Feb 4 2009
01:07 pm

I heard that Gridiron Burger's original location in Powell has closed and wonder if they still plan on opening downtown next to the Riviera...anyone heard? If not, what other restaurants or types of restaurants would work best?

Personally, I would like to see our City leaders try to recruit existing restaurants downtown even as satellite locations. If you haven't tried Hong Kong is the most authentic Chinese restaurant in Knoxville and is currently tucked in west Knoxville strip mall behind O'Charley's and across from downtown west. Warning...if your idea of Chinese is sweet & sour chicken, this might be a little too authentic for you.

Another popular restaurant...King Tut's would do very well downtown as would Indian restaurant Sitar...and if anyone can ever get it right----Spanish Tapas would surely be a hit in K-town.


Nobody's picture


The Powell location is closed, with a note sending you to the Crick.

Nobody's picture

How about a place where you

How about a place where you can get a cheap, decent sandwich and a cup of coffee, that's also open later than 3 p.m.?

Nobody's picture

Or, for that matter, a bagel

Or, for that matter, a bagel that doesn't taste like cardboard, or any of those simple, inexpensive eateries that people who are downtown every day might be able to use?

sugarfatpie's picture

Try the Bistro

Try the Bistro for a good sandwich.
-Sugarfatpie (AKA Alex Pulsipher)

"X-Rays are a hoax."-Lord Kelvin

Nobody's picture

The Bistro is good. Except I

The Bistro is good. Except I said "cheap," right? Like, less than six bucks for a good sandwich and a coffee. Also, open late-ish?

EricLykins's picture

To quote Evan Karp, one of

To quote Evan Karp, one of the weekend servers at Manhattan's, while picking up a breakfast sandwich (at night!) to take to a customer:
"I'm a vegetarian, but something about the breakfast sandwich is just arousing."

bacon or sausage with egg and cheese, LTO on texas toast. Blatant ripoff of what was sold at Glenwood Sandwich Shop, r.i.p.

Five American dollars, but you can have it for 4 if you come in and say "'Nobody' wants a breakfast sandwich."

Central Street Potatoes (loaded hashbrowns) are also $5

It used to irritate me that people would call this place KnoxVegas and there wasn't even anywhere downtown that sold steak and eggs. We have fixed that glitch and are currently taking auditions for dancing girls.

Coury Turczyn's picture

still being worked on

Michael Haynes' Metro Pulse column from a couple weeks ago:


Mello's picture

Hong Kong House

Hong Kong house is our personal favorite of all the restaurants in Knoxville. Shoot, it is our favorite Chinese restaurant in all of the danged USofA. What Maryville has and Knoxville is missing is the MP Hibachi Grill/Chinese

sugarfatpie's picture

A bakery?

Is there a good bakery, with good bread downtown?

-Sugarfatpie (AKA Alex Pulsipher)

"X-Rays are a hoax."-Lord Kelvin

jbr's picture

Is there a restaurant

Is there a restaurant downtown with an extensive vegetable selection?

I would like to see a restaurant that printed on your ticket the nutritional info for what you ordered. Like x grams sugar, x grams carbohydrates, omega 3, calories, etc.

They know their portion sizes for cost margins. Some extra database fields, and there you have it.

StaceyDiamond's picture

all night place

A place like Vic and Bill's that's open all night with decent prices.

EricLykins's picture

Vic and Bill's robbed?

Manhattan's primarily sells seafood now, but the freakshow of a cook they have down there just decided one day to put some breakfast items on the menu behind the owner's back. The "Admiral's Breakfast" looks suspiciously similar to the "Captain's Breakfast" at Vic and Bill's. We are going to have a trial run this weekend on keeping the kitchen open until the bar closes. Spread the word and sober up with some steak and eggs in your face this Friday and Saturday after rocking out at the Pilot Light or shaking it at Hannah's. If you're coming from Sassy Ann's Friday night, don't bring Worley with you! :)

Also, since burger sales have mysteriously doubled in the past 3 months, I'm going to divulge the secret. The cooking process of the burger begins with 20-30 seconds in the deep fryer, then finished on the flat top grill. Whiskey will help keep those arteries from clogging.

Stick Thrower's picture


On the topic of new restaurants downtown, has anyone tried cafe4 on Market Square yet?

Or the pizza place (Dazzo's) in the 700 Block of Gay St (up from Mirage)?

Rachel's picture

cafe4 has gotten indifferent

cafe4 has gotten indifferent reviews from the folks I know who tried it (including the spouse). Dazzo's seems to be more highly recommended.

Bill Pittman's picture

If you like Jersey style

If you like Jersey style pizza...which I do....Dazzo's is great. Not only does the Margherita pizza have fresh mozzarella, it is made in-house!

I tried Cafe 4 for brunch a week or so ago due to the wait at Tomato Head. It's new and the likely have kinks to work out but it was adequate at best...great space though. Again though---they are new and the restaurant business is a tough one so I always try to give a new endeavor at least 2-3 tries.

sugarfatpie's picture

cafe 4 has a damn good

cafe 4 has a damn good burger
and one of the best eggs benedict I've ever had.
The appetizers at the obama inaugural were good too.

Dazzos was some mighty fine pizze. Had both the sicilian and the neapolitan.
Service was pretty bad. Granted, it was superbowl sunday and they all really wanted to be watching the game, but in that case just close up and go home. They made us feel like we were hassling them by giving them our money.
It was also a bit pricey,

-Sugarfatpie (AKA Alex Pulsipher)

"X-Rays are a hoax."-Lord Kelvin

Factchecker's picture

Still great, but

The Bistro is very reasonable IMO. It's about my favorite, next to the way-too-noisy Tomato Head which is otherwise fav. However, there is a new, more limited menu at the Bistro I've not fully digested (heh) yet. Looks like the prices are up and some of my favorite lower cost sandwiches may be gone (Turkey Rueben). And they swapped cracker vendors so they no longer have Captain's Wafers. What's that all about? Wish they'd left well enough alone, but I understand the need to spruce things up.

As for Dazzo's, I found it "tasty," but pretty much opposite T Head. Cheesy and "fat" traditional American pizza, more like what you expect in a strip mall in Powell or Seymour. Beer selection: Bud, Bud lite, etc. Why bother? Not what I expect downtown. If you really like Big Ed's, and not just the image, you might like Dazzo's, though.

Back on topic, a Tapas place might be good. I'm just waitin' for the S&W and the Gelato place.

Hildegard's picture

King Tut's is close enough

King Tut's is close enough to downtown and it's South Knoxville flavor. Leave Moe alone, he's just fine where he is.

Tapas failed in Bearden. I am not sure Knoxville gets tapas. Look what happened to Cha Cha. I don't want tapas to get the same weird Knoxville reinvention that happened to sushi. I will commit harakiri on Market Square when someone introduces The Big Orange Empanada to downtown.

But I love most of the restaurants now downtown (especially Nama, La Costa, and Tomato Head - really need to check out Le Parigo) and look forward to a continuation of the diversity that makes downtown dining interesting (not more burgers and steaks, thank you very much).

MDB's picture

BTW, what the hell is

BTW, what the hell is doing selling an Ann Coulter book in the sidebar ad?

You mean here on knoxviews?

Our Gracious Host can correct me if I'm wrong, but ads are generated based on words seen on the site. Google ads (or whoever generates the Knoxviews ads) is saying "a-ha! political site!" and posting ads for political books. It's smart enough to see that this is a political site, but not smart enough to see we're bunch of pinko McGoverniks.

Now, I remember Our Gracious Host once blocked ads for a pro Prop 8 ad during the election season, so he might be able to block those, too.

Voting is like driving. If you want to go backwards, select R. If you want to go forward, select D.

R. Neal's picture

I haven't seen the ad but if

I haven't seen the ad but if I do I will block it.

MDB's picture

Is this the same deal as

Is this the same deal as with the Prop Eight ad -- if someone spots it, click it and send you the url it goes to?

Voting is like driving. If you want to go backwards, select R. If you want to go forward, select D.

R. Neal's picture

Or just see if it has a url

Or just see if it has a url listed in the ad (sometimes at the bottom).

(I'm not supposed to encourage clicking on the ads...)

cafkia's picture

I am so stealing that sig

I am so stealing that sig line.


It is impossible to defeat an ignorant man in argument.
  - William G. McAdoo

MDB's picture

Credit where credit is due

I stole it from a bumper sticker at when I was looking for pro-Obama stickers to replace my anti-Bush ones (though I kept "Frodo failed -- Bush has the Ring")

Voting is like driving. If you want to go backwards, select R. If you want to go forward, select D.

Michael's picture


I've said it time and time again. A 24-hour diner would rock downtown. With our early risers and late serving hours, there are enough residents, workers, club patrons and servers rocking around the clock to support it. Not endorsing the brand, mind you, but if Waffle House opened a location in downtown, I predict it would be the highest grossing store in the chain.

Hildegard's picture

Agreed. I would love to see

Agreed. I would love to see that. I hope nobody is spooked by what happened to that place at the corner of Summit Hill and Central - different times, different population. And too bad that location would not work very well now.

Rachel's picture

But I love most of the

But I love most of the restaurants now downtown (especially Nama, La Costa, and Tomato Head - really need to check out Le Parigo

I'm being taken there for my birthday dinner Friday night - will try to remember to post a review.

smalc's picture

Moe may be a nice and fun

Moe may be a nice and fun guy, but I value my health too much to go there.

sugarfatpie's picture

Yep, love the man, hate the

Yep, love the man, hate the odor of roach spray and mold.

-Sugarfatpie (AKA Alex Pulsipher)

"X-Rays are a hoax."-Lord Kelvin

Hildegard's picture

Like I said - South

Like I said - South Knoxville flavor........(eek! ducking and running)

StaceyDiamond's picture


Davinci's in the Old City is very good and is open til 4am some nights.

Carole A. Borges's picture

I'm with you on this one Hildegard

Moe's would not be Moe's (or King Tut's) without that small, almost-hard- to-believe-it's-open little building. Finding it is half the fun. The age of the place adds a lot to its ambience. I hate having every eatery be brand new spanking clean with modern Cafe decor. The booths at King Tut's embrace you. The faded signs on the wall have character. When I read the suggestion King Tut head downtown I cringed.

RayCapps's picture

Real easy to ask, nearly impossible to do...

but a really, really good Creole restaurant using the freshest ingredients and sparing absolutely nothing. Something like a Commander's Palace or even a TuJaques located right on Market Square. Something so good, so authentic, I'd hallucinate Old Hickory on a Horse when I stepped outside of it. And since I'm dreaming, an all night coffee house specializing in Cafe Au Lait and Beignets. Ah Hell, I just need to book a flight to Nola. I'm in withdrawals.

mte's picture

I think the subject line of

I think the subject line of the original post is begging the question. Downtown Knoxville could use plenty of types of restaurants—I'd particularly like to see fewer sit-down places and more cheap delis and places for quick junk food—but "need" seems awfully desperate. The area's doing fine with what it has. As sick as I get sometimes of choosing among the same eight or nine places for lunch (three or four of which are some of my favorite places), that has a lot more to do with being here every day for the past three years than about the quality of lunch.

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