We are here, friends, to discuss the art of a finely prepared mountain breakfast.
But before we can discuss hen fruit and catheads (more on that later), there’s a bit of chicanery afoot that must be addressed.
Crockett’s Breakfast Camp is a magnificent mecca of mountain breakfast.
But it is playing a bit fast and loose with one of East Tennessee’s folk heroes, attracting the attention of the tourist trade with a famous name.
But the fact is the Crockett in question is not folklore legend Davy Crockett, king of the wild frontier. It’s not even one of his cousins.
In fact, we have no evidence that Davy ever even enjoyed signature corned beef hash breakfast or fried cinnamon rolls.
David Crockett Maples, a Tennessean who fought for the Union in the Civil War, opened a supply store in 1840 at the base of Mt. LeConte, where he and his wife, Mary (Ogle) Crockett earned a reputation for serving a hearty breakfast.
Mr. Maples eventually lost his legs to frostbite while serving as a guide – no word on what happened to the guy he was guiding.
Undeterred, Maples created wooden feet to put in his boots, strapped them to his legs and went on walking around with the help of a pair of canes until 1928 when he died at the age of 88.
Maples is more than deserving of having a Gatlinburg breakfast establishment named after him. But Maples Breakfast Camp apparently doesn’t have the same ring.
It’s like opening a huge restaurant in Pigeon Forge called Dolly’s and having it dedicated to former Dolly Pentreath, the last known native speaker of the Cornish language who died in 1777.
Editor’s Note: I was going with Dolley Madison here, but she spelled it funky and ruined the joke.
When did Crockett’s Breakfast Camp open?
Crockett’s Breakfast Camp has been one of the area’s top breakfast spots since 2014, where it continues to honor the lesser-known, yet impressive Crockett.
Who owns Crockett’s Breakfast Camp?
Still, if you can get past the name thing, Crockett’s Breakfast Camp is a place of wonder.
Part of the KBS Restaurant family, which also owns The Greenbrier, Holston’s, J.T. Hannah’s and more, Crockett’s Breakfast Camp is a holy place for those who believe – in their soul – that breakfast is the most important meal of the day.
If aliens came to Earth and asked what breakfast is, bring them here.
First of all, because it is so good, but secondly because once they eat it, they’ll be so sluggish they will immediately need a nap and we can apprehend them before they have a chance to start messing with major cities.
Crockett’s Breakfast Camp menu
I love everything about Crockett’s Breakfast Camp.
They call the eggs “hen fruit.” The griddle cakes, French toast and waffles are enticing. I love that their cathead biscuits live up to the billing.
The Elk Mountain Grande Burrito features 3 eggs, chorizo, machaca, pico de gallo and jalapeños, just like old David Crockett Maples and his wife Mary Ogle made back in 1875.
In fact, they serve thick Aretha Frankensteins pancakes with no explanation whatsoever. Just here ya go, Aretha Frankenstein! As if everybody knows about the “famous” pancake mix from the restaurant on Tremont Street in Chattanooga.
Also on the menu, Signature Corned Beef Hash Benedict and Pan-Fried Pork Chops. There is something for everyone.
In addition, the location right at the top of the strip before you get out of Gatlinburg into the National Park can’t be beat.
Going hiking? Great. Stop off for a hearty breakfast then turn around and go back to your hotel for a nice nap while you recover.
For the full menu, click here.
Does Crockett’s Breakfast Camp have parking?
We should note that with a location on the strip, parking can be a thing.
The camp does have a few spots on site, but there’s a paid lot nearby which is good because you’re not going to feel like walking very far.
Is Crockett’s Breakfast Camp worth it?
Ultimately, there are a lot of places in the Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge area vying for your breakfast dollar and many of them are very, very good.
So, how many of them should you drive past to try Crockett’s?
It’s hard to say. I’m not sure I’d make the trek from Sevierville or Pigeon Forge only to eat at Crockett’s, and if I had my choice in Gatlinburg I’d go to the Pancake Pantry first. But neither of those things are a slight to Crockett’s in any way.
It’s a fantastic place to get breakfast and start your day in Gatlinburg.
It’s certainly worth your time and money. And, hey, they’ve got a wooden statue of the namesake, which given his feet is somehow extremely appropriate but also a little disrespectful at the same time.
Where is Crockett’s Breakfast Camp?
Open seven days a week from 7 am-1 pm, Crockett’s Breakfast Camp is located at 1103 Parkway in Gatlinburg.
Hours are subject to change, so always double check ahead of time before you make your plans.
Do you have a favorite breakfast restaurant in Gatlinburg? Let us know in the comments.