That Food Guy
Saturday, July 01, 2017
  Sullivan's - Maryville, Tennessee

Sullivan’s – Maryville TN

Downtown Maryville - 121 W. Broadway Maryville, TN - 37804 - 865.681.3334
Rocky Hill - 7545 Northshore Dr - Knoxville, TN 37919 -  865.694.9696

To be, in any small way, a part of an event that brings mirthful glee to a friend is very rewarding to the soul. What brings this to mind is that the wife and I were invited to a surprise birthday party for a dear friend that was hosted by her adoring husband and family. The party was attended by about 25 friends and associates and it did come as a complete surprise to her; the secret had been well kept. The venue was The Alcove, a banquet room in Sullivan’s. It was a festive and enjoyable evening; old acquaintances renewed and new friendships formed. It was indeed a happy birthday for Rosana!

This was our first ever visit to Sullivan’s located in the historic downtown section of Maryville, Tennessee. One of two local area stores, it is conveniently located across the street from a free public parking lot but that is problematical if other events are taking place in adjoining venues. The Sullivan’s building is also conveniently located alongside a picturesque set of brick “Spanish Steps” that lead to the lower street and another parking structure below. It was but a short walk in the rain that brought us to the front door of Sullivan’s.

As is normal with banquets, a pared down menu was offered that included selections of fish, meat, pasta and chicken.  All were served with the house salad and a selection from the sides offered;  an interesting assortment that included baked creamed spinach, Southern-style green beans, sweet potato casserole, Boursin mashed potatoes ( I had to look that one up) and jalapeño cheese grits. Beverages included iced tea, Coca Cola products and Vienna coffee.

A dinner roll was provided and butter available from any of the serving dishes on the table. The house salad is a nice large salad plate of mixed greens with some pickled cucumber slices, some plum tomatoes and seasoned with fresh cooked bacon crumbles, shredded cheese and croutons. The salad dressing is served on the side. It was a nice salad with a variety of tasty things to eat.

The wife chose the sirloin and decided on the Boursin mashed potatoes; potatoes made with a garlic and herb flavored Boursin cheese.(** See Wikipedia note below) The sirloin was a nice-sized, about an eight-ounce filet, that was cooked medium-rare to order. The mashed potatoes were served in a ramekin; the plate decorated with what I believe was a Balsamic reduction. She said the steak was tender, cooked to order and had very good flavor. She quite enjoyed the flavor of the Boursin mashed potatoes. Let it be noted that there was no doggie bag this time. I do believe she thoroughly enjoyed her steak and potatoes.

The salad was good, crisp fresh greens and a variety of tastes and textures; something I consider an important asset for a salad. Soon after the salad plate had been cleared away my entrée, the Garden Fresh Pasta, arrived. It was a substantial serving and I knew I wouldn’t go away hungry after the meal was completed. The penne was cooked al dente; not always easy with the thicker pastas. It was well covered with an agreeable Alfredo sauce. There was a good portion of tender Italian-style vegetables; broccoli, carrots and Italian beans. All was liberally decorated with shredded Parmigiano cheese and fresh chopped parsley. It was an attractive presentation, an adequate portion and tasted very good, a selection I would certainly enjoy again in any future visits to Sullivan’s. See our home version of this dish.

And what birthday, you may ask, is complete without a birthday cake? After the dinner dishes had been cleared away the wait staff brought in a candle-lit cake to a resounding chorus of, “Happy Birthday dear Rosana…” It was a layered white cake, white frosting and a very nice strawberry filling. Birthday cakes are special anyway but this was a very tasty cake; a delicious compliment to an enjoyable meal. It was an enjoyable meal certainly because the food was good (and free for the guests I might add).But even more it was enjoyable because it was friends celebrating the guest of honor’s special day. It was a fairly large group of friends celebrating in a safe and sane matter and each going home safely at the end. What more could one ask for?

I would make one additional comment… The party group was about twenty five persons. With the exception of the entrée and birthday cake serving, the one lone waitress took care of all of us. She was more than adequate and up to the task, kept the orders straight and kept the glasses filled with the proper beverage.  Credit for much of the success of the night’s festivities belongs to her.

**From Wikipedia: Boursin is a brand of Gournay cheese. It is a soft creamy cheese available in a variety of flavors, with a flavor and texture somewhat similar to cream cheese. The first Boursin flavor Garlic and Fine Herbs, was created in 1957 by François Boursin, a cheese maker from Normandy. Boursin's product was derived from a traditional party dish, fromage frais (French for "fresh cheese"); guests would take their cheese and add herbs for flavor. His recipe would be the first flavored cheese product to be sold nationally in France.

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