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Photo by Anne Braly / Newk's Eatery is at 2380 Lifestyle Way in the Village at Waterside.

When Newk's Eatery opened in the Hamilton Place neighborhood in the spring of 2019, it brought yet another choice of tastes and added to the number of fast-casual concepts around the mall area. Newk's is part of the sprawling Village at Waterside, one of many urban centers that have risen around Shallowford and Gunbarrel roads.

(READ MORE: Newk's Eatery opens first Chattanooga location in East Brainerd)

Newk's lovers were disheartened, though, when the eatery closed during the pandemic. But now that it has reopened under new ownership and management, folks are happily returning.

(READ MORE: Newk's Eatery reopens in Chattanooga)

Among eateries that offer higher-quality food than traditional fast-food restaurants, Newk's soars above its competitors. It's a go-between choice when fast food won't do and casual dining with no fussy servers is preferred.

Photo Gallery

Review: Newk's Eatery excels at fast-casual approach to dining

 

THE MENU

Newk's menu features many options, from sandwiches and pizzas to salad, loaded mac-and-cheese and creamy soups. Add to that seasonal options, such as the new line of four chipotle-inspired dishes offered through May 25, and you have some delicious decisions to make.

All dressings are made from scratch, and there are seven from which to choose, along with a few seasonal ones, such as the jalapeno ranch dressing on the Spicy Jalapeno Ranch Salad. Desserts, too, are made in-house, so be sure to get a Rice Krispies treat, brownie or piece of strawberry cake to finish your meal.

If you go

— Where: Newk's Eatery, 2380 Lifestyle Way

— Hours: 11 a.m.-9 p.m. seven days a week

— Price range: $4.49 (cup of soup) to $16.99 (spicy shrimp pizza)

— Alcohol: No

— Phone: 423-417-1155

— Online: newks.com

 

THE ORDER

We decided on Newk's supreme pizza, the seasonal Spicy Jalapeno Ranch Salad and the new cheesesteak sandwich with loaded potato soup.

Newk's offers two pizza crusts — a traditional rustic crust or the upgrade to a cauliflower crust. You can't go wrong either way, but the traditional crust was crispy and with a little burnt edge in places, reminding me of some of the best pizza places in New York. The toppings were fresh and plentiful with each bite. Very nice.

The cheesesteak sandwich is new on the menu and has quickly become a house favorite. The bread has a crisp edge, the steak is perfectly tender and the veggies are grilled so that they're soft with a nice bite to them. This sandwich does not have all the gooey melted cheese you might find on cheesesteaks in Philly, but the flavor is excellent.

I wish Newk's would keep the Spicy Jalapeno Ranch Salad on its menu permanently. It's been said that we first eat with our eyes. In the case of this sandwich, then, I was filled from the first look. It's a lovely salad, loaded with fresh chicken, black beans, cheese, avocado, tomatoes, green onions and cheddar cheese — Instagram worthy.

 

THE SERVICE

Following the typical fast-casual concept, customers place orders at the entrance and get their own drinks. Utensils and food are delivered to the tables, in this case, quite quickly considering I arrived during the lunch hour when business was starting to pick up.

 

THE SPACE

Newk's has an open kitchen, a trend that's popular in many restaurants, allowing patrons to see their dishes being prepared. The kitchen takes up one corner and is surrounded by numerous tables, booths and table-banquette seating.

The decor is modern and sleek with accents of red and beige, along with a sparkling blue tile backsplash in the beverage area.

 

THE VERDICT

This was my first trip to Newk's, but it won't be the last. The restaurant is off the main drag from the busy mall traffic, but fits in deliciously with the mixed-use neighborhood that's been created around The Village at Waterside.

Contact Anne Braly at abraly@timesfreepress.com or annebraly.com.

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