Fish in the land of meat

This seems like meat country to me–the restaurants serve steaks and ribs and chicken, not pasta and veggies and fish.  There is usually some token piscatorial choice on the menu, like the salmon at Calhouns, but they don’t really know what to do with it and only Californians order it anyway.

We found an exception to this rule, thanks to ACBL President Bob Heller’s wife, Barbara. She recommended The Trout House, and we were off on another Tennessee adventure.

The Trout House is a small place, east of the main drag on the road to Pigeon Forge.  So small that you need reservations, in a town where nobody else even takes them.  It seemed strange to see our table for 6 with its little “RESERVED” sign on it just waiting for us.

Our waitress was a Gatlinburg institution.  She is 76 years old, bent and crooked, and has been scuttling around the Trout House for over 25 years.  She’s friendly and capable without any of that “hon” and “dear” and “sugar bear” that you get from so many others.  She’s a true delight.

The Trout House serves trout.  Grilled, fried, smothered in almonds, smothered in lemon rice, smothered in dill, sauteed, smoked, broiled, baked, smothered in cheese, and a few more variations.  They have a prime rib on the menu for people who can’t read the name of the place, but it isn’t a specialty.

We started with hush puppies, the quintessential Southern balls of deep fried cornmeal.

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They were significantly dry and hard, but dipping them in honey made them pretty interesting.  The first time I came to Gatlinburg I kept expecting to find them on every menu, but that hasn’t happened.  I think this was only the second time I’ve seen them here.

I had the trout, just grilled.  Being the healthy person that I am, I chose the glazed carrots instead of some variation of potatoes.

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The healthy eaters delight–grilled trout and carrots. Ignore the ramekin of melted butter to pour over it all.

My dish was fine.  Nothing fancy, nothing that would get  the chef an audition at a restaurant with a Michelin star.  Just a solid, decent meal. The fish was cooked just right, properly de-boned and nicely presented with excellent glazed carrots.

Bill had the trout stuffed with lemon rice.

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Lemon rice trout with a baked potato.

I have a hard time getting over the low prices on things here.  The key lime pie was $3.95. Limes are fruit, so that made it a healthy think to eat.

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Unfortunately, $3.95 is about what it was worth.  If Nancy Munson ever made a crust like that she would not let it see the light of day, and neither should the Trout House.  The filling was good.

Prices were tiny.  As little as they charge, we got a 10% discount because we were from the bridge tournament. My dinner, with un-sweet iced tea, trout and pie, was about $24.  The waitress got the bills all mixed up and put the pie on Bill’s check. She wanted to straighten it out, but we thought that might take forever so we took care of it ourselves–Bill and Danny are CPA’s, so they can figure these things to the last cent.  $3.95, minus 10%, plus sales tax, plus tip.  I just left a huge tip and Bill didn’t have to leave any.

The Trout House is an adventure, a delight, a big change of pace for G’burg.  I’m glad we found it and will put it in the rotation for next year.  Hold the pie.

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