Restaurant review

The Chow Hall offers tasty comfort food

I didn’t realize why the Chow Hall was called the Chow Hall until The Grub Spouse and I arrived on the premises for a dinner party last week. The front panel reads “Honoring and Supporting Our Veterans” and bears the insignia of all of our nation’s service branches.

The theme is even more prominent inside the facility, which once served as a lawn mower repair shop. These days, the interior walls are filled with photos and other military memorabilia. Otherwise, the aesthetic is rustic but executed with an intentional sense of style.

Spouse and I sat in the smaller of the two dining spaces, but half of the wife of the owner team warned us that a large takeout order had just come in front of us and he would take half an hour or more before they could start preparing our meal. Since we had driven so far – into the backcountry areas of northeast Knox County – we decided to double our sunk costs and wait. However, the owner took our food orders, delivered our drinks and repeatedly apologized for the delay.

Chow Hall, a family restaurant in North Knox County, serves a classic but tasty array of American comfort foods.

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The menu represents a classic lineup of American fare, starting with finger foods like nachos, cheese sticks, wings, and chili fries. Sandwiches include pulled pork, BLT, chicken salad, and Philly cheesesteak. I had the fried bologna sandwich ($7.29), which consisted of two slices of beef bologna, two slices of cheese, mustard, mayonnaise, tomato, and lettuce on Texas toast. I ordered onion rings on the side for $3.99.

They also have several starter salads, a hot dog, and a smoked sausage option, as well as wraps made with chicken salad, chicken fillets, grilled chicken, and more. However, the Chow Hall seems to be known for its burgers, and on the owner’s recommendation, The Spouse ordered the Bacon Cheeseburger ($9.99), topped with mayonnaise, lettuce, tomato, onion and pickles. Spouse chose order of fries for child for $1.29.

Our wait turned out to be over half an hour, as we had been advised. Obviously, the order before us was for a large group of scouts. But the owners periodically checked on us, chatted and made sure our drinks were topped up.

When the traffic jam finally cleared and our food arrived, we dug in and I was happy with both orders overall. The half pound patty on the burger was well done and nicely embellished with bacon, cheese and other condiments and toppings. The fries were standard frozen crinkle fries, but nothing to complain about.

It’s been ages since I’ve tried a fried bologna sandwich, and the one they serve at Chow Hall is a real creation. Both slices of meat had thinned and rolled up during the cooking process, as fried bologna tends to do, but the flavor was nicely complemented by cheese and vegetable toppings, and the thick Texas toast was ample. buttered before cooking. The only thing I would have changed about this sandwich was the amount of mustard, which I felt was heavy. By the way, the onion rings were superb – breaded and fried to greasy perfection.

We both bet on our sandwiches and didn’t save any leftovers, but it left us both pretty stuffed. The Chow Hall no longer serves desserts anyway, although the owner mentioned that their daughter might be a future source of homemade pies.

I hadn’t bothered that we were waiting for the food, but I was less patient with the inexplicable delay in presenting our check; we had been hanging around there long enough. I eventually tracked down the owners and became proactive with the payment process. Otherwise, they had been very friendly and accommodating.

This corner of the country is just too remote for The Spouse and I to justify becoming regulars. But those residing in the Halls/North Knox area may want to try Chow Hall. I’m not sure it lives up to its 4.9 star Google rating, but the food is solidly good, the prices are more than competitive, and the hospitality is genuine. In this regard, I am happy to thank this restaurant for its service.

The Chow room

Food: 4

Service: 3.75

Atmosphere: 4

Globally: 4

Address: 5706 E. Emory Road, #5704

Call: 865-985-2893

No alcohol service

Children’s menu

Hours: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. from Monday to Friday; 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday

This family-run restaurant in North Knox County serves a classic yet tasty array of American comfort foods.