Wednesday, February 24, 2016

The Dinner Bell Restaurant and General Store, Sweetwater, Tennessee

If you travel on I-75 between Knoxville and Chattanooga you have probably seen the big billboards for the Dinner Bell Restaurant andGeneral Store.  It is located off of Exit 62, Sweetwater, Tennessee.  You can’t miss it!

The first thing you will notice is that it has a similar appearance to a well-known restaurant, Cracker Barrel, but it is painted in different colors.  It does have rocking chairs on the front porch.  Once inside you will notice that you enter into the General Store which is really a gift shop and, again, similar in nature but not size or scope to Cracker Barrel.

To the left is the restaurant section and don’t wait to be seated, just grab a booth or table, they will up quickly at dinner time.  Now you have to make a decision, do you order from the menu or take the buffet?

If you take the buffet you get the soup/salad bar with tons of options, plus entrees such as chicken wings or pulled pork, some type of potato and various veggies.  The choices change frequently, so you won’t know until you get there what is available.  The dessert bar is included with the buffet.

The menu has your basic burgers and sandwiches; entrées include steak, chicken, fish served with your choice of potato and you get the soup/salad/dessert bars with dinners. 

Let me begin by saying that this is a popular stop for truckers and you will often see a lot of 18-wheelers in the parking lot.  It is also a hot spot for seniors, since seniors love anything served buffet style.  

This restaurant serves basic food, not fancy food by any means.  We don’t go to the Dinner Bell very often, but when we do I always enjoy the salad bar.  What I like the most is the dessert offerings.  There are always several homemade cakes to try and they are outstanding.

I am very fussy about where and what I eat.  I have had a steak at the Dinner Bell that was tough as nails.  Yet our last visit there I had the sautéed fish and it was was very good.  Their baked potatoes are not the best; it seems I always get one that is just barely warm.  I don’t care for their ‘fake’ butter.  My husband is much easier to please in all regards and he enjoyed the chopped steak and mashed potatoes with gravy.

Fish and baked potato at the Dinner Bell

The servers are all helpful and friendly.  The service is usually fast.  So if you are really hungry and don’t mind fake butter or tough steak and you don’t have a lot of time to wait around – you might try the Dinner Bell.

We aren’t in a rush to go back but what does continually draw me back are those homemade cakes….but like my husband said, I can bake an even better one myself at home!

Photos belong to AbbyG

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