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An Apple A Day…In Sevier!

Story and photos by Judith Royce

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Visitors enjoy the attractions at Applewood Barn


Pancakes! Pancakes!! Pancakes!!! Whether you call them griddle cakes, flapjacks or hot cakes, everyone here must love batter-based breakfasts, because those are the signs you see on pancake houses all along all the main roads through Sevier County, Tennessee. But if you are aching for a special meal to start your busy day – and a shopping opportunity as well – be sure to visit the Applewood Farmhouse complex.

Expect to spend a few hours at the Applewood Farmhouse Restaurant and be there early because that’s how just about everyone visiting here does it. (Breakfast hours are 8:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m.)

This rustic former home offers several rooms to dine in. Built in 1921, this six room house stands at the centerpiece of the restaurant. The first room off the front door can be reserved for private parties. Its décor will catch your eye because of its elegant woodwork, hand-crafted by Lewis C. Buckner, a former slave known throughout the region for his carpentry and artistry in wood.  All of the other spacious rooms are more modern.

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At 5000 feet, the haze that gives the Smoky Mountains
their name

  Once you are seated for breakfast, the restaurant’s signature drink will arrive, the mouth-watering, can’t-have-enough Applewood Juleptm . The breakfast menu has many items to choose from such as applesauce muffins, apple smoked bacon, apple fritters, fried apple pie and homemade apple butter. The rest of the menu features solid Southern fare: chicken friend steak, country ham, country sausage, a British-influenced Toad in the Hole and, of course, delicious silver dollar, chocolate chip and buttermilk…pancakes!

  After breakfast, make sure to stroll through the complex of the Apple Barn Cider Mill and General Store. You’ll see the hillsides filled with apple trees, 65 acres and between 4000 and 5000 of them representing 14 distinct varieties to be exact.

  Perhaps surprisingly, apple trees are a relatively new addition to the land.  In 1972 the Ben Hicks and Bill Kilpatrick families purchased the property intending to operate it as a beef cattle and burley tobacco farm. When the tobacco crop failed soon thereafter, they decided to plant apple trees and in 1986 expanded the original farmhouse to become Applewood Farmhouse Restaurant.

  The Apple Barn houses both the General Store and a working cider mill. From here, the fruit will eventually become sweet cider, pies, candies, ice cream and more before your eyes. You can sample many of these treats at the Cider Bar or at the Pie Kitchen, where behind a window into the open kitchen chefs prepare fried apple pies by hand. There’s even a winery where you can taste a selection of sweet, fruit dessert wines.

   If you need to bring a gift home or want to purchase a souvenir for yourself, the General Store offers many attractive options including farm made products such as apple butter, which can be shipped anywhere in the world or even ordered from home at www.AppleBarnCiderMill.com.

If Dad isn’t eager to spend his time browsing the kitschy collectibles at the General Store, there’s an Orvis outdoor store located right on the premises.

  Bus tours are welcomed at The Apple Barn & Cider Mill and streams of tourists mingle with the regulars who have made this complex such a popular local attraction.

  When day is done after having a good time in Sevier County (Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and, of course, Sevierville) you’ll surely be thinking about how to start your next day. As you drive to your accommodations, a host of signs will be calling out to you: Pancakes! Pancakes!! Pancakes!!!

   If you enjoyed your first visit to Applewood Farmhouse, why not just put those signs behind you and return for another visit in the morning. It’s the premiere location in these parts for absolutely everything apple.

               More information is available at www.applewoodfarmhouserestaurant.com.

Provided by American Roads Travel Magazine - Visit American Roads Travel Magazine website.


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