I made assumptions. I’m not happy about it. I’m not proud.
Mistakes were made but we can all learn from them. After all, I’m as human as anybody … at least as far as you know.
For years, coming the back way through Cosby into Gatlinburg, we’d drive past Alamo Steakhouse and the exterior was … underwhelming.
When it came time to pick a place for dinner, my friends, I always forgot about the Alamo.
I know. I know. Davy Crockett died for nothing.
Listen, we don’t judge books – nor restaurants – by their covers. Some of my favorite places in the world are little hole-in-walls where the food is terrific.
But the Alamo wasn’t a hole-in-the-wall. Had it been a little nicer or a little more seedy, it would have grabbed my attention more.
As it was, I assumed it was a low-rent Texas Roadhouse rip-off, a Sagebrush and nothing more.
Well, you know what happens when you assume, right?
That’s right. You miss out on a dang good steak.
Where are the Alamo Steakhouses located?
The Alamo Steakhouse currently has two locations, one in Gatlinburg and one in Pigeon Forge.
The Alamo Steakhouse already had a second location at 3050 Parkway in Pigeon Forge by the time the Gatlinburg restaurant was destroyed in the devastating wildfire of 2016. The majority of employees were able to go work at the Pigeon Forge relocation.
In fact, the location at 705 East Parkway in Gatlinburg took nearly a year to rebuild.
And we are so glad the Gatlinburg location is back.
Today, both locations rank among the best eateries in the region, a fact I was far too slow to pick up on.
Who owns Alamo Steakhouse?
Alamo is the best of the Johnson family of restaurants which includes:
- Bennett’s Pit BBQ
- Big Daddy’s Pizzeria
- Mama’s Chicken Kitchen
- Mama’s Farmhouse
- J.O.E. and Pop’s Sub Shoppe
- Mad Dog’s Creamery & Donuts
It stands shoulder to shoulder with some of the best restaurants in Gatlinburg.
It’s perfect for an intimate dinner, a big family dinner, birthday parties, business meetings and special occasions alike.
What should you order at Alamo?
What should you get if you go to the Alamo Steakhouse? Well, obviously the steak but we’ll get to that more in a moment.
I grew up in Indiana where St. Elmo’s is the king of the steakhouses.
There, they have what may well be the greatest shrimp cocktail in the world. And so I am conditioned – when I go to steakhouses to order the shrimp cocktail in hopes that the sauce will be as mind-blowingly shockingly horse-radishy as what is served at Elmo’s.
It’s nostril cleansing deliciousness.
How do the Alamo’s shrimp cocktail and its sauce rate? It’s not St. Elmo’s, but for $12 it’s darn good.
Editor’s note: Prices listed may vary and are subject to change.
Can I also recommend the Gorseradish-Parmesan Prime Rib Strips ($12) and the Sombreros – crab-stuffed mushroom caps – if you’re considering appetizers?
For the main course, they offer things that are not steak and while I’m sure they’re all very good, let’s be very clear.
We do not go to the steakhouse to order chicken or seafood or salad unless those things happen to be offered as side items to go with your steak.
We’re here for steak.
But which one?
What are the best steaks at The Alamo Steakhouse?
At this level of steak, I don’t want a lot of frou-frou foodie business and so I find myself irritated by the Chef’s selection of Peppercorn NY Strip ($32) but will accept the Horseradish Crusted Filet ($36).
The Rio Grande Rib Eye ($32) the Alamo New York Strip ($32) and the Filet Mignon ($40) are acceptable choices but the real steak connoisseurs will want the El Presidente Porterhouse ($38) or the 20-ounce ribeye simply known as “The Steak” ($38).
For me, the last is my favorite not because it’s significantly better than the other great steaks in its price range but because I get to order “The Steak” like I’m John Wayne or something.
When taste is relatively equal, style points can matter.
Oh and don’t forget to order a sweet potato, french fries or rice pilaf (each $3) for your side and a maybe serving of the asparagus with Hollandaise sauce ($6).
If you must order something besides steak, there are a variety of other menu items available. The Chili Rubbed Pork Chops Dinner comes highly recommended.
The San Antonio Chicken Dinner looks divine in all of its boneless breast, cheddar cheese and Monterey Jack cheese glory. The Santa Fe Chicken Dinner is also pretty popular.
If it was me and I wasn’t going to do a steak, I’d leave. No, I jest, I’d go with the Crabbed Stuffed Shrimp for $28. As evidenced by the sombreros, I’m a sucker for whenever they shove crab into something else.
And if you go for lunch, you might want to try their Alamo Bacon & Cheese Steak Burger – a huge burger with ground-fresh daily meat – a suitable steak adjacent option.
I would strongly consider another steak but if you must have something sweet, you can’t go wrong with the Chocolate Burrito for $6.50. It’s basically a chocolate bar chimichanga rolled in cinnamon sugar and topped with vanilla ice cream.
Have you eaten at Alamo? Did you also experience awesome food and good service? Let us know in the comments!