We rolled into Anchor Down in Dandridge, TN and went into vacation mode almost immediately. By the time I had the utilities hooked up Cathy had rented a golf cart and was back insisting we squeeze into our bathing suits, which don’t fit that well anymore, and hit the pool which we did.
I’m not going to spend a lot of time on Anchor Down as I talked about it in Beginnings…Better Late Than Never and you can read about it there. We were only here a few nights because they were booked for Labor Day. I was determined to stay here so we took what we could get and we do not regret it.
Anchor Down is well located. It’s about 8 minutes from Dandridge and around 20 minutes to Pigeon Forge. Dandridge is a quaint little town that sits below a dike. The dike looms up over the old square and Dandridge would be another town flooded by the TVA dam system if they had not convinced TVA to build the dike.
The couple of blocks in each direction that make up the square houses local businesses, some government buildings, some restaurants and a revolutionary cemetery. This is where we found the local brewery, Dandridge Brewing Company, that is not a brewery. Their website presents some beautiful food and let me say the it is better than advertised. Our first stop there came with the disappointment of learning they didn’t brew beer. This however was mitigated by the fact that they sold good craft beer. Evidently, it’s legal to sell beer in Dandridge but not to produce it. This is something Jake, the gracious owner, is working to change so that one day the brewery that is not a brewery will be a brewery, which in all honesty makes for less of an interesting conversation.
Back to the food. We were fortunate enough to have happened in on prime rib night. The special was a prime rib wrap. So I ordered a beer and the wrap. We were seated by the back door and I watched the chef go outside and remove the prime rib from the smoker and bring it inside. We were there early evening, before 5 pm, and I was getting the first cut. I had the option of a house sauce or horse radish. Of course I chose the latter. The prime rib was tender, juicy and melted away in my mouth and the horse radish blended to give it the perfect flavor. It was a simple but amazing meal. I wanted to order another but we are trying make our swimsuits fit better and I begrudgingly passed.
Dandridge Brewing Company is in a small old building on the corner of the square and it offers seating out font by the sidewalk. Indoor seating and live music fairly often. They keep a couple beers on tap and more in the cooler in cans. I had a nice 420 – G13.
I had seen reviews online with pictures of ribs that looked amazing the chef, Chase, informed me they served St. Louis Style ribs on Thursday nights. I looked at him and Cathy and said we will be back. So a few days later we returned. These may have been the best ribs that I have ever had. They were simply seasoned and served without sauce. Now I’m a saucy kind of guy. I put sauce on everything. I do love Memphis Dry ribs when I can find good ones and I’m a firm believer that a steak properly prepared needs no sauce but I’ve never had non-Memphis Style ribs that didn’t need sauce. I also had a very good Brown Ale, Shotgun Wedding by Country Boy Brewing out of Lexington KY. If you’re near Dandridge, TN on a Thursday do yourself a favor and go have some.
The town has a music series, Music On The Town down by the dike. We saw everyone walking down with camp chairs and inquired about what as happening. So after some delicious beer and ribs we walked down and enjoyed some live music. The Chairmen of the Board were performing. It was a nice evening.
We also made one other trip to Dandridge for dining. We ate at Angelos at the Point. It’s located just across the bridge from the little square. We had Cajun crab dip for an appetizer. It was very good and served with perfectly prepared chips. For dinner I had fried catfish and Cathy had fish and chips. Both were very good. However, our hush puppies were the worst I’ve ever tasted. I think the batter had soured. The restaurant had a great location right on the lake and it was pleasant eating outside with a nice view.
I’m sure there are other things to do in around Dandridge, but these were the ones we were able to get to on this trip. Look for my next post on our time in Kodak, TN on the farm.