The Peddler Gatlinburg Review
My wife and I have been going to Gatlinburg, Tennessee for a few years now to get away from work and take some nice day hikes. The Smoky Mountains are beautiful, and on some of the harder trails (specifically parts of the Appalachian Trail) you don’t see many people so you really get a feeling of being away from civilization for a bit. That feeling completely changes when you go into town…it’s a mess of people walking up and down the main strip, with some of the worst restaurants you’ve ever had the bad fortune to eat at. However, there is an oasis of sorts just off of the main road. The Peddler Steakhouse (http://PeddlerGatlinburg.com) is a pretty darn good steakhouse that grills their steaks over Tennessee hickory charcoal. They also have a popular, if a bit overrated, salad bar and selections of trout, salmon, and chicken.
The restaurant itself very nicely fits in with the mountain motif…lots of wood, and it sits by the small river going by. It’s pretty, while staying loyal to its surroundings. As a matter of fact, and this is taken from their website, “the restaurant is constructed around the C. Earl Ogle cabin, the home of a descendant of one of Gatlinburg’s first pioneer families, with material from four other original home sites used to complete the structure.” That is pretty cool…I love when businesses preserve local history, and this is a good way to do it.
Starting out, we went to the bar for a very brief wait on our table. My wife ordered a glass of Pinot Noir and I had a Fat Tire ale. Their wine was not very good, and their beer selection limited. We quickly got seated and took our drinks to our table. Our waitress had us start at the salad bar and brought us rolls. The salad bar is pretty standard, different lettuce choices, cherry tomatoes, baby corn, olives, sardines, oysters, and the normal dressings. A good salad bar, but again, with the rave reviews the salad bar gets it’s pretty tame compared to others I’ve seen (for instance, at Boi na Braza). The rolls are pretty good and served hot. Having eaten at this restaurant several times, I’ve found the best meal to be the filet and trout combination. The filet cut is typically a very lean 5 ounces and the grilled (you can also order it fried) trout is flavorful, tender, and lightly buttered. I don’t eat much trout, but this is the best I’ve had. Both my wife and I ordered this, and both of us enjoyed it immensely. My wife ordered the grilled vegetable skewer (squash and mushrooms) as her side I chose the sweet potato casserole as mine. The veggies were pretty good and the casserole was excellent.
Overall, this is by far the best restaurant that we’ve been to in Gatlinburg. But it’s not just good because of its competition; it’s just a good steakhouse. Expect to pay about $100 for dinner for two and a couple of drinks. While the overall quality of food and service is nothing like Jeff Ruby’s Steakhouse or Morton’s, it’s still a good restaurant and the best choice while in Gatlinburg.