If you ever find yourself in Cosby, Tn, make sure you ask the locals about a little place called Carver’s Orchard. There, you’ll not only find the orchard, you’ll also find a farmer’s market and a restaurant at Carver’s that boasts one of the best fried apple pies in East Tennessee.
Carver’s Orchard is a well-marked spot and easy to locate. Carver’s, surrounded by apple trees, really is a roadside wonder. The best way to reach Carver’s is to follow Hwy 321 out of Gatlinburg. The intersection of 321 and the Parkway is at traffic light No. 3 and it will take you straight out of town and past the Great Smoky Mountains Arts and Crafts community. The route from traffic light No. 3 in Gatlinburg to Carver’s Orchard is a hare above 22 miles and takes you through the Smokies and its natural beauty. You’ll pass the Greenbrier area of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park on your way before turning off at the Cosby Campground exit. Eventually you will end up in the middle of Cosby, TN.
Cosby’s beauty certainly shines through at Carver’s Orchard. Apples that grow on the trees in the orchard are processed there. In all, there are more than 40,000 trees to pick from during the process. Included in the orchard are 126 varieties of apple, from standard fare to heirlooms. Literally thousands of apples are processed during the annual harvest. These delicious red apples of various sizes and shapes roll down the conveyor belts to be sorted by hand into bushels. Next, the bushels are packed up for the farmer’s market or loaded on to trucks to be shipped out across the country. The apples that find their way to the farmer’s market floor are then judged by cooks and apple coinsurers before the best are picked. Most markets will even let you sample the apple before you buy it just so you know you’re buying the best of the bushel.
The orchard’s restaurant also benefits from the yearly yield. Appalachian home cooking abounds at Carver’s. A basket of apple fritters is brought out as a starter for each meal as well as a glass of cider. This is quite a beginning and some would even say they could make a meal out of it. Still, if you chose to stop you wouldn’t be able to experience the rest of the menu. The catfish is a particular favorite. They have a wide selection of sandwiches and if you’re out that way early enough you can even get breakfast served to you. And don’t forget to order a slice of Carver’s fried apple pie for desert. It’s definitely not to be missed.
To put it simply, their fried apple pies are amazing. This area is a haven for foodies and when you’re searching for something good, yet off the beaten path and away from the city, Carvers can’t be beat. And not only are they sold in the restaurant, you can purchase their pies in the pastry as well. Have one with ice cream or by itself. A Carver’s Orchard fried apple pie will leave you full and dreaming of the next time you’re in Cosby, Tn. Fried apple pies carry a bit of southern charm and take you back to the good ole days as folks around here like to talk about. If you or someone you know haven’t gotten to taste one, run out quick to Carver’s Orchard in Cosby, Tennessee.