How to Smoking Pig Barbeque, Wears Valley, Tennessee
After a long day of hiking in The Great Smoky Mountains at Cades Cove or taking a tour through Tuckaleechee Caverns finding a good place to grab a quick bite to eat may be difficult. About half way from Townsend, TN to Pigeon Forge along US-321 is a small town called Wears Valley. Not much is going on in this quiet, little town, but you’ll find a road side stand and barbeque called the Smoking Pig and Wears Valley Produce Barn (2881 Wears Valley Road).
What to Expect from the Smoking Pig
At first impression the roadside stand has little to desire and many passersby may not give it a chance. At closer look the stand is a farmers market selling jams, jellies, pickles, breads, sauces, fruits, vegetables, and boiled peanuts and should not be overlooked.
The Smoking Pig is a small building to the left of the main parking area where a smoker sits out front pumping the sweet smell of barbeque cooking over hickory coals in the air. A picnic area is provided with limited shade, but provides a respite for weary hikers looking for a bite to eat.
The menu is more varied than expected from such a small establishment. Menu items include pulled pork, sausage, chili dogs, beef brisket, ribs, homemade potato salad, coleslaw, bean salad, cucumber salad, corn-on-the cob, chips, homemade ice cream, homemade fried apple pies, and apple cobbler. The menu also changes with the season providing seasonal favorites such as fried green tomatoes and okra along with other delectable items such as kettle corn.
To quench your thirst the stand offers fresh squeezed lemonade, ice cold water, and a variety of sodas.
Taking a Picnic: Pack the Smoking Pig
If you are heading to Cades Cove in The Great Smoky Mountains National Park from the south, be sure to stop in Wears Valley to fill up your gas tank (fuel stations are not available in Cades Cove) and pick up a picnic lunch from the Smoking Pig.
The roadside stand provides a ready to go picnic for 2 or a picnic for 4 including ribs, pulled pork, bread, and sides.
The food was good and is often quoted as being “the best BBQ in the Smokies.” The sauce on the ribs is a sweet tangy BBQ and the pulled pork was tender and had very little fat. The brisket was a top choice and the sides had unique flavors. The potato salad was homemade and had a hint of dill mixed in with the mustard/mayonnaise dressing. The beans included peppers, bits of brisket and bacon cooked together to provide a unique twist on this common side dish.
Festivals at the Smoking Pig
Seasonal festivals are hosted at the Smoking Pig to include a Flower Festival (April & May), Independence Day Festival (July), Pumpkin Festival (October), Christmas Tree sales (late November-December), and the Neighborhood BBQ (daily). The location is a perfect backdrop to enjoy the mountains and some great local flavor.
If you’re driving on US-321 from Pigeon Forge to Townsend and looking for a great place to eat, the Smoking Pig Bar-B-Que is the place to go.
Have you eaten at the Smoking Pig? What are your thoughts or recommendations? Feel free to comment and let our readers know your opinion of this roadside barbeque and produce barn.
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