If you are local to the Great Smoky Mountains or are a member of any of the Facebook groups dedicated to them, chances are you’ve heard of The Local Goat.
What is The Local Goat?
The Local Goat is a scratch kitchen specializing in locally sourced foods. Everything is made from scratch in their kitchen daily, including their bread. The bar specializes in local craft breweries, craft cocktails, and fine wines. The dining room features artwork from local artists and craftsmen.
No matter the time of day, the parking lot is ALWAYS packed. A testament to their amazing atmosphere and food.
Prior to this trip, I had tried at least four or five times to eat at The Local Goat but there was always a 2+ hour wait. My friend, daughter and I were planning a girl’s day, so I decided to be proactive and place a reservation for this trip to Pigeon Forge so that we would not miss the chance to eat there again!
We arrived about 15 minutes prior to our reservation time.
Tip: If you plan to eat at The Local Goat on your next trip to Pigeon Forge, I highly recommend making a reservation. You can make reservations directly on their website at localgoatpf.com.
The dining room was full and there was a fairly large group of people waiting to be seated when we arrived. We walked up to the hostess counter and told the hostess that we had a reservation. She searched for the reservation and informed us that she only had one reservation written down for the time I had made my reservation and it wasn’t my name. She quickly went to inform one of the managers about the issue. The manager apologized and told us that she could squeeze us in within 10-15 minutes, which would have still been at our reservation time.
About five minutes later, she walked over to us and showed us the reservation screen on her handheld device and told us that she found my reservation and that it had accidentally been written down for two hours after I’d ask for. She apologized for the mixup and we were seated a few minutes later.
Our waiter came to the table and welcomed us to the restaurant. He asked if we had ever been before and we informed him that we hadn’t. He told us that everything is made from scratch daily, from the ketchup to the bread.
My friend and I had been looking at the menu online a few days before our trip. She had already decided what she wanted to order, as did my daughter. I, on the other hand, had no clue.
There are SO many options on the menu. I kept going back and forth between Fish n’ Chips, Maui Chicken, Bacon Cheeseburger, Smokehouse Burger and the TN Whiskey Glazed Burger. I changed my mind several times.
We opted to get the Spinach Artichoke Dip and Fried Green Tomatoes as starters while we (or should I say I because the other two already knew what they wanted at this point) scoured the menu to decide on what to order for our meal.
The Spinach Artichoke Dip was spectacular. You can taste the different flavors in each and every bite. I cannot recall eating at an establishment where I could taste each and every flavor in every bite. I cannot get over how well the chef prepares the dishes. The dip was so good that we ate all of it and only had a few chips left. Since there was a bit of made from scratch sour cream and pico de gallo left, I decided to add them to a tortilla chip. This was pure heaven. I could have seriously made a meal with these.
We also ordered the Fried Green tomatoes which consisted of cornmeal battered Grainger county green tomatoes, goat cheese, bacon jam, caramelized onions with a side of greens. Again, you could taste the different flavors with each and every bite. The batter was crispy and the tomatoes were cooked to perfection.
Teamwork Makes the Dream Work
I observed a few things while we ate our appetizers and waited for our meals to arrive.
The dining room is always packed. Open tables lasted less than five minutes. The tables were being filled with guests as quickly as the restaurant staff could clean them.
There was a fairly large party sitting near us. They finished their meal and left and staff members quickly sprung into action to clear the area. From managers to other waiters to the hostess, they all worked together seamlessly to clean the tabletop and floors and reset the table for the next group of people. I was highly impressed by this!
The Main Course
Our main course arrived within 10-15 minutes of placing the order.
I ultimately decided on the TN Whiskey Glazed Burger. Let me just tell you, it did NOT disappoint. The burger consisted of smoked bacon, crispy onions, and garlic aioli. All burgers are served with lettuce, tomatoes, red onions, pickles, and hand-cut French fries. Our waiter asked if I wanted all of those toppings, of course, I said yes!
The burger was cooked to perfection and the flavors of the entire sandwich could be tasted with each bite. I would have to say that it’s probably the best burger I’ve ever had.
My friend chose the Patriot Burger for her meal. Your cheese options for the Patriot Burger are American, Swiss, pepper jack, provolone, cheddar, and of course this burger also includes lettuce, tomatoes, red onions, pickles, and hand-cut French fries. She said, “I’m not a burger person but I’m so glad I ordered it! Tasted as if cooked on an outdoor grill, so much flavor!”
My daughter chose her favorite food . . . Mac and Cheese! They were also served with hand-cut french fries. The fries were cooked perfectly, not too crispy and not too soggy. According to her, the macaroni was really good because there was just the perfect amount of cheese. The noodles were also spiraled and cooked to perfection.
A new group of people had been seated at the tables next to us. Our waiter was also in charge of their table. There were several members of the party that were hearing-impaired. They had an ASL translator who relayed their questions and orders to the waiter. He was very patient with them. Since he was busy with this table and didn’t get the opportunity to visit our table as much as he’d like, two of the managers stepped up and made sure we had our drinks filled and asked if we needed anything else. I love how, yet again, they worked together to fill in the needs of the restaurant to make sure that patrons had the best experience possible.
After we finished our meal, he asked if we wanted dessert. There was no possible way that we had any room left for dessert after we devoured our appetizers and main course. He also asked if we wanted a drink to go. That is rare these days.
We thanked him for being a great waiter and making our first experience at The Local Goat a great one. We will DEFINITELY go back since there are many other items on the menu that we want to try.
And now for my ratings…
Food & Drink: 10/10
The Local Goat is located at 2167 Parkway, Pigeon Forge, TN 37863. Hours are Sunday 11 AM to 10 PM, Mon-Thurs 11 AM to 11 PM, and Fri & Sat. 11 AM to 12 AM. You can make reservations by visiting localgoatpf.com.