Tennessee: The List, part two

Continued from part one of our adventure in Tennessee…

southern bbq

Eat at: Tony Gore’s in Sevierville, TN. I should have know the portion of BBQ would be big after reading Tony’s slogan on the rooftop sign. “Never trust a skinny cook.” The portions are HUGE but the BBQ is also big on flavor. The smokers are right outside where you know your ribs have been cooking all-day-long.

{fried green tomatoes source}                    That is a half rack of ribs

Worth a try: fried green tomatoes at Tony Gore’s. My late friend, Kari, and I used to talk about this Southern fried dish a lot (and we love the movie by the same name). On a trip to the South, she made it one of her missions to find a diner to sample this dish. Well, she would have been seriously disappointed in me if I had passed up the opportunity to order these yummy fried tomatoes. (I was too busy chowing down to snap a picture.) And, the homemade BBQ Ranch dipping sauce is sooooo good! Tony knows what he is doing, that’s for sure!

Still wasn’t prepared for: how touristy Sevierville, Pigeon Forge & Gatlinburg are. T-shirt airbrush and souvenirs shops are in every other building. Like a Tennessee Vegas minus the gambling.

PT Bartum once said, “There is a sucker born every minute.” The biggest “sucker” moment: paying to walk through Ripley’s Believe it or Not Oddities. Save your money and time…just buy the book!

There is no shortage of miniature golf courses either. Above is one of the Ripley’s Mini Golf we played.

What I hated: how Midwest and Southern entertainment portray Hillbillies to sell tickets to their over-priced variety shows, mini-golf, t-shirts, trinkets, or whatever. Not all hillbillies are backwoods-uneducated-no-shoe-wearing-toothless-moonshine-making-gun-toting-hicks. And, here’s a little history lesson: the Hatfields and McCoys were from the West Virgina-Kentucky area, not Tennessee. So why are the Hatfields and McCoys a mainstay of this tourist area? Maybe I am a little sensitive because I grew up in the Ozarks, and I personally know a few real Hillbillies and they’re not anything like that.

Part three…to be continued.

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