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Nov 14, 2009 08:57 AM

L.A. Hound visiting Nashville

Heading to Nashville for a quick trip to see Springsteen on Wednesday night. I'll probably be solo, though a friend might meet me. Staying at the Sheraton downtown, and will not have a car. Haven't been to the South, other than a business trip to Memphis over 10 years ago, and we don't really have much Southern food here in L.A. I don't want Japanese or Mexican or anything I get a lot of at home.

Meals I'll need to have will be dinner Tuesday, breakfast/lunch Wednesday, breakfast/lunch Thursday. Doing general admission for the show so that supersedes dinner on Wednesday night. Maybe a quick snack somewhere after the show.

I've done a little research, it seems that Arnold's should be top of my list since I've never been to a meat & three. I'm thinking that would be good for show day. Assuming I can walk there from my hotel? It doesn't look terribly far on my map.

Would Monell's on 6th Ave. N. be walkable, and a good choice (possibly for dinner on Tuesday, or lunch on Thursday)?

I guess the meal I'm most concerned about is dinner Tuesday. If I take a cab somewhere, are restaurants willing to call cabs after the meal? Would City House be a good choice?

All help would be appreciated, thanks.

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  1. Arnold’s would be my first choice for meat & three. It’s a pretty good walk from the Sheraton, not far though. Monell’s is a decent choice, it doesn’t a hold a candle to Arnold’s, and again it’s a pretty long walk from the hotel.

    City House is a great choice.

    Standard at The Smith House is on Rosa Parks/8th Ave, and is fairly close to the hotel. If you’re willing to cab it my suggestions: 1808 Grill (lunch), Rumba (dinner), Jimmy Carl’s lunchbox (lunch, bbq).

    I haven’t encountered a place that doesn’t call a cab.

    1 Reply
    1. re: pete k

      Totally agree with Pete about Arnold's being top choice for Meat & 3, so do that for lunch on Wednesday because it will fill you up enough that you will not be hungry for dinner. Then on Thursday, definitely do Jimmy Carl's Lunchbox for lunch. It's inside Station Inn, a legendary music venue in the Gulch.

      City House is a great restaurant but isn't uniquely Nashville. And as much as I love Rumba, I used to live in SoCal, and it's similar to many places out there so maybe you want to try something a little different. Miro District has some uniquely southern dishes. You'll have no problem at all getting a cab to take you back to the hotel from the restaurant.

      If you're a coffee drinker, you should definitely check out Crema ( one morning for breakfast. They have the best coffee in town, Drew's Brews, made right here in Nashville. They also have fantastic quiches and baked goods from one of the best local bakeries, Sweet 16th.

    2. Hey Debbie, I'm also coming in to see Springsteen, but from New York. I too have to do
      exhaustive research before committing to a restaurant. Please let me know what you
      find. Here's my facebook page.


      1 Reply
      1. re: GrifinMil

        Hahaha, you look familiar..I friended you, LOL! I was in NY for the two shows at MSG but I get to NY often enough that I have a way-too-large list of places I love to eat, but the mods would not be happy if I listed them here. Was able to hit up a couple of them on the quick trip. Not really enough time on this trip to truly explore Nashville, but definitely going to head to Arnold's for lunch, probably Wednesday. Still waiting for some info on the wristband window, it wasn't in the TM notification. Guessing 1-4 or 2-5.

      2. A quick report: Nashville was pretty awesome, though a bit cold for this L.A. girl. I did quite a bit of walking. For some reason I didn't expect it to be so hilly. At least I probably burned some of the excess calories.

        Dinner Tuesday night was at Margot Cafe & Bar. I'd wanted to go to City House, and called them the day before, only to be told that they are closed Tuesdays. They recommended Margot. I sat at the bar (not exactly the most comfortable physically as there's nowhere to put your legs), but I always prefer bar dining when solo, and the bartender was a doll. Had a really spicy garbanzo/tomato soup to start, lovely. My main was buttermilk fried quail served with chard and grits - wow, was that a delightful dish. The two little quails were fried really cleanly, not greasy at all, and were quite substantial which isn't often the case with quail. Dessert was apple dumpling, I'd have to say it was somewhat on the doughy side but that's a minor quibble.

        Lunch Wednesday was at Monell's. I really enjoyed the family style setup and the food was definitely abundant. Pork chop, pan-fried chicken, dressing, field peas (?), corn pudding, green beans, biscuits, and lots more. I really enjoyed the pork chop. I didn't love the banana pudding, which was kind of gluey. I guess I'm partial to my own (recipe courtesy of a friend who grew up in Alabama). Nice time though, and not something we have in L.A.

        After Monell's I walked over to the Nashville Farmers Market, which was an interesting setup, got a few decent photos in the farm shed. I bet it's great in the summer. Oh, before that I stopped at the cupcake place that's just down the block from Monell's and picked up a carrot cake cupcake which I had as a late afternoon snack before the Springsteen show. I'm not a big cupcake fan but this one was pretty good which is about the best compliment I will ever give to a cupcake.

        No dinner that night, never any dinner when doing Springsteen general admission. Actually, I picked up a cherry/almond bar from a baker in the farm shed at the Farmers Market, so I had that at 1 a.m. along with a banana I snagged that morning from the club room at the Sheraton.

        Lunch yesterday was at Arnold's. Everyone at the hotel who I'd asked about Arnold's said I couldn't or at least shouldn't walk there. (They'd said the same thing about Monells' and I ended up walking back from there via the Farmers Market, the steps at the back (?) of the Capitol were kind of fun). Anyway I was wandering around on Broadway and picked up a cab in that area to Arnold's. But I did walk back to the downtown area from Arnold's, not too far but maybe not exactly the best neighborhood, LOL. Had to work off my lunch, which consisted of fried steak (hamburger I guess), turnip greens, mac/cheese, fried green tomatoes, and pecan pie. Awesome. I particularly loved the fried green tomatoes and the pecan pie, which was a lot sweeter than I'm used to (in a good way). Actually the greens and mac/cheese were pretty great too. Weak point was probably the meat but yesterday was roast beef day; most people seemed to be getting that but I have never liked roast beef.

        I'm sorry I didn't have more time because I'd have liked to get some BBQ, among other Southern delights.