Nashville Restaurants and Food
Nashville Farmers’ Market
900 Rosa L. Parks Blvd.
On a summer Saturday morning at the Nashville Farmers’ Market you can smell the sweet, earthy perfume of produce from the parking lot. Inside the shed shoppers will be packing the aisles looking for that perfectly ripe tomato or firm squash. The best part has always been the variety. Once you worked your way through the produce you could shop for some of the best frozen biscuits in town or pick up a half-pound of really fresh shrimp. Then you could finish it all off by wandering around the Market House, spying all of the various food available at 10 or more different vendors. You’d get your lunch and sit down in a comfortable environment and be very happy that you lived in Nashville.
Well, you know the rest of the story. Somewhere along the way it was decided that change was needed at the Nashville Farmers’ Market. We can’t argue with that. Every place needs an update every now and then, and there have been plenty of those since people started having market day on the site in 1828. But please, someone please explain to me why all of the great merchants had to be chased out and why, after all of this time, the construction moves at a glacial pace? It’s sad and has been hard to take.
We still mourn the loss of Gulf Pride seafood. We still look for the hot sauce guy, just hoping. Even worse we get continually sucked in by the so called festivals and special organic produce days. The result is usually less than spectacular, with just a couple of lonely sellers. Sometimes there is absolutely nothing there, even when advertised for weeks ahead of time.
There are a couple of signs of life. The wonderful Jamaicaway restaurant has a new location with seating. The new B and C Market BBQ is a good addition. We like the look of these places and it’s obvious someone has put thought into how the new farmers market will look. Nooley’s Louisiana po-boys, Chicago style gyros and Swett’s continue to hang in there. You can still get your tahini or spicy ajvar at the International Market. But the huge blue tarp and empty space is kinda depressing.
It’s time to get this project finished. The Farmers Market was one of the things that convinced us that Nashville would be a good place to live when we first came here. Now we cringe when we see tourists strolling through. You just want to stop them and say “It used to be really cool here, and maybe it will be again….someday.”
Anyway, enough of the diatribe; what follows are reviews from a recent lunch trip.