This past Saturday I visited the city of Knoxville (home to the Tennessee Volunteers) for the annual football rivalry with my alma mater, the University of Kentucky. Although I went home disgruntled over another year notch on our now 26-year losing streak to the Vols, I will say that one of the few good experiences in Knoxville was a visit to Gus’s Good Times Deli on campus (as recommended by my friend Marty, a UT alumnus).
As the pictures show, Gus’s Good Times Deli is not fancy by any means. More akin to a hole-in-the-wall, Gus’s Good Times Deli is your atypical on-campus, late night joint chock full of Tennessee past and present memorabilia. Serving the UT community for 28 years, Gus’s Good Times Deli serves an assortment of sandwiches, sides, and beers to cater to students and fans, both sober & in a drunken stupor alike.
With it being game day and nearly peak lunch hour, I expected there to be a wait but I think it was a bit longer than it should have been. You see, there is no organization when ordering at Gus’s Good Times Deli. For some odd reason, there were three lines leading to the counter, yet only one person (who I assume is “Gus”) was there to take your order. So in the end, I wait about 20 minutes in a line that barely moved but my overall experience was salvaged by the food.
The food is not gourmet by any means and in my opinion is slightly overpriced. I ordered a bacon cheeseburger ($8) for myself, a club sandwich ($6) for Haley, and a basket of onion rings ($3.52). With a fountain drink and tax, the total bill came out to around $22. Words to describe their menu would probably be a mixture of simple, greasy, fatty, and caloric foods.
Haley’s sandwich was a simple club on toasted bread, cut into triangles. When asked if it was good, she nodded yes. Although I didn’t try her sandwich, I expected it to taste like any other club I’ve had in the past made with normal ingredients. Most importantly, the bread wasn’t soggy and the meats weren’t expired.
On the other hand, my bacon cheeseburger and onion rings were superb that made me reminisce to the days back when I was a student. The bun was extra buttery and toasted with a thick beef patty, two strips of extra crispy bacon, gooey American cheese, lettuce, tomato, and mayonnaise. The onion rings, still semi-wet with oil, were fried to a crispy golden brown and served with packets of Hunt’s ketchup.
Gus’s Good Times Deli may not seem appetizing to most, but it does its job by providing you with an ample amount of good tasting food to satiate your hunger, no matter what time of day. Despite the considerably higher price compared to what you would get at competing restaurants like Waffle House or Huddle House, Gus’s Good Times Deli deserves the old college try because of its close proximity and ties to Vol Nation.
|Gus’s Good Times Deli
815 Melrose Place
Knoxville, TN 37916-3426
Bill Total: $22 For Two (With Tax)