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BUN-JOUR Beautiful Burgers

Gatlinburg, Tennessee is gearing up for an aBUNdance of burger lovers visiting the city for it’s inaugural GatlinBURGER Week! It’s part of a large effort to continue to support local restaurants in the heart of Gatlinburg and bring out the burger lover in you.

For one week only, 16 restaurants are serving up a slice of heaven with “off-the-menu” burgers for only $7. Yes, you read that right, SEVEN BUCKS! It’s a steal and I got to sample nearly every burger from the participating restaurants competing for the title of “Burger Meister” during GatlinBURGER Week.


I had a blast in Gatlinburg for three days sampling these incredible burgers, and to top it all off, I didn’t gain any weight, so it’s a win in my book!

(DISCLAIMER: This is a recap of my experience filming in Gatlinburg, ahead of GatlinBURGER Week, as a Lifestyle Reporter for Living East Tennessee on WATE-TV).

Day 1

I kicked off the week from the Greenbrier kitchen. Chef Aaron Ward of the Greenbrier and Chef Glen Morris of Greenbrier’s sister restaurant, Smith & Son, presented their burgers affectionately known as the “Ghost Rider” and the “Italian Job,” respectively.

The “Ghost Rider” boasts two, dry-aged steak trimmed patties, Stilton and cheddar cheeses, house-cured brown sugar bacon, pickled heirloom tomato, grilled Spanish onion and ghost pepper aioli served on a house made roll.

The “Italian Job” contends with two brisket blend patties topped with creamy melted gruyere, caramelized onions, thin crispy pastrami wedges and mouthwatering dill pickles, finished off with a roasted red pepper garlic aioli, on a perfectly toasted brioche bun.

Competition was heating up in the Greenbrier kitchen between these two burger offerings. Whether you like brisket on your buns or bleu [Stilton] cheese, both of these burgers are sure to make any burger lover happy.

Next stop on the burger tail was Shoney’s, on the Parkway, with the “Sunrise Cheeseburger.” This breakfast burger puts a spin on the classic All-American burger with a Shoney’s breakfast specialty of fried eggs.

Now, if country fried steak is your go-to at Southern restaurants, this next one's for you! The “Country Fried Steak Burger” from Crystelle Creek features one country fried steak topped with fried potato wedges and onion gravy, garnished with a crisp onion ring.

Crystelle Creek offers live music every night, and this former trout house, sits on a beautiful creek that provides soothing ambient sounds as you enjoy your meal, with the water whistling by.

This concluded day one of the GatlinBURGER Week Tour. Woo!

Day 2

GatlinBURGER Week is September 13- September 19, but if you’re itching to channel those German Oktoberfest flavors, you can start a few weeks early at the Seasons of Ober Restaurant.

This “Schnitzel Burger” combines Angus Beef and pork, pressed thin and fried with a coating of assorted German breadcrumbs, topped with sweet and tangy sautéed onions, bacon and a dill-infused mayo, all served on a toasted pretzel bun.

This was the first burger I tried on day two, and it was kostlich. Translation? Delicious in German. Anything with caramelized onions awakens my palette!

Another burger competing in the realm of German food is on the menu at the Rampant Lion Pub. This ‘’Octoburger,’’ combines a beef patty and bratwurst for a hearty combination.

If you love brews, make sure to stop by the Smoky Mountain Brewery. The brewery’s “Hungry Hiker Burger” brings the heat to a half-pound beef patty, with jalapeño cream sauce, sliced avocado, pepper jack cheese and bacon to be enjoyed with an original brew.

The next three burger spots are three-for-one all under the Kennedy Concepts Restaurant Group, highlighting three of its restaurants: Loco Burro, Crawdaddy’s and Pucker’s.

Loco Burro’s “Go Loco Burger” channels all of the Latin American flavors with this half-pound, Black Angus Burger topped with green chile queso, guacamole, pico de gallo and crispy tortilla strips.

“Daddy’s Creole Burger” from Crawdaddy’s Restaurant & Oyster Bar is a half-pound Black Angus burger blackened and smothered in house made seafood gumbo.