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.

Curb Your Sweet Cravings With a Little Sweets

Petite Sweets in Johnson City, TN sprinkles each cupcake in-house. The shop is open Tuesday through Friday 10 a.m- 5 p.m. and closes at 2 p.m. on Saturdays.

On top of running the shop, owners Zachary and Rachael Holmes offer catering services and designs cakes and treats for special events such as baby showers, birthday parties or weddings.

Five years ago, Rachael discovered her passion for baking and decorating cakes, and finally opened her store, Petite Sweets, on East Oakland Avenue in Johnson City in 2014.

She stays busy with multiple weddings and birthday events every weekend.

 

 

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.

Street Eats Food Cart Creates Custom Hotdogs Customers Relish

Jordan Banks sets his restaurant up on the sidewalk for the night and prepares to top over 200 hotdogs.

The Street Eats vendor has over six years’ experience running the food cart in downtown Johnson City, TN between Capone and The Hideaway. The hotdog stand is the longest-running food truck in Johnson City.

With hotdogs piled with toppings such as Fritos corn chips, jalapenos and even mashed potatoes for the seasonal Monster Mash dog, Street Eats serves “a different kind of dog,” according to Banks.

The full menu is linked to the Street Eats Facebook page.

 

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.

Ooh, La, La: Café Lola Bistro Dishes International Cuisine

A bistro in Johnson City, TN promotes international flavor with a menu that features entrées such as chicken marsala, miso-glazed Chilean sea bass and seared ahi tuna.

Café Lola Bistro boasts wine and a martini bar so guests can pair their meals with an in-house mixed drink or wine.

The menu changes with the seasons, and the food is grown and bought locally.

The bistro also offers catering services to events such as weddings, bridal showers or casual family gatherings.

Tara and Hunter Morrow opened Café Lola Bistro’s doors in 2006 and have owned and operated the restaurant for over a decade.

The bistro has set hours for lunch and dinner.