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Calhoun's - Oak Ridge, Tennessee

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  • Huskee
    Pit Boss
    • May 2014
    • 14735
    • central MI, USA
    • Follow me on Instagram, huskeesbarbecue

      Want a free bottle of whiskey? Check out my link to Flaviar.com, you join with it, we both get a $50 bottle free.

      Smokers / Grills
      • Yoder loaded Wichita offset smoker
      • PBC
      • Grilla Silverbac pellet grill
      • Slow 'N Sear Deluxe Kamado (SnSK)
      • Dyna-Glo XL Premium dual chamber charcoal grill
      • Weber 22" Original Kettle Premium (copper)
      • Weber 26" Original Kettle Premium (black)
      • Weber Jumbo Joe Gold (18.5")
      • Weber Smokey Joe Silver (14.5")
      • Brinkmann cabinet charcoal smoker (repurposed)

      Thermometers
      • (3) Maverick XR-50: 4-probe Wireless Thermometers
      • (7) Maverick ET-732s
      • (1) Maverick ET-735 Bluetooth (in box)
      • (1) Smoke by ThermoWorks
      • (1) Signals by ThermoWorks
      • Thermapen MkII, orange
      • ThermoPop, yellow
      • ThermoWorks ChefAlarm
      • Morpilot 6-probe wireless
      • ThermoWorks Infrared IRK2
      • ThermoWorks fridge & freezer therms as well

      Accessories
      • Instant Pot 6qt
      • Anova Bluetooth SV
      • Kitchen Aide mixer & meat grinder attachment
      • Kindling Cracker King (XL)
      • BBQ Dragon
      • Weber full & half chimneys, Char-Broil Half Time chimney
      • Weber grill topper
      • Slow 'N Sear Original, XL, and SnS Charcoal Basket (for Jumbo Joe)
      • Drip 'N Griddle Pan, 22' Easy Spin Grate, and Elevated Cooking grate, by ABCbarbecue
      • Pittsburgh Digital Moisture Meter

      Beverages
      • Favorite summer beer: Leinenkugels Summer & Grapefruit Shandy, Hamm's, Michelob Ultra Pure Gold
      • Fav other beer: DAB, Sam Adams regular, Third Shift amber or Coors Batch 19, Stella Artois
      • Fav cheap beers: Pabst, High Life, Hamm's & Stroh's
      • Most favorite beer: The one in your fridge
      • Wine: Red- big, bold, tannic & peppery- Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauv, Sangiovese, Syrah, etc
      • Whiskey: Buffalo Trace, Eagle Rare, E.H. Taylor, Blanton's, Old Forester 1870, Elijah Craig, Basil Hayden's. Neat please.
      • Scotch: Current favorite- The Arran (anything by them), Glenmorangie 12yr Lasanta, sherry cask finished. The Balvenie Double Wood, also like Oban 18yr, and The Glenlivet Nadurra (Oloroso sherry cask finished) among others. Neat please.

      About me
      Real name: Aaron
      Location: Farwell, Michigan- near Clare. (dead center of lower peninsula)

      Occupation:
      • Healthcare- Licensed & Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) for MidMichigan Health, a University of Michigan Health System.

    Calhoun's - Oak Ridge, Tennessee

    Calhoun's is a family friendly chain restaurant with 9 locations in east TN. I am usually not a fan of chain BBQ places so when the clerk at our Oak Ridge hotel recommended we go there and handed us $5-off coupons at check-in, I was hesitant and immediately dismissed it. But after a 8-ish hour ride from SC to our TN hotel, I wasn't about to ho-hum about where to eat. The rest of family thought it sounded good, so to Calhoun's Oak Ridge location we went!

    I was not disappointed.

    Typical family chain restaurant atmosphere, but large and on the nicer side. Smelled good of course. The Oak Ridge location has a wall of windows for panoramic views of Melton Lake. Lots of outdoor seating with a fireplace, but it was too chilly for that. Lots of dock areas for boat-up service. Really cool. Heard frogs when we went out to walk on the dock. I miss frogs when my homeland is a frozen white winterscape.

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    I ordered the bacon-wrapped brisket burnt ends appetizer. Wasn't disappointed. I was prepared to laugh at what they call brisket but honestly it was really good. I tasted actual smoke. They were tender. They weren't really "burnt ends" so much as they were little square chunks of brisket...but hey I'm probably one of 2 people a month who'd ever notice. The whiskey BBQ sauce they served with it was awesome. At a chain restaurant! I wnated to ask about buying a bottle but forgot.

    Decided I'd order the brisket plate entree. Again, I was not disappointed. The tenderness was spot on, the flavor was too. Only negative was that, aside from only half as much meat as I wanted, it was sliced wrong, with the grain instead of against. But that in all honesty doesn't have much of an effect really, IMO it matters more to compliment the tenderness. I also ordered a skewer of grilled shrimp and they were wonderful.

    The pics aren't great due to a combination of low lighting and the way the slices were lying.

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    I tried my son's ribs and they were under-seasoned (IMO) but the tenderness was great. The brisket actually had a seasoned bark, lightly, but it was there.


    Everyone in our group raved about their meals. It really was top-notch for a chain, and the BBQ was better than I expected. I would definitely go back if I were in the area again.
  • Nate
    Charter Member
    • Apr 2015
    • 3816
    • Quarantined
    • INFO
      ~Known as: Nate
      ~Location: Cornfield in Southwestern Indiana
      ~Credit Manager for an Agriculture Coop.


      SMOKERS & GRILLS
      ~Grilla Original Grilla
      ~Char-Broil Commercial Tru-Infrared Gas Grill
      ~Pit Barrel Cooker
      ~Brinkmann Trailmaster Vertical Offset Smoker
      ~Weber Kettle 22.5" Original
      ~Weber Q1000


      THERMOMETERS
      ~Thermoworks Thermapen MX4
      ~Thermoworks Thermapen
      ~Thermoworks ThermoPop
      ~Thermoworks ChefAlarm TX-1100-XX (Orange and black)
      ~Thermoworks DOT TX-1200-XX (Black)
      ~Thermoworks IR-Gun-S Industrial Infrared Thermometer
      ~Maverick ET-733
      ~Maverick XR-50


      ACCESSORIES
      ~Stanley T-Stak mobile tool box for BBQ Supplies
      ~Slow 'n' Sear
      ~Drip 'n' Griddle
      ~Weber Rapid Fire Chimney Starter
      ~Pro-Series Probes for Thermoworks
      ~Humphrey's Rib Spatula


      DRINKS
      ~Sweet Tea
      ~Bourbon
      ~Craft Beers or whatever is in your fridge

    #2
    Nice write up. Glad to know there is another good option out there.

    I think when you approach a bbq restaurant or steakhouse with the mindset of “I’m hungry, I want something decent to eat, I want to be the servee not the server, and I am thankful to not have to do the prep or cleanup” then you will find there are some good Q places and steakhouses...

    I have had some miserable experiences at bbq or steak places and looking back on it... not all of them were bad and it was mostly my fault that I had a bad experience as I was comparing them to my cooking... we all know the old line “My (fill in the blank) is better than this and it doesn’t cost half as much. Granted some places just aren’t good but most have something worth trying.

    As The Legend Mike Mills says... he always finds something to compliment at a Q joint... sometimes it is the glass of tea.

    Comment

    • smokin fool
      Club Member
      • Apr 2019
      • 1494
      • Mississauga, Ont

      #3
      10-4 on the write up.
      On my bucket list, no, would I eat there now, sure.
      Sounds like the pluses out weighted the minuses and the way it is at most eateries.

      Comment

      • Ground Chuck
        Club Member
        • Apr 2019
        • 138
        • Northern Kentucky

        #4
        Another great write-up!

        Comment

        • RonB
          Club Member
          • Apr 2016
          • 12292
          • Near Richmond VA
          • Weber Performer Deluxe
            SNS
            Pizza insert
            Rotisserie
            Smokenator 1000
            Cookshack Smokette Elite
            2 Thermapens
            Chefalarm
            Dot
            lots of probes.
            CyberQ

          #5
          Thanx for doin' this.

          Comment

          • HawkerXP
            Club Member
            • Jul 2016
            • 5104
            • Northern Virginia
            • 3 Weber kettles, and a PBC
              Thermopop
              Dot w two probes
              Slo n Sear
              Cold beer

            #6
            Thanks for sacrificing yourself for the good of the Pit!

            Comment

            • klflowers
              Club Member
              • Sep 2015
              • 3027
              • Tennessee

              #7
              Hey, I have been there. Been a lot of years ago, but it was good back then too, at least I think. They used to serve a yard of beer; I used to order a yard of beer. As soon as I walked in. That's why I say I think it was good.
              Click image for larger version

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              Comment


              • Henrik
                Henrik commented
                Editing a comment
                It looks like a specific Dutch beer, which is served in a contraption like that. Good stuff.

              • Henrik
                Henrik commented
                Editing a comment
                Found it, a Kwak beer. Interesting short read about how it came to be: https://belgium.beertourism.com/belg...rs/pauwel-kwak

              • klflowers
                klflowers commented
                Editing a comment
                Henrik, when I had it they would put anything in that glass. Back then I was drinking Budweiser. Imagine a glass that big filled with Bud... Actually, I still drink Bud from time to time.
            • Skip
              Founding Member
              • Jul 2014
              • 3102
              • Blue Earth, Minnesota
              • MAK Pellet Grill, Large BGE, Weber Kettle with SnS, Weber Gasser, Pit Barrel Cooker, Cast Iron Pans & Griddle, Grill Grates, Mostly Thermoworks Thermometers

              #8
              Good post Huskee . Your meal looks good to me. Also a nice Mike Mills quote mentioned by Nate . I've eaten at City BBQ (a chain) in Columbus several times and I consider it good and my Grandchildren like it.

              Comment

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