Well the CurbCrushers intended to eat most all their meals at the campsite. But after arriving at the Cloudland Canyon State Park, Mrs. CurbCrusher noticed an add for a place named the Canyon Grill that was located close to the park. CurbCrusher got a little worried about going out to dinner when the family stopped by the Ranger Station to return a book and asked about the place. “Oh its a 4 star restaurant. People come from all over to eat there.” Now this can be good or bad. When people talk about fancy eating places, CurbCrusher immediately assumes that your talking about dressing up nice, getting food that looks real pretty, but there just isn’t much of it. Seeing as how we were in our camping clothes, jeans t-shirts and sneakers, I figured we might soon find ourselves back at the RV fixing dinner.
The Canyon Grill is only open from five to nine at night Wednesday through Sunday. It is also located only about a mile from the park entrance, so we got there about fifteen minutes before they opened. Mrs. CurbCrusher decided to walk in and see if they had a menu. When she returned to the car, she said there wasn’t a “set” menu as they fixed items that were available fresh, and there was no kids menu. The lady she had talked to did say that they had a chicken strips kind of appetizer that would probably appeal to kids. Well, we had fifteen minutes to kill, and in CurbCrusher’s mind this place was looking worse and worse. All the clues, “fancy restaurant”, “no kids menu”, “fresh items only”, pointed to a hoity toity unfun place to eat. We drove toward Chattanooga and enjoyed the scenery and decided we’d give it a try.
The CurbCrusher family arrived back at the Canyon Grill about five minutes after five, and were immediately seated. So at least were dressed decently enough to get in the door. The menu was a pleasant surprise. Some seafood, and a selection of beef, pork and poultry along with a couple of pasta dishes. The person seating us and the wait staff were very friendly. I started to think this might not be to bad afterall.
Little CurbCrusher ordered the chicken strip appetizer, Mrs. CurbCrusher ordered a pan seared pork dish with black beans and a backed sweet potato as sides, and I ordered the grilled chicken breast with lima beans and baked sweet potato as sides. Then they brought the bread. The bread was warm from the oven, and very light, with a heavenly taste. This was looking much better. While we were waiting for our food another half-dozen diners were seated, and it became clear that we were dressed just about right. Some folks were dressed up a little more and others a little less.
The meal arrived and all doubt about coming to eat at the Canyon Grill was removed. The chicken strips were breaded and fried, but the breading was light and flavor of the chicken was preserved and it was excellent. The pork was fixed with some kind of sauce, but it melted in your mouth when you chewed it. The chicken was moist and tasty. The vegetables were so good, that I’m not sure they were really vegetables. If I could have, I’d have seconds and thirds of the lima beans. Little CurbCrusher loved the baked sweet potato, between Mrs. CurbCrusher and myself giving her parts of our sweet potatoes, I think she may have eaten a whole one.
All in all it was a wonderful meal. Little CurbCrusher and Mrs. CurbCrusher did not finish their meals, and we took a go-box back to the RV with us. We had the left overs for lunch and dinner the next day while driving back to Orlando. From the maps and advertising, the Canyon Grill is about eighteen miles from Chattanooga, so if you find yourself in Chattanooga on Wednesday through Sunday nights, find your way out there for a great meal.