Picture it. It’s 2002. Leiper’s Fork, Tennessee. Andy Marshall transforms a small grocery store into a live music venue and restaurant. The beginning of Puckett’s expansion and growth.
A few years later, another location opens in downtown Franklin, Tennessee. The brand has since expanded to locations in Nashville and Chattanooga as well as Columbia, Murfreesboro, and Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Each location provides a unique charm that is inspired by the local community.
What is Puckett’s?
Puckett’s is a southern bar and grill with a large stage for live music. The atmosphere boasts an old general store vibe. Serving southern staples and authentic comfort food, Puckett’s prides itself on dishing up classics such as their famous meat-and-three and their slow-smoked BBQ.
I’ve heard amazing things about the middle Tennessee locations. So, you can only imagine my excitement when I learned that Pigeon Forge was getting a location! I am a member of several Facebook groups that are dedicated to all things Great Smoky Mountains and learned the news of the upcoming Pigeon Forge location from one of the groups. I quickly followed Puckett’s Facebook page so I could stay informed of their grand opening date.
They celebrated their grand opening on September 10, 2019.
It’s Time for Lunch
My friend Donna and I made plans for a girls day out on Sunday, September 23 and decided to visit Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg for a day of fun with food and shopping. I mentioned to her that I wanted to try Puckett’s because I’d heard nothing but rave reviews. I showed her the menu and she was immediately sold!
We made the trek to Pigeon Forge and stopped at Tanger Outlets for a few hours of shopping before heading to Puckett’s for a late lunch. We arrived around 1:45 pm.
As I mentioned earlier, each Puckett’s location provides a unique charm that is inspired by the local community. Puckett’s Pigeon Forge is located across the street from the Inn at Christmas Place. The inn is known for its Bavarian architecture. The restaurant also features the same type of beautiful architecture.
Once inside, we were told there was an estimated 25-minute wait. We were fine with that, especially with it being a newly opened restaurant. Parties that had arrived before us were quickly being seated. We decided to look over the menu while waiting.
Once we were seated, our server Ashley was promptly at the table to take our drink order. Donna and I both ordered sweet tea. The tea was freshly brewed as it was still a little warm when it arrived at the table. I was so thirsty that I kept needing refills and she was on top of it! Even the shift manager noticed that our ice was low and he brought a cup of ice for each of us. Such great hospitality!
We decided to try the fried pickles for an appetizer. Our server Ashley said, “Let me get those rang in for you then I’ll be back to take your order.” She was only gone a few minutes and came back to take the order. It was less than five minutes after we placed our order that the appetizer arrived. Let me just tell you, these fried pickles were the best I’ve ever eaten. They are thick-sliced pickles, double-breaded, deep-fried to crisp perfection and served with BBQ chipotle ranch. SO good!
Both Donna and I went back and forth on what we wanted to eat. We each had four or five items that we were trying to decide between (because everything sounded THAT GOOD). In the end, I chose the Smoked Meatloaf which was house-ground, slow-smoked and finished on the grill. Topped with mushroom gravy, served with mashed potatoes and southern green beans. I also ordered an extra side of coleslaw, because one cannot have meatloaf without also having coleslaw. You have the option to sub a side with sweet potato fries, skillet mac n’ cheese, or flat iron green beans for $1.50 or you can sub house salad for $2.50. The meal also comes with a signature Cajun corn cake.
The smoked flavoring of the meat mixed with the gravy, mushroom, and onions was out of this world. This is probably one of the best meatloaves I have ever had, if not THE best. The meat was cooked to perfection and the seasoning was on point. The green beans, mashed potatoes, and coleslaw were phenomenal as well.
Donna decided on the Fried Green Tomato BLT. The BLT features crispy bacon, fried green tomatoes, lettuce, and their famous BBQ chipotle ranch on toasted sourdough bread. All sandwiches are served with a side of fries. If fries aren’t your thing, you can sub sweet potato fries, skillet mac n’ cheese, or flat iron green beans for a regular side for $1.50 or you can sub house salad for $2.50.
A huge shoutout to the hostess, the shift manager, and our server Ashley. They made our first experience at Puckett’s a great one. I cannot wait to go back and try other dishes. I know they will be just as amazing as everything we had on our first visit. Since my list was a mile long when I was trying to decide on what to order, I will definitely have to go back and try them all!
And now for my ratings…
Food & Drink: 10/10
Puckett’s Pigeon Forge is located at 2480 Parkway Pigeon Forge, TN. Hours are Sun-Thurs 11 AM to 10 PM and Fri & Sat. 11 AM to 11 PM. You can make reservations by visiting puckettsgro.com/#reserve. Be sure to click on the Pigeon Forge location before reserving.
If you’d like to learn more about the history of Puckett’s and their other locations, visit their website at puckettsgro.com.