There are few movies that touched America any deeper than 1994’s classic Forrest Gump. The film, which starred Tom Hanks as an unlikely American renaissance man, coined such phrases as “Life is like a box of chocolates” and “Stupid is as stupid does.” A tastier example of the movie’s long-lasting appeal can be found right on the main drag in Gatlinburg—at the restaurant which bears the name of the shrimp company featured in the movie, Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.
One of only twenty such restaurants here in the United States, Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. features an ambience that visitors who are exhausted from a day of sight-seeing or bargain-hunting will no doubt enjoy. Photographs and memorabilia from the film adorn the walls on both floors of the restaurant.
Making the visit a pleasure for customers is the main goal of the staff at Bubba Gump’s in Gatlinburg. I can tell you first-hand that I have never found the service there to be anything more than first-rate. Guests will be shown two signs to display on their table that will alert the waiters and waitresses if they need anything: one that says “Run Forrest Run,” if they are content at the moment…and one that says “Stop Forrest Stop” if they are in need of service.
So, now that we’re seated…let’s take a look at the menu. On the appetizer list are such winners as “Bubba’s Far Out Dip,” which in true Gump-style, can include shrimp. (There are so many ways to enjoy it after all!) Then there are the Hush Pups—which I found to be delicious—shrimp, fish, and corn, deep fried and served with a special dipping sauce.
On the sandwich slate, some of the highlights include the “Dixie Fishwich,” and the “Shrimp Po’ Boy,” which will leave customers satisfied to no end. If your appetite yearns for a little more, there’s “Mama’s Southern Fried Chicken,” as well as the “Accidental Fish & Shrimp,” which consists of Broiled Mahi Mahi.
Probably my favorite dish at Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. is the “Bubba’s After The Storm” platter. Remember the scene where Forrest and Lt. Dan reeled in their first catch only to come up a little short? Well, this “bucket of boat trash,” as the restaurant calls it, is a little more appealing to the stomach. It features shrimp, fish, and lobster claw—all served up, appropriately enough—in a bucket not too much unlike what the Bubba Gump Seafood Company used for that first catch.
If you’re visiting Gatlinburg, and want to experience a taste of one of Hollywood’s finest moments, you need to try Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. Of all the restaurants I have sampled in the city, it’s one that I keep coming back to—time and again. It’s also one of the only ones I have ever eaten at where the waiters and waitresses ask you trivia questions—all concerning the legendary film. It’s well worth the time, wait, and money…and that’s all I have to say about that!