Chad Huskey’s ongoing search for the best places to find beer in Maryville
My quest to find beer in Maryville, has taken me back to the 1950s. No, I don’t own a Delorean, and no, even though I keep begging my wife to let me install a Flux Capacitor in our minivan, she still hasn’t approved. I went back to the 1950s via the more convenient, Hotrod’s 50’s Diner, near downtown Maryville.
Let me preface my review just a bit by saying, although this quest is technically looking for places with wide varieties of beers, whether it’s bottles, draft, kegs or however you can drink or store it, I figure sometimes I may have to talk about a place, just because it’s durn good place, even if the beer selection is not the most grandiose (look at me, I’m using big words Ma!). That being said, Hotrods does have beer, but it’s just your standard fair of about 4 of the most common domestic beers (Bud, Miller, Coors, Michelob), in bottles only. Don’t get me wrong, as much as I like the swanky microbrews, I’m happy to chug back a good ol’ Miller or Bud Light any day, and around these parts, most folks would agree, as long as it’s cold, it’ll work!
Now on to what makes Hotrod’s great. Have you ever watched Diners, Drive-Ins, & Dives on Food Network? If so, then when I say this is the kind of place Guy Fieri would be right at home at, then you know what to expect. A good size menu with lots of variety, coupled with portions sizes almost guaranteed to make you have to unbutton your pants for the drive home. At the table across from us, I watched as a skinny middle school aged kid’s eyes bugged out when the waitress plopped down a Philly Cheese Steak the length of his arm in front of him.
Portion size alone wouldn’t matter if the food itself, you know…sucked, but no worries as Hotrod’s food makes you want to stuff yourself silly trying to cram down that last bite. My family and I have gone a couple times and everyone has tried something different each time, all with good results. This last venture I myself had a Shrimp Po’ Boy, served on a long bun, with crispy shrimp, lettuce and tomato, and to set it off just right, a Cajun mayonnaise, with a side of sweet potato fries. My wife had one of their wide varieties of burgers, which are all handmade (no frozen meat here), and one of the better burgers I’ve tasted in awhile. They also have several selections of vegetarian burgers for those so inclined.
What really sets it off as a place to check out however, are the menu choices that you won’t find anywhere else. Things that sound inspired by a great chef (and possibly his red eyed cousin, with the munchies). Things like the “Thanksgiving Day Sandwich” (fried turkey breast, sliced on texas toast, with stuffing & cheddar cheese, and served with a side cranberry sauce and gravy). How about the “Salmon Burger” (pieces of fresh salmon combined with fresh ginger, garlic and spices to create a salmon cake, topped with an Asian cole slaw and served with a side of homemade soy aioli sauce). Guy Fieri would be in hog heaven. Oh and speaking of TV shows about food, Hotrod’s may need to invite Man vs. Food to try their “Chubby Challenge”. A giant 30 oz triple decker burger, smothered with american cheese, & garnished with lettuce, tomato, onion and pickles. Served with a pound of french fries. Eat it all in 30 minutes and get a free t-shirt and your picture on the wall of fame! (And yes, the t-shirt actually say’s “I got a Chubby at Hotrods!”)
Oh and I almost forgot dessert. Definitely not for those counting calories, with treats like a Deep Fried Twinkie Sunday (my personal kryptonite), Deep Fried Oreo Sunday, or Deep Fried Strawberry Cake (anyone else notice a theme here?) guilty pleasure at its best! Also, lot’s of ice cream choices in bowl, cone, or shake form.
Take all of that and wrap it up in a 1950s themed restaurant and you’ve got a good place to indulge yourself when you just have to have some comfort food. They have all the classic 1950s styling cues checkered tile floors, lots of chrome and neon lighting, old tin advertising signs stuck on the walls, even pinball machines and a jukebox full of Rock N Roll from the era. Is it kitschy? Definitely, but it’s kitschy in the good way. The kind of place you’ll wanna drag your friends out to check out, because you were the one hip enough to discover it first. As I said in my previous venture into Maryville, one of the great things about being in Knoxville is knowing there are so many other great towns and communities nearby. So next time you’re in the mood for a cold Bud Light and some food that’ll have you ready for a nap before you can make it back home, you may want to take the short drive to Maryville to give Hotrods a try.
For more Info:
Hot Rod’s 50’S Diner
373 Hannum Street, Alcoa, TN 37701