When you grow up on the outskirts of the Great Smoky Mountains, sometimes you miss some obvious stuff.
It’s like the tale of the fish who asks another fish, “How’s the water?” and the fish responds, “What water?”
For years, I’ve been that other fish.
I’ve overlooked one of the most popular restaurants in the Smokies: The Greenbrier Restaurant.
The Greenbrier is a local favorite.
You’ll notice that it’s not really heavily advertised, and it’s not right along any main roads, either. It’s the kind of place that you have to be looking for to really know that it’s there.
This establishment is a higher-end restaurant for the Gatlinburg area, which is likely why my parents never took me there as a kid. And why it took me so long to take myself as an adult.
However, I’m now convinced that it might just be the best restaurant in Gatlinburg.
Is The Greenbrier worth it?
The Greenbrier Restaurant in Gatlinburg is rich in history. In the 1930s, it was a mountain lodge that was frequented by hunters, loggers and hikers.
Today, it’s said to be one of the most haunted places in Gatlinburg. More on that later.
The lodge was eventually converted to a restaurant, where it currently serves high-quality food with Appalachian tradition.
The restaurant itself is beautiful. It would be a great spot for a romantic date night. It’s the kind of place that will set your cocktails on fire (literally) and offer ingredients that you’ve never heard of before.
The menu is updated periodically by the restaurant’s chefs.
For this visit, I ordered the salmon, my sister had the trout and my brother-in-law got the Filet of Beef.
Y’all, it was some of the best food I’ve ever had in the Smokies. The fish was flavorful and juicy. It had a combination of flavors that I would never be able to put together myself. Exactly the kind of experience I look for when I go outside my own kitchen for dinner.
And the steak? The steak was cooked beautifully – melt-in-your-mouth perfection.
We were too full for dessert, but I think that means we’ll have to make another trip soon.
The Greenbrier in Gatlinburg menu prices
Are the prices on The Greenbrier menu high? Perhaps a little for East Tennessee.
Main dishes range from $28-30. Steaks and pork chops range from $29-47. It’s not the kind of place where you can decide to order a sandwich with water to keep the bill low.
That being said, the food is high quality, and the prices, in my opinion, are well justified.
To view the full menu with prices, click here.
Is The Greenbrier Restaurant in Gatlinburg haunted?
If you’re into Tennessee folklore, you’ll probably enjoy a visit to The Greenbrier Restaurant.
Legend has it that a young bride-to-be named Lydia hung herself from the rafters of the old lodge after being left at the altar.
The man who left her was said to be found dead within days following Lydia’s suicide. He appeared to have been mauled by a mountain lion.
Some believe that Lydia’s spirit took revenge on him, and some even believe that she took the form of the mountain lion to do so.
If that’s the case, I suppose she returned to her human-like form when she came back to haunt the lodge-turned-restaurant.
The Murfreesboro Post provides the most detail on the legend. Some workers have noticed “food items being knocked off shelves” in the pantry.
Some diners have reported seeing the spirit as a “small, sad figure” lingering along the stairway where she died, or around the upper floor landing.
Additionally, some employees claim to feel her “chilling presence”.
Ghost hunters at The Greenbrier Restaurant
I can’t say that my family or I saw Lydia when we were there, but there was something chilling about looking up toward the second floor.
Despite the alleged revenge on her ex, some reports say that Lydia is a “friendly ghost”. Some even speculate that she doesn’t know she’s dead.
Ghost hunters once visited The Greenbrier Restaurant to investigate.
The East Tennessee Paranormal Research Society found photographic anomalies and “cheeky responses” to questions via Electronic Voice Phenomena, or EVP.
The restaurant acknowledges the spirit by naming menu items after her, including the “Lydia” martini with vodka, freshly squeezed lemon and house-made lavender simple syrup.
She also has her own cellar reserves.
Does Greenbrier take reservations?
You can reserve a table online here.
Greenbrier is a popular restaurant. While you might be able to find a spot at the bar seating area if you’re lucky, I recommend you reserve a table in advance.
Plan your trip to The Greenbrier Restaurant
The Greenbrier is open on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays from 4:30-9 pm and Fridays and Saturdays from 4:30-10 pm. It’s closed on Mondays. Hours may vary by season.
The Greenbrier is located at 370 Newman Road in Gatlinburg, Tenn. For more information, visit them online.
Have you been to The Greenbrier restaurant? Have you seen Lydia? Let us know in the comments!
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