Friday, July 20, 2007

Sick of me waxing poetic about Carver's Apple Orchard?

Too bad....I got pictures of the food this time!

I just can't help it. This is one of those home style restaurants that is still family owned and operated. It's quite simply the best restaurant in this area in its genre. Part of it has to do with the setting.

Carver's is actually a family farm orchard. The Carver family has been growing apples in this area since the '40's. The restaurant is right next to the farm stand store. During the height of the apple season, you can find bushels of apples for sale there. The kids can watch them sorting the apples as they come in from the orchard. Not only your standard varieties, but also some of the rarer heirloom apples. My personal favorite for making my apple butter is the Mountain York.

If you are vacationing in the Smokies, this is the place to shop for real home grown produce. They buy produce from the small local farmers and sell it there in the store. All in all, Carver's is a true friend to small family farm. Additionally, in the store, you will find a dazzling array of canned goods from relishes to jams that are the perfect gifts to take home to your family. They also have Appalachian specialties like lye soap, apple butters and candies. And, of course, their legendary fried apple pies are available there at the store.

Kyle Carver started his orchard in 1942, hand grafting and planting apple trees in his cornfield. The orchard now sits on 75 acres in Cosby, TN and boasts over 40,000 trees and 126 varieties of apples. There is also a stable on the property and it's fun to watch the colts with their mothers in the orchard.

I took my friends there who visited from Virginia and they went back the next day. It's just that good.

When you pull into Carver's, following the brightly colored signs on Cosby Highway, you drive through a bit of the orchard. The restaurant looks over the 75 acres. The view from the restaurant is spectacular during any season. Vistas of apple orchard stretch towards the horizon where the majesty of the Smoky Mountains meet the sky.

One of my favorite personal touches arrives at the start of each meal. The wait staff brings a basket of these amazing little apple fritters served with apple butter and a juice glass of apple cider. They are sort of like cakey apple hushpuppies, fried golden brown. You will most likely want to order a spare order of these to take home with you.

The wait staff is always friendly and makes you feel right at home. The entrees are cooked to order, so be prepared to wait a bit longer than you might at a chain restaurant. But the wait is enjoyable given the spectacular view of the mountains and orchards.

The menu is very much home style cooking. This particular trip, I had the fried catfish, fried apples and pinto beans. Everything is very reasonably priced and there are many kid friendly items on the menu. Be prepared to wait for seating if you go on a Sunday. This is one of those places that is supported by the local population and is wildly popular with the church crowd.

The prices are reasonable, the portions are just right, and I have yet to have a bad item on the menu.

Be sure to save room for dessert. I highly recommend the fried apple pie with ice cream. Served hot with the ice cream melting on top, this is a real treat. These fried popovers are really big...so you might want to share. The apple filling is spiced just right and covered with flaky pastry. It is, quite simply, the best fried pie I've ever had. Delicious!


Hot Fried Apple Pie with Ice Cream

How to get there:

I recommend taking the scenic route. Exit off of I-40 onto the Foothills Parkway about 10 miles past the second Newport exit. Enjoy the vistas as you wind through the National Park, then turn right onto Highway 321 (Cosby Highway). After driving a "ways" you will see the signs and Carver's is on the right. It's a bit of a blind driveway, so be sure to slow down when you see the signs.

The address is:

Kyle Carver's Apple Orchard
3460 Cosby Highway
Cosby, 37722
(423) 487-2419

10 Comments:

  1. samuel said...
    Carver's sounds so good, especially when the last couple of restaurants I've visited were blah and out of necessity. I really need to go somewhere that has good food as opposed to just food.
    Jessica Gottlieb said...
    Dear lord, I made a blueberry pie last night and I was waiting for them to praise me (it never came) or at least use napkins (ditto).

    But a fried apple pie.

    I'd have to run about 20 miles a day if I ever got my hands on that recipe.
    Mallow said...
    wow sounds great! maybe someday I will get out to K-ville and then on to Carvers... want to go with me?
    Karen said...
    mmmmm...

    there's nothing like a restaurant with really good food.

    I made buttermilk pound cake last night, and it's all gone already--but I don't think that'd touch the fried apple pie.
    Audubon Ron said...
    Rosie, you do realize that Harry Potter is satanic with witches and stuff. That’s why I won’t read the books. But I love the movies, haven’t missed a one. There is a big difference in reading the book and seeing the movie you know and if I can remember what it is I’ll feed you the bullshit story. Oh, I remember, books don’t have the smell of popcorn and the sound of big speakers. Hey it’s the best I can do on the fly.
    bonnie said...
    apple fritters...mmmmm.

    you're evil, Rosie, just evil.
    Jbeeky said...
    Reminds me of apple picking in Massachusetts, taking the apples home and making pie. Best ever.
    Rhonda Camp said...
    I love Carver's place. We bought a house in Sevierville ( a fixxer upper) 3 years ago..and its hard not to go to Carvers when we are there!! The food is great, and we always buy apples there. In the summertime we love all the fresh home grown produce!! You did a fantastic job describing this place!
    ALloyd said...
    I LOVE CARVER'S TOO! I've been there about a dozen times (at least). We always vacation in Cosby and we always bring back a bag of apples when we go. One of my favorite places....ever! I've had their catfish before....yummy! You've got to try their chicken & dumplings too. They are to die for!
    fhunt said...
    I love Carver's. It is a great to visit. We have not be able to eat at the restaurant, yet, but hope to soon. I love there apples and other vegetables. Fried pies are great, too. Hope to make it there again this year.

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