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Jun 20, 2008 06:38 PM

Nashville Suggestions

I am traveling to Nashville from mid west. Would like to try some Southern food! any recommendations? Looking through previous posts, I didn't really find anything. I know Nashville isn't know for BBQ, but any suggestions for BBQ would be great as well.

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  1. First, stay away from Neely's. The downtown barbecue places are ok, not great. The best smoked pig meat I've had is at Martin's barbecue joint, about 20 min south of town in Nolensville. You'll find that most folks rate it as nearly perfect smoked pig. Also, their brisket and pulled pork are off the hook. Carl's Perfect Pig is about a half hour west of town in White Bluff. Their ribs are oven baked then finished on the grill. I brought my brother and son there last week and they were both slack jawed and proclaimed them the best ribs they've ever had. Carl's has better sides than Martin's but I had the best apple pie ala mode I've ever had at Martin's. Both are ABSOLUTELY worth the travel time.

    6 Replies
    1. re: Cameraman

      Had lunch at Neely's about 2 months ago, and I disagree that it should be avoided. It's pretty good, slow-smoked, beef or pork, and has the advantage of being easy to find. Also had Jack's about a month ago and was pleasantly surprised. Again, slow smoked over real wood. Neither is made with the same level of individual attention and meticulous care that Martin's and Carl's offer, but both of those places are pretty remote

      You should look on these boards for Arnold's, Monell's, Swett's and Sylvan Park cafe for our local cuisine, which is called meat-n-three. All are in town (Sylvan Park actually has several locations in town including the suburbs of Green Hills and in Donelson). Also look for Loveless Motel, which is a little overrated, but the drive is pretty and the biscuits are great. Don't go on a weekend lunch, though, because the wait is indescribable.

      1. re: fluffernutter

        Maybe I was a little curt. Let me explain. The wife and I had lunch there about a month ago. I'd been wanting to go for months, but had no business in that part of town. A trip to the county clerk's office gave me the excuse I needed. She and I were among the first folks in for lunch along with another couple who sat by us. I liked the mac and cheese and the coleslaw. The staff was helpful and pleasant. The room is very nice and we loved feeding the ducks off the back deck. On the other hand, the Texas toast was non-descript. The ribs had very little taste of smoke and the bark was nearly unchewable. I also found the sauce undistinguished. The other couple had the pulled pork and the chicken. They walked away leaving the bulk of their meals on their plate. Maybe it was just a bad day.
        Given the choice between Neely's and say Jack's for instance, I'd choose Jack's.

        Again though, for a world class rib experience there is no question I would make the extra effort and push on to Martin's BBQ Joint AND Carl's Perfect Pig.

        1. re: Cameraman

          No, buddy, you are absolutely correct. Neely's is mediocre at BEST. They were not just having a bad day when you were there. I have been there many times, and found that the pulled/chopped pork is consistently bland and dry (it should always be a red flag when you order a pulled pork plate and the meat comes drenched in sauce). The ribs are consistently overcooked and mushy. I love the location, and I love the atmosphere of the place. And yes, some of the sides are good. But I don't go to barbecue restaurants for the atmosphere, and I don't go for the sides either.

          Granted, I have never been to Neely's Memphis location, but based on the barbecue at the Nashville location, I cannot fathom how they were chosen to have their own show on Food Network.

          1. re: jamiecarroll

            The Memphis locations are good but they really shine in their catering department and the BBQ chicken is really their best item. They also have a very good banana pudding. So the best way to have Neely's is to throw a big party and have their catering team come out and set up the on site cooking rig. I have never been impressed with their in store BBQ.
            I have not made it to the Nashville location yet.

        2. re: fluffernutter

          fluffernutter has lots of great suggestions. Of the meat-n-3s, I know Arnold's and Monell's. Both are great--Arnold's is 'cafeteria-style', while Monell's is home-style...the food is brought to your large table of 12 or so, and it's passed around. Personally, I prefer Monell's but Arnold's has its own charm.
          I'm from Toronto, but have been to Nashville a lot in the last year or so. I also love Martin's BBQ, although it's a bit of a drive from downtown.

        3. re: Cameraman

          I had another thought. Martha's at the Plantation offers a weekend lunch that is the very epitome of gracious Southern cooking that you won't find anywhere else in town. Get a reservation and go with an appetite and high expectations. Find their menu online at Oh, and it really is at an old plantation, which is gorgeous and you'll want to tour it. Martha also makes and sells some pickled items, which are superb. See them at the website.

        4. check out the Loveless Cafe...dependable southern food served in an interesting setting:

          1 Reply
          1. re: boogie

            No one has mentioned Hog Heaven yet for BBQ so thought I'd throw that out there; they have great smoked chicken with white sauce -- have it with corncakes and it's hard to beat. They are in an old cinder block building but you can take your food over to Centennial Park for a nicer view.