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Old 11-21-2014, 12:35 PM
 
6,580 posts, read 7,560,995 times
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From time to time I post about local eateries. Rather than have a single thread for each place, I thought it might be logical to put the comments in one place where people can comment, ask questions, and gather info which suits their needs.


I noticed that The Battery has closed, and opened under a new name. I have to say that this place was on my radar screen as I am always looking for a good steak, and a steak house atmosphere, but I never escalated my desire to dine there as the comments I got from friends was that "it was noisy and the service was lousy." Too bad, because no-one said the food was awful; mostly just the service.

Now they seem to have reopened with a new name: Old South. Here's to a successful enterprise; it wouldn't hurt to learn from the problems that put The Battery under as they seem like mostly soft issues which can easily be corrected with staff education and training.

While we are in that part of town, what are people thinking/saying about the place which came up from Asheville: Tupelo Honey. I have yet to darken their door, mostly because I heard there was the usual 'new place' crush to get in and, well, waiting for a table in a run of the mill establishment (and being unable to make a reservation) is not my thing. I have heard the food is decent--about like Cheddars, but the prices are a little steep for comparable dishes around town. I have also heard, and know of two specific instances, where the service was very poor--starting with the hostess, and ending with a mediocre waitress. The manager did try to make amends, but I know the people involved will never go back. Anyone have any updates now that things have "settled in" at Tupleo Honey? Will they survive with a few tweaks?

Anyone have comments to add?

(P.S. I know I am very critical when it comes to food and the establishments that serve it).
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Old 11-21-2014, 08:40 PM
 
Location: Johnson City, TN
667 posts, read 826,683 times
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Johnson City has a very good restaurant scene for a town its size. The problem is some of the best restaurants are scattered around the city in odd locations (Sahib, Mediterranean Garden, El Charolais). The downtown restaurants keep getting better. The Battery and Tupelo Honey are both good but a little on the pricy side. Whether or not they are worth the price is up to personal opinion but I can say Tupelo Honey is nothing like Cheddars. I can't stand Cheddars, not much difference between it and Applebees; just deep-fried or reheated frozen garbage.

Label is a huge step up IMO from One12. Very good beef, numerous locally sourced ingredients, and the best whiskey selection in the Tri-Cities.

Main Street Pizza Company is about as close to a farm-to-table restaurant you will find in the Tri-Cities. They have their own organic farm nearby on the Nolichucky and are constantly featuring menu items using locally grown ingredients. During the winter they are partnering with Downtown Farming, a hydroponic gardening supply store downtown, to grow produce for the restaurant. Their head bartender has also been featured in a national blog and they feature awesome pre-prohibition style cocktails. Very cool vibe.

Freibergs is becoming a mainstay along with Mid City Grill. Holy Taco is awesome for a different take on Mexican and you can't forget Scratch Pizza, probably the best pizza I have ever had.
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Old 11-21-2014, 11:10 PM
 
Location: Tennessee
28,536 posts, read 21,393,949 times
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Sahib and Babylon are excellent choices. The owner of Sahib has spruced up the interior of his place and bettered the food, but the exterior is still sketchy. I do like Babylon and Freiberg's. Freiberg's is better than the German I've had up here in Indy.
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Old 11-22-2014, 06:27 AM
 
745 posts, read 2,022,016 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ted Bear View Post
...While we are in that part of town, what are people thinking/saying about the place which came up from Asheville: Tupelo Honey. I have yet to darken their door, mostly because I heard there was the usual 'new place' crush to get in and, well, waiting for a table in a run of the mill establishment (and being unable to make a reservation) is not my thing. I have heard the food is decent--about like Cheddars, but the prices are a little steep for comparable dishes around town. I have also heard, and know of two specific instances, where the service was very poor--starting with the hostess, and ending with a mediocre waitress. The manager did try to make amends, but I know the people involved will never go back. Anyone have any updates now that things have "settled in" at Tupleo Honey? Will they survive with a few tweaks?

Anyone have comments to add?
I've been to Tupelo twice in the past month but as a disclaimer both trips were work related (so I've not been responsible for the bill and that may cause a little bias on my part). But my impression of the place is positive. The food was good but I wouldn't compare it to Cheddar's which IMO specializes in fried chicken, shrimp, and getting great value for what you pay. Tupelo is 10% better, the dishes are healthier, and 50% more expensive is how I think of it. No way I would've bought a New York Strip for $30 if I was paying the bill and it still has a substantial fat strip that wasn't trimmed. The salmon was very good though. I also think at Tupelo you pay for the atmosphere with the model train and train station feel. I think it will survive as overall, it's very convenient and there are far worse places surviving in the city.

I was also recently pleasantly surprised by Monterrey, the Mexican place in the same shopping center as Buffalo Wild Wings. East Coast wings also recently opened and I was happy with it. I also hope Scratch Brick Oven is able to maintain its quality as they are in a period of transition after the untimely passing of their owner.

On my bad list there is Sahib. I know I'm in the minority but I'm just not a fan and I think it's because I generally don't like buffets in general and I've tried their lunch buffet twice and it just turned me off.

Overall, I think restaurants are very competitive and Johnson City probably has more quality restaurants open than it can support long-term right now.

Last edited by Trevor92; 11-22-2014 at 06:38 AM..
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Old 11-22-2014, 08:23 AM
 
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Monterrey is good. Good prices and quick service, too, especially if you go for lunch.
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Old 11-22-2014, 05:44 PM
 
Location: Johnson City TN
22 posts, read 25,416 times
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Here is what I have found so far in Johnson City....

I have been craving good, authentic Mexican food and today we tried a new (I think new) restaurant called Senor Papas & Beer over by the Subaru dealer. It is authentic Mexican food and was delicious. First they bring out fresh warm chips and a bean dip which was refreshing to see instead of the typical salsa. They have a salsa bar and the salsa verde was high in yummy factor. We ordered the Chorizo Burrito and Carnitas Burrito. Seasoned very well and not over salted as many places do. The rice was fluffy and lightly seasoned with butter and tumeric, just delicious. I don't usually order soda but today I am glad I did. Even the mix on the soda machine was enjoyable and not too syrupy. The service was very attentive and the portions were big enough for two meals with prices mostly in $9-$12 range. I hope they are just as good when I go back for their enchiladas next time.

Other Mexican places I have tried here so far are blah. Melted Velveeta cheese is just wrong.

Attilios- I really enjoy their pizzas, the cheese is so good. They have good gyros and the moussaka is yummy.

Sahibs- Sometimes really great and other times awful. I think it depends on which family member is doing the cooking. No consistency at all. Two semesters of microbiology I took makes me cringe at any buffet, but when the Indian food craving/ Naan attack hits its where I run to.

Magic Wok- I have tried many Chinese restaurants here and this is the only one I care for. There are two menus. One is authentic and I have seen when I dine-in (very enjoyable), and the other is the typical takeout menu. I think they do Dragons and Phoenix very well but the Crab Rangoon is weird to me as it's real sweet.

Cheddars- I only go there for a bacon cheeseburger.

My next place I want to try is Cootie Brown's since there are so many cars there all the time.

How is the Mellow Mushroom? The name certainly makes me want to try it.
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Old 11-22-2014, 07:29 PM
 
Location: Johnson City, TN
667 posts, read 826,683 times
Reputation: 449
If you want authentic Mexican, El Charolais is the only choice. I won't eat Mexican food anywhere else. Order off of their Muy Mexicano menu and get the tacos.

Mellow Mushroom is just ok in the food department but if you are into craft beer, they have the best draft selection in all of Northeast Tennessee.
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Old 11-23-2014, 05:46 PM
 
Location: Tri-Cities, TN
185 posts, read 237,127 times
Reputation: 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sherrie Lynne View Post
Here is what I have found so far in Johnson City....

I have been craving good, authentic Mexican food and today we tried a new (I think new) restaurant called Senor Papas & Beer over by the Subaru dealer. It is authentic Mexican food and was delicious. First they bring out fresh warm chips and a bean dip which was refreshing to see instead of the typical salsa. They have a salsa bar and the salsa verde was high in yummy factor. We ordered the Chorizo Burrito and Carnitas Burrito. Seasoned very well and not over salted as many places do. The rice was fluffy and lightly seasoned with butter and tumeric, just delicious. I don't usually order soda but today I am glad I did. Even the mix on the soda machine was enjoyable and not too syrupy. The service was very attentive and the portions were big enough for two meals with prices mostly in $9-$12 range. I hope they are just as good when I go back for their enchiladas next time.

Other Mexican places I have tried here so far are blah. Melted Velveeta cheese is just wrong.

Attilios- I really enjoy their pizzas, the cheese is so good. They have good gyros and the moussaka is yummy.

Sahibs- Sometimes really great and other times awful. I think it depends on which family member is doing the cooking. No consistency at all. Two semesters of microbiology I took makes me cringe at any buffet, but when the Indian food craving/ Naan attack hits its where I run to.

Magic Wok- I have tried many Chinese restaurants here and this is the only one I care for. There are two menus. One is authentic and I have seen when I dine-in (very enjoyable), and the other is the typical takeout menu. I think they do Dragons and Phoenix very well but the Crab Rangoon is weird to me as it's real sweet.

Cheddars- I only go there for a bacon cheeseburger.

My next place I want to try is Cootie Brown's since there are so many cars there all the time.

How is the Mellow Mushroom? The name certainly makes me want to try it.
Don't be turned away by the cars at Cootie Brown's. The parking lot isn't huge, so it sometimes seems more crowded than it really is.
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Old 11-23-2014, 08:39 PM
 
Location: Tennessee
28,536 posts, read 21,393,949 times
Reputation: 35009
Cheddar's is fine, but there are so many better places to go in the area that I don't know why you'd go there except for a chicken tender basket for under $7.
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Old 11-24-2014, 06:32 AM
 
Location: Johnson City, TN
667 posts, read 826,683 times
Reputation: 449
Don't forget about the food trucks that are popping up in the area. Noli stays in Downtown JC while Foodie Fiction hits up all 3 of the Tri Cities. Both are unique and outstanding. Me and K's (the lady who sells the delicious salsa at the JC farmers market) has also started a food truck business but I have not had it yet. There was also a supposedly very good BBQ food truck in Erwin until the Town ran him off.
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