• Out to Lunch: Jake’s dog forgotten with memories of delicious Reuben

    Readers may reminder that I am the executive director of a furniture-buying group, with members in 38 states.

    A few members of our group met recently at Fowlers Furniture in Rockwood to preview a couple of new furniture lines.

    I arranged for our group to have lunch nearby at Jake’s Steakhouse and Tavern in Shoppes at Walden Ridge.

    Since my previous “Out to Lunch” column on Jake’s in June 2013, I knew they had added a private banquet-dining area, Jake’s Back Door.

  • Mama Mia! Kingston pizzeria marks 45th anniversary

    Mama Mia’s Restaurant and Pizzeria owner Lottie O’Brien does not think a 45th anniversary is as big a deal as a 25th or 50th, but she did indeed hit that significant milestone Feb. 4.

    It was marked with congratulatory balloons and flowers, and a special mention on the Roane County Chamber of Commerce’s Facebook page.

    But for O‘Brien, it was “business as usual” – preparing homemade pizzas and sandwiches for hungry customers.

  • Out to Lunch: Get a big taste of Cuba at La Cabana

    Today’s “Out to Lunch” adventure takes place 890 miles from Cuba — or so the sign says on the wall at La Cabana-Cuban Flavor restaurant on Campbell Station Road, Knoxville.

    My wife, Carol, and I invited Nathan and Ellis Stonecipher to meet us at La Cabana for lunch. They live just across the interstate off Lovell Road.

    Readers may remember in previous article that I mentioned Ellis, formerly Ellis Mae Darby, as my grade school “sweetheart,” and we were in the same graduating class at Oak Ridge High School.

  • Party Zone Fun: Kids ‘having a blast’ in new family-friendly venture

    The vision Kimberly Howe had painted in her head about Rockwood’s Party Zone quickly went away once she got inside.

    “I’m so surprised,” she said. “I expected one little jumper and a couple of pinball machines. I wasn’t expecting this.”

    What she saw was a colorful, kid-friendly space with plenty of inflatables and arcade games.

    Her three grandchildren – Braydon and Brailyn Colyer and Millie Miller – were all smiles as they plunged down one of the slides.

  • Williams new to UCOR

    Fran Williams has been selected as chief operating officer for URS|CH2M Oak Ridge LLC (UCOR).

    She will fill the position vacated last month by Matt Marston, who left to accept a senior management position within AECOM, one of UCOR’s parent companies.

    Williams previously served as UCOR’s manager of environment, safety, health and quality assurance.

    She retired in 2015 after overseeing UCOR’s successful designation as a Star site in the Department of Energy’s Voluntary Protection Program.

  • Sweetheart of a treat to help Drug Task Force

    All the proceeds of a sweetheart of a strawberry Valentine’s Day treat will go to the Drug Task Force for the war on drugs in Roane County.

    The Well House Primary Care, Kingston, is taking orders for chocolate-dipped strawberries.

    The orders will be delivered on Friday or Saturday within a 15-mile radius of The Well House on North Kentucky Street.

    Orders are available through today, Monday.

    Cost is $20 for half a dozen or $35 for a dozen.

    The strawberries will be packaged and decorated with a single rose.

  • A Sanctuary for the soul

    A good vacation can change your life.

    That’s what happened to Paul Cowell in 1963 when he visited a resort in New York.

    “I grew up on a dairy farm, and my family never went on vacations or went to eat at restaurants,” Cowell said.

    “I was out of college in 1963, and my wife [Jean] and I went to a resort in the Adirondacks,” he remembered of that fateful excursion.

    “I had never been on a vacation and thought it was a wonderful experience.

  • OUT to LUNCH: Barbecue baked beans among the good eats at Smokehouse

    If I told you, “We had a barbecue at Schrock’s Roadside Café,” and you knew where we went – you may be a senior citizen.

    This “Out to Lunch” adventure took place in that same location, 708 W. Race St. in Kingston – now known as Smokehouse Bar & Grill.

    I wrote about Smokehouse in October 2009. At that time, it was still the same size building when Bob and Wilma Schrock operated the Café several years ago.

  • Ham it up the delicious way at Oak Ridge’s HoneyBaked


    “Out to Lunch” readers know that I often mention my Oak Ridge High School Reunion Committee members in my articles.

    “Why don’t we have our next committee meeting at the new HoneyBaked Ham Café in Oak Ridge?” Janet Harlan emailed me. 

  • OUT to LUNCH: 2015 offerings left lots to places to revisit in the New Year

    Several “Out to Lunch” readers have asked my wife, Carol, and me, “Where’s the best place to eat?”

    After writing more than 200 articles, we have a bunch of eating adventures that impressed us, but no particular favorites.

    From our 2015 visits, the following are some of the places that come to mind for a return outing.

    * * *

    Le Noir – A Southern Belgian Bistro, With an American Touch in Lenoir City (Broadway at Kingston Street) was certainly an enjoyable adventure.