Hard Knox Pizza Full Review

Where do I even start with this place???  I was introduced to Hard Knox Pizza by a local before I even lived here. Now I return the favor to anyone and everyone who hasn't heard of it.  This is seriously such good pizza!!


I know, I know...I'm not doing food reviews here.  So, let's talk about going here with kids.

Hard Knox is in a shopping center that is trying to make itself less strip mall-ish, but is still pretty strip mally.  But that is totally ok with us because that means plenty of easy parking!!

Hard Knox is a smallish restaurant, mostly inside with a few tables out from on the sidewalk.  So, so sad though, I cannot hook the little red chair to these outside tables.  But that's ok because we usually sit inside and they also have tons of high chairs.

As far as kids activities, they provide crayons and super cute coloring sheets....I wish, beyond wish that all restaurants would invest in triangle shaped crayons (that's a post for another day), but that's just me getting flat out picky.

The staff are sweet to kids and the place is generally filled with them and the food is amazing, so everyone is happy.

Several craft beers on tap.  Pitchers available too if you so choose.  Also, Monday night is family night and comes with certain discounts and special additional kid stuff.

But the pizza is the true star of this show.  It's amazing and fresh, and the menu is pretty big.  There's a different special every month and they are generally phenomenal.

Also, shout out to the great salads...

Overall, go here to eat AWESOME pizza and drink good beer in a place where it's totally encouraged to bring your kids.

Side note...great for carryout too!!

Bearden Beer Market Full Review

When we initially moved to Knoxville and had our son, we rented a small house in the Bearden/Sequoya Hills area.  One of the first places we discovered and loved was The Bearden Beer Market. However, I had not been back there in probably three years.  For some reason, I decided today was the day.

Don't be fooled by the name, the Bearden Beer Market is way more than a beer market. It is a large outdoor gathering spot, complete with every type of table, kids riding toys, a full sized basketball goal, covered areas, uncovered, areas, giant Jenga, about a million corn hole sets, and so on.

There is only one entrance, so kids are fairly contained.  But beware that that one entrance leads to one of the busier streets in Knoxville, so I wouldn't get too distracted from the kids.

There are three unisex bathrooms, the middle of which has a changing table.  The bathrooms are located inside a sort of sitting area that has a foosball table, some mismatched couches and a TV.  (From past experience, this area doubles as a fantastic nursing room.)

The beer selection rotates and is usually fantastic.  Today they had a Bearded Iris IPA on tap that I LOVE.

As far as food...they do have food trucks that frequent, and a list of what truck is there on what day at the entrance.

I'm pretty sure just one truck a day and it doesn't show up until the evening during the week.  Luckily its right across the street from Hard Knox Pizza so we generally just go there to eat or pick up food and bring it with us.

I absolutely love this place.  It's great for a sunny day or a cooler evening if the fire pit is lit.  I don't think I'd choose it for a hangout when the weather is too bad though. My biggest complaint is that they allow smoking everywhere, but hey, I'm sure this makes my smoking friends happy!

If you're bored with your kids and want a beer, definitely give Bearden Beer Market a try.


South Coast Pizza Full Review

Even though it is SUPPOSED to be Spring here in the South, it was a pathetic 55 degrees today…sad. So we decided to hit up one of our favorite regular kid friendly pizza joints, South Coast Pizza. (BTW, if y’all haven’t checked out South Knoxville, you’re really missing out.)

South Coast Pizza is in a pretty unassuming building, across from Alliance Brewing Company. Outside there are three picnic style tables for if the weather is nice enough, but we prefer this place when the weather requires indoor accommodations. Inside there are a ton more picnic tables, a couple pull up chairs and two high chairs…ONLY TWO. We always bring our chair that attaches to the actual table for the little one (for those of you who don’t know what this is, I may do an entire post about it because I love it SO MUCH.)

Little Red Chair

This place serves killer pizza and good enough salads and is always a kid food pleaser. As far as entertainment, I’m not sure that this restaurant is meant to be as kid friendly as they are, but they definitely are. There are several old school arcade style video games right by the front door. My 3 year old loves to sit in the car game and pretend he’s driving without it ever even turning on.

There is also a giant fish tank, for child staring and pointing purposes. But most importantly there are VIDEO GAMES!! I’m not talking fancy 3D, million button, mind corrupting systems, I mean old school Nintendo. So simple, so fantastic, so little kid doable.

Again, I feel that all these things may have been intended for adults to relive their childhood, but kids love it. They love it so much that on a random Tuesday night, before 6pm, there were at least 9 children under the age of 5 running around like crazy people while their parents all sat at tables and drank beer. Yes beer, good beer, lots of beer. South Coast offers about 8 draft taps as well as tons of canned craft beers.

Bonus...the people who work here are so sweet, they gave my son a stuffed fish they had on display just because he liked it.

This is totally a place where you can enjoy a good beer, good food, and your kids can be wild.  Just keep it inside.

Central Filling Station Full Review

I have called many cities home in my years, but Knoxville is the only city that has homed my children (does that make sense?).  What I'm trying to say is that both of my children, and one of my dog children, have only lived in this city!  This GREAT city.  It may be small but it is mighty!  In all my homes and all my travels, I have never met a place quite as kid friendly as Knoxville, Tennessee...well maybe Greece but let's talk the US of A right now.  So it only makes sense that I should start right here in the Scruffy City itself.  Knoxville.

There are many, many locales that we flock to with the kids around here, but when the temperatures are just right (i.e. Spring and Fall) we love Central Filling Station.  Like LOVE.  We have actually been there 3 times this week alone.

No, it is not a gas station, it is actually a food truck park.  Once upon a time, many years ago, possibly before I was alive, this was a gas station.   Now it is family paradise.  Mostly fenced in with two openings for the trucks to get in and out, this place is pretty safe.  It helps that Knoxvillians have a tendency to look out for each others children if one runs for the road (I speak from experience).

It is equipped with a sandbox full of toys, a giant connect four game, that silly impossible ring and hook game, tons of sidewalk chalk and surfaces everywhere to be drawn on.  Many kids also bring their scooters and cruise around in circles.  There are picnic tables everywhere with metal dog leash hooks for those that bring their furrier children.  The park rotates 4 food trucks every day, ranging in choices from burritos to hawaiian veggies and rice.  You can pretty much find something for everybody, and if all else fails, you can always find the kid pleaser FRENCH FRIES.

Always present Little Red Chair

So this place entertains the children and feeds the children and it gets better....there is an old shipping container turned into friendly BAR.   This place serves lots of rotating beer and cider selections all in the canned variety with a complimentary coozie to borrow.  The only real downside here is the weather.  There is a partial roof, but it doesn't cover the food trucks, the sandbox, or most of the kid space.  When it is hot outside (and Knoxville can get HOT) this is not where you want to be.  We have had days when our son has been near heat exhaustion due to his refusal to leave the unprotected sandbox.

All in all, this place provides a pretty perfect Beers with Kids day, as long as the weather cooperates.