Thursday, October 02, 2014

Alligator Tail and My Tale at Uncle Bucks Grill in Kodak, TN

Alligator tail does not taste like chicken. At least this is what Hubby told me when we went to Uncle Buck's Grill in Kodak, TN.

This is the restaurant that's inside the Bass Pro Shops. The website lists the address for Uncle Buck's Grill as being in Sevierville, TN. Don't believe everything you read. If you put the address on their website into your GPS you will probably get lost. Use the following directions instead.

Since Uncle Buck's Grill is inside the Bass Pro Shops so you want to look for those signs as you come off of the interstate. Take I-40 exit 407. Turn toward the Smokies Stadium. At the traffic light in front of the stadium turn left. You'll see the Bass Pro signs as you turn.

Come up the hill and the road brings you in front of the store and straight into the parking lot. There is a small sign on the building for Uncle Buck's Grill. That, and the big boat display, lets you know that you are in the right place.

The front of Bass Pro Shops is taken up by outdoor displays of boats, ATVs and the like. Parking is available at the far side of the building. The lot is enormous and can easily accommodate recreational vehicles of all sizes.

After looking at camping gear and outdoor items for about an hour and a half we decided to find something to eat. I was in favor of going off the grounds but Hubby wasn't.

This Bass Pro used to have the Islamorada Seafood Restaurant. I tried it once and wasn't about to go back. Hubby pointed out that Uncle Buck's Grill is now in the spot where Islamorada went out so I relented.

The entry to the restaurant is small and easy to miss. Find it by entering Bass Pro through the turnstiles at the front door. Uncle Buck's Grill is to your left against the far wall. The windows overlook the patio. There is a large aquarium behind the bar that runs almost from floor to ceiling and for just under the full width of the wall.

There was not wait when we walked in. An Uncle Buck's Grill hostess promptly showed us to our seats and left menus. Hubby and I talked about an appetizer. By the time he excused himself we'd narrowed the choices down to two or three. That's when I spotted the one we would try.

Let me explain to you that Hubby is a meat and potatoes kind of guy. The burgers at Uncle Buck's Grill suited him just fine. He would have been happy with cheese sticks for an appetizer, chicken wings or even quesadilla. That's not what he got.

He stepped out to take a phone call as the server walked up. That's when I went for broke and ordered the alligator tail ($8). By the time Hubby came back the order was placed and the tea glasses were on the table. (In case you're interested they also serve Coke products.)

Nothing was said about the appetizer until it arrived. That's when I told Hubby that it was chicken. Hubby shrugged his shoulders and took a bite. Then he took another bite, looked at me funny and informed me that it didn't taste like chicken.

I shrugged my shoulders and took a bite. Our burgers arrived at Uncle Buck's Grill by the time we finished the appetizer.

His Tournament Burger ($9.5) was fixed just the way he wanted. It's an 8 ounce beef patty that's covered in cheese and had a small pile of bacon on top. It comes with french fries on the side. The burger was cooked to a nice medium well and the cheese was well melted. Hubby reported that the burger was well seasoned and tasted just like it was supposed to. Then he made another crack about the 'chicken' at Uncle Buck's Grill not tasting right.

I think he suspected that something was up but I ignored him and tasted my basic cheeseburger ($8.50) It was well done and the cheese drooped perfectly. The lettuce was crisp and cool. Like Hubby, I opted for the french fries. These were good. At Uncle Buck's Grill the condiments are brought to the table so there was no shortage of ketchup or mustard.

When it was time for the check I had to fess up about the appetizer. (After all, the bill is itemized and he was paying.)

As casually as I could I asked Hubby if he liked the appetizer. That's when he figured out that he'd been had. He hesitated before saying that yes. The alligator tail had a texture that was similar to chicken but was rolled up into little balls. It would be similar to meat balls made of ground chicken or turkey.

When I told him that it was alligator he just laughed. But, he did say that even though they were a little on the spicy side he would try them again.

He also muttered something about paybacks.

If you happen to call when we go back to Uncle Buck's Grill another time, please leave a voicemail. There's no telling what will happen if I step out to take a phone call.

Uncle's Bucks Grill cost us about $35 plus tip. It's about average for the area and the service was very good.

This article originally appeared on the Yahoo Contributor Network on May 26, 2011.