Nearby shops offer chicken, dessert

For this week, I decided to pair two different companies from South Knox – one for a savory meal and one for dessert. Fortunately, I found two restaurants on/near Chapman Highway – Camps Chicken & Grill and Sugar Queen Creamery – that would suit my needs. And they weren’t far from each other. We started our outing at Camps Chicken & Grill, hosting a dinner party towards the end of their working hours.

As the name suggests, chicken is the star item at Camps, and we could tell from the elaborate meat smoking station in front of the main building that we’d be considering a barbecue. Their pulled smoked chicken comes in a variety of items, and they also serve chicken wings, in quantities ranging from 10 to 100.

We looked at the entire menu and opted to skip entrees like tater tots, fried pickles and chicken tenderloins. They also offer burgers of different sizes, but we decided to focus more on poultry instead. I ordered a signature plate with pulled chicken and went with potato salad and green beans as my two sides included ($14.04) in addition to cornbread. Half a chicken and a chicken salad are also available as a plate, and you can also choose a single side if you wish.

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The spouse considered a number of bread options, including a tender chicken sandwich, grilled cheese, a hot dog, and a chicken cheesesteak. Spouse eventually opted for the chicken quesadilla ($8.31) and went with mac and cheese as an included side dish. For the record, corn slaw, coleslaw, fries, tots, and corn on the cob are some of the other side dishes.

We experienced a service-related SNAFU. Although I asked for the pulled chicken plate, my order was taken half chicken, and that’s what was delivered to our table. The owner thankfully mitigated the mistake, however, and I ended up being quite happy with the pulled chicken and the house sauce that came with it. The meat was very moist and embodied a rich, smoky flavor. Green beans and potato salad were respectable. I gave my cornbread to The Spouse but thought carefully about the sample bite I took.

Meanwhile, The Spouse’s quesadilla and mac and cheese were okay. Neither was outstanding, but both items got the job done. Camps serves homemade desserts, banana pudding included, but we moved on to a new destination for this phase of our meal.

A few minutes later, we were in line at the Sugar Queen Creamery (on Young High Pike, just off Chapman Highway), eyeing their line of homemade ice cream flavors. The installation itself made a good first impression. The interior has a cozy atmosphere and there is plenty of seating inside and out.

Every day they offer more than two dozen homemade flavors, which can include sweet cream (the default base for many of their sundae creations) as well as coffee with cream, browned butter pecans, cookies and cream, banana pudding, Foster bananas, mint chips, garden tea, and Amish peanut butter. You can implement these flavors in a one-, two-, or three-spoon cone, cup, or bowl; a jerk or float; or one of the many varieties of sundaes.

Spouse received two Peanut Butter Oreo scoops in a small cup, while I ordered three scoops in a large cup – a milk chocolate, a birthday cake, a strawberry – my own Neapolitan creation in somehow.

The service we received was excellent, but I have to say I was disappointed with the ice cream itself. The texture wasn’t that creamy – each scoop tasted like it was laced with ice crystals. And the flavors just didn’t ring true to me. The birthday cake in particular did not taste like an iteration of this flavor that I have ever experienced before. Even the strongest of my three selections, chocolate, was marginal.

I don’t say any of this lightly, as I consider myself an ice cream fanatic and can usually find a bright spot in any type of frozen treat. But in this case, the Sugar Queen Creamery left me a bit cold.

Chicken & Grill Camps

Food: 3.75

Service: 3.75

Atmosphere: 3.25

Globally: 3.75

Address: 7201 Chapman Highway

Call: 865-366-1356

Children’s menu

Beer service only

Hours: noon to 7 p.m. from Wednesday to Saturday; 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday

Sugar Queen Creamery

Food: 3

Service: 4

Atmosphere: 4

Globally: 3.25

Address: 106 E. Young northern pike

Call: None available

No alcohol service

Hours: noon to 9 p.m. Monday to Thursday; from noon to 10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays

These two South Knoxville restaurants offer smoked chicken dishes and ice cream treats respectively.

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