She Said: On Road: Dollywood: Spotlight Bakery
As a proud East Tennessee girl I’ve been to Dollywood many times. I have one small complaint with Dollywood though. I don’t think it has very good food. I know most theme parks have at best mediocre food, but I’m really looking to eat only what is truly tasty (and I’m losing weight so I’m sticking with this attitude). I plan on trying more places in the park instead of just sticking to places that have given me unsatisfactory food in the past (don’t even get me started on that they closed my favorite hot dog stand, too!).
We kicked off our first full day in beautiful Smoky Mountains by going to Dollywood so I was hungry for a great breakfast. Aunt Granny’s probably would have been the best bet for a full service breakfast but I hate the food there so much! We ate there for lunch several years ago and I can’t even begin to tell you how terrible the food is. I wasn’t surrendering one of my daily culinary opportunities to Aunt Granny’s. We usually stop at the Krispy Kreme (and that’s never a disappointment) when we drive but I wanted to try something in the park. I remembered that my mother and I had once had a good breakfast at the Spotlight Bakery so that was our first stop.
The Spotlight Bakery is a cute little building near the park entrance. They sell all kinds of baked goods as well as salads and soup. I liked sitting at the barstools lined up against the windows because it was a fun place to people watch.
I remembered that the portions are generous but I had forgotten quite how big. I was starving and I didn’t even eat half of my cinnamon roll. The cinnamon roll itself was somewhat lackluster. I liked the sugary white frosted that was also spiced with cinnamon. The dough of the roll seemed a little too airy and tasted too much of flour as though a correct balance of seasoning was not used when it was prepared.
RJ ordered a cheese Danish. I’ve only discovered in recent years that I like cheese Danish. Hey, it’s an excuse to eat cheesecake at breakfast! I’m all for it! I didn’t like this one because I could taste the cream cheese too much. It was so cream cheese tasting that I couldn’t discern any other ingredients in the filling itself. The pastry was browned around the edges but the bottom of the Danish was almost spongy and very heavy.
The Spotlight Bakery is a convenient stopping place for arriving at the park. There are other items that I would be interested in trying. I think next time I’ll definitely get something much smaller in size. I don’t care how big a portion is if the food isn’t tasty. I’ll give them another try but if I’m not more pleased next time then it’s back to Krispy Kreme! Like, I said they never disappoint!
Cinnamon roll- 2
Cheese Danish- 1
Overall rating- 4
He Said: Spotlight Bakery
Tucked just inside the front gates of Dollywood is a surprising little bakery that serves very large pastries. Spotlight Bakery is known for it’s 25-pound apple pie as well as other 25-pound pies. While those looked delicious, we had a big day ahead of us, so we opted for more traditional breakfasts. Kari had a cinnamon roll, and I had a cheese Danish.
I could have eaten a 25-pound version of that Danish. As it was, they gave me quite a large serving. It had a much deeper flavor than most Danishes I’ve had. Most cheese Danishes are just sweet, but this had a nice tartness that let you know it was cheese in that filling, and not just sugar. The balance was enlightening. I don’t think I’ll ever enjoy another cheese Danish like I would have before. I’m now stopping here every morning in Dollywood, which is high praise given that there’s a Krispy Kreme donut store pretty much on our way in Pigeon Forge.
Kari’s cinnamon roll was also amazing. I wound up eating a good piece of hers because the roll was so large. Big surprise at this place, right? The flavors were straight forward. The cinnamon was generously applied to the inside, and the frosting was very sweet. A delicious morning treat if I do say so myself.
This place is incredible for a quick, filling breakfast. It could compete with any neighborhood bakery, and quite a few cupcakeries that we’ve visited, but when you compare it with what you normally see at amusement parks, this eatery is truly unique.