries.

Our granddaughter, Stephanie, chose the Chicken Hawaiian, a grilled chicken breast topped with ham, Swiss cheese, grilled pineapple and honey Dijon sauce.

She also had roasted sweet potatoes and a garden salad.

From the children’s menu, great-granddaughter Hannah chose fried chicken strips with fries. Her sister, Gretchen, had a cheeseburger about the size of a silver dollar with fries.

Carol went for the skewer of grilled seasoned shrimp served on a bed of sautéed spinach, garlic and mushroom ragout. Her side was rice pilaf.

My half sandwich was on toasted wheatberry bread, stuffed with ham, turkey, bacon, American and Swiss cheese with lettuce, tomato and mayo. I had a bowl of clam chowder as part of my combo.

Gibson Girls is in the historic Pennybacker House on Third Street in Kingston.

This “Out to Lunch” event was in celebration of the 92nd birthday of Marjorie Hicks, formerly of Rockwood and now living at Jamestowne Assisted Living in Kingston.

Marjorie took home half of her tuna salad on wheat bread.

“I’ll never be able to eat such a large salad,” said daughter-in-law Phyllis, upon seeing her Mayme’s Fancy Chicken Salad of mixed greens topped with fried chicken tenders, bacon, spiced walnuts, cheddar cheese, carrots, croutons and grape tomatoes served with honey mustard dressing.

Carol and Melba Hutcherson each had a South-of-the-Border quiche and French onion soup. Both are made fresh on site.

The quiche was presented in an individual baking bowl, topped with a thick crust, with the look of a chicken pot pie.

Wilma Walker had the Down South Reuben of turkey and smoked ham, melted Swiss cheese, slaw and Thousand Island dressing on grilled rye.

I chose a half sandwich of homemade chicken salad with almonds and Craisins on sourdough bread and a cup of French onion soup. I passed on a whole sandwich because I know about the special desserts.

Tupelo Honey Café recently opened on Knoxville’s Market Square. We previously had lunch at the original Tupelo Honey in Asheville, N.C.

We invited our South Knoxville furniture friends, Jerry and Mickey Pease, to join us on this adventure.

Mickey chose a top favorite, the Cheesy Grill (a Havarti and pimento cheese sandwich served on Texas toast) and ToMayto Tomahto Soup.

Jerry did a good job on a special of the day, a quiche with a side of asparagus.

Carol ordered When Shrimp Met Taco, described on the menu as “two soft flour tortillas, filled with the perfect marriage of flash-fried, juicy shrimp, julienned Swiss chard, our house-made smoked jalapeno aioli and made-on-site Sunshot Salsa.”

I always thought a po’boy was made with fish, so when I saw a roast beef po’boy on the menu, I had to give it a try.

Genesis Italian Grille is on Interstate Drive across from Crossville Outlet Center.

As executive director of a furniture-buying group, I took this opportunity to combine an “Out to Lunch” visit with a meeting of the group’s board of directors.

Two loaves of freshly baked bread and a dish of olive oil were on our tables.

Board Chairman Larry Stansell, with furniture stores in Georgia, selected Italian-baked ziti, which the menu described as “delectable ziti noodles engulfed in our rich homemade Italian plum tomato sauce with a blend of cheddar, Parmesan and melted mozzarella and Provolone cheese and baked to perfection.”

Larry’s wife, Phyllis, had the Chef’s Daily Casserole of chicken and vegetables in Alfredo cream sauce. Don Blalock, our treasurer from Sparta, also had the special.

My wife, Carol, ordered the Sicilian-style pasta primavera of bow-tie pasta cooked al dente, combined with vegetables drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with Parmesan cheese.

I had Italian meatballs, described on the menu as “smothered in Tuscan tomato sauce and topped with mozzarella and Provolone cheese, then served on a toasted fresh hoagie bun.” It came with potato wedges.

Spaghetti and meatballs are one of the Grille’s most-ordered items, and was the choice of Vice Chairman Bo Carey with Greer’s Furniture in Loudon.
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Bethel Poston is a Roane County businessman and entrepreneur who writes about places of interest in our area. E-mail suggestions and comments to postonplace@bellsouth.net.