swoosh

social icons Email Signup:Go

Gatlinburg Weather

Find more about Weather in Gatlinburg, TN
Click for weather forecast

Blog

head_about3

head_about4

head_ground_a

head_about2

July 16, 2018

New Breakfast Dish Tantalizes Guests’ Taste Buds

If you have stayed at the Buckhorn Inn, you know that breakfast is truly a highlight.  Each morning we offer fresh coffee, biscuits and coffee cake right from the oven, fresh fruit, and a choice of a sweet or savory hot entrée.  One of our newest breakfast dishes is chicken and waffles! 

Can't choose between savory and sweet for your breakfast entree?  Chicken and waffles covers both bases!

Our new breakfast entree was a hit with this guest!

Not Just for Breakfast

Chicken and waffles is truly an American dish that draws both on soul food and Pennsylvania Dutch cuisine traditions.  

There are several theories about the origins of this dish.  We do know that European colonists brought waffles to America in the 1600’s.  When Thomas Jefferson bought a waffle iron in France in 1789, the popularity of the dish soared.  One origin theory says that in the early 1800’s Philadelphia restaurants served waffles with fried catfish.  Chicken gradually became more popular than catfish because it was available year round.  The Pennsylvania Dutch enjoyed Sunday dinners of waffles, chicken and gravy.  So much so that the dish became a symbol of Pennsylvania Dutch country by the end of the 19th century.

In the early 20th century Harlem, New York, chicken and waffles was served by such restaurants as Tillie’s Chicken Shack, Dickie Wells’ jazz nightclub, and the Wells Supper Club.  In 1935 Bunny Berigan composed a jazz instrumental called “Chicken and Waffles”.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wike/Chicken_and_waffles

Fried chicken and waffles came to Los Angeles by 1940’s.  The dish was served at The Maryland and marketed as a Southern specialty.  Interestingly, the combination of chicken and waffles does not appear in early Southern cookbooks.  

Whatever the origins of the dish, chicken and waffles has become a popular breakfast item at Buckhorn Inn.  We make a light, fluffy waffle, top it with crispy fried chicken, drizzle it with a bit of Tennessee honey, and serve warm maple syrup on the side.  What could make a better breakfast?

 

July 9, 2018

Black Bears in the Smokies

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a large, protected area where black bears can roam freely.  The park service estimates that about 1,500 bears live in the park–that translates to a density of about two of the animals per square mile.  Sighting one of these magnificent creatures is a highlight of a vacation, but caution is necessary for the protection of the bear and of the tourist.  Bears can live 12-15 years or more in the wild, but those which have had access to human food and garbage have a life expectancy of only half that time.  

This mother black bear will defend her cub.

Black bear (Ursus americanus) mother standing in the road with young cub peeking out from the bushes.

Behavior of Bears

Like us, bears are omnivores.  Berries and nuts make up about 85% of their diet.  Insects and carrion are valuable sources of protein.  These creatures have a very keen sense of smell.  Feeding bears, or allowing them access to human food and garbage causes a number of problems.  It causes them to lose their instinctive fear of humans.  Over time this means they may begin approaching people and may become more unpredictable and dangerous.  They may begin to pose a risk to public safety and must be euthanized.  In other cases they come close to human areas and are hit by cars or become easy targets for poachers.  The park service warns us that Garbage Kills Bears!

What Do I Do If I See Bears?

They are beautiful creatures.  But remember that they have color vision, a keen sense of smell, are good swimmers and tree climbers, and can run 30 miles per hour.  The park service provides a short video to help tourists understand what to do if they see a bear http://www.nps.gov/grsm/learn/nature/black-bears.htm  If you do see a bear you should remain watchful and not approach it.  Do not allow the bear to approach you.  Being too close may promote aggressive behavior from the bear.  For these reasons, willfully approaching within 50 yards (150 feet) or any distance that disturbs or displaces a bear, is illegal in the park.  Use binoculars or a telephoto lens to view them.

If the bear approaches you, don’t run but rather back slowly away.  The bear will probably do the same.  If he continues to approach you, change your direction.  If he continues, stand your ground and talk loudly or shout at it.  Make yourself look as large as possible.  Use a stout stick to intimidate the bear.  It is very rare that you would be physically attacked, but if so you should not play dead.  Fight back aggressively with any available object.

Remember, the goal of bear management is to keep these magnificent animals shy, secretive, and afraid of people.  

 

July 2, 2018

Guests Find Inner Harmony on Labyrinth Path

Whether you are seeking inner meditative peace, or just a nice walk, following the path of a meditation labyrinth may be for you.  The Buckhorn Inn “Rachael’s Labyrinth” is named for Innkeeper Rachael Young.  The path is constructed of local fieldstone and is encircled with native wildflowers and plants.  Our labyrinth is of the medieval style.

Walking the path of the Buckhorn Inn labyrinth is a peaceful journey.

Guest Amanda Writesman took this beautiful photo of the Buckhorn Inn labyrinth.  

Path for All Faiths

Labyrinths were in use long before recorded history.  They all feature a single path that leads into the center of a space and then back out.  Most cultures have a type of labyrinth.  They have been associated with mini-pilgrimages and walked to reinforce protection, to bring good fortune, or to overcome difficulty.  Today’s labyrinths offer the opportunity for meditation and slight concentration.  Every journey is a personal one–everyone gets something different from the walk.  The world-wide labyrinth locator http://www.labyrinthlocator.com lists 4,977 labyrinths in 80 countries, including the one at Buckhorn Inn in Gatlinburg, Tennessee!  The Smithsonian Magazine highlights six labyrinths which have been heralded for their beauty and history.

The Chartres Cathedral in Chartres, France dates back to the year 1205.  According to the magazine, scholars believe that the path symbolizes “the human journey from sin to redemption”.

When you walk through the Old Summer Palace in Beijing, China, you are walking through a structure built in 1709.  The path is housed in a garden called the Garden of Perfection and Light.  The 864-acre property was intended to be a private garden for Chinese emperors, but was destroyed by the British and French forces in the 1860s.  The remaining ancient landscaping is like nothing anywhere else.

Dunure Castle in Scotland was a 13th century stronghold.  The stone labyrinth is on the beach near a park and offers walkers a wonderful view of both the sea and the castle’s remains.

Lands End, San Francisco was built by artist Eduardo Aguilera in 2004.  The labyrinth is located on a rocky outcropping overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge.  The path is tucked away from view.

Do you enjoy walking labyrinths?  Please share your pictures and stories.  We would like to feature them in a future blog post.

 

 

June 25, 2018

Looking Forward to Summer Tomato Soup

One of our favorite things about summer is enjoying a ripe tomato fresh from the garden.  The Buckhorn Inn vegetable gardens are doing splendidly and we look forward to a heavy yield.  This year we are growing heirloom style gourmet tomatoes from Burpee Seed Company http://www.burpee.com.  “Black Krims” have a beautiful dark color and tangy flavor.  “Supersteaks” are real giants with a beefsteak flavor.  “Big Rainbows” are sweet and mild with yellow and red

This bed includes kaleidoscope carrots, pole beans, and a variety of heirloom tomato plants.

The regular rains this year have resulted in a healthy vegetable bed.

streaked flesh.  Some consider the “Brandywine Pink” to be the best-tasting heirloom of all time.  “Black Pearl” cherry tomatoes are purplish black with a deep, rich, and sweet flavor.  We are looking forward to eating these fresh in salads, in a chilled gazpacho, roasted, and in a delicious summer soup.  

Tomatoes originated in western South America.  The Aztec word tomatl gave way to the Spanish word tomate from which our English word tomato is derived.  The indigenous peoples of Mexico began using tomatoes as a cultivated food.  The Spanish, during colonization of the Americas, discovered tomatoes and brought them to Europe.  Tomatoes are about 95% water and are a good source of vitamin C.

Summer Tomato Soup

Sautee in olive oil until tender:

1 Diced onion

3 Minced garlic cloves

Add:

5-7 Pounds coarsely chopped fresh tomatoes

1 Quart chicken broth

1 Teaspoon dried savory

1 Tablespoon sugar

1 Tablespoon fresh chopped thyme

1/2 Cup tomato paste

Salt and pepper to taste.

Bring to a boil and then simmer for 45 minutes.  Strain ingredients in a colander, pressing on vegetables to get all the juice out.  Discard vegetables.  
Bring to a boil again and add one diced tomato and torn basil and parsley to taste.  Correct seasonings.  This is delicious served with garlic croutons and shaved parmesan cheese.  This recipe yields about eight servings.  Please note that this recipe is best when using tomatoes in season.  If you make this recipe with out-of-season tomatoes you may want to add some tomato juice to ensure a deep, rich flavor.  Enjoy!

June 18, 2018

Anakeesta Offers Magic in the Mountains

We have just discovered Anakeesta!  As busy local innkeepers, we rarely take the time to enjoy the many attractions that appeal to our out-of-town guests.  We are so glad that we recently had the opportunity, thanks to the Gatlinburg Chamber of Commerce, to explore our area’s new aerial theme park.  Anakeesta is a Cherokee word referring to high ground.  It literally means “place of the balsams”.  The word also refers to the massive rock formation that encompasses many of our local mountain peaks:  Charlie’s Bunion, Chimney Tops, and Mount Kephart.  The aerial park is designed to be a mountain playground for all ages.  Bob and Karen Bentz and their family bought more than 55 acres of pristine mountain land in 2014 and proceeded to create their vision.  They are environmentally sound stewards and the attraction offers a family-oriented experience.

What to Do at Anakeesta

The Anakeesta walk through the trees offers beautiful views.

The canopy walk is 40 to 60′ from the forest floor.

We entered via an open-air four-person chair lift.  The other option is an enclosed gondola with a capacity of six.  The ride up 600′ to the summit was beautiful!  We were enchanted by the canopy walk through the trees.  A series of 16 connected sky bridges, 40 to 60′ above the forest floor, offered spectacular views.  While we did not try it out on this visit, we enjoyed watching others on the dueling zipline.  There are several options for dining.  We chose to try out the Cliff Top Grill and Bar.  We enjoyed lingering over our drinks on the outdoor pavilion and admiring the mountain peaks that were the backdrop to our dining experience.  

The south side of the park is located in an area that was badly scorched by the 2016 fire, the most devastating in the state’s history.  A memorial walk pays tribute to the brave men and women who fought the fires and to the resilience of those impacted by the tragedy.

As we strolled to the chair lift to back down the mountain, we admired the cute shops and vowed to come back soon.  For more information, visit http://www.anakeesta.com

June 4, 2018

Fishing in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Many of our guests are fishing enthusiasts.  They find the Buckhorn Inn makes a great base of operations for spending the day on the water and returning home to pampered comfort.  Reports are that the fishing is good this spring.  Today we welcome guest blogger, CJ Stancil, to give us the latest.

This time of year is a beautiful time to fish in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  Not only are the trout biting but the scenery is amazing.  The Park has abundant species of wild flowers and plant life that are just now coming into peak.  Wildlife that call the Smokies home in its half-million acre wilderness are black bear, whitetail deer, turkey and elk.

Area Known for Good Fishing

The Park has nearly 800 miles of fishable waters that hold trout.  Wild brown trout, rainbow trout, and native brook trout are the species you will find here.

The trout here make the Park one of the country's most popular fishing destinations.

The Park has more than 800 miles of fishable water.

The trout here make the Great Smoky Mountains National Park one of the country’s most popular fishing destinations.  Even a beginner can expect to catch these wild trout.  Heavy rain has made the waters rise recently but the forecast is looking better.  Cooler temperatures and sunny weather should last most of the week.  Dry flies are getting a lot of action.  Try running a dry dropper setup.  If the water is high and stained, throw an indicator rig.  Work combinations like a pheasant tail, pats rubber let, or a squirmy worm.  Make sure you are getting the flies down deep and fast.  Good luck and tight lines!  CJ Stancil

Many of our guests have fished with CJ and report a great experience.  You may contact him to book a trip through the Smoky Mountain Angler http://www.smokymountainangler.com or by email info@smokymountainangler.com.  CJ also has offered his phone number 931-801-4204.  To see some photos of beautiful trout, be sure to follow him on Instagram at @dancewithtrout. 

 

May 30, 2018

Try the World’s Best Peanut Butter Cookies

Chef Bob Neisler is rightfully famous for his baked goods–and his cookies are no exception.  When these cookies are in the oven, the delightful aroma has guests (and staff!) drooling with anticipation.  They freeze well and are great to have on hand for a special treat.  Tip:  To easily measure out 1/2 cup of peanut butter, fill a glass measuring cup with water to the 1/2 cup mark.  Add peanut butter until the level of water reaches one cup.  Drain and use the peanut butter in your recipe.  

Our guests love the cookies, brownies and other treats they find in the sitting room each day.

Chef Bob’s peanut butter cookies are irresistible warm from the oven.

Chef Bob’s Peanut Butter Cookies

1 1/4 C Flour

1/2 t Baking soda

1/2 t Baking powder

1/2 C Butter, softened

1/2 C Brown sugar

1/2 C White sugar

1/2 C Smooth peanut butter

1 Egg

1/2 C Peanut butter morsels

1/2 C Semi-sweet chocolate chips

Put the oven rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 F.  Cover a 14″ by 16″ baking sheet with foil, shiny side up, and coat with vegetable spray.  You may instead use a silicone liner.  Sift together flour, baking soda, and baking powder.  Cream butter, brown sugar, white sugar, and peanut butter.  Add egg and mix thoroughly.  Add sifted dry ingredients.  Fold in peanut butter morsels and chocolate chips.

Chill dough in refrigerator for one hour, or until firm enough to handle.  With floured hands roll dough into 1″ diameter balls.  Place balls on baking sheet two inches apart and flatten with the bottom of a glass dipped in flour.  Bake for 12 minutes or until golden brown.  Remove from cookie sheet and cool on a wire rack.  Store between sheets of waxed or parchment paper in a covered tin.  This recipe makes about 24 cookies.  Note:  These cookies also make delicious ice cream sandwiches.  Spread softened vanilla ice cream on the bottom of one cookie and top with a second cookie.  Roll the soft edges in chopped peanuts or chocolate sprinkles, and then freeze until firm.

May 21, 2018

New Reviews from Buckhorn Inn Guests

Thank you to all our guests who take the time to write reviews about their Buckhorn Inn experience on TripAdvisor.  Travel websites are trusted advisors for so many vacationers.  Your first-hand experience helps them know exactly what to expect.

slkratz1 wrote on May 21, 2018:  “Great food, wonderful service.  I had dinner two nights during my stay at Buckhorn.  Great wine list as well as menu.”  5 stars.

Renee B wrote on May 20, 2018:  “This was the first time for my husband and I, staying at a B&B inn and it was incredible!  From the beautiful views from our room, the Premier 1, to the incredible breakfast every morning.  We also booked a dinner our first evening there and it was also fantastic!  The staff made sure they waited on our every need and we could not have asked for anything more!  We will be back!”  5 stars.

Claire O wrote on May 18, 2018:  “We stayed in the Lindsey House which was perfect for the three sisters.  We had a lovely deck with wooded scenery and lots of birds.  Lee and John are the perfect hosts and the food was excellent as always.  The Inn is close to the Greenbrier with great hikes and historical information.”  5 stars

bdcook wrote on May 15, 2018:  “We spent two nights in one of the cabins at the Buckhorn Inn while we hiked and visited the sights in the Smoky Mountains.  We’d definitely stay there again when we visit the area.  Good value in a comfortable cabin with living room and small kitchen.  Wonderful, quiet property and such nice people.  Loved our glass of wine while sitting in the rocking chairs with a view of the mountains while meeting interesting people staying there.  We hadn’t planned on meals there, but had a wonderful dinner there in the end.  Wish we had a fluffier pillow is the only idea for improving on the experience.”  5 stars

Three weeks ago Eric V wrote:  “The Buckhorn Inn has long been our favorite place for celebrating special occasions.  The food is excellent.  The setting is peaceful and relaxing.  The staff is friendly and welcoming.  An added bonus:  The spring wildflowers are breathtakingly gorgeous right now, so short easy hikes in this part of the Smokies are rewarding.”

We appreciate the positive reviews on our food, rooms, and grounds from our guests.

Thank you for sharing your experience with other travelers.  

Thank you to all those who take the time to share their reviews of the Buckhorn Inn.  We look forward to welcoming you back!

 

 

 

May 15, 2018

Great Sights in the Great Smoky Mountains

Guests often ask us our favorite sights in the area.  There are so many!  Luckily for us the Smokies Guide Spring 2018 issue includes information on five top visits.  http://www.nps.gov/grsm

  1.  NEWFOUND GAP.  A “gap” is a low point in a mountain ridge.  Newfound Gap is about 16 miles from Gatlinburg.  Visitors will see spectacular views and be able to walk along the Appalachian Trail.  
    Newfound Gap has spectacular sights.

    Newfound Gap is a beautiful area in the Great Smoky Mountains.

    The Gap is nearly a mile higher in elevation than the surrounding lower areas so can be significantly cooler.  You will see spruce-fir forests and beautiful wildflowers.

  2. 2.  OCONALUFTEE MUSEUMS.  A 32-mile drive from Gatlinburg will take you to the Oconaluftee Museums.  The free indoor and outdoor museums depict the life of families from the Cherokee to the creation of the national park.  The outdoor farm is an agricultural paradise which features older breeds of animals and an heirloom garden.  The 2-mile hiking trail begins at the museum and often enables sightings of elk and beaver.
  3. CADES COVE.  In this area you likely will see deer and may also spot bear, coyote, and wild turkey.  Historic buildings in this area include a gristmill, several barns, three churches, and many log homes.  An 11-mile one-way loop road takes you around the cove.  The distance from Gatlinburg is about 27 miles.
  4. OLD ELKMONT TOWN.  This was once a booming logging town.  Today you will find a variety of hiking trails that vary from easy to moderate-difficulty.  Good trout fishing can be found in the nearby Little River.  The restored Appalachian Clubhouse, Spence Cabin, and four other historic buildings offer a peek into bygone days.  Elkmont is about 7 miles from Gatlinburg.
  5. DEEP CREEK.  This area has beautiful streams and waterfalls.  This is one of the few park areas where bicycles are permitted.  The distance from Gatlinburg is about 48 miles.

Share your Favorite Sights with Us!

What are some of your favorite places to visit in eastern Tennessee?  Please share your pictures and stories with us at info@buckhorninn.com.  We would love to share your experiences with other members of the Buckhorn Inn family through Facebook and Instagram.

 

May 7, 2018

Spring Salad Days at Buckhorn Inn

The beautiful salad greens we have been growing in the Buckhorn Inn gardens have made us love our dinner salads even more!  This spring we have been harvesting and serving a sweet mesclun mix from Burpee Seed Company http://www.burpee.com.  The mix includes Beet Bull’s Blood, Spinach Bloomsdale, Black Seeded Simpson lettuce, Red Salad Bowl lettuce, and Mustard Tendergreen.  

Our inn-grown lettuce salad creations are fun for the gardener, the chef, and the diner!

Your salad, from the garden to the kitchen to the table.

Soon we will be harvesting our Heatwave mix which includes a blend of crisphead, romaine, and looseleaf types that mature a bit later than the spring mix.

Caesar’s Salad Dressing

Guests love our Caesar salad.  It was first made by restaurateur Caesar Cardini in Tijuana.  In 1924  a rush of diners depleted his ingredient supply.  He made do with what he had and added his own flair by making it tableside.  Our version of the tangy dressing omits the raw egg.  We recommend you serve it at room temperature on romaine with crisp croutons.

 

3 Anchovies

1 T  Worcestershire sauce

1 T Chopped garlic

1 T Dijon mustard

1/3 C Mayonnaise

1 t Pepper

1 t Salt

1/2 C Lemon juice

1 1/2 C Olive oil

1/2 C Shredded Parmesan cheese

Combine the first 8 ingredients in a food processor.  Slowly add the olive oil, processing until creamy.  Stir in the parmesan cheese.  Makes about 2 1/2 cups.

Lemon Basil Vinaigrette

This is one of Chef Bob’s most popular dressings.  We especially like it over a bed of tender spring greens with grilled asparagus and tomatoes.

1/4 C Diced onions

1 T Minced garlic

1 t Dijon Mustard

1/2 C Fresh basil leaves

1 t Salt

1/2 t Pepper

1 T Sugar

1/4 C Mayonnaise

1/2 C Lemon juice

1 1/2 C Combined olive and canola oils

Combine in a food processor, adding the oil slowly at the last.  Chill.  Makes about 2 cups.  We love using the fresh basil from our Buckhorn Inn herb garden for this recipe and many others.  When making a basil-based dish, such as a pesto, blanching the basil will help it retain that sunny green color.

We hope you enjoy many salad days ahead!