Tuesday, June 26, 2007


Nashville Restaurants
113 2nd Ave. North

There’s something to be said for taking the versatile sandwich to new levels of perfection. Primanti Brothers restaurant in Pittsburgh figured it out years ago. They had more potatoes than they could handle one day, so they decided to put the fries on the sandwiches. The result, when combined with cole slaw, is one heck of a sandwich.

Piranha’s brought the idea to Nashville several years ago, and thanks to innovations from the Steel City we now have one of the best sandwich joints in town. Start with the Titan’s Cheese steak, the number one seller. It’s classic steak and cheese topped by hand cut fries with the skins on them, and then piled higher with tart vinegar slaw. You get oozy steak and cheese, full flavored potato and that slaw zing in every bite. It really does make the entire sandwich sing. They have a bunch of varieties, including a great veggie version with Swiss, American, provolone, grilled onions and tomatoes. The double egg is interesting, and the brat quite good, but we always end up ordering the same thing. I guess you can’t mess with success.

If you’re trying to eat a bit healthier they also have a “create your own salad” with 24 toppings to choose from. They also turn out good wings, burgers, hot dogs and if you are brave enough, a fried Twinkie. But what makes this a great spot isn’t just the food, it’s the people. They’re always friendly, hustling to get you a fresh beer or get that order going on the grill. It’s the type of place where you want to sit at the bar and chat with the bar tender and the other customers. It provides a rarity on 2nd Avenue: a true hangout for locals.

All of that said, we did have some concerns about the Elliston location, which just closed after only one year in operation. For whatever reason the food quality and the service was nowhere near the level of the downtown location. It’s too bad, it was nice to have a choice of locations, but if the superb sandwiches suffer, it really isn’t worth branching out. We hope Piranha’s has many more successful years downtown and if they do branch out again we hope they keep the same high standards for food and service that we’ve become used to.

Meat Eater:
A truly great sandwich.

Veggie Eater: Simply my favorite sandwich in Nashville. Eric knows that if I being a bit of a recluse, all he has to do is promise me Piranha’s and he’ll have me downtown in a flash. Add to this big beers, a relaxed crowd, and good service and you have a completely satisfying experience.
Piranha's Bar & Grill on Urbanspoon