Nashville Restaurants and Food
The Sands Soul Food Diner
937 Locklayer Street
Some of the best food in Nashville is served in the most modest of surroundings. The Sands Soul Food Diner looks like a bar or a liquor store from the outside. Inside you’ll find a well worn dining room. You stand next to the glass display, and try to figure out what is what as the array of food is laid out, steaming in front of you. There are no signs to help, so you have to ask. The kind ladies behind the serving line are more than happy to point out what may be your next new favorite dish.
The Sands Soul Food Diner used to be called the Silver Sands. It’s located in the residential neighborhood just across the street from the Nashville Farmer’s Market. It has a legendary reputation and for good reason: this is some of the best meat and three around.
Meat loaf, beef tips, chicken in gravy, broiled chicken, and fried chicken were among the items the ladies had cooking on a recent lunch visit. You can ask for catfish and they’ll fry it up. After asking for a recommendation, I went with the chicken and gravy. Back at the table it proved to be a good tip. The gravy is rich and savory. It’s thicker and browner than your usual chicken gravy. It packs tons of flavor and goes well with the perfectly cooked chicken. The hot water corn bread is exceptional: sweet, moist and really tasty. Everything is nicely seasoned, including the surprisingly light and airy macaroni and cheese. I’m not sure what they do to get the delicate texture, but it’s good. The okra was the only dish I had issue with, and that’s mainly due to preference. The Sands serves up a traditional southern version, cooked whole in water and coming out with a bit of slime, which is often a problem with Okra. It was cooked al dente though, which is a good thing for veggies, and I still managed to clean the plate.
Around you every other customer walking in the door is like a family reunion for the staff. Everyone is asking about everyone’s family. You can sit there for a moment, enjoy the feeling of good food in the stomach, and relax with a bit of classic Nashville. And that’s what I call a great lunch.
I paid $8.80 for meat and two with tax, tip and a drink.