Sunday, October 12, 2008

The Nashville Biscuit House

Nashville Restaurants and Food
The Nashville Biscuit House
805 Gallatin Rd.

Revisit 8/13:

East Nashville deserves a good, hot breakfast and these days they’re getting it thanks to new management at the Nashville Biscuit House. It’s the second-year anniversary for the owners in this latest incarnation of the old Knife and Fork building, which has seen far too many proprietors in the last 10 years. It has always been a breakfast and lunch diner. While that concept may seem simple, it requires spot on execution and that hasn’t always been the case.

The Nashville Biscuit House staff is hopping on our Sunday morning visit. Folks are lined up in the parking lot waiting for a table. We see at least 15 people ahead of us and yet the wait actually is the promised 15 minutes. Inside you see why: the energy level of the wait staff is highly caffeinated and best of all: they never lose those smiles. It’s what a diner should be.

The menu is simple. You won’t find lingenberry pancakes or avocado eggs Benedict here. It’s all the Southern classics, piled on high. The sausage gravy is sticky and peppery.  It’s a tasty partner for those biscuits, which are fine, if not a bit dry on this day. Grits are served swimming in butter. They’re an upgrade from the cream of wheat stuff served in some joints. A pancake is thick and satisfying. The Supreme Omelet rolls up three types of meat, although they’re finely chopped and grilled crispy. The cheese is decidedly of the Velveeta school, which is fine with us for a diner.

Veggie Eater:  Let’s start with the disclaimer-I do not have enough tattoos to be permitted into this place.  That being said, once I got the golden ticket and won the wait list lottery, no one seemed to mind.  No fru fru food here.  The veggie omelet is a flat, burrito like affair, generously stuffed with fine diced mushrooms, peppers, tomatoes, scallions; it oozes with processed cheese.  The home fries are large chunks that are crispy and simply seasoned with salt.  The syrup is of the corn syrup variety.  That being said, all food was well cooked (including the grits) and is a vast improvement over the previous incarnation.

Meat Eater: This place is beyond popular on a weekend morning. Some of that may be due to the lack of breakfast joints in East Nashville. But clearly the Nashville Biscuit House is providing that old-school diner breakfast that everyone seems to crave after a big Saturday night. We’re glad we could revisit. And as always, if you know of a restaurant that we have reviewed in the past that has gone through big changes or has new management, please let us know.

Here's the old review, from 2010:

When Nashville Biscuit House is your name, you’d better live up to the promise. And actually the biscuits are pretty good here. It’s the rest of the sides that fail to hold up.

The restaurant is probably best known as a Knife and Fork, which we reviewed and found kind of mediocre. Things didn’t improve much when it changed over to the Sylvan Park East and we visited. Bland, canned sides, and average meat and three fare caused a less than enthusiastic response. And now the Nashville Biscuit House, such promise in that name. Inside the place is cleaned up a bit. The wait staff is friendly and down home. Many of them have worked at all three of the recent restaurant incarnations. The menu is revamped a bit. Aside from the usual meat and three options they have a line-up of specialty burgers, including the Big John, a one pounder named after the new chef and owner. If you eat it, and the sides, they’ll put you on a wall of fame.

The biscuits are hot, flaky, buttery and with nice flavor. The fried chicken was better at the previous joints. Here it suffers from a blandness issue: well cooked and moist, just lacking any distinction. The mashed potatoes are okay and the white gravy rather non-descript. It’s like everything on the plate is in some sort of food witness protection program: scared to come out and be noticed. And perhaps for good reason; the beans and yams point to the real problem: much of this stuff seems to be straight out of the can. The yams even have an unpleasant after taste.

Oh, well. Perhaps things will improve. The burgers may be a good option. I haven’t had a chance to try them yet, but they looked okay coming out of the kitchen. We had always heard this location serves as a breakfast spot for this part of East Nashville. We went out on a Sunday morning to see if this perhaps could be the real niche for the Nashville Biscuit House.

There are not many surprises on the breakfast menu. They have a line-up of combo breakfasts, like the Lumberjack which features two pancakes, three eggs, sausage, bacon, grits or home fries and toast or biscuit. You can even throw a pork chop or steak onto that plate for a buck or two more.

The chicken fried steak started the meal off well: crispy and nicely cooked. The same lifeless white gravy as the lunch meal didn’t serve it well. The grits are the flavorless, fine grain type favored in so many restaurants. Overall not a bad breakfast, but it wouldn’t take much to make a difference. The home fries seem like they are probably frozen and straight out of the bag. Making a few things from scratch would really help elevate the breakfast and lunch menus.

Nashville Biscuit House on Urbanspoon


yank283 said...

The sides to taste like they came out of a can. I'll have to disagree about the breakfest. Very good. Next time opt for the sausage gravy and top your fried steak with it. This is real gravy and not flour. The corn bread is very good as well. Also, try the pork chop side. Best thing that they have. Great flavor. supposedly this is John's special marinade.

Anonymous said...

I will NEVER go back to this place!!!! We ordered biscuit sandwiches to go from this place. When your name is Nashville Biscuit House, one would think this would be an easy order. Instead, we received white bread (cold) sandwiches and were over charged $5. I called and asked them to correct the order. When I finally got back to the restaurant, I had to wait 15 minutes to discover they had just taken the cold egg off the sandwich and put it on biscuits, wrapped it up and sent me on my way. I know this because on half of the biscuits, THE COLD BREAD WAS LAYERED IN. So gross. DON'T DINE HERE! The silverware has food stuck to it and mold is coming out of all of their air vents.

Anonymous said...

Their so-called " Home made Biscuits" come straight out of a box delivered by Sysco. This place is a bad joke. How it is even still open is amazing to me.

Chris said...

Disregard the posts of the angry folks. I eat at NBH every weekend and often during the week. The breakfast rocks. I grew up in the deep South and this is exactly how my grandma used to cook. I've eaten all over the country from dives to five-stars and this is the real deal. If you haven't tried it out, do yourself a favor and go.

Reggie said...

The Breakfast is not bad. I would say maybe 6 out of 10. Waitress Julia is hot though. That’s why I like the place :)

Anonymous said...

These reviewers are on crack. The Biscuit House fills up to capacity every weekend for a reason... The veggies do not come out of a can and are seasoned with salt pork, etc.,. in the Southern tradition. I know one of the cooks and they soak the dried beans over night and then cook them several hours to get them right.
If you grew up in the country eating real Southern food, then you will know what this is when you taste it. Great food at great prices in a clean, pleasant atmosphere. Try it and make your own decision.

Eric and Katie said...

Crack huh? Okay NBH supporters you have thrown down the gauntlet and we will respond. Sometime soon, and you won't know when, we're going back. We'll give a fair report of whatever we find. Who knows, maybe they solved all of the previous problems.

Anonymous said...

Service was terrible. I waited ten minutes to get a waited on and another ten minutes to get my drinks. Which where coffee and water. They must have a one cup limit because they never refilled my cup. Thank goodness I got some water. Unreal $1.49 for one cup of coffee. Will never go back. The food between a 1-10 is a 5.

Anonymous said...

I live just down the road and pick up breakfast for the family almost every Saturday or Sunday morning at the drive thru window. Not too many places you can get a full breakfast cooked to order at a drive thru window while listening to titans pre-game on the radio. The lady at the window is always as friendly as can be. Home fries and biscuits and gravy are really good. The carnivore omlet is the wife's favorite. Prices are very reasonable. Honestly haven't noticed a difference each time the name of the joint changes- still good southern food

Unknown said...

From Virginia, I grew up having food exactly like this. This is TRUE Southern food.

We recently moved into the neighborhood (6 months ago) and I have had breakfast there at least 20 times since then. Prior to that, we drove 40 miles at least once a month to have breakfast or lunch there.

If you are expecting "Hi-Cuisine", you will be sadly disappointed and possibly be one of the others posting ridiculous comments, like some of the others.

Marie, one of the co-owners, waits tables, and she, Julia, and the other ladies not only offer great service, but do it with a smile.

As one poster stated, they are packed every weekend for a reason.

It is also one of the best places on the east side to people-watch.

So, disregard what the nay-sayers and stop by, check it out, and enjoy some true southern comfort food.