Good Times and Good Eats

A few Vols took a walk down memory lane to let us know where they liked to hang out and their favorite places to grab some grub.


I worked at the Bookstore in the UC and remember doing the display cases on the Fridays before the games. I remember bowling down in the basement and the intercom system was playing Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds. It was the first time I had really heard the words. But my favorite place of all was the deli located off of the Strip. I forget the name where we got steamed deli sandwiches on Sunday night—because Strong Cafeteria was closed on Sundays. With a warm pickle on the side, I have never eaten anything better than those sandwiches. The deli had closed when I came back for a sorority anniversary about five years ago, but there was another deli that served steamed deli sandwiches. Almost the same!

—Diana G. Woodward Schlein ’73

The front window of the ZTA room at the Panhellenic Building—the fourth floor faced Cumberland. We could see everyone walking in front of the University Center, including the best looking men.

—Susan Barnes

My wife says I was (and still am) a nerd. I was a writer/contributor to the Tennessee Engineering magazine. We had a small office with two or three desks in the EE building that were provided to the magazine staff to put together the magazine. Since I lived off campus by several miles, this office also provided a good place to go between classes and get some studying done. As I said, my wife says I was a nerd (and yes, I had my slide rule clipped to my belt).

—Gary Newport ’70

The Place for Friday happy hour; Vol Market; Sam and Andy’s Deli; The Vol for pizza, burgers, and brownies. All gone now, but rich memories.

—Rick Scroggs ’72

I was at UT from fall 1965 through summer 1971. I had many lunches at the Tea Room that was just behind West Hall A (now Massey). There was a very tall guy who worked the counter and grill, who could remember accurately a dozen or two orders at one time. The memory that stands out is when my parents were with me and Tom Boerwinkle came in—all 7 feet or so of him—and he had to duck through the door and walked bent slightly to avoid the ceiling.

The other place that I spent most evenings, weekends, and study days was the Baptist Student Union. Between the vesper services, lunch programs (Tuesdays & Thursdays, I think), and other activities, I learned to play bridge there. Since cramming for finals just makes one tense, we spent study day each term playing bridge and ordering in food.

During the week, I usually had “breakfast” of coffee and donuts at the little food place in the lower back of a building near Dabney Hall. I remember the gentleman who ran the place was functionally blind but he always filled coffee cups just right and gave the right change. Don’t remember what it was called, but it was always crowded.

The last useful thing I learned was in getting into and out of Neyland Stadium—how to move through a “mob” without getting crushed. I think in six seasons I may have missed one home game. Thanks for the memories!!!

—Jenny Butler ’69, ’71

Back around 1960 or so, we used to go to the Quarterback a lot and get pizza with a side of fried shrimp, washed down with a big draft beer. Great times.

—James Hilton ’64

The Aquatic Center was a year or so old, and under the pool was an exercise area which had a hanging punching bag. When I needed to take out some frustration and swimming was not the answer, I would put on the lightweight gloves and take it out on the bag. My wife and I visited the campus for the first time in thirty-nine years for the Tennessee vs. Alabama football game in October this year and things have changed quite a bit, but the exercise room under the pool was the same.

Among other campus facilities visited was Hess Hall, where I stayed my freshman year with a roommate, Michael Carver from Huntington, West Virginia. Thanks for asking.

—Kerry A. Burgan ’73

Back in the 1976–82 period, Friday afternoons were made for drinking 75-cent Heinekens at Stefano’s. Sam and Andy’s and the Roman Room were always top options for burgers and sandwiches. For rowdier occasions, the Last Lap and The Brewery were good options. Best of all was shutting down Cumberland with mobs of folks any time Alabama played in Knoxville. Things seem a little more timid on the Strip these days.

—Buddy Oakes


The best place to eat during my time at UT was OCI’s—Old College Inn. We would sit in a dark booth in the back eating Bing Bings and homemade soups and salads…it was the best! I also spent my life savings at Sawyers during college…I miss both those places!

—Alison Caldwell Wright ’03

I can think of two places—one on Cumberland Ave. and the other one downtown—that were influential in my student days.

I still associate great pizza with the old Quarterback Café on Cumberland. I really learned to enjoy pizza, especially their green pepper and onion topping. Back in 1960, pizza was far from commonplace in small cities, so my real introduction and maturity into the world of pizza enjoyment came with my arrival on campus. Now, over fifty years later, I cannot order a green pepper and onion pizza without thinking of the Quarterback. Best pizza I ever ate.

Another popular place with students throughout my undergraduate years was Lyle’s Restaurant (Church Street near Gay, as I recall). In those days it was considered to be “walking distance.” I ate there very frequently during my four undergraduate years. My most common order was either steak or spaghetti, but the greatest influence on my later life was their basic vegetable soup. I obtained the recipe and introduced it to my family. Today, this initial recipe from Lyle’s has become a staple in multiple family households of my children and grandchildren. As for me, it is still my favorite soup, and I make it frequently. So, from a single Knoxville restaurant, the fame and use of this recipe has spread from Tennessee to Kentucky, Indiana, Mississippi, and California.

—Dennis Quillen

Mable’s on the Ag campus!

—Ben Powell

There were a lot, but one of my favorites was Sam and Andy’s on the Strip. You could get a signature Vol Burger with the works and fries for around $4. The other was OCI (Old College Inn) where the open-faced roast beef sandwich was to die for! Sadly, both of these yummy establishments are no longer in business (at least on Cumberland Avenue). Cheers to both for providing us college students some much-needed comfort food!

—Megan Burns ’94

The Torch had the best chili. When I was in law school we went to Sam and Andy’s for Vol Burgers.

—Jennifer Fehling ’81,’85

This was many years ago, in the late fifties and early sixties. The cafeteria at Sofia was my favorite—lots of good food at prices we could afford. I worked there several quarters. Our group was a close-knit group. None of us had much money, both boys and girls, so we frequently got together after work and found something to do.

BUT, the best place for breakfast was the T-Room. There was always someone there that I knew, and Sam, the proprietor, knew us all and went out of his way to make us feel welcome. It was a sight to watch breakfast being prepared from several orders being called in at once.

Good old days.

—Bill Givan

I liked to go to the Krystal and get two Krystal hamburgers, fries, and a Diet Coke. Then, if there was a special occasion, I would take my order across the street and eat my food while I was under the dryer at Wendell’s Hair Salon. The T-Room was infamous for their chipped beef sandwiches with pickle relish. We spent a lot of time there. I ate at Sophronia Strong Cafeteria a lot. They had great coffee cake and eggs for breakfast, and on Sunday they had chicken paprika or salmon croquettes.

—Carol Sanderson Walden ’64

BD’s deli in Shelbourne Towers was the best…and I slung deli sandwiches for a while, too.

—Hank Henderson

Nothing beats Gus’s Goodtimes Deli!

—Robin Horwitz

During the late sixties and seventies, the Torch on The Strip was our favorite place to eat for lunch. The delicious homemade pies, as well as the sandwiches, were scrumptious.

—Betty Brown ’71

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