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Comfort Food

by Meghann on April 28, 2011

We made it to Tennessee!

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See the mountains in the background? That’s how you know you’re not in Florida anymore. 🙂  

And I lied. We’re not in Nashville.

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We’re an hour outside of Knoxville in a family friend’s cabin.

That’s why we were in SC and that’s why we took a funky route. It worked out being cheaper for us to stay at the cabin tonight rather than Nashville (aka staying in the cabin was FREE). We’re heading out tomorrow morning for the expo and to get settled and stay the night in Nashville. Then we plan to drive back to the cabin after the race on Saturday. When it comes down to it staying in the cabin two out of the three three nights in Tennessee will save us $300. Win. Win.

Plus, the cabin is BEAUTIFUL.

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There’s a full kitchen.

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And one heck of a view.

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Did I mention the hot tub? 😉

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Yep, I think we’ll be just fine here.

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The rest of the car ride was a breeze. Ashley took over driving for the final 3 hours and the car demolished a bag of blue corn tortilla chips.

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Plus, more Sour Patch Kids. Those kids are dangerous.

Ashley and Ben took us to a family restaurant down the road called Apple House.

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It was a real country place, complete with the southern charm and heavy comfort food.

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They were also heavy on the apple theme. Each meal came with homemade apple cider and apple fritters with apple butter.

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The apple cider was fresh. Almost too fresh. The two sips I had were very earthy and, well, tasted like dirt.

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The apple fritters, however, were great. I had one and a half of the deep fried blobs of apple dough and a heavy heaping of apple butter to go with them.

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The pre-meal ‘salad’ was really just a plate of lettuce with a single tomato slice and dressing. Not impressed.

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I ordered something for dinner I never order, but though sounded great on the heavy southern menu.

Chicken & Dumplings

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I was expecting chicken and dumplings like I cook at home, with lots of vegetables and broth. What I got was a more traditional take on the classic comfort food dish – extra thick and creamy. It was good, but really heavy. Definitely not something I would normally order, but it was fun to try something new.

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On the side I added a little color to my plate with my vegetable choice of green beans and corn.

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I thought Kelly’s meal was fun. She had the only 4 dishes on the menu that contained no meat.

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You know you’re out in the country when…. 😉

We declined dessert at Apple House and instead stopped for some ice cream on the way back to the cabin.

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I’ve never tried Mayfield Ice Cream before, but it was really airy and light. I especially enjoyed the birthday cake flavor. 🙂

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You know the best way to end 9 hrs in the car?

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It’s Hot Tub time!

Good Night!

1 Erin April 28, 2011 at 10:54 pm

That is what chicken and dumplings look like, and they are pretty delicious.

2 Ashley April 28, 2011 at 10:55 pm

I’m very familiar with restaurants like that. Sorry the options were so limited, but it looks like you’re having a great time 🙂

3 Grace April 28, 2011 at 10:57 pm

Sour Patch kids are my favorite car and movie candy! and I have to buy small packs because they are very dangerous! The Applehouse looks so cute! and the cabin looks beautiful! I would love to be in a cabin in the woods right now! Have fun on your trip to Nashville tomorrow!

4 Chelsea April 28, 2011 at 10:58 pm

Enjoy it! I love the mountains of NC and TN! It is so green and lush. Its great that you guys can save money and use a friends cabin.
Chelsea recently posted..Thai Wraps and Sticky Rice

5 Jenny @ Fitness Health and Food April 28, 2011 at 10:58 pm

what an awesome place to stay and a great way to prepare for the race 🙂

I have never had apple fritters! ahh they look soo good! 🙂

Best wishes for your prep! 🙂

6 Shannon April 28, 2011 at 11:23 pm

Birthday cake ice cream is my favorite! It seriously is the best. I love going to restaurants like that aren’t part of a chain
Shannon recently posted..Upcoming Week

7 Annette @ EnjoyYourHealthyLife April 28, 2011 at 11:49 pm

Oh what a pretty cabin! I LOVE hot tubs outside. Have fun 🙂

8 Kate (What Kate is Cooking) April 29, 2011 at 12:23 am

Haha, I ate at a Southern food restaurant in Northern California, of all places, and there were no vegetarian entrees, so I got a bunch of sides like Kelly 🙂 You gotta do what you gotta do!
Kate (What Kate is Cooking) recently posted..Modesto Half Marathon Recap

9 Alaina April 29, 2011 at 12:31 am

I think after a 9 hour drive, comfort food is the best. That stinks about the apple cider though. I have a feeling one sip that tasted like dirt would turn me off of it for a while. 😛

Yeah, hot tub! That cabin looks so cute.
Alaina recently posted..Quinoa Stir Fry

10 Jamie Sometimes Healthy Girl April 29, 2011 at 1:11 am

How funny that the restaurant served all that apple. Loved your description of the cider. haha. I love comfort food -wish I could have a fritter right about now with a huge glob of apple butter. YUM!
Jamie Sometimes Healthy Girl recently posted..Food Prep for the Royal Wedding…Viewing Party

11 Jocelyn April 29, 2011 at 1:49 am

You are clearly in a small southern town, sometimes lettuce and tomatoes constitute a salad – and you choose to judge it? You’re not at a 5 star restaurant – I like your blog but you’re being quite rude. What you think isn’t up to par is what most people like about small town country food.

12 Maryanne April 29, 2011 at 12:58 pm

I disagree with you. Why is it that just because you are in a small town that the food has to suck? I don’t get that?

13 Lacey @ Lake Life April 29, 2011 at 1:11 pm

Why is it that lettuce with a tomato slice has to suck? Fresh vegetables are really expensive and a lot of small restuarants end up wasting them because they don’t get used in time. This whole post was basically dripping with rudeness (fried BLOBS of apple dough and the word “heavy”being used 3 times?) Can you say ORTHOREXIA?
Lacey @ Lake Life recently posted..Toto- I don’t think we’re in NY anymore

14 Maryanne April 29, 2011 at 1:59 pm

I think it’s a cop out. Don’t own a restaurant unless you can afford good ingredients.
It’s nice of your to accuse Meghan of an eating disorder…wow.

15 Lacey @ Lake Life April 29, 2011 at 3:13 pm

Just wondering, Maryanne, how many restaurants to you own?
Lacey @ Lake Life recently posted..Toto- I don’t think we’re in NY anymore

16 Maryanne April 29, 2011 at 4:15 pm

2 actually…

17 Lacey @ Lake Life April 29, 2011 at 9:44 pm

Then that’s the rudest thing you could do- insult another restaurant when you really know the struggle that it is to OWN a restaurant.
Lacey @ Lake Life recently posted..Toto- I don’t think we’re in NY anymore

18 Erin April 29, 2011 at 8:06 pm

I completely agree. Very turned off by the post as well. Just enjoy that you’re some place new and give it a chance.

19 Jumanah @ Healthy Living in the Middle East April 29, 2011 at 6:38 am

Delicious good ol’ southern food! Gotta love it! YUM!

That cabin looks so beautiful. I love all color of the wood in the kitchen!
Jumanah @ Healthy Living in the Middle East recently posted..Simple

20 Christine @ Burning It Off April 29, 2011 at 7:11 am

None of that food looks very appetizing… but it probably tasted awesome 😉
Christine @ Burning It Off recently posted..You mean you don’t get a cheat meal when you’re maintaining

21 Conni April 29, 2011 at 7:16 am

I LIVE IN KNOXVILLE! You’re so close to me I could scream. 🙂 🙂

22 Holly @ The Runny Egg April 29, 2011 at 7:31 am

What a nice cabin! And I love eating at places like that — really homey meals like Cracker Barrell. Have fun!
Holly @ The Runny Egg recently posted..Pizza Bread

23 Hilary April 29, 2011 at 7:49 am

Looks like fun…and real southern for sure! 🙂
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24 April April 29, 2011 at 8:31 am

Ah, Cosby Tennessee and the Smokey Mountains. I love it. I was just there a couple weeks ago. Gorgeous this time of year! I am a new follower of yours, just thought I’d say hi and tell you to enjoy your trip!
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25 Hope April 29, 2011 at 8:48 am

So glad you made it! Wow, that food looks interesting! I’ve never had chicken and dumplings before. It looks good though! 🙂 Have fun!!

26 Mimi April 29, 2011 at 9:03 am

Southern cooking and vegetarianism generally don’t mesh well… I’m glad Kelly found something!
Mimi recently posted..Thank-you cookies

27 Ashlee (Ash & Lew Plus 2) April 29, 2011 at 9:22 am

You are totally in the Ash & Lew Plus 2 neck of the woods! Too bad it sounds like you have a full weekend b/c we live VERY close to there! Small world! I hope you have an awesome time in Nashville!
Ashlee (Ash & Lew Plus 2) recently posted..Rosemary Mashed Potatoes

28 Kacy April 29, 2011 at 9:23 am

It’s so weird how homestyle restaurants like that never have real veggies. Veggies can be homestyle.

29 Lacey @ Lake Life April 29, 2011 at 1:13 pm

Real veggies? So that’s fake lettuce, tomato and green beans?
Lacey @ Lake Life recently posted..Toto- I don’t think we’re in NY anymore

30 Laura April 29, 2011 at 2:48 pm

I grew up in Knoxville, and now live in a small farming community in North Mississippi. These restaurants are a-plenty ’round these parts! 🙂

I hate that some other readers thought you came across as rude…you are just used to more upscale restaurants in bigger cities, that’s all. You are always honest with your opinions about restaurants…whether it be at a four star gourmet or a cabin in the Smoky Mountains! I appreciate that about your blog. You are making the most of eating traditional Southern comfort food, and that’s all you can do. I grew up with this type of food, and it is typically too heavy for me, too. LOVE your shout-out to Mayfield’s!!!! Grew up on their dairy products, too…gosh now I’m all nostalgic! 🙂

The first half marathon I ever did was Nashville!!!! You will love it…the spectators are awesome and there’s music EVERYWHERE…enjoy it!!

~Laura

31 Amy April 29, 2011 at 5:16 pm

Oh that cabin looks to die for! So cute!
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32 Marie April 29, 2011 at 8:45 pm

For serious? It must be so hard to exist in such a world that is just so…. Mediocre to you. Oh noes, “heavy” food. I think what you really want to say is that it isn’t a 200 calorie meal like you’re used to eating in your little controlled environment.

33 Lacey @ Lake Life April 29, 2011 at 9:48 pm

I agree Marie! I live in upstate NY, where it’s all small “country” restaurants. Here we appreciate the hard work it takes to even run a business. We grow our produce 3 months of the year, and the rest of the time we have to drive at least 20 minutes to buy produce at the local grocery store…and the produce is usually from Chile.
Lacey @ Lake Life recently posted..Toto- I don’t think we’re in NY anymore

34 Lacey @ Lake Life April 29, 2011 at 11:07 pm

Just in case anyone wanted to visit the Carver’s Applehouse website to make their own unbiased opinions:
http://dininginthesmokies.com/_cosby/dccarver.htm
Lacey @ Lake Life recently posted..Toto- I don’t think we’re in NY anymore

35 RunningOnCoffee April 29, 2011 at 11:11 pm

I try to pack apples, bananas, dried fruit when we travel so I don’t feel too bad about food stops without a lot of produce along our route. Those apple fritters look awesome though! How nice of your family friends to let you use their cabin, it looks like it’s in a great setting. The other side of Knoxville is a possible job placement for my hubs when he finishes grad school…it would be a huge change from the northeast, but I’d look forward to the mountains in the backdrop!
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