Saturday, March 13, 2010

Dining at the Dinner Bell

There are two things you should know about my in-laws: 1) They have a knack for sniffing out unique, Mom & Pop, and/or hole-in-the-wall kind of restaurants. 2) They aren't fazed by a one or two hour drive to dine somewhere they really like. Which brings me to the subject of today's post: Dinner Bell in Sweetwater, Tennessee.

If you're in Tennessee driving I-75 between Chattanooga and Knoxville, and you happen to be hungry, I suggest taking exit 62. There you'll find Dinner Bell with it's country cooking and general store. While they do have a menu with many dining options and breakfast served all day, we chose to dive into the buffet. The buffet, which includes a salad and dessert bar, costs $7.29 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., from 4:00 p.m. until closing and all day Sunday it is $8.79. Here are a few dishes from the buffet:

Here's a turkey leg, and yes, that is a dinner plate. That was one big bird!

(If you're really into turkey legs, you may want to call ahead to make sure they are on the buffet that day.)


Hominy, my two year old couldn't get enough!

Here's my plate: Salisbury steak, green beans, mashed potatoes, and what's that?

Fried Corn on the Cob

Take one bite of this and the first thing you'll notice is how sweet the corn is. After the second bite, the heat from the batter mellows the sweet of the corn, and somehow this really works!

The batter has a unique flavor so I asked what was in it, but they couldn't tell us. Only the owner knows the recipe and whips it up just to put fried corn on the buffet, which is usually on Saturday and one other day during the week.

*Thanks, Leigh, for helping out in the photo department!


Because I appreciate my readers, I wanted to pick up a little something from Dinner Bells' General Store to give away to one lucky reader. Just leave a comment here telling me what your favorite home cooked dish is and you'll be entered in a drawing to win Tennessee Cookbook by Pearlie B. Scott. Deadline to comment is 9:00 a.m. (Eastern Time, USA) Monday, March 29th. {You must leave me a way to contact you, either through facebook, or your blogger account.}

Congratulations to Shannon who won the cookbook! Your number was drawn with the Random Number Generator at RANDOM.ORG. True Random Number Generator Min: 1 Max: 9 Result: 7 Powered by RANDOM.ORG

Dinner Bell
Restaurant and General Store
576 Oakland
Sweetwater, TN 37874

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EHisCDN said...

My favourite home cooked dish is definitely a tricky question. I would probably have to go with a roast beef dinner and more specifically yorkshire pudding. It's simple, bad for you and therefore delicious :)

Danielle Campbell said...

Considering that everything I eat is "home cooked", it's hard to choose! However, I could eat country fried steak every day. My Nana makes the best. I have tried to make it like her, but it's just not the same...

Damien said...

Nice on the Yorkshire Pudding EHisCDN. I will go the other direction on here and say my Ratatouille recipe, which is a very healthy dish... you probably would not expect me to say something healthy, but really that is so delicious!!!!

Anonymous said...

Fried corn? Get out. I'll be trying that. Describe the batter so we can figure it out...
My favorite home-cooked dish? Where to start?... Well, I love it all, but I am constantly craving a sweet potato with butter, sugar and cinnamon and a bowl of collards with my homemade cornbread slathered with butter. Hit the ...greens with some pepper sauce and um ummmmmmm. I could eat them EVERYDAY! Never ate like that when I was little. Wish I could save my kids some time and make them enjoy things like that now, but I guess where's the fun in a meal with no whining? ;)


Jonni Smotherman said... favorite home cooked dish. That truly is a tough one since I am a city girl married to a country boy with a momma who probably gave pointers to Paula Dean!!

I would say my all time favortie Home Cooked food is her cornbread dressing! Next would be her tater Salad. Then homemade Brunswick Stew. Oh, and dang! I can't forget her homemade noodles!!

I travel I-75 quite a bit. I will definitely be stopping in to try some Fried Corn on the Cob!!


Amy B. said...

I love homecooked food but I havent been really eating a lot of that recently since I moved! I simply have no time to cook now because of work. Hopefully I find sometime to treat myself with greatly made homecook food.

Anonymous said...

We call it "pineapple surprise" or "pineapple casserole", but it consists of pineapple niblets, shredded cheddar cheese, butter, and crushed Ritz crackers.

Pairs well with any casserole, and can be an entree or a dessert. Quite possibly the perfect dish, in my humble opinion.

-Shannon S.

Lones World said...

My husband is an amazing cook and each year for my birthday he makes a roast (he calls it Christi's Birthday Roast) for me. He sears it and then puts it in the oven on 200 for several hours. It is WONDERFUL. I REFUSE to eat out on my birthday... home cooking by Billy is always my preference! :)
Another Billy favorite that is particularly unique is Creole Crusted Ribeye and Dirty White beans. It isn't HIS recipe, but it is DELISH!

Little Step said...

My favorite (Southern style) home-cooked meal is my mother's fried chicken (buttermilk in batter), mashed potatoes, turnip greens, fried corn, green beans, homemade buttermilk biscuits, fried okra and fresh tomatoes from the garden. For dessert, a homemade coconut pie or homemade coconut cake would be perfect.

When I was growing up we had chickens at Granny's house right next to ours, with a giant garden in between. Everything but the desserts and biscuits would come from the garden...the chicken might even come from Granny' this was a true home-grown, homemade meal to be remembered for life.

That being said, my mother usually cooks a special birthday dinner for me - sweet and sour pork with fried rice - with a southern twist: Spam in the rice! And this meal is soooo yummy I can eat leftovers for days! :-)