Appalachian Museum Serves Tasty Country Foods

It had been years since The Grub Spouse and I visited the Museum of Appalachia in Clinton. This may explain why I had forgotten (or never knew) that they operated a restaurant on site. Once I remembered (learned?) the museum offered a food option, The Spouse and I decided to take a short trip last weekend, just to check out the food.

We arrived shortly after noon and easily found the two-level restaurant inside the main building, facing the north side of the property. Most of the tables in the lower level of the dining room overlook the park. But first we had to queue to order at the counter, studying the handwritten menu of the day while we waited.

The restaurant serves lunch (mid-morning to late afternoon) seven days a week, and the specialties vary daily. For example, on Mondays they offer herb-roasted pork loin and parmesan-crusted chicken. Thursday is chicken and meatloaf with honey mustard. A variety of homemade side dishes and desserts are also available daily.

The Musée des Appalaches serves delicious country meals seven days a week. The Ham and Potato Casserole with Green Beans and Broccoli Casserole is one of the many specialties they offer, depending on the day of the week.

The daily specials of our visit were a ham and potato casserole, smothered chicken and cookies. All meals are $10.95 each and include two sides. I ordered the first with green beans and a broccoli casserole, while The Spouse got the second with french fries and coleslaw. Meals also come with a piece of homemade cornbread.

Other side options include pinto beans, macaroni and cheese, sweet potato casserole, buttered corn, potato salad, beets, and cottage cheese. Vegetable fans can order a three-sided vegetable plate for $6.49. Customers interested in a hearty soup can get a bowl for $4.95 or make a soup and sandwich combo for $7.95. They offer toppings like chicken salad, tuna salad, and chili cheese for the sammies, which are served on white, wheat, or sourdough bread.

We placed our orders at the counter, where we spotted the dessert selection of the day. I grabbed a slice of peanut butter cake, while The Spouse had a pecan butter gooey bar. We added both items to our order before paying so we didn’t have to queue again when we were done with our entrees.

Good thing we did that too; shortly after we sat down at a table by the window, the queue quickly grew with customers. Then we were surprised when an employee brought our plates to our table in just a few minutes. It’s clear that their daily meals are pre-prepared in batches rather than made-to-order.

The Musée des Appalaches serves delicious country meals seven days a week. Pictured: Ham and Potato Casserole with Green Beans and Broccoli Casserole, Smothered Chicken and Biscuit with French Fries and Coleslaw, and Butter Cake of peanut.

However, this in no way tarnished my opinion of either of our dishes. The ham and potato casserole – which seemed to have some kind of soup as the binding ingredient – ​​was satisfying and pleasing to the palate. The broccoli casserole also used several ingredients to do some nice things for my taste buds. The green beans (which are served daily) embodied a classic country flavor and were a pleasure to eat. I’m not a huge fan of cornbread, so I handed my part over to The Spouse. But the bite I took felt legit.

The chicken and spouse’s gravy on a biscuit was also a treat. I’m not a fan of the cinnamon punch fries, but The Spouse really liked that side and the coleslaw. I had to agree that the finely chopped homemade coleslaw was well executed, although I don’t usually go out of my way to order this particular dish. I realize I’m sounding more picky than usual for this outing, but the more relevant point is that I’ve managed to appreciate several elements that I usually keep at bay.

Finally, both desserts were good, but the gooey ooey sea bass was clearly a standout. I felt that my slice of cake, while generous with the frosting and mini Reese’s pieces, let me down a little when it came to the freshness of the chocolate cake base.

We didn’t have time for a tour that day, but I would recommend anyone visiting the Museum of Appalachia to squeeze a delicious lunch into their visit. In fact, I could make a case for local diners stopping by just to order some lovely country-style wines, even if they’re not necessarily interested in the museum itself.

Appalachian Museum

Food: 4

Service: 3.75

Atmosphere: 3.75

Globally: 3.75

Address: 2819 Andersonville Hwy, Clinton

Call: 865-494-7680

No alcohol service

Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday; 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays

This popular regional museum of Appalachian history and culture also serves delicious country-style meals seven days a week.

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