Johnson City Mexican Restaurant Dubbed “El Kroger” for Close Proximity to Grocery Store

East Tennessee State University students hide their cell phones underneath their desks as they create a group chat with friends asking if the lunch plan for “El Kroger” is still on.

This lingo is not foreign to students, who have unofficially nicknamed the Johnson City, TN Mexican restaurant, El Charolais, due to its being next to a Kroger near campus.

El Charolais has served jumbo margaritas and house-made quesadillas since the owner, Jose Luis Jauregu, opened the regional restaurant chain in Johnson City.

Jauregu has operated restaurants since 2004.

El Charolais is open 11 a.m.- 10 p.m. on Mondays through Thursdays, stays open until 10:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and closes early on Sundays at 9:30 p.m.

Germany Native Operates the Only Authentic German Restaurant in Johnson City

Why travel to Germany when the same authentic cuisine is cooked and served in Johnson City?

Freibergs’s is a German restaurant located in the heart of downtown Johnson City, TN operated by a native from Germany.

When Herholz moved to Tennessee, he brought with him knowledge and firsthand experience with German dishes and cuisine.

He and his wife Michele decided to open Freiberg’s German restaurant in 2008, naming the restaurant after Herholz’s hometown in Eastern Germany.

“I enjoy German food; it’s very authentic, ” said Shane Grace, a frequent guest. “I’ve tried most of the menu, and it’s all delicious.”

Freiberg’s has set hours posted on the company’s website.

Sport Sticky Fingers at The Wild Wing Café

The Wild Wing Café in downtown Johnson City, TN hosts band performances every weekend.

Sarah Goodpaster, the sport bar’s marketing and promotions manager, runs the show from Knoxville and ensures guests have live music and can leave with a good experience.

Bar-goers mingle with friends carrying a bucket of beer, shaking hands with acquaintances with sticky fingers from the smothered chicken wings.

The Wild Wing Café stays open Monday through Sunday 11 a.m.- 2 a.m. and welcomes walk-ins and offers take-away plates.

Hot Food in a Flash: Would You Like a Frenchie Fry With That?

Tennesseans who move out-of-state often miss the waves of mountains, but for some, it’s sadder leaving behind the option of a Big Pal and Frenchie Fries.

Pal’s Sudden Service in East Tennessee began when Pal Barger, owner and CEO, opened the first sit-in store in Kingsport, TN in 1956.

There are only two sit-in Pal’s diners in East Tennessee, and the rest are all drive-throughs, where customers order at the first window, drive around the store and pay at the second window.

Usual waiting time is less than five minutes, and Pal’s Sudden Service is the first restaurant chain in the United States to be awarded the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award.

Jonesborough’s American-Styled Diner Treats Tourists and Residents to Burgers and Milkshakes

Tourists and residents alike stream into Jonesborough’s JJ’s Eatery and Ice Cream for a hot sandwich and an old-school ice cream sundae.

Owner Vicki Brown introduced Jonesborough, TN to the classic American-styled cafe in 2006 and often participates in town event promotions such as Scoop Fest, which is an ice cream tasting that requires the purchase of tickets in exchange for samples.

Meals include the fried bologna sandwich or classic burger paired with fries and a milkshake.

JJ’s Eatery and Ice Cream stays open Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Lunch or Midnight Munchies: Mid City Grill Feeds Daytime Strollers and Night Owls

It is past midnight, and bar-goers in downtown Johnson City, TN stumble through the doors of Mid City Grill, a bring-your-own-beer establishment.

The restaurant can seat several groups of guests and accepts both call-in and walk-in orders for take-away food.

Mid City Grill serves their infamous grilled hamburgers until 10 p.m., and they serve late-night grub for the after-dinner munchies.

Don’t eat meat? Mid City Grill has a vegetarian menu so the whole group can enjoy the late-night food run.

Mid City Grill is open Tuesdays and Wednesdays 5 p.m. through 4 a.m., staying open later on Thursdays through Saturday until 5 a.m.

La Pata Blanca: The White Duck Taco Shop Serves Cooked-to-Order Specialty Tacos

Johnson City introduced locals to a North Carolina favorite in 2015 with the opening of another White Duck Taco Shop franchise.

With a constantly changing menu, the White Duck Taco Shop prices dishes separately rather than a set meal, striving to ensure the price is as good as the quality of the gourmet tacos.

All meals are cooked to order with more than 95% of the ingredients produced and bought in the U.S.

Many customers wonder where the shop got its name, and co-owner Laura Reuss reveals it stems from her nickname “La Pata Blanca,” meaning, “the white duck.”

She received this nickname from kitchen staff because of her lively chatter and enthusiasm while working in the kitchen.

The White Duck Taco Shop in Johnson City, TN is open Monday through Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.