Price: 2/5 ($10-20)
Overview: The King Tut’s Grill is a family owned Egyptian restaurant in a hole in the wall store in South Knoxville, TN. They serve Egyptian and American style food in an environment that is certainly one of a kind, and the dinner experience is one I will never forget. The owners, Moe and Seham, are the only employees and they take orders, cook the food, and provide the experience that makes this place so special.
So starting with the environment. This is the most unique dining experience I have ever had. I felt like I was sitting around the dinner table at a friends house is how comfortable and laid back it felt. The room is filled with little trinkets and Egyptian memorabilia. When we first came into the tiny dining room there were lights on but once we sat down and had ordered Moe, the owner, turned the lights off and the disco ball, and strobe lights on as well as some dancing music. Moe brought out hats for everyone! Including a hotdog hat, a hat that had a pump to flip you off (my personal favorite), a pimp hat, even a monkey mask and an “old man” mask. Everyone got one and Moe thought it was great. He then proceeded to grab a hula hoop and pull members of the party up onto the bar to hula hoop for everyone! While hit 80s and 90s tunes played on full blast. I highly suspect this is the reason the eatery is BYOB. Then once the strobes were turned off Moe really brought out his party tricks, literally! He had several brain teasers like the twisted metal pieces you need to take apart to solve (example below). As well as a couple puzzles and challenges anyone who could solve the puzzles free dessert!
While Moe was entertaining us out front, his wife Seham is hard at work in the kitchen preparing all of the food single handedly! We were a party of 10, and there were two other couples in the restaurant so the fact that all of our food came out at the same time and was all hot and fresh was a feat in itself. I got a caesar salad, because I am basic and addicted, as well as an order of Koshari, which if you are unfamiliar is an Egyptian dish with various noodles, and lentils in sauce topped with chickpeas and onions. Koshari is also considered the national dish of Egypt and is completely vegetarian for those who are interested. The Koshari was amazing, I definitely would give it at least a 4/5 probably 5/5 if it were hot. I however, ate my salad first and since they came out together the Koshari wasn’t as hot as it could have been, but it was delicious nonetheless. I was kind of disappointed in the salad however, the dressing wasn’t the best and there didn’t seem to be much of it on the salad. I am however, somewhat of a connoisseur of Caesar salads so maybe I am being too harsh as the lettuce was fresh along with the parmesan and the croutons seemed to be made in house and were very good. I also tried the stuffed grape leaves! This was out of my comfort zone but as they say, “when in Rome!” or in this case Egypt haha! The taste was very good I was not a fan of the texture however. My best description would be pickled mint manicotti. I would try them again though as it seemed to be something that could be an acquired taste.
Overall the experience was one I have never had before and don’t think anywhere else will come close to. I highly recommend this place for anyone from Knoxville who is looking to add a little adventure to their Friday night. Definitely a great place for parties or to go in a group. The owners are adorable and they have truly built something special in a little downtown street in South Knoxville, Tennessee.
Everywhere you go the culture is different, but the people are the same.