My husband and I believe firmly in spending quality time together alone as a couple. Date nights at least monthly, if not weekly, are great ways to reconnect. But, sometimes, going AWAY is just what you need! When my hubby’s vacation time got close, we decided it was time for a two-night getaway for the two of us.
A stay in a cabin is what we desired. We wanted to stay in Tennessee, for we love to promote Tennessee tourism. After much searching, we settled upon Monteagle, TN. Monteagle is only about a two-hour drive from our home, making this trip very do-able for us. We then started looking for our place to stay. We wanted to stay in a cabin for privacy and quaintness. When I happened upon Jim Oliver’s Smokehouse website, I knew we had found our place to stay!
Beautiful cabins, an incredible restaurant on site, plenty of room to roam, an interesting country store to explore, as well as a gorgeous area to call home for 3 days all added up to our get away place!
Monteagle is located in the Cumberland Plateau Region in the southeastern corner of our fine state. It is situated within three counties- Franklin, Grundy, and Marion. Conveniently located right off I24, Monteagle is easy to find.
Arriving at Jim Oliver’s Smoke House, we were impressed by the huge log beam construction as we entered the lobby. Inside, we were greeted by friendly staff and made to feel very welcome. We were given our cabin key, and a map of the grounds. We had no idea how very large Jim Oliver’s Smoke House really was!
Large, welcoming front entrance of the Smoke House Lodge
Comfortable seating area in front of the large fireplace
Beautiful fireplace and checkerboard game!
Plenty of coffee choices while you are checking in!
Computer area in the lobby for your convenience.
Looking into the cabin area.
Cabins line both sides of this small road. Not too close together, though, so plenty of privacy.
We drove back through the trees and found our cabin. Honey opened the door for me and I just melted. I told him that this is the kind of place I’d always dreamed of staying, but we’d never done so. It was perfect for our getaway!
We unloaded the car, unpacked our bags, and settled in. We had brought some snacks along with us. The cabin was quite well appointed with silverware, dishes, pots, pans, glasses, etc. A full-sized refrigerator, stove, double sink, microwave, and coffee maker were all in the kitchen. It only got better from there! As we walked into the great room, we found a comfy large couch, king-sized bed, beautiful armoire, two-person jacuzzi tub, huge fireplace, tv, and a well thought out bathroom completed our tour.
Upon opening the front door of our cabin, we were surprised to find such a well-outfitted kitchen!
Large, comfy couch and huge king-sized bed
The cozy two-person jacuzzi tub, with a full bath next door.
The large full bathroom.
Our cozy front porch.
Our cabin also had a pretty front porch, complete with a small table and two chairs. What a beautiful place to sit a spell, chat, and watch the world go by!
Outside, there was a picnic table, fire pit, and a large stack of firewood. I only wished that it hadn’t been June and 80+ degrees so that we could have enjoyed a fire! When we go back (and we will be back!), we want to do so during the fall or winter and build a fire in the fireplace.
Once we had unpacked and settled in, it was time for a late lunch. Walking into The Smoke House Gift Shop was a treat for the eyes like none other. Every nook and cranny had some interesting site to behold. Items from days gone by, still in use, housing unique and fun items for sale. The shelves of different sauces made by The Smoke House is astounding! There is a sauce for every taste, from mild to hot, with everything in between.
This is the entrance to the country store and restaurant.
This is the sauce room. Shelves and shelves full of sauce goodness!
If you see Mike preparing the meats for the smoker, take the time to chat with him. He’s quite knowledgeable about the process and meats, and loves to talk “shop!”
Check out all of the sauces available. You can sample any and all of them!
During our stay, we dined on so many tasty foods. The smoked brisket is super tender and flavorful. Buffets are our “thing,” so we enjoyed the buffet for our first meal. My Honey was super pleased to find it loaded with his favorite food of all time, fried chicken. Along with this fried chicken, we had our choice of pulled pork, real mashed potatoes (not boxed stuff, the real thing!), green beans made the way they should be made- with meat and onions, and much more. There were two huge cast iron pans- one with corn bread, and the other with bread pudding. Oh my. YUMMY!! I’d like to know where they purchase their fruits and vegetables, for they were the best I’d had in a long time. The watermelon was ripe and bursting with watermelon flavor. The smoked beef brisket, well, let’s just say tender and tasty only begin to describe this entree!
The buffet area.
Cornbread and bread pudding served in huge cast iron skillets.
This is what I loved most about the decor! Not only is the Smoke House filled with antiques, those antiques are still in use! Here you see an old stove. That stove is keeping the cast iron pot of beef stew hot. To the left where the oven is located, that’s a crock filled with crackers.
Here is another example. This just looks like an old freezer. However, if you order an alcoholic beverage, it will be served to you along with a frosty mug, straight out of this freezer!
And one more example. This old cooler still works. There is cold water circulating inside, chilling the glass bottles of soda!
The salad bar section of the buffet.
My salad. It was delicious!
This was my plate from the buffet. And, yes, the Bourbon Infused BBQ Sauce is as yummy as it sounds!
This was the smoked brisket plate that I ordered. It was the most tender piece of smoked beef I’ve enjoyed in a long time.
We learned that the Smoke House restaurant makes some fabulous desserts, notably their homemade ice cream and fried pies. Yes, when you go to eat here, you simply MUST save room for dessert. We indulged in a caramel apple fried pie with homemade vanilla ice cream. It was completely worth the calories, let me tell you!
This is one scoop of cookies and cream ice cream. I think there were more cookies than cream in it! It sure hit the spot!
Another specialty of The Smoke House is homemade fudge! Be sure to ask for your free sample! The orange creamsicle was my favorite!
Walking around the grounds of The Smoke House, you’ll find swing sets, tennis courts, a pool, quaint lake, and more to enjoy. You truly don’t even have to leave the grounds to have very full days- of both food and fun!
The pool area is perfect for cooling off on these hot summer days, with plenty of sitting room to lounge and read a book.
How quaint is this?
The Smoke House has recently had a $2 Million facelift! The Lodge rooms received a complete overhaul, as did the lobby area. The dining area is still receiving updates. The Olivers are very forward thinking! They are investing in expansion. Jim Oliver opened the Smoke House in November of 1960. Jim used his mother’s recipes, many of which are still used today. Jim’s children, JD and Betsy, now run the Smoke House. Betsy manages the kitchen and has added a few of her own recipes to the mix.
Every Friday and Saturday night, you are treated to live music! The night we were there, Flat River Band played. What a treat! There’s no cover charge to sit and enjoy the show. You can order refreshments or order off the menu. Full service available!
From JD Oliver- “More Music, more cabins, and more food is where we are going with the Smoke House. We will incorporate more music into our current live shows on Friday and Saturday nights, along with a couple of all weekend-long music festivals; we have already planned an event for the 4thweekend in September 2015 called “The Color of Music”; it is for a nonprofit foundation fundraising, which is helping children of all race and color to become more involved in music, music being the means of bringing people together to live in harmony without color barriers. We are also planning on taking our live music shows onto live streaming and onto regional radio and TV broadcasting. We will be expanding our lines of sauces that can be purchased on line and in the store, expanding our Take Out selection, and expanding our Yummy Menu items to compliment our other homemade items such as ice cream, fried pies, and candies.”
Be sure to check out The Smoke House on Facebook and on Twitter! You can see virtual tours on their YouTube channel as well!
Trust me, a trip to Monteagle, Tennessee is worth the trip, no matter the distance you will travel. Down home cooking, country comfort, and beautiful scenery make The Smoke House an excellent destination for a couple, a family, or even to get away for a personal retreat. When you go, tell them that Laurie from Successful Homemakers sent you!
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