Breakfast/brunch next Sunday in Nashville?
My family and I will be in Nashville next weekend for a wedding. I live in San Francisco, they live in Massachusetts, so we're looking forward to food we can't get at home. Most of our meals are accounted for because of the wedding, but on Sunday I would like to find a great place for breakfast (or perhaps brunch). There will probably be between 4 and 8 of us...I've done a bit of research but I'm hoping for some advice.
Requirements for the meal:
#1 - Good sweet tea
#2 - A menu with plenty of good breakfast choices, esp. southern specialties (grits, biscuits, waffles, ham, bacon, etc)
#3 - Room enough to fit a semi-large party without a huge wait at 10 or 11 AM on Sunday. Although if it's really good, we can wait a bit.
I forget where we're staying at the moment (near Vanderbilt I believe?) but transportation isn't an issue, and I'd be willing to travel up to 30 mins if it's worth it.
Monell's sounds good, and I think my family would enjoy the communal tables. But it sounds like they only have breakfast on Saturdays?
What about Pancake Pantry or Loveless Cafe? My parents are definitely more prone to order eggs/bacon/grits/homefries type meal (as opposed to pancake/waffles/etc), but I would love to have good waffles....so a menu with a bit of everything would be good.
Finally, if there were lunch options in addition to breakfast options, some people might be interested in that too.
I also read about Hog Heaven and Swett's....
I appreciate any help, and I will definitely report back!
Stick with Monell's to please everyone and see a fun corner of Nashville most visitors don't see. The wait at Pancake Pantry is outrageous (I'm a native and I've only eaten there two or three times.). In fairness, the pancakes are great, but not worth waiting 45 minutes for a seat.
As for Loveless, it's a little overrated, and the chicken can be dry, the ham too salty, and the biscuits not as good as Granny's, but if you're not familiar with the food, it's good to try it. To me, the reason to go to Loveless is the drive. It's in a pretty, rural setting (though less and less rural and McMansions spring up all along the way), If the weather is food, you could leave Loveless and drive a section of the Natchez Trace for some of the prettiest countryside you'll ever see. The reason not to go is that, like visiting Charleston, everyone in the historic area is a tourist. At Loveless, you're going to be in a room mostly full of tourists and a few cyclists from the Natchez Trace.
Sunday most locally owned places are closed. Sylvan Park may be open, but I don't think they serve breakfast. I doubt it. Swett's is closed Sunday, I believe. Call Hog Heaven -- they may be open. Nowhere to eat there, though, but you can pick it up and walk across the street to the picnic shelters at Centennial Park. It's a good park, with some walks, an art gallery, a duck pond, pretty gardens.
If you want food that is Southern but a little more upscale (Monells is more down home type food), I would go to Martha's at the Plantation. Her food is always fantastic, you'll be able to get everything you want, and at 10am or so you'll beat a lot of the after church crowd. Afterwards, you can walk around the grounds of the Belle Meade Plantation or do a tour of the house. It's 10-15 minutes from Vanderbilt, and you will be on one street the whole way.
Hog Heaven is definitely closed on Sundays.....for some reason most authentic bbq places close that day...guess they need a break. Avoid Pancake Pantry; I'm also a local and have been there maybe twice, after being begged. The wait is ridiculous and they do not serve biscuits which seems crazy to me to be a breakfast place with no biscuits?!?
Martha's is a great option if you want a little nicer than Monell's, but either will probably make you happy. One other great brunch option for Sunday is Germantown Cafe near Monell's. However, it may not have quite the breakfast variety you want...they do a great shrimp and grits, cheese grits, waffle and frittata of the day and interesting twists on eggs benedict. I believe they accept call aheads to get on the wait list. http://www.germantowncafe.com/ Enjoy your visit!
Monell's is fantastic. It's really genuine southern cooking in a nice setting and in a great neighborhood. HOWEVER...I think that Saturday is the only day they truly serve "breakfast." The meal that they serve on Sundays is definitely more along the lines of lunch. But of course I could be wrong. Just call and ask what they're serving.
If in fact Monell's has no breakfast, you've gotta go to Loveless. I heartily disagree that it is "overrated." True, the overall food quality is a bit down from before the renovations, but for an overall southern breakfast experience, it's still among the best in town.
If all else fails, you can always go to Waffle House. A few on here might scoff, but Waffle House cooks up a damn good breakfast, whether you want eggs/bacon/grits/hashbrowns or of course, waffles.
I think you might be right about Monell's on Sunday - they don't open until 10:30, while on Saturday they open at 8 AM.
So which is more worthwhile? A Sunday brunch/lunch at Monell's or a true Southern breakfast elsewhere?....I realize this might be pretty subjective, but does anyone have any gut answer? I think my gut answer might be to stick with Monell's, unless I hear that lunch isn't good there. But it sounds like it is. Fried chicken for my first meal of the day sounds just fine to me :)
Loveless looks touristy and maybe a bit too far (esp. if it's 30 mins - that might be pushing it - I agree that getting outside the city would be nice, but some people might be anxious to get back to the city in time for mid-afternoon wedding). Germantown Cafe also looks nice, but maybe more city-ish than I am looking for for this occasion.
Thanks all for the advice - I'll report back!
Yes, you will have to wait at Loveless, but it truly isn't that far from Vanderbilt (20 minutes tops on a sunday) and they do serve up the quintessential southern breakfast. Of course, you can't go wrong with Monell's either, but they will also likely have a wait. I'd stick with those two and would bet you won't be disappointed at either.
Just got back to California after a nice weekend in Nashville. Thanks to all of you, we had an excellent breakfast at Monell's on Sunday. This was exacly what I was looking for.
They do indeed serve breakfast on both Saturday and Sunday, from 8:30 AM until 11:00 AM.
We arrived just before 10, and the restaurant was nearly empty. We were seated at the front table, which was nice since it has lots of sunlight and a view of the garden. There were 8 of us, and we also ended up sharing the communal table w/ two other people.
Pitchers of sweet tea, OJ and unsweetened iced tea were already on the table when we sat down, and next came biscuits and gravy. Both were very good, and I was glad the gravy was on the side, since I don't like it when the biscuits are smothered in too much gravy. After this, the food started coming out fast. Everything was served family style:
pancakes (nothing special)
baked apples (fine, but nothing too special either)
cheese grits (very good when I added a touch of salt)
scrambled eggs (fine)
corn pudding (awesome!)
meat plate (sausages, bacon and country ham - all good, esp. the bacon)
and fried chicken (outstanding!)
I was very happy that we were served fried chicken at breakfast - it was some of the best I've ever had - the only complaint I have is that the meat was a tad dry inside. But it was really really good. All of us ate our fill and it was a big hit w/ my family - my Dad even said it might be the best breakfast out he's ever had.
Thanks again to everyone who suggested Monell's, if you're ever in San Francisco I'll make sure to have some good breakfast recs for you too.
I don't consider replying to a question about good brunch spots in Nashville with information about my blog, http://nashvillebrunch.blogspot.com which only reviews Brunch spots in Nashville spam. Not sure what you are indicating by saying a "3 1/2 year old thread". Yes the conversation is 3 1/2 years old but the question of good brunch spots in Nashville will be relevant 10 years from now. Providing a link to my site will also allow others to find good brunch spots as I add more reviews to my blog.