You Just Gotta Do It in The Great Smoky Mountains- Calhoun’s in Gatlinburg!

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Have you ever felt like you just didn’t want to leave a restaurant because of the atmosphere, the greeters, the service, and the food? That is how we felt at Calhoun’s in Gatlinburg, TN.

Before I could even get to the door, it swung open with a hospitable, “Welcome to Calhoun’s!” greeting from one of the outstanding servers working there. I told him I was here for a reservation but I would wait for Robert to park the car. He asked me to step inside to the air conditioning to keep cool. How was that for looking after their diners? I loved the welcoming atmosphere from the second I stepped in the door.

We promptly were seated and our drink orders placed by one of the best waiters we have ever had. Let me stop here and brag about our waiter. Drew took care of us and continued to check on us throughout the meal. But we weren’t just diners to him. He made sure he told us about different items on the menu but he did it in a way that it wasn’t just a job to him. He truly loves what he is doing and it shows in his personality and his professionalism.  When I remarked how much I loved the garlic rolls, Drew brought more but also cornbread and biscuits that he wanted us to try, too.

As much as Robert and I have traveled, it was a genuine pleasure being served by Drew. He is one of the best waiters we have ever had the privilege of meeting. I loved chatting with him about the area and what brought him to the area too! Let me also say that the Manager, Jeff, was also very accommodating. He checked on all the guests during their meals, and I could see him checking on the servers to see if they were in need of anything. He was at the front greeting people when we arrived, and also when we left. I love going to restaurants where the manager is visible throughout the meal and Jeff definitely was an outstanding manager from our perspective!

I had heard that the Beer Cheese Dip was the best there was, so it was the first thing we ordered. You have your choice of tortilla chips or  soft pretzels, we opted for the tortilla chips. It was creamy and delicious! Robert and I both tried to figure out exactly how to describe it- it isn’t a Mexican cheese dip, not a cheddar, just a good, rich cheese dip that is heavenly.

Robert ordered a slab of ribs and immediately wished he would have ordered the ½ slab when they arrived. They were one of the biggest slabs of baby backs he had ever seen! The ribs were fall of the bone, slap your mama silly good! He loved their savory BBQ sauce and poured additional sauce all over his plate to dip his ribs into before each bite. Coming home he said that he wished I would have tried the baked beans. I reminded him he didn’t offer me a bite and he said that they were not meant to be shared, that is how good they were! Be sure to get the baked beans as one of your sides when you go to Calhoun’s!

I ordered the Hickory Smoked Prime Rib with mashed potatoes and a salad. First, the salad was fresh and crisp. You know how some salads are just, well, salads? Not a really good taste? Calhoun’s salad was delicious with two different cheeses, bacon, and croutons, sans the tomatoes by my request!

We are Prime Rib lovers and prepare it at home every time we find whole rib-eye on sale. Calhoun’s Hickory Smoked Prime Rib is a winner in my book. Each bite was mouthwatering with the taste of hickory lingering on your palate. It literally was melt in your mouth good and so tender that a knife was not even needed. Calhoun’s might be known for it’s ribs, but the Prime Rib is a must-get for anyone visiting!

But Calhoun’s has more than just Prime Rib and Ribs! They have salads, burgers, BBQ, chicken, pork chops, and more! Be sure to check out their online menu to see everything they have to offer.

Now, you don’t think we ended the evening with our entrée’s do you? Actually, we thought we were done, but Drew said we couldn’t leave without trying the Strawberry Shortcake. Now, we do not customarily order Strawberry Shortcake without Zach with us because that is his favorite dessert in the world. But since he is currenlty stationed 6 hours from us, I figured he would never find out…at least not until he read the review, right? Wrong! This Strawberry Shortcake was so incredibly good that I had to take a picture and text it to him immediately! The shortcake was another outstanding suggestion from Drew and I am thankful he told us to make sure we saved room for it!

Overall, OUTSTANDING Service and Food!!! I am thrilled to say that this will not be our last time visiting Calhoun’s! Be sure to stop by there when you are in town, and don’t forget to check out their Website and “like”  Calhoun’s on Facebook, too!


We received a complimentary gift card to facilitate this review, however ALL opinions are the honest feedback of our personal experiences.

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