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Jan 26, 2008 04:46 AM

Stuck at Opryland

Will be at Opryland Hotel in Nashville for a conference next month, without a car. Any good places to eat within walking distance? I know there's a steakhouse, but I'm more interested in BBQ and just about anything else that's good. I get the impression there aren't a lot of options, so I'm not specifying preferences. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

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  1. To find anything worth having you'll have to take a taxi. Search this board for many recs but there is nothing at Opryland. You'll have to walk a long way just to get from your room to your conference. Oprymills is a hugh shopping complex near by and there are several large chain restaurants there, Tony Romas, an Italian place but nothing original. Good luck!

    1. There's nothing worthwhile out there except the steakhouse, which gets raves. But there is generally a shuttle from the hotel to downtown, and that's probably your best bet for non-chain food.

      1. Take the shuttle. It goes to Lower Broadway (Downtown) where you can get BBQ at Jack's or Rippy's or even the SoBro grill at the Country Music Hall of Fame. You can also find good Italian at Sole Mio, pasta and meats are excellent. Once you are DT you can catch a short cab ride to Arnold's for Meat and Three (a Nashville lunch experience). It is walkable but the area gets a little dicey and I wouldn't walk it even in day light. Or you can again take a short cab ride to Germantown and catch a great southern meal at Monell's or a southern inspired menu at Germantown Cafe. City House in G'town is a great Italian place too, more direct from Italy than Sole Mio.

        Ask the shuttle driver for other ideas. They may even drive you where you want to go if they are in a good mood and it isn't to far from their route.

        Have fun and enjoy the city. Nashville is so much more than Opryland.

        3 Replies
        1. re: bubblet4me

          Great--it's a relief to know I won't be trapped. Please tell me more about Jack's and Rippy's (and any other reasonably accessible BBQ that comes to mind). TIA.

          1. re: Steve Green

            Definitely go to Jack's and not Rippy's. Jack's is among the best barbecue in town, and is much, much better than Rippy's. Rippy's is more of a bar. Their barbecue is mediocre.

            Those two are pretty much it as far as barbecue downtown goes. If you're interested in going off the beaten path I could recommend more places, but Jack's is right downtown and close to where the Opryland shuttle will drop you off. It'll be easy. And good.

            1. re: jamiecarroll

              Do not eat at Rippy's if you care about food. Also avoid the fake-trailer-park-touristy place. Jack's is decent BBQ, but not Nashville's best. If you're looking for a nice burger or salad in a white-tablecloth sort of atmosphere, the downstairs dining room at Merchant's is right downtown, too. The Mojo Grill is also right there; it has OK southwesterny sandwiches and entrees, and an astounding assortment of beers on tap.

        2. Someone else asked more or less this same question a couple of days before you. You might search the boards. Nothing great except the steakhouse (and I haven't personally been). Okay Thai place -- really better than ok -- on Music Valley Drive. The catfish theme place across from the hotel isn't bad. Huge portions and fat families, but the fish is hot and greasy and good. I wrote up a couple of places in the mall next to the hotel. I've had reasonably good Texas-style bbq there, and the Fresh Mex place with a name like Tia Josefina or Tio Jack's is fairly good. Search the boards for other recs.

          2 Replies
          1. re: fluffernutter

            Thanks for the input, everyone. OK, so I'm back home now. I ended up only taking the shuttle downtown from Opryland twice (BTW, it's not free). Both times I went to Jack's. On the first visit I had brisket: fall-apart tender and very tasty. The second time was more of an incidental thing, as I finished work at the conference, hopped on the shuttle, and just had time for a quick meal prior to the Grand Ole Opry show around the corner at the Ryman. I ordered a combo plate that time (ribs, pork shoulder, and brisket). The shoulder was pretty good, the brisket was somewhat tough and less tasty this time, and the ribs were tender but had very little flavor. Just proves what I've always said: Even from good places, BBQ tends to be inconsistent.

            I also went over to Opry Mills for a quick lunch, and tried the brisket at the mall BBQ place. Not bad, actually--the flavor was almost like deep-pit BBQ. No smoke ring.

            Those who said there was nothing good at Opryland proper were pretty much right--I was amazed at how bad a grilled-to-order burger could be. These were worse than the worst fast food, at $10. Everything was very expensive and not good with one exception--the onion soup at the steakhouse was excellent.

            1. re: Steve Green

              Hopefully you will be able to roll the shuttle fee into your per diem or expense report. :)