Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Bailey and Cato Family Restaurant

Nashville Restaurants and Food
Bailey and Cato Family Restaurant
1307 McGavock Pike

When people ask about down home places to eat in Nashville, I have a short list of joints I’ll recommend. Well, that short list is now one longer. Bailey and Cato has top notch meat and three, really good barbecue and a cozy family atmosphere. It’s definitely worth a trip to the East Nashville/Inglewood area. I had heard from several folks about the quality of the food, so I went to check it out.

Bailey and Cato Family Restaurant is nestled in a little cottage on McGavock Pike. There’s enough room for about 15 people to eat, so a lot of the business is take out. But eating in has the advantage of the hospitality of Robert Bailey, Senior and family. They’ll put cartoons up on the TV and talk it up with the regulars. They also may or may not open up on time. It’s worth the wait.

The barbecue ribs are well known in town and for good reason: they’re exceptionally juicy, with a good spicy rub and a nice brown skin. They are a little fatty and that adds a bunch of flavor. They keep them sitting in a bath of juice, so they stay moist. That might be a problem later in the day. I would bet, though, that with the volume they do, those ribs don’t last long. Other entrees on the daily specials list include oxtails in a brown gravy, shredded chicken and dressing, fried chicken, fried salmon, meat loaf and Salisbury steak.

The sides are fairly conventional and done with real skill. The mac and cheese is baked with extra cheese melted over the top for a crisp crust. They’re thick and tasty. The sweet fried cornbread is shaped like a pickle. It’s an awesome accompaniment to the meal and folks know it. One woman came in and ordered 20 pieces to go. That’s it. Nothing but cornbread. They also serve up collard greens, turnip greens, cabbage and baked apples, depending on the day.

They have a pretty diverse selection at Bailey and Cato. You can order up hot wings, burgers and catfish. I want to get back and try more things out of that smoker, including pork shoulder and BBQ chicken. You can bet the barbecue in large quantities and they keep long hours on Friday, Saturday and Sundays, 11am until 11pm. I paid $8.50 with tax and tip.

Bailey & Cato on Urbanspoon


Lannae said...

Now this place sounds like the real deal southern experience at a very good value! It sounds like the oxtails would be an interesting venture. I have not had oxtails since my Mississippi grandma passed away. The detail you gave on the mac and cheese is making me hungry. I love ribs, hot wings and mac and cheese... We are also late eaters (frequently 9 pm dinners) and if they are open 'til 11 pm, we can still eat there! Is this place our dream come true?

Eric and Katie said...

I hear they do a good late night business. Let me know what you think!

Barbara said...

Just for the record, I live next door to Bailey and Cato and find that it is actually a challenge to resist going there to eat every day. The ribs and the BBQ are amazing and I am a big fan of the way they cook their greens, just like my grandmother's. Anyone looking for authentic meat and three or soul food in Nashville needs to make the drive to our neighborhood for Bailey and Cato. Make sure you know what you want before you get to the counter though, or they will send you to the back of the line!

Eric and Katie said...

Barbara: Living in that neighborhood must be have a bunch of great food options, although I agree that you might want to eat at Bailey and Cato every day...and while a nice way to go, the calories alone might kill you within a year.

Bill and Martha said...

We have tried to patronize this place despite the lack of attention given to the establishment. The food is ok, but the "staff" sucks! They make you feel like a bother. They never say hell, thank you, or come back. Would not recommend!