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Jan 17, 2010 10:14 AM

Nashville - end of March

Hello, South Chows!

I have been researching your Board for a couple months. I am planning five day trip to Nashville, and would love your feedback on my tentative iten. I love BBQ, and I prefer to eat at places that have options not typically seen back home (Minneapolis). I will have access to car Thursday afternoon through Monday. Am staying at the Union Station Hotel. I like to eat lunch and dinner - not much of a breakfast person. Thanks for any thoughts you might have!

Wednesday - arrive at noon. Solo day. Jack's BBQ for lunch. Country hall of Fame. Wild Horse Saloon or Tootsie's for cocktail. 1808 for dinner.

Thursday: Nashville Farmer's Market, Swetts. Sister arriving around six. Watermark or Miro District for dinner?

Friday: Will be with family at the Grand Old Opry - niece is in a competition. Expect to have some time open late morning/early afternoon. If they make finals will be tied up until about 8:00 at night - otherwise will be free. So, thinking Arnolds for lunch. There will be three adults for dinner: Martin's BBQ or Dees Q or Neeley's? If it get's late, I think we'll have to go with Neeleys, as I think Martin's is about a half hour away and not open as late. Thoughts?

Saturday: Monell's for breakfast (will defer to bro-in-law who adores breakfast, as he will be shlepping my sister and I around all day). B.B. King's for casual dinner, music?

Sunday: Chappy's on Church (Bro still here...) Then I will be solo - thinking of visiting Cheekwood , then Patterson House for cocktail, and City House for dinner.

Monday: Loveless Cafe for breakfast, then Belle Meade, Leipers Fork, Franklin. Pucketts in Franklin for late lunch, then off to airport (leave at 6:00pm).

A couple of places on list but don't think will work out due to timing, or my preference for more local flavor, or my sister's insistence to go to B.B. King's.... Hog Heaven and Carl's Perfect Pig look like great Q places. Cafe Margot and Merchant's both on top of list. The Standard, The Palm, Capitol Grille look beautiful, but menu's just really didn't pique my interest as much as others.

Thank you. -Mary

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  1. Mary, you've got some great choices on there - a good mix of old school and new school. Here are a few random opinions from me:

    - I have consistently found the food at B.B. King's to be mediocre. That said, they often have a great band, and it's a fun place to hang out.

    - I wouldn't waste my time at the Wildhorse Saloon. Go to Tootsie's for that cocktail instead. Actually, almost any of those Lower Broad honky tonks are better than the Wildhorse. I especially like Robert's.

    - I have not been to Miro District since they changed chefs, but you can't go wrong at Watermark.

    - Martin's is definitely the best of the BBQ places you mentioned. But it is *at least* 30 minutes from downtown (closer to an hour). Dee's Q is now out of business. The Nashville Neely's is pretty good, as is Hog Heaven. Carl's Perfect Pig has gone downhill in recent years, plus it is 30-45 minutes from downtown.

    - The Monell's breakfast is a feast to behold. If you leave hungry, it's your own fault!

    - City House is an especially great choice, especially on a Sunday night.

    - Don't bother with Merchant's. Margot (and Marche) are fantastic, though.

    From the looks of things, you are going to have a great trip! Enjoy!

    2 Replies
    1. re: jamiecarroll

      I second Hog Heaven for barbeque---be sure to try the white sauce.

      1. re: suebro

        Ignore all the other main courses on the menu except the chicken w/ white sauce and the sides are good.
        And give a review of Loveless. The last few times I was there it had slipped quite a bit but that has been a while and I under stand (& am hoping) new owner-ship has gotten things back in line.

    2. You have some good choices here - City House on a Sunday will be fun, as they do some interesting things Sunday eve. Martin's Q is the way to go if you can squeeze it in, but I think that Hog Heaven is worth a stop - the white sauce is fab and you can always consider it a "snack." Do have cocktails at Patterson House. Go to Crema for a good espresso. Monell's will do in your day you'll be so full but it is worth it. In Franklin, Pucketts is good, as is Meridee's next door for casual sandwichs and good baked goods. Dotson's is a dump but they would feed you good fried chicken and meat n' three stuff if you wanted more of that before leaving town.

      We've been to Miro somewhat recently and really liked it; I know Watermark is always tops around this board but I've found it to be not as good as it wants (or I want it) to be, if that makes any sense. Other considerations for a nice dinner might be Margot, Miel? I like Capitol Grille for the setting and service and the food is always well executed.

      1. Mary, have you stayed at Union Station Hotel before? My niece had a very unpleasant stay there. Ask them to put you in a quiet room. Some are quite noisy.

        Not bbq, but three restaurants we enjoy are Tin Angel, Tayst, and The Acorn. Tin Angel is on West End at 32nd and The Acorn is a block off West End on 28th. Tayst is on 21st, south of Vanderbilt.

        1 Reply
        1. re: decolady

          I have not stayed at Union, but I have heard about the noise issue. Fortunately, I sleep like a rock no mater where I am! Thanks for the suggestions. :)

        2. Draft #2, based on suggestions - thanks, all!

          Wednesday: Jimmy Carl's lunchbox; The Standard; Robert's

          Thursday: Swett's; Watermark

          Friday: Arnolds; Martin's BBQ joint

          Saturday: Monell's; B.B. King's (still hoping sister will cave on that...)

          Sunday: Chappy's on Church; Patterson (cocktail), City House (dinner)

          Sunday: Loveless Cafe; Puckett's Grocery or Dotson's

          How am I doing? As Jamie noted, I am interested in a blend of classic south mixed with fine dining with southern nuances.....

          LOOKING FORWARD!!! -Mary

          3 Replies
          1. re: rp1760

            That looks great! I wish I could go with you!

            I forgot about Jimmy Carl's - another great choice. Really good ribs and really good baked beans. And it may make you want to go see a show at the Station Inn!

            1. re: rp1760

              I would scrap Chappy's and look for a southern brunch somewhere. There are dozens of great brunches in Nashville on Sunday.

              1. re: spider2001

                I see your point, Spider. However, we had nephew that attended Tulane in New Orleans and we had chance to visit Chappy’s when it was located there, pre-Katrina. This is kind of a nostalgia thing for us.

            2. Hey RP

              Not sure if you've seen my review of Puckett's. If not, here it is.

              Obviously I'm a fan.


              4 Replies
              1. re: Davwud

                Great report - thanks for sharing!

                  1. re: Davwud

                    Final Draft (I think....) Thanks for all you help!

                    Wednesday: Jimmy Carl's lunchbox; The Standard

                    Thursday: Swett's; Watermark

                    Friday: Arnolds; Neelys

                    Saturday: Monell's; F. Scotts

                    Sunday: Chappy's on Church; Patterson (cocktail), City House (dinner)

                    Sunday: Loveless Cafe; Puckett's Grocery or Dotson's

                    1. re: rp1760

                      Let me second the nomination of the Loveless Cafe for breakfast and add to that the Pancake Pantry for breakfast. Both are can't lose options. A side note, expect a wait at the Pantry, a long one. But, it is worth it.