For this week’s Gatlinburg restaurant review, we visited Bennett’s Pit Bar-B-Que, an outstanding barbecue joint that serves hickory and mesquite-smoked meats in generous portions. The restaurant also has a breakfast buffet and is situated in the same building as Big Daddy’s Pizzeria. When you walk into the building, turn right for pizza or left for barbecue. As much as we love pizza…we were there for the meat!
Bennett’s has an old school kind of look to it, with wood everywhere and red-and-white checkered table cloths. At the time of our visit, the place was decked out for the holidays. The staff was super nice and very attentive.
Bennett’s does have a very nice salad bar. But looking at the menu, it is clear what Bennett’s is all about: the meat! You can get pork shoulder, beef brisket, barbecue chicken, ribs, catfish, sausage…even something called “burnt ends,” which is smoked up, sauced up beef brisket top that sounds delicious. But we decided that to really test this place out, we needed to go big…so we went with the the bar-b-que combo!
The bar-b-que combo allows you to select three meats from a selection that includes pulled pork, barbecue chicken, baby back ribs, smoked sausage or beef brisket. We selected the pulled pork, the baby back ribs and the smoked sausage. For our sides, we selected the bar-b-que beans and deep fried corn. The meal also includes a delicious, flaky, obviously hand-made biscuit.
The first thing that impressed us upon delivery of the meal was the proportions, which were very generous. Two adults could probably share the sampler and be quite satisfied.
Everything was delicious. The barbecue was smoked just right. The meat on the ribs fell right off the bone, the sausage was tender, and the pulled pork was excellent.
Bennett’s also makes several different types of sauce available, which is always fun. We tried all of them, with our favorite being the “Puckering Pig.” It has some sweetness but also some heat. But if you prefer a honey or mustard-based sauce, they’ve got you covered there too.
The beans were some of the best we have ever had, prepared perfectly with little chunks of barbecue floating in them. The corn was also very good, served on a stick for easier eating.
If you’re not into meat, then maybe you turn right and check out the pizza side of the place (or just get a salad). But if you’re a red-blooded barbecue eater, then this is going to be your kind of place. From a monetary standpoint, Bennett’s prices are very fair for the amount of food you get. You’ll probably even have some left over to take home for a late night snack (we can testify that it was even good eaten cold hours later).
Bennett’s Pit BBQ is located at 714 River Road, very near the end of the Parkway strip and the entrance to the Great Smoky Mountains. Like most places in downtown Gatlinburg, it is an easy walk from the Historic Gatlinburg Inn. We recommend you try it out!