Monday, July 20, 2009

Cornucopia of Goodness: Horn of Plenty

Passing by Horn of Plenty, most people are likely to assume that it is just a lawn and garden store. Rightly so I must say. If the piles of mulch and flower beds outside weren't convincing enough, then the inquisitive epicurean might venture inside. That is when they would discover a delightful meat and three that is truly Knoxville's best kept secret.

Horn of Plenty is located on Middlebrook Pike just east of Cedar Bluff Road. I stumbled upon this gem when Tom, my coworker and frequent lunch companion informed me of its hidden treasure. Even their own website does not boast of the culinary offerings at HOP, so you must go to get the full grasp of its tastiness.

As far as atmosphere goes, I cannot think of a single restaurant I have ever been to that is as unique as this one. Half restaurant, half produce market, HOP is rustic and open and makes me reminisce of sitting around the table at Grandma's house.

The cuisine is just like what I grew up on- fried chicken, meatloaf and turkey and dressing are just a few of the entrees. Each day offers up a different host of specials and you can pick up a schedule for your reference as you leave. The side dishes are just as comforting as the entrees- the cream-style corn takes me back to my childhood, fried okra and mac and cheese- just to name a few. (On another note, at the urging of Ashley, another lunchtime companion, I must note that the mashed potatoes are instant, not homemade. This is one factor that hampers the charm of HOP).

You definitely want to save some room for dessert. They have a delicious cherry-pineapple dessert as well as the Southern staple banana pudding.

So drive by, give it the once over, and convince yourself that there is a restaurant in that building. HOP is across the street from Brewster's Ice Cream shop and it really looks the part of a lawn and garden store. So let your curiosity take over and head on down to the Horn of Plenty!