We were returning to Knoxville last week from Johnson City, so my wife and I decided to look for something new on the East side of town for dinner. We asked for recommendations on Facebook but ended up finding something interesting-looking via Trip Advisor. Grujo’s bills itself as German Fast Food - German Beer. I can’t speak to the quality of the beer, but we were thrilled with the food and everything else about this little gem.
We read in some of the reviews online that Grujo’s was family friendly, but had gotten the impression that was primarily because the kid’s meals come with some German chocolate. That would’ve been nice by itself, but we discovered something else as soon as we settled into the restaurant and reviewed the menu before ordering. The restrooms at Grujo’s, both men’s and women’s, are the most family friendly restrooms I’ve seen. Each restroom had a stool for smaller children to stand on while using the sink - not common at all and very much appreciated. Each restroom also had a detachable toilet seat for young children to use, and this is the first time I’ve ever seen that in a restaurant. My wife told me to be sure to mention this in the review because it would be very important to parents - so here it is. I was impressed, and combined with the friendliness of the owner’s mom, I’d call this the most family friendly restaurant we’ve encountered.
Great Food - Hard Choices
We ordered the Small Bratwurst plate for our almost 4 year-old son. To him it was a tasty hot dog and fries, along with a creme-filled piece of German chocolate.
My wife ordered the Bratwurst. We thought about getting the Jaeger Fries, but weren’t sure if we’d like the mushroom gravy. May try them next time. She was torn between ordering this and something else, but really liked the Bratwurst.
I wasn’t torn at all about ordering - I knew I wanted the Bratwurst and the item listed as their #1 seller, the Döner Kebab, so I ordered the Kraut Platter and the Döner Kebab and shared some of the Kebab with my wife. I ordered one each of the two different kinds of sausages, red and white. I liked them both, but if I had to pick one, I’d go with the white.
Here was the real star of the meal. If you thought of this as a German (actually Turkish) Gyro, you might be kinda right, I guess. I was told the meat is a combination of beef and lamb, and it is shaved off a big chunk like a Gyro. But this was better than any Gyro I’ve ever had. I ordered mine with Spicy Yogurt as the sauce, and it was fantastic. The bread, meat, and vegetables all worked together to make an explosion of yummy. It was a bit hard to eat, even after cutting off some for Rachael, but I wouldn’t want to do without the bread, so next time I’d probably just carve it up and eat it like a platter of food rather than as a sandwich.
There are four mustards to choose from on a bar in the dining area. I tried the Beer Mustard and Spicy Mustard and liked both, although I would go with just the Spicy next time. Speaking of next time, which may be as soon as this Wednesday since kids eat free, I’m going to try the Schnitzel. Another item to note - Grujo’s was packed the entire time we were there on a Saturday evening, with people hanging out at the bar along the front wall waiting for tables to open up as we were leaving. With food this good, I can see why it would be so busy.
Emory Road isn’t exactly convenient for us given where we work and live, but we’ll be making the trip to Grujo’s again.