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Oct 5, 2010 02:20 PM

In Nashville for 2 days.

My wife and I are coming into Nashville this weekend for two days. Getting together with my sister, also from out of town, on Friday night? What's good, but not too pricey? Where's good music for Friday night? Broadway?

Saturday night we're going to Grand Old Opry for the late show. What's good to eat in the area? Should we do the Loveless on the way out on Sunday morning? Or Friday for lunch on the way in (we're coming from the northwest on I-24).

Also, we heard there's a great Chinese place, but don't know the name PK somethings? Is it worth the trip?


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  1. Where are you coming from? What kind of food are you into? Anything to avoid?

    My personal recommendation would be City House in the Germantown neighborhood just north of downtown. It’s strongly suggested that you call for a reservation. Think wood fire fare: creative pizzas, roasted chicken etc…along with house cured salami.

    Unfortunately, that area of town close to the GOO is a dining dead zone….the only thing I would even think of recommending would be Ellendale’s off Donelson Pike, it’s not too far away from your Saturday night location.

    I don’t know where you heard the rumor of great Chinese in Nashville, but it doesn’t exist. The closest thing we have to decent Chinese is Lucky Bamboo in west Nashville….and that’s not saying much.

    I’ll let someone else chime in for the music recs.

    Ellendale's Restaurant
    2739 Old Elm Hill Pike, Nashville, TN 37214

    City House
    1222 4th Avenue North, Nashville, TN 37208

    Lucky Bamboo
    1412 Trotwood Ave Ste 31, Columbia, TN 38401

    1 Reply
    1. re: pete k

      By the way...Lucky Bamboo is on Charlotte Pike in Nashville, not in Columbia.

    2. The only place I can think of is PF Chang's, and that's a national chain that is about as close to Chinese as El Chico is to Mexican.

      I agree, the Gaylord area has NOTHING other than Ellendale's, which, admittedly, a lot of people like. I've never been.

      As for music, most tourists just hit downtown (Lower Broadway), wander down the street, and stop when they hear something they like. It's all house bands, etc. If you want to see a schedule of music events elsewhere in the city -- places like Station Inn, The Bluebird Cafe, etc. -- go to

      That central downtown tourist core isn't the most fabulous for food, either. Some solid choices, such as Jack's, and the newly-rehabbed Merchants isn't bad, and the downstairs bistro is reasonably priced. But, there are better places all over town, and some not too far away. But, yes, give us more to go on as to what you are looking for. "Good but not too pricey" covers a lot of territory. Type of food, things you DON'T want, specific price range (including or excluding alcohol), atmosphere, etc.

      2 Replies
      1. re: TLF

        Thanks for the replies. We like southern cooking , BBQ, pizza, soul food, burgers, fried chicken. Does that open things up a bit?

        1. re: dochoch

          Quite a bit...

          Let’s start with bbq….if you’re staying in the Nashville area, Jack’s on West Trinity Lane is my go-to spot for brisket and pulled pork. They do a really nice smoked sausage as well if you’re into that sort of thing. A lot of people rave about Martin’s…it’s about 25 minutes southeast of downtown. They smoke a whole hog on Saturdays. The few times I’ve been, I wasn’t impressed. But again…I haven’t tried the whole hog.

          What style of pizza are you looking for? Thin crust Napoli style or New York style? If you’re looking for the thin crust wood fire version, check out: Porto Via, Bella Napoli, or my personal favorite City House. Sal’s in Donelson, Manny’s House of Pizza in the downtown Arcade, and Angelo’s Picnic Pizza all do a quality New York style pizza.

          Soul food or meat & three: Arnold’s, Monell’s, Loveless Café, At The Table, and Southern Bred.

          Fried chicken or Nashville hot chicken: Prince’s or Bolton’s.

          Burgers: Burger Up (all local ingredients), Rotier’s, Browns Diner, and PM.

          City House
          1222 4th Avenue North, Nashville, TN 37208

          House of Pizza
          15 Arcade, Nashville, TN 37219

          Rotier's Restaurant
          2413 Elliston Pl, Nashville, TN 37203

      2. Since you're coming from Murphysboro, I don't think any barbecue here in Nashville will compare to what you can get at the 17th Street Bar & Grill. So I would skip the barbecue.

        I have three strong recommendations. First, make sure you eat at Arnold's for lunch on Friday (assuming you get into town before 2:30...that's when they close). Second, I suggest you have breakfast at Monell's in Germantown on Saturday morning. It is a Southern breakfast feast that you will not soon forget. Loveless is pretty good, but it's not exactly close to downtown (or on your way out of town). Finally, since you have a car, you should go to Prince's Hot Chicken for the best fried chicken you've ever had!

        For music, I recommend that you stick to Lower Broadway. It's the quintessential Nashville experience.

        Especially since the Opryland Hotel and the mall are not yet reopened, there is not much to speak of in the viscinity of the Opry. So unless you want to eat at Waffle House, just plan on eating somewhere in town before you head out that way.

        And I second the statement that there is no good authentic Chinese food in Nashville. It sounds like you might be talking about PF Chang, though. PF Chang is a chain restaurant. While it's not very authentic, I find that it is pretty good. Just know that it's not unique to Nashville.

        Good luck, and let us know where you end up going!

        Waffle House Restaurant
        1034 N Main St, Nicholasville, KY 40356

        5 Replies
        1. re: jamiecarroll

          Thanks, Jamie. BTW, 17th Street BBQ is only the 2nd best in Murphysboro. Pat's is definitely #1 here in town: better ribs and pulled pork for sure.

          1. re: dochoch

            Interesting! I will definitely stop in at Pat's next time I'm over that way.

          2. re: jamiecarroll

            There is no authentic Chinese food in Nashville because there's a miniscule Chinese population. Used to be the same way with Mexican/Latino food until the population boomed in the '80s. Same with Thai, Vietnamese and Ethiopian, all of which may now be found in varying degrees of both authenticity and goodness.

            I think the best food in the Opryland area is at Cracker Barrel, frankly, unless that got drowned as well. As for pizza, our pizza of choice has always been Pizza Perfect in Hillsboro Village (not the one on Granny White). I used to do their ads many years ago, partly for the money but mostly because I loved the food, and got all the free samples I needed for the illustrations. Then I'd eat them and write the copy...

            1. re: Will Owen

              There's a better than acceptable Chinese place (= the best in Nashville) at Lucky Bamboo, as Pete K mentioned above. Be sure to ask for both their menus, as they have two, but both have some creative dishes prepared better than acceptably. And they have some very decently prepared dim sum on the weekends.

              The best NY style pizza in town is at PizzaReal in East Nashville. Pizza Perfect always tastes off to me, plus they heat their slices up with heat lamps! Enough said.

              Lucky Bamboo
              1412 Trotwood Ave Ste 31, Columbia, TN 38401

              1. re: nm1

                Don't think I've ever bought a slice at PP, only a whole pizza. Always had it fresh, and then leftovers cold for the next day's breakfast and lunch. My two main criteria for judging pizza are (1) is the crust good enough to make you want to eat all of it? and (2) is it almost as good cold as hot? Theirs used to be the only Nashville pizza that passed both tests. Now that Amir and his brother are apparently not there constantly as they used to be, perhaps the quality has diminished a bit - the last time I ate one was a year ago, and it was okay but not stunning.

                Good to hear about the dim sum. The one consistently authentic Chinese restaurant Nashville had was Peking Garden, which went out of business shortly after its owner/founder was mugged and killed maybe 25 years ago. He had begun offering dim sum, served from carts, on certain Sundays, and we had spent a very pleasant hour or two there the first day it was offered. But even mediocre dim sum beats the heck out of none!