Nashville Restaurants and Food
Gabby’s Burgers and Fries
493 Humphreys St.
Who could find a restaurant, hidden away in an industrial area, and surrounded by a construction maze? The burger army, that’s who. Gabby’s pulls the faithful in, despite all the literal roadblocks. You gotta figure the food is pretty darn good if folks are willing to put up with a major detour. And the answer is yes, the food is decadent and atmosphere convivial at Gabby’s Burgers and Fries.
The burger army tends to fall into the middle-aged guy mold, although there are plenty of younger people and women seeking out this patty palace in South Nashville. Owner Doug Havron gives a boisterous welcome to just about everyone as they come in the door, and if he’s busy someone else on the staff will throw out a hello. They recognize regulars, shout out orders and show real camaraderie behind the counter. Havron has a wealth of experience in the Nashville restaurant scene and it shows: the place runs like a top. It all makes the modest little dining room one of the most entertaining lunch spots in town, although those seeking a quiet repast might want to get that burger to go.
At 11 a.m. on a Wednesday there is already a line. The Gabby’s staff keeps the food moving fast. Luckily that doesn’t take away from the consideration they put into each of those burgers. On one visit the Gabby Burger topped the agenda. Two large patties are cooked to an exacting medium rare. With cheese and the works it’s almost tough to get your mouth around it. It’s a messy delight. Pair that with thick, hand-cut sweet potato fries and you have heaven. Even the condiments get respect at Gabby’s. The kickin’ ketchup and wasabi mayo may not be rocket science, but they do hit the spot. Zippy chili comes in a generous bowl for a side dish.
Doug keeps the pace going, so even if you hit a line you can expect fast service. Four guys pick up their burgers with abandon, while a business woman carefully cuts her burger in two with a fork. The B-B-Q burger with a fried egg on top seems like a quick trip to heart attack city. Enjoy the ride while the egg oozes over the meat and the grilled onions provide a little bite. Let’s face it: burgers should be sloppy, juicy and occasionally calorically outrageous.
The menu is short and to the point: six burger options, a couple of chicken sandwiches, a veggie burger, a hot dog, and various permutations of all. What they don’t cover in range, they make up for in quality.
When the bridge construction project is done it will actually be fairly easy to find Gabby’s. They are located right next to Greer stadium, where the Nashville Sounds play. They are directly behind the big guitar scoreboard. Right now they have weekday lunch hours, (which is why it has taken so long to do this review) although recently they have been staying open until 7:30 p.m. on Fridays.
The burger army will probably keep growing in size (numbers I mean, although perhaps in pounds as well). Gabby’s is just that good. Do yourself a favor and enlist now.
The burgers and sandwiches are in the $5-$6 range and come with your choice of side. I paid $10 with tax and tip for a burger, fries and a drink on both of two visits.
Sunday, February 28, 2010
Nashville Restaurants and Food
Sunday, February 21, 2010
Sunday, February 14, 2010
Nashville Restaurants and Food
The Smiling Elephant
2213 8th Ave. South
Thursday, February 11, 2010
Nashville Restaurants and Food
Sky Blue for Sale
Another report from the ever changing Nashville restaurant world. The quirky and cozy little eatery in East Nashville, Sky Blue Coffee and Bistro, is for sale. Owner Kara Christian says she loves the cooking side of the restaurant, but not the business side. Her husband Kevin apparently took care of the front of the house, and after a divorce Kara is looking to sell the business.
We recommended this joint for Valentine's Day Brunch and the good news is they will be open. Kara says they plan to stay in business Friday through Monday from 9am-4pm through the end of the month. After that she can't say. She reports several people interested in buying her equipment and taking over the lease.
The restaurant is located at 700 Fatherland Street. Here is our review from last year: http://nashvillerestaurants.blogspot.com/2009/10/sky-blue-coffee-and-bistro.html
Here is her note:
Sky Blue Coffee and Bistro is for Sale Are you looking to open a coffee shop or restaurant? This is a great deal for someone! All equipment and supplies will be included. Total turn key business! Equipment and inventory worth more than asking price. Includes everything you need including your P.O.S system, coolers, stoves, ice machines, neon signs, cappuccino machine, the list goes on and on even down to silverware! We have all the vendors you need. Our customers are used to a wait on Saturday and Sunday. Contact: Kara Christian at 615-521-3494
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
1. Garden Brunch Café
This Jefferson Street restaurant blends a historic setting with a sleek, modern makeover. While the entire house underwent a transformation, it retains a sense of comfort and style that evokes an earlier age, when dining was a real event. Many folks dress up for brunch here, but if you’re wearing jeans and a t-shirt you won’t feel out of place. It seems like dressing up would make it more of a Valentine’s Day occasion. As the name implies this is a brunch-only spot. The Germantown West Benny, a salmon version of eggs Benedict, and Bananas Foster pancakes were a pleasure on our last visit. Pop for a mimosa and things can get even more romantic. For Valentine’s Day they will have regular Sunday brunch hours. They tell me they expect big business, so they suggest you make reservations. They are also having special candlelight dinners on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights on Valentine’s Day weekend. Check the website for details and the menu: www.gardenbrunchcafe.com
2. Sky Blue Coffee and Bistro (This restaurant is for sale, however the owner says they will be open Valentine's Day weekend 9am-4pm and probably through the end of February-ed.)
We’re going to run with the breakfast/brunch idea. For whatever reason, a laid back Sunday brunch just seems romantic. Sky Blue Coffee and Bistro offers up a jovial, warm neighborhood setting -that fits our bill for romance in 2010. Just make sure you are okay with casual for Valentine’s Day. It’s also a smaller location, so you may have to wait. They serve up an inventive and well executed breakfast and lunch menu. Quite frankly that Brisket Benedict is still calling my name. Sky Blue does not take reservations on Sundays. They will be open 9am-4pm on Valentine’s Day. www.skybluecoffee.com
Expect to pay about $28 for two entrees, coffee tax and tip.
700 Fatherland Street in East Nashville- 615-770-7097
3. Mere Bulles
If you’re looking for a more upscale Sunday brunch, Mere Bulles features romantic surroundings and a decadent all you can eat buffet with inventive flair. Items like crème brulee French toast and fried green tomato eggs Benedict bring in the crowds. It’s one of the more restrained buffets in town size-wise, with a just a few breakfast items, some entrees, sides and plenty of deserts. The legendary She-Crab Bisque is probably worth the trip on its own. The sherry based soup is silky and plenty crabby at the same time. The blackened grouper was also a hit at our table. The pork loin was dry and a little tough on our visit. The chocolate fountain and mini-key lime morsels certainly hit the romantic notes. A full bar (starting at noon) and mimosas can also help promote the spirit of the day.
If you intend to do dinner, consider this Nashville stalwart. The Mad Platter has been a fine dining favorite for 20 years. The 1880’s building housed a butcher shop and drug store in years past. Craig and Marcia Jervis utilize the long, narrow room well, maintaining an upscale sensibility that blends with the historic nature of the creaky wood floors and original brick. Don’t miss their famous take on Caesar salad; it may be one of the best versions in town: decadently creamy, with hints of sweet provided by sun dried tomatoes. Veggie Eaters will need to ask about options, and while there are only a few on the menu, you’ll find the wait staff glad to help. An inquiry with the kitchen revealed the roasted tomato soup was not veggie friendly, but the hearty, warming white bean was not only safe but subtly spiced and herbed. We asked for the blackened beef tips on the side so the Veggie Eater could taste the savory ricotta gnocchi in a three cheese sauce. They were happy to oblige. They only do dinner service on Sundays. The Valentine’s menu will include some favorites and a few offerings special for the night. They will come in a five course and three course options.
We paid $120 with tax and tip for one five course and one three course dinner, with a couple of glasses of wine and a cocktail.
The Mad Platter is located at 1239 Sixth Avenue North in the Germantown neighborhood of Nashville - 615-242-2563. www.themadplatterrestaurant.com