Saturday, September 27, 2008

Wade’s Chat and Chew Diner

Nashville Restaurants and Food
Wade’s Chat and Chew Diner
1200 Buchanan Street

Wandering can really pay off. I was looking for a new place for lunch, so I headed into North Nashville took a turn off D.B. Todd, and about screeched to a dead stop when I saw the sign for Wade’s Chat and Chew Diner. The exterior is a bit run down, but that name, how could I not eat at a place called the Chat and Chew? Inside is a fairly Spartan dining room with a TV tuned to SportsCenter. At first the place seemed kinda quiet. I hit the cafeteria line and scoped out the line-up. The offerings are standard meat and three: oxtails, pig’s feet, meatloaf, barbecue and ribs, backed up by green beans, mashed potatoes, collard greens and the like. Just another day in Nashville

Then everything turned around.

I sat down and dived into the beef tips: tender chunks in savory gravy. I bit off a piece of the hot water corn bread: chewy, thick crust with full corn flavor. I stabbed at the mac and cheese: sticky, robust and peppery with baked cheese on top. I had them split my meat order, so I also had the barbecue chicken: moist with a great semi-sweet barbecue glaze. Hell, even the black eyed peas were a hit: smoky and toothsome. I finally dipped into the yams, expecting perhaps I’d finally hit a dud: no chance, these were fresh cooked with just the right amount of cinnamon for that traditional southern flavor.

The Chat and Chew filled up and suddenly it was living up to the name. SportsCenter inspired some Titans talk and soon there was a raging debate about Vince Young (best line: you can boo my ass all you want for 30 million dollars a year. No mercy with this group). Folks who probably didn’t even know each other were going back and forth, arguing, laughing and have a good time.
Clearly a meat and three home run. Now did I mention that I was the only white person in the place? Well, it’s always a question whether or not to mention that because quite frankly it was irrelevant. Obviously this is a neighborhood joint, but I felt every bit welcome and I bet I could have chimed in on the Titans talk without causing a stir. This may not be the fanciest neighborhood in town, but Wade’s Chat and Chew is a blast: good natured, lively and serving great food. You can’t beat that.

I paid $10.50 with tax, tip and a drink.


Lannae said...

Wow man, that really was a CHAT and chew. And I agree, give me $30M and you can boo my ass all you want too! Ox tails, huh? I used to have ox tails as a young kid, and they don't often get offered at restaurants. I wonder if they are good.

BP said...

Wow, I have never heard of this one. Can't wait to try it. I am certainly not scared of North Nashville, but Buchanan Street is about the roughest of the rough, isn't it?

Eric and Katie said...

lannae: I haven't tried oxtails before...but they actually look pretty good. I've seen them served at several places in town. bp...well, I probably wouldn't be cruising around this neighborhood late at night, but during the day it seems fine. It's a couple of blocks from Fisk and the Jefferson strip.

Lannae said...

Oxtails at other places too? Do tell! That might have to be my next food experiment: ordering oxtails and comparing them. I don't know how to make them myself because the family recipe went to the grave with my grandmother who was from central Mississippi. I remember oo-ey, stewy, soft and gravy oxtails.

Eric and Katie said...

At The Table and Bailey and Cato both have Oxtail as a daily'd have to call to find out which day...we've got reviews of both under meat and threes