A Smoky Mountain local reviews the Local Goat in Pigeon Forge, TN
As someone whose been living in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains for over 35 years, there are days, of course, that I think the Local Goat may be Pigeon Forge’s best restaurant. At least, it’s one of the best places to eat in the Smoky Mountains. That is, at least, if you find a place to park. It’s a popular place.
IN THIS ARTICLE
Subscribe to our newsletter for area news, coupons and discounts
The overall concept
Local Goat puts the local in, well, local. For example, the scratch-made kitchen specializes in locally sourced foods. Everything on the sustainable menu is made fresh daily, including the bread and even the ketchup. The bar specializes in local craft breweries, craft cocktails and fine wines. The dining room? It’s adorned with the work of local artists. When they say Local Goat, they mean it. The best way I can describe it is if you took the concept behind a craft beer and applied it to food. Specifically, it’s craft food.
The Local Goat serves everything from burgers and steaks to seafood. It is done with a certain level of artistry, and a certain flair. Traditional American foods are presented in classic ways with modern twists that take them beyond what you’d find in a chain restaurant. They’re certainly not afraid to offer challenging menu items from cheese fondue to deep-fried deviled eggs to an Elvis burger with peanut butter. It’s the perfect place to go if you want to try something familiar but with a little more flavor.
My food recommendations? During our most recent visit, my daughter Sofia tried the double-glazed Bison Meatloaf. The loaf features a rich demi-glace, crispy onions and caramelized onion mashed potatoes. And she raved over it. My wife Leslie had the Pimento Cheese Cheeseburger with pimento cheese, bacon jam and sautéed onions. On the kid’s menu, my 7-year-old Ainsley raved about the grilled cheese and ate a massive portion of the fries. It was all delicious. I think the case could be made that the Local Goat has the best burger in the region, but it’s probably more accurate to say among the best burgers.
Honestly, I could rave about most of the menu items, including the outstanding desserts. My favorite is the Crème Brûlée served with seasonal berries. I also had a Bloody Mary that had a little more kick from a spicy standpoint than I’m used to, but it was really good.
Other favorites include Bronzed Ahi Tuna Steak with mango salsa, sautéed spinach and caramelized onion mashed potatoes. The 10 oz Boneless Pork Chops are marinated and center-cut served with sautéed apples and onions, whipped sweet potatoes and steamed broccoli. The Shrimp & Grits feature jumbo Gulf shrimp, bacon, spinach, mushrooms, caramelized onions, stone-ground cheese grits and sriracha. Also on the menu are ribs and jumbo wings with a choice of sauces.
Reservations and to-go orders
As with most restaurants in the Smoky Mountains, I always recommend making a reservation in advance. At Local Goat, you can make a reservation on their website before you go. Parties with over ten people need to call the restaurant at (865) 366-3035.
Unfortunately, Local Goat does not accommodate to-go orders. There’s a cute answer on the website about how they want you to have the best dining experience and the food doesn’t like small boxes. However, I suspect it’s chiefly to do with that parking lot. It’s always full and it’s not especially conducive to a lot of traffic. We had to back up a couple of rows downhill just to make room for someone who we thought was leaving. Instead, he took the spot we were waiting on.
Is the Local Goat worth it?
Have you tried the Local Goat? What did you order? Let us know in the comments!