Restaurants & Bars


Nice Surprise in a "Right Off the Interstate" Wasteland


Restaurants & Bars 4

Nice Surprise in a "Right Off the Interstate" Wasteland

chefsofee | Aug 23, 2010 06:39 PM

Flew into Knoxville and commenced my drive to Kingport where I had business the next day. Needing dinner I plugged a safe choice chain into my GPS that was on my way. Luckily, off the same exit, I spotted Puleo's Grille. Ignorning my GPS' pleas to make a u-turn, I pulled into the parking lot. I'll admit to some skeptism at this point. The restaurant's facade is rather "ruby tuesday/applebee-ish".

My favorite thing to do when dining alone while traveling on business is to sit at the bar. I was greeted by a friendly bartender going by the name Rick who helped me choose my entree, a citrus grilled chicken. My special request to sub the sweet potatoes for the regular mashed was no problem. I started with a house salad, which had some nice touches in the form of grated cheese and sliced almonds. The cukes were also deseeded. My chicken was nicely grilled and juicy. The citrus glaze was subtle, not cloying. A side of broccoli and baby carrots still had some nice crunch. The sweet potatoes...oh my...I think I might dream of that side dish. Not overly sweet with a nice spice and kissed with butter.

The menu had some great eclectic choices. Spotting the entrees of neighboring barstools (one steak and one lasagna) I would conclude if they tasted as good as they looked...then they were winners as well.! I had a nice view of the kitchen from my seat. I saw lots of attention to detail, including the chef as the pass taking painstaking care to wipe the rim of the plates before sending them out.

A manager (owner maybe?) came by to ask about my meal and service. A nice touch indeed. I'm wondering if my scheduled will put me back in the Straberry Plains area for lunch tomorrow?

Puleo's Grille
7224 Region Ln, Knoxville, TN 37914

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