Carver’s Applehouse Restaurant

Meat-and-Three | Pie Shop | Roadside Stand | Sandwich Shop | Vegetarian
excellent
Worth a detour
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Carver’s is a big farm stand and restaurant in the hills of eastern Tennessee just north of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. A produce barn adjoining the restaurant is a virtual education in apples. All kinds of local apples are for sale; and there’s a big board on which dozens of different varieties are listed, organized by the season in which they are ready to pick.

One small room to the side of the produce area is devoted to apple pies. They are fried apple pies: single-serving crescents of pastry loaded with mashed-up apples the consistency of rugged applesauce. Presented warm, they’re a delight to hold and fun to eat. They’re easy to eat out of hand while on the stroll, but if you are planning to sit at one of the available tables, ice cream is available to top the pie.

The restaurant is a huge place, ready for hordes of tourists, and with a kitchen aimed at all members of the family. The repertoire ranges from bacon and eggs in the morning and grilled cheese at lunch to country ham, four-vegetable plates, chicken pot pie, and apple cider pork BBQ.

The best thing to eat comes with almost every meal: apple fritters. They’re spheres that resemble hushpuppies, but are half the weight, their fried-crisp, golden skin surrounding fluffy dough with a faint fruit flavor. Kettle-hot, with apple butter on the side for dipping, they’re irresistible — an especially good companion for country ham (at breakfast or lunch), which is sliced thick, rank and chewy.

Of course, there’s cider to drink — cider that puts pale, see-through commercial brands to shame. This opaque amber beverage is, simply, autumn in liquid form — dense, satisfying, essence-of-apple.

Getting to Carver’s Applehouse is half the fun. Once known as the Moonshine Capital of the World, Cosby remains a place where it’s easy to imagine stills hidden from revenuers in its endless hollers, coves, and valleys. The road to Carver’s is an unspoiled, winding two-lane that could be the route to Brigadoon.

If you are planning to visit Carver’s, call ahead. Hours vary with the seasons. Even when the restaurant is closed, though, warm fried pies usually are available.

What to Eat
Carver’s Applehouse Restaurant, Apple Fritters
Apple Fritters
Must-Try
Best dish: apple fritters with apple butter for dipping
Carver’s Applehouse Restaurant, Fried Apples
Fried Apples
Must-Try
Fried apples, in warm, opaque syrup, retain al dente bite.
Carver’s Applehouse Restaurant, Fried Apple Pie
Fried Apple Pie
Must-Try
Apples verge on apple sauce
Carver’s Applehouse Restaurant, Cider
Cider
Must-Try
Cider = apples in liquid form
Carver’s Applehouse Restaurant, Country Ham Breakfast
Country Ham Breakfast
Breakfast, country-style
Directions and Hours
closed now
Sunday
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Saturday
Information
Price
$
Seasons
Summer, Fall, Spring
Meals Served
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Dessert
Credit Cards Accepted
Yes
Alcohol Served
No
Outdoor Seating
No

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