by Douglas Beliakoff
In North Chattanooga, across from Renaissance Park, an old knitting mill has been turned into a terrific antique mall and a large restaurant called FoodWorks. Opened in the spring of 2006, this 9000 square foot establishment, with approximately 80 employees, offers a menu suitable for refined palates in a contemporary, industrial, yet comfortable atmosphere. This welcome addition to the NorthShore was developed by partners Scott Adams, Travis Brady and Troy Sutton who “challenge themselves every day to exceed the expectations of every guest with out question or compromise.”
Last weekend was my second visit to FoodWorks. My best friend was celebrating his birthday, and we took him to brunch. Since he’s the executive chef for one of our local hotels, finding a place that will WOW him can be a challenge. Instead, we decided to pick one of his favorites—FoodWorks.
For starters, we ordered the Food Works Chips & Dip – house made sweet potato chips tossed in a spice blend and served with a bleu cheese fondue. The chips were very crisp, with sprinklings of bleu cheese with the fondue for dipping—an amazing combination of flavors! We also tried the Candied Gulf Shrimp tossed in a little sweet and spicy sauce and enjoyed it as well.
We discovered on the first visit that the flash fried Calamari is not only an exceptional choice but also a HUGE platter. For our guest of honor and his mother, this delicious dish, served with artichoke hearts and sweet red peppers, became the perfect entrée. Accompanied by a beautiful whole leaf Caesar Salad, our birthday chef was very pleased.
Two of my guests ordered the Grilled Angus Rib Eye with a Tennessee Sour Mash Sauce. They couldn’t have been happier with the temperature and flavor of their steak and loved the twice baked mashed potatoes and grilled veggie sauté served on the side.
Also on my first visit, I had tried “The Chop” — a grilled double cut pork chop marinated in hoisin, ginger and cilantro. I knew for two weeks beforehand that, on this occasion, I wouldn’t be able to resist ordering it again. Also grilled to a perfect temperature, my chop was served with delicious braised red cabbage and the twice baked mashed potatoes.
Our server helped to make the event a memorable one with her genuine, relaxed, good service. Her pace and intuition seemed to come effortlessly as she waited on us, took a couple of pictures, and made sure that we were well taken care. She was even graceful about letting us fight over the check!
Now that I have been more than once, I can say that Riverside FoodWorks is now one of my favorite recently opened restaurants. I highly recommend that you begin or finish your experience with a stroll down the back hall and into the enormous antique mall!
205-C Manufacturers Road Chattanooga, Tennessee 37405
Tel: (423) 752-7487 Fax: (423) 752-1495