A local’s Puckett’s Restaurant Pigeon Forge review
The inside of Puckett’s in Pigeon Forge has a rustic-modern design. It’s soft, dim and woodsy and has a wall full of records, including some from Dolly Parton. It’s the kind of place where you’ll find guitars and cowboy hats on the wall, live music on select nights, and of course, delicious Southern BBQ.
Truthfully, I always have a great experience when I visit Puckett’s. Not only is the barbecue authentic comfort food, but I also love the featured live music in the down-home atmosphere.
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Puckett’s began as a little grocery store in Leiper’s Fork, Tennessee. Today, is it a restaurant and entertainment venue, specializing in Southern staples and slow-smoked BBQ. I find that in most cases, visitors come to a venue because of the food or because of the entertainment. And although they are not mutually exclusive, one is usually much better than the other. But that is not the case at Puckett’s. Come for the music. Come back for the food.
Sure, they have most things that could keep even the pickiest of eaters in the group happy: Burgers, sandwiches, salads and the works. But they’re known for that slow Memphis-style smoked meat.
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Our Puckett’s appetizer recommendations
The appetizers include your standard fare. Fried pickles, chicken tenders and nachos. The nachos come with fresh tortilla chips, cowboy caviar, jalapeños, fresh cilantro, bbq drizzle and sour cream with fresh-made queso. But if you want an authentic Puckett’s experience, go with the Pimento Cheese Bites, which are breaded, flash-fried and served with pepper jelly. I also recommend an order of Bubba’s Bones, deep-fried baby back ribs tossed in their original BBQ sauce.
Our Puckett’s entree recommendations
Puckett’s has a lot of variety when it comes to burgers and sandwiches, including everything from the Classic Cheeseburger to the Music City Hot Chicken Sandwich – which is authentically served on Texas toast with coleslaw and a house pickle on the side.
Another popular option is the Piggy Mac, cherry wood smoked pulled pork in an iron skillet. It is topped with white cheddar mac n’ cheese and crumbs of freshly made biscuits. The Nashville Cheesesteak offers either smoked beef brisket or grilled chicken topped with bell peppers, onions, BBQ sauce and white cheddar cheese sauce on a hoagie bun.
And if you want a taste of the BBQ, which I do recommend, you can get the Puckett’s BBQ, which comes with pulled pork or beef brisket, slow-smoked with cherry wood. You can get it Memphis-style, which comes with slaw on top. The Smoked Bologna is another great choice with thick-cut bologna on white bread with lettuce, tomato, pickle and mayo.
I ordered my Puckett’s BBQ sandwich with a side of skillet mac n’ cheese. Other home-cooked sides include sweet potato fries, cole slaw, collard greens, smashed sweet potatoes, French fries, mashed potatoes, potato salad, cowboy caviar, steamed broccoli and more.
The prices are moderate but good for the quality of the food. Sandwiches range from about $11.50-$15 at the time of this writing.
The most popular dishes, according to Puckett’s staff
I asked the staff, as one does, what the most popular dish is, and he pointed me to Puckett’s BBQ Platter. It’s part of their Tennessee Favorites and all of these classics come with two sides and a signature Cajun corn cake. The other favorites include house-ground Smoked Meatloaf, Creole-fried Fresh Catfish, Country Fried Steak, Baby Back Ribs and the Whiskey Platter.
The Chicken Fried Chicken is a unique option that has tenderized chicken breasts battered, fried and topped with delicious white pepper gravy. If you want the best of everything, try The Whole Farm, which has beef brisket, cherry wood-smoked pulled pork, smoked half chicken as well as baby back ribs.
These dishes range in price from about roughly $16-$34 at the time of this writing. If you have room for dessert, ask about their Cobbler of the Day, featuring their famous cobbler with vanilla ice cream, made fresh daily.
It may also be important to note, that at the time of this writing, Puckett’s is not open for breakfast.
Healthier options at Puckett’s
I don’t necessarily recommend going to a Tennessee BBQ establishment and ordering a salad. But, if you insist, we are not here to judge. Puckett’s offers four salad options which can come with chicken and be ordered large or small.
For example, they offer an Entree Salad and BBQ Taco Salad. I’m a fan of the Country Cobb, which has romaine lettuce, onions, tomatoes, eggs, blue cheese crumbles, bacon and fried chicken. I also like the Strawberry Spinach, featuring baby spinach leaves, heritage spring mix, strawberries, blue cheese crumbles and shaved red onion. It usually also comes with pecans. You have a choice between their house-made dressings, which include balsamic vinaigrette, honey mustard, buttermilk ranch, BBQ chipotle ranch and blue cheese.
Live music at Puckett’s
Not only does Puckett’s offer real food, but it also offers a really fun atmosphere. As you plan your trip to Puckett’s, take a bit of extra time to check the music calendar. Live music lovers will also be happy to note that Puckett’s in Pigeon Forge offers live music which often highlights local musicians. Music typically begins at 7:30 pm. There is no cover, but tips are appreciated. For more events at Puckett’s, visit their calendar of events.
The Pigeon Forge location is conveniently located at 2480 Parkway. If you want a taste of Puckett’s, they are also now available on Goldbelly, which ships across the United States.
Have you been to Puckett’s in Pigeon Forge? Give us your feedback in the comments below!