Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Paula Deen's Family Kitchen

Tacky, I know, but couldn't resist!

I'm a fan of Paula Deen and have always thought that she got a raw deal from her sponsors over the language issue.  So when I saw that she had just opened a new restaurant in Pigeon Forge, I decided that we should go.  I've been to her original place in Savannah, GA and expected the same high quality, good Southern food that she showcases there.

The restaurant itself is a standalone two story building with a huge store on the first floor and the restaurant on the second.  Up the escalator (a good thing!), the dining room has none of the southern ambiance of the one in Savannah.

Dining room
Very elegant, but not at all what I was expecting.

First glance at the menu showed no prices!  A little disconcerting, a closer look revealed the cost of $21.99 per person, family style.  The table got to choose three entrees, four side dishes and each person got their own desert.

The complimentary appetizer was a hoecake with sweet potato butter.  We were supposed to get cheddar cheese biscuits with it, but they never appeared on our table.  

Only sweet tea was offered.  The presentation was nice, but Sid said the tea was nothing special.

We chose ribs, fried chicken and pot roast as our entrees, squash casserole, corn casserole, creamed potatoes and candies sweet potatoes.  Fried chicken was extremely greasy, but the pot roast and the ribs were good.  The corn casserole was so dry is was basically cornbread and the sweet potatoes had so much sugar in them they set my teeth on edge.  The squash casserole was good primarily because it had gobs of cheese in it and the creamed potatoes were delicious.

For dessert, I got the banana pudding and Sid chose peach cobbler.  They were both mediocre.

Sid at least got his money's worth in ribs - they kept bringing them out!  You couldn't take anything home, but the waitress would replenish your dishes as many times as you wanted.

The restaurant's air conditioning must have been set at 50 degrees because it was freezing in there!  As soon as we finished eating, we hightailed it out of there!  Down the escalator and we were routed all the way through the retail store, similar to how you have to go through the gift shop to get out of a museum.  The store did have a huge selection of kitchen items as well as food products branded with Paula's name but I though the forced path through the store was a bit much.

All told, the experience was very disappointing.  Over $60 for a meal for two by the time all was said and done and neither the environment nor the food were very good.  Save your money and go to a dinner show instead, where you'll at least get entertainment.  Better yet, go on down to Savannah and eat at The Lady and Sons, her original restaurant where the food was outstanding!

Until next time...

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