A Smoky Mountain local ranks his favorite steaks in Pigeon Forge
If I am being honest, my favorite steakhouses aren’t in Pigeon Forge.
I love the Chop House, which is technically in a chain in Sevierville. I also love the Greenbrier and The Peddler in Gatlinburg. You wouldn’t really know crossing the bridge over the West Prong of the Little Pigeon River that you’ve gone from one municipality to the next. It all feels very much the same. And yet here we are, our taste buds being punished over the meandering course of a river. And a bunch of cartographers with an affinity for natural boundaries. But the best steaks know no boundaries. If I were ranking them among the best steakhouses on this list, this list would look a little different. All that aside, if you’re looking for the best steak in Pigeon Forge – and ONLY Pigeon Forge – where do you go? I have some suggestions.
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1. Alamo Steakhouse
I am on record as being a fan of the Alamo. With locations in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, the Alamo offers traditional steakhouse fare; filet, strip, T-bone, the El Presidente porterhouse, prime rib and rib-eye steak. All are expertly prepared, you can’t go wrong with any of them. The chef’s selections include steaks encrusted with a lot of stuff, but John’s selections are typically just steaks. My go-to order usually includes a shrimp cocktail to as the appetizer, with the “The Steak” (yes, there’s a steak on the menu simply referred to as The Steak) for an entree and a chocolate burrito for dessert. Alamo Steakhouse in Pigeon Forge is located at 3050 Parkway, Pigeon Forge, TN 37863. They accept reservations by phone and via their website.
2. Gaucho Urbano Brazilian Steakhouse
Man, I like the way Brazilians think. Soccer? Love it. Carnival? Love it, at least in theory. At Gaucho Urbano, it’s like Steakfest 24/7 in a good Brazilian steakhouse. People bringing skewers of meat to the table one after the other until I beg for mercy? Now that sounds like a good time. That’s right. This is literally an all-you-can-eat steak joint. In addition, they also offer an exceptional fresh salad bar if such things matter to you at all. I’m not here to tell you Gaucho Urbano is the best steakhouse you’ll ever eat at, but it’s well done … get it? Gaucho Urbano is located at 111 Valley Dr, Pigeon Forge, TN. They accept reservations online via their website.
Calhoun’s is not a traditional steakhouse. It’s a barbecue joint, but my general philosophy in Calhoun’s – an East Tennessee culinary icon – is that they know how to handle their meat. It’s one of the best places to eat in the entire region. I traditionally take a stand against gimmick steaks – steaks covered in a bunch of unnecessary stuff but I make an exception for Calhoun’s “Ale” Steak, a 7 or 10-ounce sirloin marinated in olive oil, mustard, garlic and Cherokee Red Ale. And it comes topped with Worcestershire butter. Don’t worry you don’t have to pronounce it when you order. It’s fantastic. I do not, however, make an exception for the Bar-B-Que Steak, which is simply a bridge too far. When I want barbecue, I want barbecue. When I want steak, I want steak. Neither the twain shall meet. The Pigeon Forge location is at 2532 Parkway, Pigeon Forge, TN. And they do accept reservations.
4. The Local Goat
For clarity’s sake, I do not consider the Local Goat a steakhouse. Like Calhoun’s, it’s a restaurant that also serves steak. And it also may well be the most popular restaurant in Pigeon Forge and for good reason. Great food. Excellent service. Good prices. The Local Goat is a high-quality dining experience. However, the steak offerings are somewhat limited to a center-cut sirloin, a flame-grilled ribeye and the Hawaiian Ribeye. Despite my resistance to ordering a steak with a lot of extra business happening, I do like the Hawaiian Ribeye. I’m generally in favor of pineapple strategically deployed in savory situations and find pineapple ginger sauce to be a good sauce. In general, The Local Goat is among the best restaurants in the region. It’s a great place to get a delicious meal. However, there may be a better place to get delicious steaks. Also, you may be in for a bit of a long wait without a reservation. I highly recommend reserving a table in advance on their website.
5. Texas Roadhouse
I know – it’s a chain. But the Roadhouse, especially around here, has its fans. However, I find it one of the harder restaurants on the strip to get into. Also, for me, the Roadhouse is good, not great. Look. You season a steak well, you cook it properly and it’s going to be a good meal. The Roadhouse menu offers plenty of options like the Texas T-bone and it’s a quality dining experience, usually. It seems that the large crowds can stress the wait staff and, occasionally, the cooking crew. I don’t send food back to the kitchen. I do NOT do it. But more than once I’ve ordered a medium-rare steak at the Texas Roadhouse that came out still mooing. I don’t mind pink. In fact, I don’t even mind red. But I do mind rare. I don’t want to overstate it, but more often than not at the Texas Roadhouse, you’ll get a good steak, even a great steak, and great service. It’s just sometimes things could be better. Also, I don’t go to Pigeon Forge or Sevier County to eat at the same places I could eat at home. Therefore, if you don’t have Texas Roadhouse in your area, this honky tonk-themed restaurant might be the spot. It’s just not the spot for me. I prefer to find a local favorite. Texas Roadhouse doesn’t accept reservations but they do have a waitlist which you can join on their website.
6. Timberwood Grill
Some people will tell you to head to the Timberwood Grill on the Island in Pigeon Forge for a great steak. Do not listen to these people. It’s not that you’ll have a bad experience, it’s just that steak is kind of a side deal. In fact, the grill is the perfect place to go for a burger. In particular, they have friendly service and southern hospitality by the heaps. It’s just not a steakhouse and there are limited steak options. The cut of meat availability is limited. But what they do have is a Gunpowder ribeye and Trapper Jack’s hand-cut sirloin. Both of which, I recommend if you find yourself at The Island and happen to be craving a passable steak. At the time of this writing, The Timberwood Grill does not accept reservations.
Do you agree with our ranking? What do you think is the best steak in Pigeon Forge? Let us know in the comments below.