Never underestimate the power of goats.
We had the entire day planned out, and it was slam packed full of food and fun. There certainly wasn't any space for another meal on the agenda. Well, that was until a goat changed everything. The power of goats is very real, my friend.
My wife Amy and I were sitting atop horses, meandering down a lonely trail (as all wannabe cowboys do, right?) when we saw an adorable goat on the other side of a fence. The cutie and his or her goat brothers and sisters reminded Amy of another goat encounter the previous day: goats on a roof. She told the trail guide that we never get suckered into tourist trap style souvenir shops, but this one in Pigeon Forge , Tennessee had GOATS ON THE ROOF! We were drawn into this shop by the power of goats. Their power was about to seduce us yet again.
Immediately after our trail ride at Smokey Mountain Deer Farm we were on our way to Dollywood to shoot some video of us indulging in a myriad of treats at their Flower and Food Festival. We were going to purchase the new Dining Pass and capture the experience of us devouring incredible offerings. After that? We'd be celebrating our son Skylar's birthday in Nashville with a huge meal at the restaurant of his choice. There was no room for more food. Except, there most definitely was. We couldn't say no to the goat.
THE LOCAL GOAT—PIGEON FORGE, TENNESSEE
We had heard quite a bit about The Local Goat and were amazed at how their large parking lot was always full as we drove down the strip in Pigeon Forge. It was definitely a restaurant we wanted to try, especially after reading a review from someone who confessed to driving fourteen hours to eat there. Insanity, right? Or, maybe not.
In addition to all of the food we scheduled to shove deep into our bellies that day, we had already gorged ourselves on incredible southern cooking at other culinary hot spots in town. Honestly, we weren't all that excited about ever eating again. Yet, the goat was calling.
We had heard that it was nearly impossible to get a table at The Local Goat without reservations or a very long wait. Our busy day wouldn't allow for any wait at all, and we were thrilled that they were able to seat us immediately. It was meant to be.
The restaurant was jam packed and as we were led to our tables we did what most others do in the same scenario: we covertly scanned the room and checked out what was on everybody's plates. Oh man, were we in trouble. Very wonderful trouble.
I wanted most everything on the menu. I was zeroed in on the shrimp and grits. Our server recommended it and it's one of my all-time favorite meals. Amy had other ideas, though. She thought splitting a burger was the way to go since we'd be eating again in less than an hour or two at Dollywood. My bulging gut agreed, but my watering mouth did not. I was ready for my own meal plus an appetizer or two, or three. Her wisdom prevailed, however, and as usual, I'm glad it did.
I did start with an appetizer, deep fried deviled eggs. One of their signature dishes was a must have and, wow, was I happy with my choice. They had a bit of a spicy kick to them and the flavor was incredible. I ate every egg on my plate as Amy, a victim to a gluten allergy, watched longingly. I haven't seen that look in her eyes since we were dating almost 30 years ago. At least I didn't have to share.
While we were wowed by the various plates full of food that servers were delivering to tables all around us, including a fluffy mountain of onion rings that I almost lunged out of my booth at, we knew our limits.
Our blue cheese saturated, medium cooked burger arrived on a gluten free bun alongside some skinny fries and homemade ketchup. There was also a side of crispy onion straws specifically for me as I am completely unafraid of getting glutened.
Of course we had to have dessert, right? Wrong. Impossible, actually. Not only could we not consider another bite of food, no matter how tempting it was, we had to record that video for our travel channel. Five different orders of food awaited us at Dollywood in mere minutes.
Have you tried desserts at The Local Goat? Leave a comment and let everybody know your recommendations. In fact, what are some of your other favorites? appetizers? Burgers? Sandwiches? Entrees?
Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg have some ridiculously good restaurants. But now we understand a little better why they are nearly in need of a traffic cop to direct people in and out of this destination.
Mouth-wateringly delicious. All of it. The goat was right.
Would we drive fourteen hours to eat at The Local Goat? No. I mean, honestly, who would? Except for that one guy. I have some absolute favorite restaurants scattered all over the nation, but there's not one that I'd jump into the car and drive from sunup to sundown to enjoy. Suffice it to say, if we are anywhere near Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, we will yield to the mystical BAAAAAA! echoing through the mountains as it leads us right into the overflow parking lot at The Local Goat. We'll just be sure to have reservations.