Back home where I grew up (West Virginia), we had several places that we would frequently have lunch and dinner. These places usually weren’t chain restaurants; they were often places that weren’t fancy and were reasonably priced.
For example, one of my favorite restaurants is in my hometown is Parkette. I love their salad. They have the best Italian dressing in the world! I am sure you have those places in your hometown too.
Since so many visitors come to my home place now—The Smoky Mountains—I thought I would share a place with you that has become one of our “normal stops” here: Clint’s Family Restaurant.
As you travel on Dolly Parton Parkway a while, it turns into Newport Highway. I am not sure when or why that happens, but it does. You will see a little restaurant on the left hand side of the road called Clint’s. There is a gravestone store beside it. I think Clint may own it too, but I’m not sure.
Anyway, there are little wooden clubhouse type things in the yard, children’s riding toys, and some other country decorations. In the driveway of the restaurant are a couple carpet cleaning vans with Clint’s on the side of them. They are Clint’s too. I know this because his picture is on the side of them and he was voted the best carpet cleaner in our hometown newspaper.
As you go onto the porch, there is a long wooden church pew and a working stop light to catch your interest and usually a poster of an up and coming gospel concert that will take place that week. When you go into the restaurant, you will be seated by pretty much anyone…could be the bus boy, a server, or Clint himself.
As you take your seat, notice all the stuff on the walls. From floor to ceiling—stuff. Most all of it relates to The Smokies or surrounding areas. There are pictures of the town from several years ago, old cans of Bush Beans, posters from past concerts, and of course, a picture of Dolly Parton behind the register autographed to Clint.
The children receive a coloring page with a pig in bib overalls that they can color and give to Clint and he will post it on the wall. Their menu is filled with good ole country cookin’. Chicken and Dumplings, Meat Loaf, Bar B Que, Fruit Cobbler, Corn Bread, Hot Dogs, Hamburgers…well, you get the point.
Each day there is a different special too. My favorite (at the moment) is the grilled cheese and vegetable soup. The vegetable soup is soooo good. It is a meal in itself and pretty reasonably priced too. My wife likes this too. We don’t agree on much but we do on what to order at Clint’s.
They have a big selection of cookies, pies, and cakes at the register, so if you are too full for dessert (which I am sure you will be), you can take one home or back to the hotel or cabin you’re staying at. We do quite often.
For those who are looking for some entertainment also, Clint’s has live performances each week. Several local bands and musicians frequent this establishment. Most are of the bluegrass and gospel genres.
A really neat thing too is that Clint will pull a guitar or banjo off the wall and start singing at any time. When our little girl was a baby, she would scream when Clint would start singing. So bad that I would take her on the porch until he was done. It didn’t take long for Clint to realize that she wasn’t his biggest fan, so he stayed clear of our tables. But after a few months, she is fine and even gives Clint her coloring sheet after she has completed it.
Clint’s is one of our regular places. It is full of history, good food, and reasonable prices. I hope you agree with my recommendation and make Clint’s one of your normal stops while in the Smokies!