If you're visiting Dollywood on a hot summer day, chances are you're looking for a way to cool down or relax midday. The Backstage Restaurant is the perfect place to do this, as it's the only indoor, air conditioned, full service restaurant in the park. Full service means that you are seated at a table, order off a menu, and have a waitress who brings you your food.
The service was good, very friendly, and efficient. The place was rather empty during lunch on the day that we visited, no doubt due to the fact that we went on a weekday in May and the park itself was pretty empty. Like much of the park, the restaurant is themed with a number of Dolly Parton items and Tennessee memorabilia. It's decorated to look like a backstage area, with fake doors that say things like "prop master" on them.
For my meal I had the strawberry spinach salad with chicken. It was a simple dish, with a bed of spinach and strawberries, chicken, and walnuts on top, along with a raspberry vinaigrette dressing. It was fairly light and perfect for what I was looking for. I don't want anything too filling when I'm in a theme park and planning on riding the roller coasters. This left me satisfied but not overly stuffed. It was very sweet, so if you're a fan of sweet and fruity go for this, otherwise you may not care for it.
We also ordered the hot roast beef sandwich and chose a side of sweet potato fries. The sandwich was good. Nothing outstanding or special, but pretty much what you'd expect from a roast beef sandwich. The sweet potato fries had a ton of cinnamon on them and were just a bit too sweet, even for my taste. They didn't quite compare to the sweet potato fries we'd had elsewhere while in Tennessee.
Overall The Backstage Restaurant has good, not great food, but a really nice atmosphere. And when you're in the heat of the Tennessee sun an air conditioned restaurant is going to be a very welcome break.
The Backstage Restaurant is open during operating hours of the park. Entrees range from about $8-15. Dollywood is open yearly from late March-December. Check the website for a calendar and details on hours. Admission is currently $54 for a one day pass for adults. It is located at 2700 Dollywood Parks Blvd., Pigeon Forge, TN.
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