Puleo’s Grille

It is nice to find a local chain of restaurants that you love.  One of those places in East Tennessee is Puleo’s Grille.  Puleo’s bills themselves as having ‘Southern Roots with Italian Heritage’ and they live up to that concept.  Their food is simply amazing, the atmosphere and the service is second to none and they have locations all over Knoxville and as well as one in Murfreesboro, TN.  Puleo’s should be on your dining agenda while you are visiting the Smokies.

Puleo's GrilleWhile you are on vacation, it is important to find a place where you feel comfortable taking your friends and family.  You slide into one of the booths and immediately you are in your own little world.  Each one of their restaurants is designed to let you have your privacy while you are in a public restaurant.  You don’t have to scream to be heard over everyone else.  You don’t have to yell your conversation to the rest of your dining party.  It is laid back and the service is some of the best you will find anywhere in Knoxville.  Whether you need a place to celebrate with that special someone or if you are looking for a place to bring your spouse and kids, Puleo’s is the place.

There are 5 Puleo’s in the Knoxville, TN area.  They are headquartered in Knoxville and they have expanded as their customers have demanded it.  When they found that they were having more customers than they could handle they simply added another location in a different part of town.  The nice thing is if you get to Puleo’s and one location is full, you can just drive to another one.


  • Puleo's GrilleAlcoa
  • Cedar Bluff
  • Deane Hill
  • Merchants / Cedar Lane
  • Strawberry Plains
  • Murfreesboro

Here is the most important part:  the food.  I have yet to have anything at Puleo’s that I would not have again and again and again.  I do seem to have a problem though… I am stuck on their Shrimp and Grits.  They are my favorite version of this low-country delicacy.  Made with Taso sausage and gravy, there is no part of the dish that doesn’t shine.  The grits are cooked to perfection and the peppers and onions that are sautéed in the same sauce are the perfect counterpoint.  The last several times I have been to Puleo’s I don’t even get a menu because the Shrimp and Grits are so good.  If I had to pick something else to recommend it would be the Rattlesnake Prime Rib which is a pan seared prime rib with an indescribable dry rub topped with a cheese sauce.  My mouth is watering just thinking about the Shrimp and Grits though.  I may be at Puleo’s tonight.

If you are passing through or if you are in the Smokies for a week-long vacation drive back toward Knoxville or end a day in Knoxville eating at one of the best local chains you will ever find.  Puleo’s has a full menu and there will be something for everyone in your traveling party to enjoy, but if you are a seafood fanatic, get the Shrimp and Grits.