Out of the current three Knoxville-area First Watch locations, this one is my least favorite. There doesn’t appear to be quite the décor that the other two locations have and the waiting area appears smaller than the other locations.
I used the NoWait app to reserve our space in line because First Watch always seems to have a wait, especially during peak breakfast times. Upon arriving for our breakfast, we approached the Hostess stand and checked in. The wait to be seated was less than 5 minutes because a two-top table was available.
Once seated it took about 10 minutes for our server Michelle to come over and take our order. However, she acknowledged us twice and said that she would be right with us. This cured my biggest pet peeve as a diner. I hate to be seated and wait without any acknowledgement.
Michelle took my order of Morning Meditation (which is the only juice from the Fresh Juice Bar I had not yet tried). I ordered their coffee which, in this Food Writers opinion, is the best local restaurant coffee out there. My husband ordered the Herbal Tea (which provides an assortment of herbal teas).
Upon Michelle taking our order, I opted for the BLTE (a BLT with two over-hard, cage-free eggs); I opted NOT to get the eggs) and a side of hardwood smoked bacon to be added to the BLT. Their full side of bacon is four slices. The BLTE is served with lightly-dressed organic greens or a cup of hot soup. I opted for the lightly-dressed organic greens and added a side of fresh, seasoned potatoes.
My husband ordered The Traditional which seems to be his go to if it’s not their French Toast. The Traditional is served with two fresh cage-free eggs any style with your choice of grilled ham steak, thick-sliced bacon, turkey sausage or sausage links. It’s also served with whole grain Artisan toast, all-natural preserves and fresh, seasoned potatoes. My husband opted for the eggs over medium and four turkey sausage links.
Our meal seemed to take longer than our usual wait time but this location was busy that morning. From our seats, we could see into the kitchen and the food did not sit in the window. As soon as a table’s order was ready, it was gone. Their kitchen staff, including any expediters, really works like a well-oiled machine. I can say this of all the First Watch locations. Our food is always served hot and fresh. I had to remind Michelle that I ordered the juice and she brought it immediately. I thought the Morning Meditation was good but the Kale Tonic remains my all-time favorite. It’s sweeter than the others and it’s just perfect for my palate.
I have to say that, upon inspection of my BLTE (minus the E); for once a meal at First Watch displeased me. I mean, First Watch is our favorite breakfast restaurant and I was sad. I first noticed the “side salad” on my plate. Okay, so maybe the lightly-dressed organic greens were not exactly what I was expecting. Maybe they had me a BLT I don’t know but the amount of greens that were served was actually quite large. In my opinion, they were just slightly too underdressed for me and I wished I had asked for a little more dressing to toss over them.
The BLT… This is where they went wrong, all wrong! I have to be honest though to be fair to First Watch. I am a lover of bacon! When I make BLTs at home in my own kitchen, for two, I use a pound and a half of bacon for four BLTs. That’s a lot of bacon! So, when I opened up my BLT, and removed more of the lightly-dressed organic greens that were used as “lettuce,” you could say that I was shocked at the lack of bacon. Clearly the first thing I knew was that the side of bacon that I ordered was definitely not added to the BLT. I alerted Michelle to my missing bacon and a few minutes later it was delivered.
Between both halves of the BLT, there were a total of three and a half slices of bacon. If the side of bacon had been added, I should have received 8 slices of bacon. I know this because I asked the General Manager Chad Chappelow, half way through my meal, how many pieces of bacon I should have expected on my BLT before adding the side of bacon. Perhaps if the egg were on the BLT, four pieces of bacon would have been sufficient, even without the extra side. In the end, I removed the greens from the BLT and added the side of bacon and it was great. Their Artisan bread is amazing and is always toasted perfectly.
My husband had no issues with his breakfast and he enjoyed as usual.
In the end, Michelle took $2.00 off of our check for the missing bacon, which was delivered and I would have not asked for a discount but it was a nice thing to do in regard to customer satisfaction. The service was good, not great, but good. I think I may know the reason for this as well. It seemed that Michelle had our table and then one or two other tables around the corner from where we were seated. She was always moving but sometimes we didn’t see her. I definitely do not think she was lacking in her duties as a server but, for whatever reason, and this is not typical for this time of morning (it was about 8:15) her tables seemed to be split up. I can’t fault her for this, as I have been a server as well and understand that it’s tough when your tables are split up. This makes it very tough for any server. Michelle was a good server though and very polite.
I would still recommend this First Watch location but make sure, if you order the BLTE, you can decide if you need to add the extra order of bacon and opt in, or out for the greens. I would definitely order it without the “lettuce/greens” and add bacon; still holding the eggs.
Everyone is friendly and helpful! Come in and see them for your next breakfast or lunch. Hurry, their locations have limited serving times.
First Watch – Turkey Creek
11682 Parkside Drive, Knoxville, TN 37934
Their hours are 7 days a week from 7:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and they are closed Thanksgiving and Christmas Days.