Known for her Southern-style cooking and use of butter in every dish, celebrity chef and TV personality Paula Deen is a household name. Along with her sons, Jamie and Bobby, she owns and runs The Lady & Sons restaurant in Savannah, Georgia. She’s published more than a dozen cookbooks, and she has a dessert line available at Walmart. Over the years, she has grown her brand a great deal. Now, locals and visitors in the Great Smoky Mountains get to enjoy her signature Southern style.
In April 2015, Paula Deen expanded to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, with the official opening of Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen at The Island in the heart of Pigeon Forge. The restaurant and retail concept features the 4,000-square-foot Paula Deen Retail Store downstairs and the beautiful and spacious almost 300-seat dining area upstairs. With glass walls all across the front of the restaurant and tiered seating, every guest has a fantastic view of one of The Island’s most popular attractions – the Show Fountains. But with fast service and a seemingly endless supply of Southern comfort foods, you may not have much time to look up from your plate!
Each meal – breakfast, lunch, and dinner – is served family style, with hearty main courses, tasty side dishes, and sweet and savory treats. At breakfast, choose from chicken and waffles, bananas foster French toast, pigs in a blanket, scrambled eggs, pancakes, and breakfast casserole. Pair three of those with bacon, ham, or sausage, and then pick from hashbrown casserole, fried potatoes, biscuits and gravy, grits, and fruit. For lunch and dinner, your options include fried chicken, meatloaf, pork chops, pot roast, spare ribs, chicken pot pie, and catfish. Pair them with classic Southern sides – mashed potatoes, corn casserole, collard greens, candied yams, and mac and cheese, just to name a few – and finish with one of three delicious desserts. Try the Ooey Gooey Butter Cake, banana pudding, or peach cobbler. If you can walk when you’re done, make your way downstairs (don’t worry, there’s an escalator) and check out the expansive retail store.
Filled with tons of great merchandise, Paula Deen’s Retail Store is fashioned after her TV kitchen. You can pose with a cardboard cutout before browsing the store for goods to take home. Whether you’re Southern or just want to take a piece of the South home with you, you’ll find mugs, towels, kitchen utensils, aprons, and more – all emblazoned with “Hey, y’all,” “Butter, y’all,” or sweet Southern prints and colors.
With so much food and lots of great merchandise, you could make an afternoon of Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen. When you’re finished, you can head outside to explore the rest of what The Island has to offer. Walk off a few calories as you browse the shops, and be sure to let your food settle before trying one of the rides. If you’re too full to walk around, hop on The Island Express for a ride around the complex. Or, climb aboard the Great Smoky Mountain Wheel, which stands 200 feet tall, to enjoy panoramic views of the Great Smoky Mountains and The Island shops.
Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen is located at The Island (131 Island Drive) in Pigeon Forge. They’re open Sunday through Thursday from 7:30 a.m. until 10 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 7:30 a.m. until 11 p.m. Call 865.366.1510 or visit www.PaulaDeensFamilyKitchen.com for more information.
If you’re planning a Pigeon Forge vacation and need a place to call home during your visit, browse our wide selection of Pigeon Forge cabins. We have one-bedroom cabins that are great for couples, 3-5 bedroom cabins that are ideal for small groups and families, and large lodges that provide the space and amenities needed for retreats, reunions, and big group getaways. Check out our cabins online or call 866.513.7885 to speak to one of our reservation specialists. They’re always ready to help you find the perfect cabin, from location to amenities. They’re also well-versed in the area, so they can give you some ideas on great things to do while in the Great Smoky Mountains!