Nashville Restaurants and Food
First hits: Fleet Street, Sloco and Kay Bob’s
It’s a good weekend when we get to sample three new restaurants, all well-anticipated, and we have good first impressions across the board. Remember- these are first visits only, we’ll go back in a few weeks to see how they are doing for a full review of each.
We had our first look at the new Fleet Street Pub in Printers Alley. You’d never recognize the place from its former days as Parco Café. It’s a stylish and yet comfortable subterranean design, and while it’s there’s an ode to British pub style here and there, it feels more urban bar than anything else. They’re still gearing up in the beer department and the liquor just came in. The food we sampled was excellent. Because of the promotion as an English pub purists will probably have issues here and there. We don’t pay much attention to that sort of thing – we’ll judge the food on its own merits. They entrees we sampled (shepherd’s pie with lamb and curry veggies) were spot-on and the Blackfriars fries are some of the better wedge-style fries we have had in Nashville. Vegetarians should be able to find several things to eat here, although it may be important to ask about the finer points in the cooking process. Owner Glenn Henderson is a former Nashville Banner journalist, thus the British newspaper name for the joint. Fish and chips, chicken pie, Welsh rarebit, beef and Yorkshire pudding and other British inspired dishes make up the menu, with burgers and salads to keep most folks happy. The next visit will have to include the Hatton Cross Hot Hen- the Fleet Street take on hot chicken with Cornish game hen. The crowd has been primarily local so far, and that would be fine, just as long as the locals get out there to support the place. It’s a great alternative to the tourist bar scene.
Printers Alley Downtown
Sloco is a tiny, narrow sandwich shop packed so full of roasting aromas and genuine smiles on our Saturday visit that it was hard not to love the place, especially when the room stood at attention for the presentation of a Star Wars lunch box and matching X-Wing fighter cookie cutters. The fun extends to the food. The pronouncements on the wall can seem a bit much: seasonal ingredients only, small-footprint ecologically, love the community etc. The plain fact is that these guys seem to be doing just that. For just being open a couple of weeks they seem incredibly connected to the local clientele and make a big point of recyclables and recycling. All much appreciated, especially the quality local ingredients. The sandwiches are creative takes on classics. The pastrami is juicier and mellower than the usual and given little bursts of extra flavor with a unique pickled relish. They are several nods to the vegetarian, including a Vegan meatball sub with nutty quinoa flavor, shaved seitan and a slow-roasted veggie sub. The breads are baked in house. Mustards and other sauces are also house made. Best of all- people actually seem to enjoy working here. It looks like Jeremy Barlow of Tayst may have another hit on his hands.
2905 12th Avenue South
The humble flatbread gets top billing at the new Kay Bob’s sandwich restaurant near Vanderbilt. It’s the latest venture from the folks next door at Pizza Perfect. Meats are grilled kabob style and sandwiches are wrapped up in a crispy, toasty flatbread. It worked fine for our sandwiches, especially when wrapped up burrito style with sweet, locally-produced ground beef for the Uncle Bob burger. A Bibb salad has huge leaves of ultra-fresh lettuce, goat cheese and pear for a nice touch. Seven sandwiches, six salads and a thoughtful kids menu (PBJ flatbread anyone?) round out the main items and even the sides (sweet sesame slaw and house-cut fries) were appreciated. It looks like Vandy has a new lunch spot.
1602 21st Avenue South
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Nashville Restaurants and Food