group dinner in nashville?
i'm looking for recs for a group (~20) dinner in nashville. we're going ot be at a conference at the gaylord opryland resort but are hoping to escape the resort complex for dinner one night.
needs to be relatively cheap and within a 20 minute cab ride of the hotel. something uniquely southern or uniquely nashville would of course be fabulous!
For a group like that, I would try Monell's. It's a family-style southern food place with the best fried chicken in Nashville, great side dishes, all you can eat for under $20 apiece.
thanks for the suggestion nm1. unfortunately monell's doesn't do dinner on mondays, which is when we will be going out. it looks great though! i'll have to check it out while i'm in town anyway.
i'm considering rosepepper, but i don't have a feel if it's a good scene for a big crowd.
any other ideas or suggestions? please, save us from ending up at a chain or within the opryland complex!
Rosepepper is fine for a big group. You might have to split up into a couple of tables, but they've got lots of space there and are used to crowds. The drinks there are good; the food is OK. I would suggest the Alley Cat, which is not all that far from Rosepepper and has better food, but I think 20 people in a party might be a problem for them.
Radius 10 and Cabana are both supposed to be nice, and if I'm remembering right they should be able to deal with big parties. They may be a step up in price, but might be within your range. I haven't been to either of them so I can't say more than that.
There's a fantastic Mexican place called Hacienda Taqueria, very cheap, very tasty, not at all fancy (linoleum floor, plastic tables). I have seen parties of 10 or 12 there, with a bunch of the regular tables for 4 put together. It may be a longer drive from Opryland than what you have in mind, though.
You won't have a bad time if you stick with Rosepepper. The food isn't bad, it just isn't special. The atmosphere is great for a big get-together.
Consider The Yellow Porch by 100 Oaks Mall. They do take reservations - especially for a group your size. Ask for a manager when you call. Not that cheap.
The Yellow Porch
734 Thompson Lane
Nashville TN 37204
Almost everything is within your travel range - almost. My favorite experience would be the famous Loveless Cafe - a little more than 20 minutes probably but worth it - stick with the good old fashioned Southern items though - they try some new things which I appreciate but stick to the basics. Famous for it's biscuits (and Miss Carol the Biscuit Lady), homemade jams, fried chicken and bbq.
I'll second La Hacienda on Nolensville Road just off I-440. It's where chefs go on their night out and it's fun. He moved here to start making tortillas and then opened a grocery with a little food counter and now has the restaurants as well.
A very Southern thing is Cock of The Walk just minutes from Opryland. Touristy yes but it's a Mississippi 'chain' that serves catfish and fried pickles. And they are open on Monday.
An experience that is uniquely Nashville or Southern really is the meat & three more or less and most aren't open at night. Vittles in Brentwood would be an exception but I can't remember if they are open on Monday night.
I guess something that really is cheap and unique to Nashville is HOT CHICKEN. Prince's is the most famous and the original but not for a group of 20 and probably not what you are looking for. You might try Lori Morgan's HotChicken.com on Whites Creek Pike exit of I-24 - not too far from Opryland but their website is down right now which scares me they might be closed.
After trying so many places that came 'highly recommended' by reviewers on our vacation, I am convinced that we really do have a lot of good food here so if you stick to something other than the big chains, you should be pleased. If you want to read some reviews - go to www.nashvillescene.com for some reviews and descriptions.