The blue tarp is gone, new restaurants are dishing up business and the spring seems to be back in the step at the Nashville Farmers’ Market. It’s taken long enough. Let us not dwell and instead focus on the positive developments. The main dining area is done and in a stylish and functional form. Swagruha Indian cuisine, B and C Market BBQ, Nooley’s Cajun, Swett’s meat and three, and Chicago Style Gyro’s seem to be doing well. New joints include Nashville Coffee and Company, Farmers’ Market Deli and a new Mexican place called El Burrito that isn’t open quite yet. Fleur de Lis New Orleans Sno Balls is also new in the last couple of months. While we haven’t sampled yet we understand they are basically snow cones on steroids and in many different flavors.
On this lunch visit we opted for a favorite, Jamaicaway restaurant. The jerk chicken was piled high and while tasty, I did kick myself for going mild instead of spicy. The beef ribs and ox tails looked particularly good this day. The Johnny cakes have to be some of the best in Nashville: a delicate fry leaves them cake like, not greasy, and generally delicious. The dirty rice and pineapple sweet potatoes are excellent sides and provide a good pairing with the chicken. There is so much to choose from for the vegetarian that they actually spooned out little bits for the Veggie Eater to taste. It’s almost enough to get the Meat Eater to switch sides for the day.
Veggie Eater: I had one of the citrus chickeny flavors du jour; appeared to be wheat gluten based and had a bit of a curry taste to it. I sampled all veggie items for that day and decided this one best fit the bill, though any of the others would have made me perfectly as happy. I have heard the Jamaicaway folks tell meat eaters, “you won’t even realize it’s vegetarian” when touting their veggie items and they are absolutely right. Half of the menu is veggie entrees (there were at least 8 this visit) and all side items are veggie friendly. I had hoped to take some home for left over lunch the next day, but it was so good, I figured, “What the hell” and plowed through an ample plate. Best thing is, all of it is pretty darn good for you, so even in excess, you don’t feel all that guilty. Great space, great mix of folks, customers and staff alike.
Meat Eater: We’d still like to see more specialty stores and vendors at the Farmers' Market, especially baked goods, cheese etc. We look forward to seeing Geraldine’s Pies on Saturdays, picking up a loaf of sourdough from the Schrock Family Bakery and spicy Italian sausage from Barbour Farm. It all works perfectly with ripe locally grown tomatoes and freshly picked squash. The Farmers' Market is one of the great things about Nashville and we hope to see them keep growing.