Saturday, August 25, 2012


Cindy Tries A Sampling of  Excellent Espresso Stout Ale at The Downtown Chattanooga Big River Grille and Brewing Works
The Cinderoo and I decided Thursday evening that we needed to get away for a day...where should we go?  This past year has seen us take short trips to Kentucky, Gatlinburg, Dollywood, eastern east Tennessee, Nashville, Atlanta and more.......but we had not visited the friendly burg of Chattanooga, a mere 1 hour 40 minute drive from our home in Knoxville.

So...Chattanooga, AKA "Choo Choo Town" it was!  We left Friday at 9:00, and under very clear and friendly skies we leisurely motored westward on I-75.  We meandered through downtown Chattanooga, found convenient parking near the trendy Market /Broad Street area, and embarked on our adventure.

Me, Peering Into The Allbooks Storefront Window, Disappointed in the Demise of This Once Unique Bookstore
First Stop...the Allbooks Store on Broad Street.  The last time we were there was about ten years ago and we loved it!  It is a big book warehouse, housing hundreds of thousands of volumes of every kind of publication.  We recall spending hours just browsing.

But on this occasion a decade later, we discovered that our wonderful memories have been tarnished by the reality of time and decay.  The place has become a hoarder's den of the first magnitude.  Books, magazines, newspapers, boxes, and trash now block passage in the aisles.  We were saddened to see the terrible decline of such a unique book store. 

After five minutes, we left the store and headed back up Broad Street, where we sought to slake our hunger and thirst at another old favorite place---the Big River Grille and Brewing Works.

Partial Interior Shot, Big River Grille and Brewing Works
Great!  The place was just as we remembered it!  Three large dining areas between two large bars.  Dark, wooded paneling and decor.  Ahhh....let's eat!

Grant, Our Server.  Good Guy. 
Grant, our server, appeared.  Really nice and professional guy.  He was full of helpful information.  We ordered wine as we contemplated the menu.  My Merlot was excellent.  When Grant suggested we try one of their unique brews to complement our lunch, I stated that we are not beer drinkers.

Hey Grant!  This Sampling Of Ale is so Good, You Can Bring Me a Big Mug of It!
Well, that bit of information only served to motivate him to bring us a sample of one of their creations, a dark, frothy Espresso Stout Ale.  I tried it.  I liked it.  I ordered it.  I drank it and was glad I did.  Many thanks to the Grantster for enlightening moi.

Cindy Had the Club Sandwich, Clam Chowder and Vegetables

I Had the Southwest Chicken Sandwich with Fries.  And A Glass of Merlot.  And a Mug O' Brew.  Oh Yeah, Babe...
Cindy and I played a little game as we munched lunch.  She asked me what particular interests or hobbies I thought Grant might have.  I said I thought he was into music.  She opined that he was into some sort of thespian pursuit.  When he came by our table again, we asked him.  DA-DA!!!  I win!  He sings and plays guitar.  OK, OK, so it was a lucky guess.  But I'll take it because Cindy now is impressed with my supposed powers of intuition.  Ha.

The Hunter Museum of Art on the Tennessee River
Now fortified with a glass of wine and a mug o' ale and a large southwest chicken sandwich with fries, I stumbled/waddled out of the eatery and we began the long and upward trek to the Arts District on High Street.  They call it High Street because you have to climb a damn mountain to get to it.  So there we were, nursin' a light buzz and packin' full bellies, tryin' to walk a half mile upward in the 90 degree heat so that we could see the Arts District of Chattanoogie.  Pant pant.  Complain.  Swear. 

Frontal Shot of The Hunter Art Museum
We finally made it.  We went through a couple of old art galleries.  We wandered around outside and admired the views that the High Street location gosh---there was storied Lookout Mountain above us and the mighty Tennessee River below.  And there was the fabled Hunter Museum of Art and the Chattanooga Aquarium and the beautiful panorama of the city around us.

The Tennessee Aquarium on the Tennessee River

Our View of The Tennessee River From the Walking Bridge
We walked back down to the river and crossed it on the walking bridge.  We took pictures.  We talked with other sightseers.  We learned that an annual Beerfest is being held downtown this weekend, and for $25 you can refill your glass as many times as you like.  Kinda' reminded me of New Orleans.  Probably a good place to avoid if you are driving this weekend.  I'm sure the cops'll be busy.

That's Me...Walking, Walking, Walking...

We have added Chattanooga to the list of nearby places that we love.  We'll be back.

NOTE:  Click on Cindy's Blog to view her description of our visit


  1. I love, love, love Chattanooga so thanks for the information. Have you ever rode the Ducks? Had a cupcake from the cupcake shoppe or ate at Cheese Burger Cheese Burger (something like that) - I think and had a milk shake. I enjoyed your walking visit and photos.


    1. Hey Sandie! No---I have never done the Ducks. We plan to return, though. There's lots more to experience! And I love cheeseburgers and milk shakes!

  2. fun trip! great photos! my grandmom used to sing a song about the chattanooga choo choo.=)

  3. Wow! I had no idea that Chattanooga was so beautiful.

    I've visited Tennessee on several occasions but just never happened to visit C. town - boy, have I missed the boat on that one.

    That view of the river is just gorgeous.

  4. Thank's for sharing this wonderful trip and the photos. I would love to visit this place.

    ...and good that you still had good impressions after the disaster with the book shop.