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treve

Noshing in Nashville

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hello all - i'm a food/wine writer from victoria, british columbia, visiting nashville for the first time in early may. i'd love to hear recommendations on where to find the best dining experiences. i'm there for almost a week, so lots of time to spend munching. i'm also interested in finding out places with great wine lists - doesn't have to be fancy, just well chosen.

i'm staying at gaylord opryland hotel, so would love to hear about the eateries on site, as well as in other areas of nashville (downtown?). i won't have a car, but don't mind cabbing or grabbing a shuttle in search of good food.

thanks kindly for your help :smile:

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Alas your cab bill may well exceed your hotel bill. I'd recommend that you reconsider renting a car. Your hotel is considerably out of the way from most everything except the new Grand Ole Opry.

My Nashville experiences run more towards eating than fine dining. My favorite for home cooking (meat 'n three) is Barbara's Home Cooking in Franklin, just south of Nashville. In Nashville, itself, Swetts or the White Trash Cafe.

For barbecue, Judge Bean's. Hog Heaven for more traditional southern style. For breakfast the Original Pancake House. More of a trek, and not as good as it was when it earned its reputation but still quite good, the Loveless Cafe.

A bit more upscale - and somewhat inconsistent in my experience - the Tin Angle for eclectic dining.

Got a bunch more Nashville places in the southern section of my site.


Holly Moore

"I eat, therefore I am."

HollyEats.Com

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i'm staying at gaylord opryland hotel, so would love to hear about the eateries on site, as well as in other areas of nashville (downtown?).  i won't have a car, but don't mind cabbing or grabbing a shuttle in search of good food.

Change hotels. Now. Really, I'm not kidding. Opryland Hotel is not only way outside of town, it's also it's own little slice of hell. Enormous place, really several huge hotels linked by miles and miles and miles of low ceilinged hallways (pay attention to the carpet patterns, as they'll help you navigate) and atria. The atria are sort of cool, as they're densely planted with lots of interesting things, but they do not make up for the other shortcomings of this hotel. The rooms range from okay to downright unpleasant, and the food on property is icky, all of it.


Can you pee in the ocean?

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Well, I don't know how you define best, but here are a couple of things to consider:

I'm not a wine drinker, but you could look at Tayst and The Grape. The latter is what appears to be a growing chain in the southeast, so you may want to skip.

Recently, a bunch of new places opened up, but I haven't tried them yet. Two that come to mind are the Watermark and Radius10. As for places that are a little more hip and fashionable, I'd recommend Mambu, The Acorn and Cabana. I've never had a bad meal at Germantown Cafe. For fancy dining, you could try the Capitol Grille at the Hermitage Hotel (). FWIW, the now-former Chef there is an egullet person (Sean Brock). Another option would be Wild Boar. It may not be open when you get here, as they recently filed for bankruptcy. While they have said they're going to stay open while they fix their troubles, you never know.

Since "best" doesn't necessarily imply fancy schmancy, here are a couple of suggestions that are easy on the wallet:

BBQ - Hog Heaven. Get two sammiches - one pork and one chicken with white sauce. If you want Texas-style q, go to Judge Bean's (but who wants that???). A loaded Whitt's BBQ baked potato is a solid bet, and weighs about 30 pounds. it's definitely a meal on its own.

Burger - Rotier's

Pizza - slim pickings in this city, but Mafiaoza's would get the nod imho.

Breakfast - Pancake Pantry, Monell's Saturday Country Breakfast or the Loveless Cafe

Late Night Dining: Sunset Grill (after 10pm m-th, 12pm fri and sat). The late night menu incorporates some dinner items as well as some that are late night specialties (like the combo nachos).

FYI, there's not a ton of dining options where you're going to be staying. The closest "nice" place is Ellendales. For the most part, you're going to be dealing with a lot of chains or family-oriented restaurants.

Hope this gives you a little head start for planning your trip. If you have any questions about these places or perhaps some specific types of food, ask away.


Edited by carpetbagger, esq. (log)

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Well, I don't know how you define best, but here are a couple of things to consider:

I'm not a wine drinker, but you could look at Tayst  and  The Grape. The latter is what appears to be a growing chain in the southeast, so you may want to skip.

Recently, a bunch of new places opened up, but I haven't tried them yet. Two that come to mind are the Watermark and Radius10. As for places that are a little more hip and fashionable, I'd recommend Mambu, The Acorn and Cabana.  I've never had a bad meal at Germantown Cafe. For fancy dining, you could try the Capitol Grille at the Hermitage Hotel (). FWIW, the now-former Chef there is an egullet person (Sean Bruck).  Another option would be Wild Boar. It may not be open when you get here, as they recently filed for bankruptcy. While they have said they're going to stay open while they fix their troubles, you never know.

Since "best" doesn't necessarily imply fancy schmancy, here are a couple of suggestions that are easy on the wallet:

BBQ - Hog Heaven. Get two sammiches - one oprk and one  chicken with white sauce. If you want Texas-style q, go to Judge Bean's (but who wants that???). A loaded Whitt's BBQ baked potato is a solid bet, and weighs about 30 pounds. it's definitely a meal on its own.

Burger - Rotier's

Pizza - slim pickings in this city, but Mafiaoza's would get the nod imho.

Breakfast - Pancake Pantry, Monell's Saturday Country Breakfast or the Loveless Cafe

Late Night Dining: Sunset Grill (after 10pm m-th, 12pm fri and sat). The late night menu incorporates some dinner items as well as some that are late night specialties (like the combo nachos).

FYI, there's not a ton of dining options where you're going to be staying.  The closest "nice" place is Ellendales. For the most part, you're going to be dealing with a lot of chains or family-oriented restaurants.

Hope this gives you a little head start for planning your trip.  If you have any questions about these places or perhaps some specific types of food, ask away.

don't miss radius 10 or the loveless cafe


Edited by chefseanbrock (log)

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Margot Cafe in east Nashville (straight down Bryland from your hotel to Gallatin Pike) has good wines matched with a daily changing menu, and don't miss Rotier's downtown for burgers on mini baguettes, deep fried pickles and waitresses who call you "hon."

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Change hotels. Now. Really, I'm not kidding. Opryland Hotel is not only way outside of town, it's also it's own little slice of hell. Enormous place, really several huge hotels linked by miles and miles and miles of low ceilinged hallways (pay attention to the carpet patterns, as they'll help you navigate) and atria. The atria are sort of cool, as they're densely planted with lots of interesting things, but they do not make up for the other shortcomings of this hotel. The rooms range from okay to downright unpleasant, and the food on property is icky, all of it.

:shock:

many thanks for everyone's feedback thus far. my companion has a conference at the opryland hotel - which is why we're staying there. i will definitely break away though to try restaurants off site.

i've heard something about a high end restaurant in a hotel that used to be a train station...??? we'd like to do at least one fine dining experience during our trip. sorry to hear about wild boar - i understand they had a vast wine cellar.

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  :shock:

many thanks for everyone's feedback thus far.  my companion has a conference at the opryland hotel - which is why we're staying there.  i will definitely break away though to try restaurants off site. 

Of course your companion has a conference at the hotel---it's the only reaon any sane person ever stays there. My last visit was for a chess tournament for my son, and you really haven't lived until you've been in a hotel with one bajillion geeky little chess kids, or one bajillion hematologists, or one bajillion quilt makers or, well, you get the picture.

It could be worse, though. You could be visiting during Christmas, when it's mobbed by day trippers to see the decorated atria.

Bring alcohol.


Can you pee in the ocean?

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  :shock:

many thanks for everyone's feedback thus far.  my companion has a conference at the opryland hotel - which is why we're staying there.  i will definitely break away though to try restaurants off site. 

Of course your companion has a conference at the hotel---it's the only reaon any sane person ever stays there. My last visit was for a chess tournament for my son, and you really haven't lived until you've been in a hotel with one bajillion geeky little chess kids, or one bajillion hematologists, or one bajillion quilt makers or, well, you get the picture.

It could be worse, though. You could be visiting during Christmas, when it's mobbed by day trippers to see the decorated atria.

Bring alcohol.

:laugh: you're hilarious!! thanks for the info/warning. i'll treat the hotel like disneyworld - suspend belief and enjoy the ride.

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that would be Arthur's in Union Station - but it closed in January because the new owners of Union Station wouldn't renew the lease.

oh - that's a shame. it looked like such a lovely room.

so this fine dining restaurant is closed, and the wild boar is in bankruptcy - - is this reflective of the trend in nashville dining presently? not so high-end, but more casual eats?

would you say there's a vibrant food culture in your town, or is it eclipsed by music fervour and cultural pursuits?

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My wife is returning today from a conference at the Opryland Resort and I think would echo the comments others have had here.

She did get away for a meal at Radius 10 and the food was excellent.


Bill Russell

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Zola's on West End is always a good bet for a nice meal.

Park Cafe on Murphy Road as well.

I've heard good things about Watermark located in the Gulch (12th Avenue downtown). What I've heard: "everything on menu sounded sumptious, the presentation is beautiful, and the service is out of the world".

In the Germantown area, the Germantown Cafe, the Mad Platter, and Morells (family style).

Sunset Grille has an extensive wine list and the food is great.

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this is great stuff - many thanks :wink:

roughly how much would a taxi cost from opryland hotel to the gulch area? is the gulch area downtown? if not - how much between opryland and downtown?

leading to another area of questioning - - what about food shops/markets? anything i should make sure to visit? i arrive in town on a monday, leave on the following sunday morning, so if there's a saturday market or something, i could definitely hit that.

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The gulch area is in downtown Nashville and at the most it will be a 10 minute cab ride but I don't know cab rates here. Judge Beans (mentioned up-thread) is also in the gulch.

Nashville is SORELY missing quality food shops/markets. We do have a Farmer's Market downtown (8th Avenue...I believe) with nice produce and it's open daily. There is an inside part to the market that has some interesting stands as well....asian, one that sells only hot sauces, a nice chocolate/dessert shop, and a few restaurants. I was just there this past weekend and they've started to have a good selection of produce.

We do, however, have a large Latin American population here and if you are interested in that, there are some great little restaurants on Nolensville Road....that will be a good 20-30 minute cab ride. There is a place called Las Americas that makes wonderful papusas (it's attached to a latin grocery store)!!!

Beyond that, Nashville isn't very food oriented. We've got the chain type food stores and that's about all. My suggestion to wile away the time is to bring your bathing suit and hang out at the hotel pool!

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"We've got the chain type food stores and that's about all."

uhh, and hot chicken! don't forget Prince's!!!!!!!

mmmmmmmmm.... a 1/2 hot with fries from Prince's sounds heavenly right now.

ps. people watching at Opry Mills > pool.

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A visit to Nashville for a wedding resulted in a discovery of a truly excellent restaurant, Bound'ry. Near Vanderbilt, it's a restaurant that is really creative about food. Visually beautiful, outdoor seating in better weather also. Planked trout and Pork Chop dishes were the highlight of our visit, but all the other food looks wonderful as well. This restaurant was conspicuous by its absence here.

Bound'ry Website

Address:

Bound'ry Restaurant

911 20th Avenue South

Nashville, Tennessee

37212

Phone:

615-321-3043

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that's because i've had my worst dining experiences in nashville there, and i would never give jay any business. oh, but i guess the hookers in the bar add some excitement.

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that's because i've had my worst dining experiences in nashville there, and i would never give jay any business. oh, but i guess the hookers in the bar add some excitement.

You must be mixing this up with another place, this is a highly acclaimed place in town, right near the university, and I certainly saw nothing close to a hooker...

Tennessean, Southern Living both raved about it, and past discussions on Eg have also shown laudatory reviews.

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that's because i've had my worst dining experiences in nashville there, and i would never give jay any business. oh, but i guess the hookers in the bar add some excitement.

You must be mixing this up with another place, this is a highly acclaimed place in town, right near the university, and I certainly saw nothing close to a hooker...

Tennessean, Southern Living both raved about it, and past discussions on Eg have also shown laudatory reviews.

umm, i lived next door to the bound'ry (at twenty and grand) while in school at vandy. i'm not mistaken.

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whiffle, i don't know what you were planning to say, but nice job with the nashvilleoriginals.com site and the gift certificates. look like they're going pretty quickly.

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Sorry, first post and I am trying to figure it out.

Nashville Dining:

The level of dining and culinary culture in nashville far exceeds its reputation and is masked by the immense presence of chains within the market. To find out some good info on a large variety of nashville restaurants you should go to nashvilleoriginals.com ( don't know how to link). It is a newly formed chapter of CIRA and the website went live this week.

Comments on some things mentioned above.

The wild boar is not yet closed and is still providing unbeleivably good food, the chef Colin Quirk is a fabulous addition to the city; and they do have a 15,000 bottle cellar.(if you go tell him jeremy sent you)

The boundry has suffered some tough times but has new direction in the kitchen with ted prater and querry mccomas(my old sous) and from what I hear over the past few monthes they are bringing it back to its glory days.

Dining suggestons

upscale:

Tayst (383-1953) is rockin, yes I'am biased, great food, great wine, and great service. It is fine dining but in a relaxed atomosphere. Let me know if you come in.

Zola's has great food with a mediterranean flair

Margot is great

mambu, fusion also very good

F. Scotts also has a cool jazz bar and is open seven nights

New places I haven't been

watermark

radius 10

Casual

Yellow porch

tin Angel

There are a myriad of bbq and meat and three places to choose from and it is hard to go wrong there.

Eat well

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Welcome to the SE Forum, whifflechef, and we greatly appreciate your information on Nashville! :biggrin:


Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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Hi there,

My name is Ryan, and my partners and I recently opened a Victorian style restaurant and bar named Past Perfect in downtown Nashville. We would love if you would stop by while you are in town. Our wine list is not huge, but we have received great feedback from some of the oenophiles in Nashville. I would also like to invite those of you in the industry to stop by (this means you, whifflechef!). We offer 20% off all food and spirits every day to those in the industry, and 50% off cocktails on Monday. You can find directions and the menu at pastperfectnashville.com .

Warm regards,

Ryan Mecum

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