Quite possibly the most random “National Day” and simultaneously weird blog title ever, this idea just sounded too intriguing to ignore. March 28 gets the dubious distinction of this primarily food-related National Day, although why not go out on a limb – or a stick – and see what interesting things we can find in Knoxville. Join us for this absurd scavenger hunt!
Many of the world’s cuisines serve food on a stick, so this is easy! Many Middle Eastern restaurants serve some form of kebab (also spelled kabob or kebap), including lamb, beef, and chicken. There are two types of kebab, the doner (döner) kebab, made in a vertical rotating spit, and the shish kebab, consisting of meat threaded in a thin wood or metal stick and grilled. Knoxville has many restaurants that serve both of these. Consider The Holy Land Market & Deli on Sutherland to try all three varieties, KoPita Meat downtown on Gay Street to try a beef and lamb mix, and Turkish Delight Market & Deli in Downtown West for a few varieties of doner kebap - just to name a few.
Tandur is an Indian restaurant (think Chipotle format, but Indian cuisine and local to Knoxville in Bearden) that has a paneer tikka kebab. Sitar also has a chicken tikka served on skewers. For those who want the full experience of veggies, meat, shrimp, and anything else you can think to have on a stick – you must try the aptly named Stick in a Box food truck. Find them at one of Knoxville’s food truck parks like Central Filling Station or Southside Garage, or sometimes Orange Hat Brewing Co. in Hardin Valley.
Another option for food on a stick is chicken satay. Commonly seen at Thai restaurants, you can try and compare dipping sauces all across Knoxville from Chaiyo’s Thai and Sushi on UT campus to Surin of Thailand in Bearden, to Taste of Thai in West Knoxville off Cedar Bluff, to Little Bangkok in Farragut.
Tennessee Walking Stick
|Artistic Pops||Paletas La Desi|
Now it’s time for dessert, and before we move on to the ubiquitous popsicle, might we suggest a Tennessee Walking Stick at Bradley’s? For the uninitiated, it’s a pretzel rod hand-dipped in caramel and then rolled in fresh pecans and covered in milk chocolate.
Back to the popsicles. Artistic Pops can be found in many places across Knoxville including the Farmer’s Market, Eddie’s Health Shoppe, and Ijams Nature Center. Enjoy classic flavors like strawberry, cake batter, key lime pie, and more. For those looking for Mexican popsicles aka paletas, no need to go any further than Paletas La Desi in Downtown West. Expect fresh takes on fruit-flavored pops where you’ll typically see the slices of fruit frozen like Han Solo (but in fresh juice instead of carbonite).
Now let’s continue to think outside the box…what else can we find on a stick. Flagpoles are close enough…and there’s lots of places to find flags in Knoxville – check out this post to learn about Knoxville’s official flag (weird, I know, but we have one) and read this post for other Tennessee State Official Symbols.
Think back to your childhood – remember the hobby horse? Mast General Store has a plethora of fun finds including tennis ball fetch flingers, a hot dog cooker, hiking sticks, and more. Not to mention their famous old-fashioned candy section full of lollipops and other yums!
We’re pretty well known for having some great fishing around here, so you know we’d have to include somewhere to find some fishing poles and bait – a leisurely “something on a stick” activity! Look no further than 3 Rivers Angler. This fly fishing shop has rods (stick) and flies (something), and they have tours to boot. Grab your waders and reel in a big one!
Hope this helps you enjoy this unusual day – celebrate your own way with something on a stick!