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Out to Lunch: More meanderings that are sure to please

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By Bethel Poston

In my last “Out To Lunch” article, I began a brief highlight of some of our unique adventures during 2012. Today I continue with some more enjoyable experiences you might have missed.

If you would like more on any of the following places, I invite you to email me at postonplace@bellsouth.net.

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Yum Yum Chinese Restaurant is at 1039 Roane St. (Hwy. 27) in Harriman, across from Earl Duff Subaru.

Orders are placed at the counter and served to your table, from an extensive menu with color photos of many of the lunch specials.

The menu says, “We specialize in Cantonese, Szechuan and Hunan.”

A photo on the menu showed hot and spicy Kung Pao Chicken and fried rice served with a vegetable mixture in a sauce. Wikipedia describes it a spicy stir-fry dish made with chicken, peanuts, vegetables and chili peppers.

My wife, Carol, chose the crabmeat and beef with mixed vegetables of broccoli, bamboo shoots, water chestnuts and onions with fried rice.

I went for the hot and spicy beef, mixed vegetables of green pepper, onions, carrots and miniature corn on the cob with fried rice. (I don’t think Chinese meals come without rice.)

I’m told one of the most-ordered items is General Tso’s Chicken. It’s a sweet, deep-fried dish with chicken, cashews, water chestnuts, mushrooms and green pepper sautéed in a special hot soy sauce.

Also popular is chef’s specialty of fresh shrimp, lobster, chicken, roast pork, beef with broccoli, baby corn, straw mushroom and mixed vegetables served in brown sauce with white rice.

The only dessert I found on the menu was a fortune cookie. Carol’s said, “Have a beautiful day!”

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Arriving at Jacque’s Whistle Stop Café in Friendsville, I had the feeling we had stepped back 40-plus years in time. I thought Mayberry Sheriff Andy Taylor might come out of Keith’s Barber Shop in the building next door. (Of course, it would be Floyd’s Barber Shop if Andy came out looking for Opie.)

You’ll find antiques, including an old wringer washer, sitting on the front porch. It is in an old mercantile store built in 1926. On the walls and surrounding the dining tables and chairs inside are more antiques. There is seating for 36 customers.

As we entered I recognized John Ward,  former “Voice of the Vols.” John said he had enjoyed a good BLT, and recommended the hot dog, calling it a wiener.

On his advice, and because it is one of my favorite meals, I ordered the all-beef quarter-pound hot dog covered with made-on-site chili and sauerkraut.

When I finished devouring it, I wish I could have shouted to John Ward, “Give … him … SIX! … TOUCHDOWN, TENNESSEE!”

Carol chose the London broil steak sandwich. The slow-roasted marinated beef was sliced thin, topped by tomato slices and served on thick, toasted bread. She had sides of a vinegar-based German cole slaw and roasted corn on the cob.

“It’s all delicious, and the corn was so tasty I didn’t even salt it,” she said.

Our son Buddy went for the barbecue pulled chicken sandwich on a sesame-seed bun. He had a side of German cole slaw and added a bowl of freshly made ham and bean soup-of-the-day. Carol and I both sampled it and agreed that it was extremely good.

I’m told the slow-roasted entrée charbroiled half chicken is a customer favorite.

All desserts are made-on-site. Featured the day of our visit were coconut cream, apple and chess pies; oatmeal cookies with molasses; fresh peach and blackberry cobbler.

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The Paris Apartment
occupies a refurbished historic three-story, 10,000-square-foot building on Main Street (Hwy. 11) in restored downtown Sweetwater.

The building houses the restaurant, a European-style women’s boutique, tea room and cupcakery on the first and second floors.

Carol selected a panini of fresh baby spinach, red peppers and mozzarella cheese with herbs — drizzled in garlic infused olive oil and served on sourdough bread.

On this visit, in respect to Queen Elizabeth’s 60th-anniversary coronation celebration, I had the coronation chicken wrap.

It was filled with roasted chicken, celery, onion and pecans with a curried mayonnaise dressing and wrapped in an herbed flat wrap.

I chose kettle chips over and added a cup of potato soup.

The menu offers other paninis of grilled ham and Swiss, roasted turkey and Swiss, and grilled Caprese of fresh tomatoes, mozzarella cheese and basil drizzled in olive oil.

You’ll find sandwiches like Italian tuna salad and capers with a lemon-dill mayonnaise dressing plus lettuce and tomato served on sourdough or whole-wheat bread. There are also egg salad and BLT sandwiches. See a menu www.theparisapartmentboutique.com.

We shared a dessert of European chocolate, hazelnut chocolate and fresh strawberries grilled panini style and topped with whipped cream and strawberries.

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Local folks know the Bush Family Cafe is really in Chestnut Hill, about 10 miles south of historic downtown Dandridge, the Jefferson County seat.

This “Out to Lunch” adventure was filled with scenic countryside travel, a museum visit, educational films, shopping at an old-time general store and, of course, outstanding food.

You might even enjoy getting to know more about TV personality Duke the dog, famous for being denied his attempts to sell the secret family recipe for Bush’s Baked Beans.

Carol and I almost had to flip a coin to see who would order Wednesday’s Special of the Day — open-face hot roast beef sandwich with potatoes and gravy, plus a side of cole slaw.

Carol chose the pre-battered country-fried steak with gravy and told me to order the special. Her sides were fried okra and slaw, plus a dinner roll.

The beef was so tender that when I put a fork in it to hold for my knife to cut a bite, it just fell apart.

Special change daily, and I did find out the special for Tuesday is four hand-breaded, all-white-meat chicken tenders with mashed potatoes and green beans.

Hot sandwiches on the menu are a hearty half-pound hamburger, corned beef Reuben, a toasted BLT, Philly cheesesteak, Southern-fried bologna and hoagies with a choice of ham, turkey or roast beef.

Bush’s Chili Pot is tempting for a future cold winter day visit. It’s described as “fresh ground beef, chopped onion and diced tomatoes, slow-cooked with Bush’s Chili Magic (kidney and chili beans).”

Carol and I shared a slice of chocolate pie that tasted like my mother used to make.

Call 865-509-3485 or check out www.bushbeans.com for more information.

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Countryside Café is owned by Michelle and Eddie Ellison. It’s on the right 17.5 miles south of Kingston at 28821 Hwy. 58 North, Ten Mile. It’s just past Ten Mile Grocery. Watts Bar Dam is only seven miles down the road.

Having seen a plate of fried catfish being served, I should have known it was too much for me to eat. Half of my order, including fries and cole slaw, went to in our refrigerator for a later meal.

Carol was in the mood for vegetables and enjoyed potato salad, corn nuggets, fried okra and cole slaw with a corn muffin. With my help on those tasty corn nuggets, she cleaned her plate

“If is wasn’t for this place, I’d starve to death” a customer told me. “My cook (wife) is a registered nurse and works eight hours on, and eight hours off.”

The Ellisons said the most-ordered items are catfish, hamburgers and cheeseburgers, with a large amount of call-in orders. On a cold day, a bowl of their homemade chili or cooked on-site pinto beans with cornbread sounds good.

Dinner plates come with two sides. Other dinners include chicken tenders, open face roast beef, barbecue, and grilled or fried chicken.

Some days, they create specials not on the menu.

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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.