It takes more than just interesting restaurant signage and sufficient parking to lure patrons through the front door year after year. Smoky Mountain Trout House uses great recipes and tons of charm to ensure guests have a great time, and they’ve perfected this formula since 1975.
The owners and staff go out of their way to make guests feel welcome, and the friendly attitude goes a long way. Guests are able to sit and relax while taking in the interesting murals depicting hunting scenes and more along the walls. For those who are new to Gatlinburg, this restaurant is the ideal spot to get a feel for the town’s history and activities.
While some patrons find the decor charming and a little rustic, others liken it to a dungeon-like feeling, especially those who are seated on the upper level. Those who feel less enthused by the ambiance tend to return to the restaurant for the friendly staff and management and the fresh selection of the local catch. Smoky Mountains Trout House’s claim to fame is serving locally sourced trout, and it would be a sin to visit this destination without trying at least one of the 13 trout dishes on the menu.
Some of the local favorites include:
Blackened Rainbow Trout
Although the char is what sets this dish apart from many other trout dishes, this one is done gently, with slight char to enhance the flavor without overwhelming it. Savory seasoning tops off this meal.
Mountain Trout Specialties Cakes
This is a hearty meal specifically for those who want to experience trout in a different form. Guests will feast on two large, homemade fish cakes that are filled with flavor. These cakes are prepared until they’re golden brown to get the most out of the seasoning. The lemon-dill butter is served on the side, so guests can flavor to their preference.
Pan Crispy Fried Mountain Trout
This is the go-to meal for local patrons and those who are just visiting. That’s because this meal is the closest thing to traditional fish and chips. The trout is lightly battered with cornmeal breading, and then it’s lightly fried in oil to provide a crispy outer layer without losing any of the moisture of the fish.
Patrons who simply have to sample something other than trout on this menu should consider the rib-eye, which is cooked over an open flame. Flame-broiled chicken breast and fried catfish are also options on this trout-heavy menu. There may be a concern that the restaurant has a small variety for those who don’t particularly like trout. Their options are limited to only a handful of other choices, which could pose problems for large parties or groups with picky eaters.
Smoky Mountain Trout House patrons can also choose sides and salads, which could ease any hunger pangs before the entrees arrive. Also, the restaurant has a selection of local and imported beers, which are delightful accompaniments to trout. Guests also have access to an extensive wine list to accompany their meals.
The Smoky Mountain Trout House is located on the way into town, which could feel a little out of the way for those who wish to explore the strip. Fortunately, the restaurant provides ample parking across the road, which is a lot more than many down the strip can say, especially during peak periods.