Wild Bear Tavern

Review by: Michael Stern

There’s a “Ripley’s Believe It Or Not” in nearby Gatlinburg, but the Wild Bear Tavern wins my vote as the area’s most unbelievable phenomenon: an excellent German restaurant attached to a hotel along a tourist-trod corridor in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.

How excellent is it? Ease a knife through the crisp breaded crust of a pork schnitzel cutlet and savor just how sweet it is. Fork up unctuous shreds of griddle-cooked potato pancake and sweet and sour red cabbage. The flavors are big and brilliant, so well accompanied by frosted mugs of Dunkel or a glass of Hopler pinot noir.

It’s a three-meal-a-day menu; and while there are good, ordinary breakfasts to be had, if you come in the morning, tell your waiter that you have come for Oma’s Stack. That’s an off-the-menu powerhouse pile-up of potato pancake, bacon nuggets, grilled onions, and cheese topped by a thick, griddle-sizzled slice of leberkase (classy bologna) and a couple of eggs. O.M.G., what a fantastic way to start the day!

At dinner (after 5pm), you can have a monumental pork shank served atop a bed of mashed potatoes or German pot roast simmered in red wine sauce. The rest of the day, there’s a German-themed menu of bratwurst and other sausages, glorified potato pancakes, a liverwurst board, and a giant Bavarian pretzel served with mustard and spiced cheese. It also is possible to have a short-rib & brisket hamburger, a club sandwich (on pumpernickel) or — if you’re kinder (under 12), a regular hot dog, grilled cheese sandwich, or chicken fingers.

Dessert: black forest cake, apple strudel, German chocolate cake.

The bottom line is: If you are looking for a memorably good meal in Pigeon Forge, put Wild Bear at the top of the list.

What To Eat

Wiener Schnitzel

DISH
Oma Stack

DISH
Red Cabbage

DISH
Potato Pancake

DISH

Wild Bear Tavern Recipes

Discuss

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