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Where to eat in Nashville?


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#1 StInGeR

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Posted 11 September 2009 - 12:32 PM

OK guys heading on our annual roadtrip and it's been decided to head to Nashville. My wife and I will eat anything and cost is not really a factor. Interested in Southern food and BBQ as well as some higher options. Any help would be appreciated.
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#2 newbie21

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Posted 11 September 2009 - 05:25 PM

The Patterson House has excellent food, and the cocktails can't be missed! You really can eat well there, and there's a wide variety to choose from; not your typical bar food by a long shot, thanks to The Ryan Harris and Josh! City House is worth checking out, too.

#3 Alchemist

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Posted 12 September 2009 - 12:45 PM

Arnolds, Arnolds, and Arnolds. The chicken and dumplings, the Tailipia, and everything else.

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#4 kayb

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Posted 20 September 2009 - 07:07 AM

Merchant's, on Broadway. The Wild Boar, on West End (as best I remember).
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#5 Holly Moore

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Posted 20 September 2009 - 08:13 PM

Second Arnold's for lunch. They aren't open for dinner. I often get the hand carved roast beef, rare. Be sure to try the fried cornbread, too.

Off the road (not the interstate) to Franklin - Barbara's Home Cooking. Great southern cooking, home baked dinner rolls and homemade fruit cobblers. Dotson's is a bit further in downtown Franklin - Fried chicken, chicken and dumplings, and excellent sides.

If you're in the area on Sunday you really should drive west to the Beacon Light Tea Room in Lyles. Southern style Sunday mid afternoon dinner as good as you'll get anywhere.

Back in Nashville, if you like it hot. Prince's Hot Chicken. For the first visit I'd recommend not going more than medium.

Rotier's does an outstanding burger. Milk shakes aren't on the menu but they make them and they are good.

Nashville doesn't seem to be a great barbecue town. I'd head SE to Martin's in Nolensville.

Either Fat Mo's or Bobbi's Dairy Dip for burgers.

Got some other places on the Tennessee Section of Eating the South page on my site.
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#6 Darth Sushi

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Posted 20 October 2009 - 09:56 PM

How about tapas restaurants in Nashville? My sister and brother in law are headed out there pretty soon.

#7 Big Mike

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Posted 18 October 2011 - 08:02 AM

Reviving an old thread. Headed down to Knoxville and Nashville for a few days, what are the good eats?
 
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#8 KD1191

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Posted 18 October 2011 - 09:07 AM

Based on the crew, I'm excited about The Catbird Seat, which opened last week above The Patterson House.
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#9 janeer

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Posted 18 October 2011 - 08:14 PM

Nashville is not a food town. I don't know where you are from, but think of Nashville as decades behind any major coastal city; everything feels so 70s or 80s, and is generally mediocre to boot. In my years living there (just moved away two months ago), I determined that the only reliable, good food was at restaurant-group American places: Bound'ry; Bricktops. Or some of the old-fashioned meat-and-threes if you are craving fried chicken or meatloaf, if you pick very carefully. I do really like Patterson House and Holland House (in East Nashville) for cocktails and light meals. I like the blintzes at the original Noshville on Broadway.Do not even think of trying to get Asian, Italian (or pizza), Mexican, etc there. Or barbecue.

#10 CtznCane

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Posted 24 December 2011 - 01:45 AM

I'm surprised nobody mentioned Loveless Cafe. While having the best fried chicken anywhere and being known for their biscuits and jams, there isn't anything that isn't good there. When you have a place (on the outskirts of town) that consistently packs them in and has for over 50 years, that's gotta say something.
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#11 BrentKulman

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Posted 24 December 2011 - 04:50 AM

Another vote for the fried chicken at Loveless Cafe. The place is a little out of the way but a visitor to Nashville would be well advised to make the journey.

#12 KathyP

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Posted 24 December 2011 - 01:55 PM

I second Prince's Hot Chicken. When coming to Nashville I stop there and pick up an order to go to the my hotel. Excellent chicken. Stick with mild or medium for first trip. Last time I was there a gal was selling tasty cake slices as well. All very reasonable.

Another place to try is Nick & Jim's. It's on Charlotte Pike (west of N-ville right off I-40). It's a chain, but their food is excellent and their mini cheese biscuits with honey butter are heavenly.

#13 KatieLoeb

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Posted 24 December 2011 - 08:03 PM

A friend of mine that's a Nashville native raves about the Catbird Seat. I'd definitely suggest checking that out.

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#14 Chris Hennes

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Posted 10 January 2012 - 04:15 PM

I had lunch today at Prince's Hot Chicken Shack: I had the medium, which I thought was just right. Worth a visit if you like your fried chicken spicy.

ETA: I see reports in various places online of a wait at Prince's. There certainly was not one when I arrived at noon on a weekday in the off-season: I think maybe one or two tables were occupied, and that was it. It took maybe five minutes to get our chicken. I enjoyed the chicken, but maybe not enough to wait an hour plus for it, if it had come to that.

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#15 jrshaul

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Posted 10 January 2012 - 08:07 PM

Nashville is not a food town. I don't know where you are from, but think of Nashville as decades behind any major coastal city; everything feels so 70s or 80s, and is generally mediocre to boot. In my years living there (just moved away two months ago), I determined that the only reliable, good food was at restaurant-group American places: Bound'ry; Bricktops. Or some of the old-fashioned meat-and-threes if you are craving fried chicken or meatloaf, if you pick very carefully. I do really like Patterson House and Holland House (in East Nashville) for cocktails and light meals. I like the blintzes at the original Noshville on Broadway.Do not even think of trying to get Asian, Italian (or pizza), Mexican, etc there. Or barbecue.


I lived in Nashville for a few years; Noshville was, if I remember correctly, very good. The Alpha Bakery appears to still be open; the brioche bread will probably kill you, but you'll die happy. I was still a kid when I left, so I'm not the most reliable judge.

Is Hog Heaven still a go-to barbecue spot?

#16 pogophiles

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Posted 10 January 2012 - 08:27 PM

Is Hog Heaven still a go-to barbecue spot?


Only if you get the chicken with white sauce. The real go-to spot is Martin's in Nolensville. Highly recommended...
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#17 janeer

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Posted 10 January 2012 - 09:23 PM


Nashville is not a food town. I don't know where you are from, but think of Nashville as decades behind any major coastal city; everything feels so 70s or 80s, and is generally mediocre to boot. In my years living there (just moved away two months ago), I determined that the only reliable, good food was at restaurant-group American places: Bound'ry; Bricktops. Or some of the old-fashioned meat-and-threes if you are craving fried chicken or meatloaf, if you pick very carefully. I do really like Patterson House and Holland House (in East Nashville) for cocktails and light meals. I like the blintzes at the original Noshville on Broadway.Do not even think of trying to get Asian, Italian (or pizza), Mexican, etc there. Or barbecue.


I lived in Nashville for a few years; Noshville was, if I remember correctly, very good. The Alpha Bakery appears to still be open; the brioche bread will probably kill you, but you'll die happy. I was still a kid when I left, so I'm not the most reliable judge.

Is Hog Heaven still a go-to barbecue spot?

No to Hog Heaven, or almost anywhere else, for bbq. Martin's the only one. Alpha Bakery, yes, are you thinking of the croissant bread? Totally decadent.

#18 kayb

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Posted 11 January 2012 - 07:38 AM

I like Chappy's, near Baptist Hospital, (21st Street?) for Cajun/Creole. Merchants, downtown, is good. There's a little place called the Southside Grill out on Nolensville Pike that's respectable. Pancake House out on West End near the Vandy campus is excellent. Add me to the Loveless Cafe list, and I don't even care that much for fried chicken.
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#19 Chris Hennes

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Posted 11 January 2012 - 11:46 AM

I just got back from lunch at Arnolds Country Kitchen: I didn't like it quite as well as Holly did, though I agree that seeing rare roast beef here was a pleasant surprise. Otherwise I thought it basically tasted like your standard Southern fare: competent, but not stellar. Service was very friendly, and we met some interesting people at our table.

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#20 Chris Hennes

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Posted 11 January 2012 - 11:54 AM

Last night for dinner we ate at Flyte. I had a very well-prepared poached egg with bacon and grits as an appetizer, a quite good mushroom salad (not overdressed for once, you could actually taste the mushrooms), and a lamb loin. I was disappointed that they were out of their brisket: I had chatted with out waiter about it and it sounds excellent (cooked sous vide for 72 hours). I enjoyed the lamb, though I thought they may have salted it too early as it came across a bit cured: not unpleasantly so, necessarily, but I prefer a softer texture. I also thought that the rest of the dish was pretty aggressively salted. Not exactly over salted, per se, but at the upper edge of the acceptable spectrum. I had a lemon tart of some kind for dessert, which was marred by what I thought was a pretty poor crust: too crumbly, it basically dissolved into an unpleasantly-sandy mush on eating. Finally, I should note that they pride themselves on their eclectic and reasonably priced wine list, and the staff seemed knowledgeable about it. I was overall quite impressed, and would recommend giving them a try.

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#21 Holly Moore

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Posted 11 January 2012 - 01:59 PM

Chris - Hope you had Arnold's griddle corn bread.

While Barbara's Home Cooking, a mite out of town down Franklin way, is my favorite area meat and three, Arnold's is the best I found in Nashville proper. Really like the feel of the place too - all kinds of folk chowing down, sharing tables; pitchers of sweet tea a pouring. Fast moving line, quickly bussed tables so there is always a seat open. And homemade pie. Plenty of home made pie.

Some good eating here in Philadelphia, but I'd be happier if I could hit Arnold's one or twice a week come lunch time.
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#22 Chris Hennes

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Posted 12 January 2012 - 02:40 PM

The atmosphere at Arnold's was definitely fun, but as a man with no sweet tooth to speak of, I avoided the pie so can't comment.

Last night I had a fantastic meal at The Catbird Seat, which appears to be current darling of the Nashville dining scene, if the difficulty in procuring reservations is any indication. The space is small: diners sit at a counter surrounding the kitchen (or at least, part of the kitchen: not all of the cooking happens in front of you). The cooks are happy to chat about the food, and the sommelier was excellent (we opted for the standard-issue beverage pairing rather than the more expensive option). I didn't love every single thing put in front of me, but I definitely loved a lot of it, and I didn't hate any of it. Much of it skewed Modernist, but not all of it, and it was less of an Alinea-style of overt Modernism and more of a toned-down approach.

One of the clear benefits of having a late weeknight reservation at The Catbird Seat is that The Patterson House is right below, and we were able to get seated with no wait at all for a few pre-prandial cocktails. Patterson House is, in my opinion at least, one of the premier cocktail bars in the country, and is well worth a visit.

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#23 janeer

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Posted 12 January 2012 - 08:27 PM

One of the clear benefits of having a late weeknight reservation at The Catbird Seat is that The Patterson House is right below, and we were able to get seated with no wait at all for a few pre-prandial cocktails. Patterson House is, in my opinion at least, one of the premier cocktail bars in the country, and is well worth a visit.

Catbird Seat was not yet open when I moved from Nashville, but as I said above, I really liked Patterson House. It was a few blocks from Vandy, and I would often go there after teaching class on a Thursday night for a drink and a light supper. If you are still there, try Holland House, too, in E Nashville. Flyte is one of those places that reminded me of an '80s restaurant--a little too precious, trying too hard, not quite making it.

#24 Andy@PrepaidDining

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 06:03 AM

We always enjoy 360 Bistro on the west side of town. Great chef and some very unique upscale dishes.

Andy

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#25 kayb

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 10:38 PM

There used to be -- this is a while back, so not sure if it's still there -- a place called the Wild Boar on West End that was pretty good.

I'm also fond of Chappy's, on, I think, 21st, close to Baptist Hospital. Creole/Cajun place, chased out of Biloxi/Gulfport by Katrina. Well worth the visit, if for no more than the four different compound butters they bring you with your bread.
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#26 pogophiles

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 08:13 AM

Thanks kayb, but you info is quite dated. Wild Boar has been gone for years and Chappy's just recently bit the dust. The good spots right now include The Catbird Seat, City House, Capital Grill for food and Patterson House and Holland House for cocktails.
Those who do not remember the pasta are doomed to reheat it.

#27 Crouton

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Posted 25 October 2012 - 01:56 PM

I'm headed to Nashville on November 3rd to catch the Bourdain show at the TPAC. Some friends of ours have recommended "Margot Cafe". Has anyone tried that?

#28 pogophiles

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 02:32 PM

I'm headed to Nashville on November 3rd to catch the Bourdain show at the TPAC. Some friends of ours have recommended "Margot Cafe". Has anyone tried that?


Sorry I didn't see this in time. Yes, Margot is quite good if not exactly cutting edge. Hope you went and enjoyed yourself!
Those who do not remember the pasta are doomed to reheat it.