Pal's Sudden Service

Pal's Sudden Service Is a Hidden Tennessee Gem

Having only briefly been to Tennessee myself, Pal's Sudden Service is one fast-food chain I had never heard of before. That's clearly my loss, because having looked at the menu for this East Tennessee-based fast food restaurant, it obviously has a lot to offer for anyone who likes a good milkshake or burger and doesn't want to have the usual McDonald's drive-thru meal.

What is Pal's Sudden Service?

The first Pal's opened in Kingsport, Tennessee in 1956. Locations in places like Johnson City on the Bristol Highway, Greeneville, and other places sound followed. Today, it is a regional fast-food chain in the tri-city Tennessee region.

After Fred "Pal" Barger went to the National Restaurant Convention in Chicago, the rest was really history. The restaurant chain is now a Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award winner, and the chain is now beloved by people in Tennessee and Virginia.

What Does the Restaurant Serve?

According to, the Pal's Sudden Service website, each location has plenty to offer on the menu.

First of all, Pal's has a breakfast menu. It features a gravy biscuit, a country ham biscuit, cheddar rounds, and more. Pal's also offers burgers with tried and true beef patties, from its Big Pal and Double Big Pal burgers to its Sauceburger and Junior burger.

Interestingly, the restaurant also has hot dogs. There are only two listed on the website — a regular hot dog and the Chilibun — but they both look pretty good for a fast-food joint!

Pal's also calls its french fries "Frenchie Fries," which are shoestring potato fries with special seasoning salt on them. Yum!

And, of course, what kind of southern fast-food restaurant wouldn't offer sweet tea? Pal's has that on offer for a drink (in peach and raspberry flavors, too!), along with milkshakes, coffee, Coke, Sprite, Mello Yello, and...something called Dr. Enuf? It's apparently a lemon-lime flavored drink available in Northeast Tennessee, parts of southwestern Virginia and western North Carolina, and at many Cracker Barrel locations.

Have you ever been to Pal's Sudden Service?