Well, in the Smoky Mountains, there’s no shortage of breakfas eateries (pancake-houses a-plenty), but I’ve always heard that if you want to find a special place to eat, go where the locals go.

So I did.

And that’s why I’m eating lunch at the Mountain Lodge Restaurant in Gatlinburg. This place was started in 1989 by Ron and Jennifer Smith, and for the past twenty years, its been very well-known amongst Gatlinburgians (or whatever you want to call them) for serving the best breakfast (served daily until 3pm) and the sweetest cinnamon rolls you’ve ever tasted (and they’re huge, check the photo). But I had my mind set on one of their other famous dishes, the chicken-fried chicken.

Now, you talk about something that’ll knock your socks off, this is it. Batter-fried chicken with gravy, mashed potatoes (also with gravy), and fried okra…ten minutes later, I’m so full I can’t take another bite (but I snagged a cinnamon roll for the road).

The best part: its ALL made from scratch. Everything. Fresh ingredients, fresh fruits and vegetables, and all for a great price (my entree cost $6.75).

So stop by the Mountain Lodge Restaurant…where the sign on the wall says “happiness is homemade.” And trust me, everyone leaves happy.

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