Friday, December 30, 2011

Music City Bowl Visitors

Nashville Restaurants and Food
Music City Bowl Visitors

Welcome to Nashville, we hope you enjoy your stay. If you need a quick list of downtown restaurants that rise above the usual tourist spots, just go to the right side of the screen and scroll down. You'll find a "downtown" listing. If you have a car and are willing to travel you'll find map links via urban spoon at the bottom of each post.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Holiday Wishes

Here's hoping that you have experienced fantastic holiday eating and that you have a new year full of Nashville food adventures. Merry Christmas and happy holidays of all sorts!

Katie and Eric

Monday, December 19, 2011

Silly Goose is reopening Tuesday

Greetings from Boston...we have heard from several readers that Silly Goose is back open and they are confirming that on their Facebook page. They will be open for business Tuesday for normal hours. Fantastic news. Let's show them some love with some extra business. Eric.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Silly Goose is Back Open and Coopers on Porter RIP

Greetings from Boston...we have heard from several readers that Silly Goose is back open and they are confirming that on their Facebook page. They will be open for business Tuesday for normal hours. Fantastic news. Let's show them some love with some extra business. Eric.

Well, the Meat Eater is in Beantown visiting family for the holidays, leaving the Veggie Eater to tend to the funny farm in J-town and other routine business matters, including this post.  I would imagine most have already heard, but I am sad to confirm, about the closing of Silly Goose and Coopers on Porter.  Both made our various "Tops" blogs in the past.  As I approached Silly Goose yesterday to verify with my own astonished eyes, I found a group of six milling about the door in disbelief.  The sign on the door stated something about the closure being a result of an "untenable business situation."  What I find untenable is the closing itself.  We also loved the brunch at Coopers, especially the bloody beers.  I believe the Sloco folks said it best, go out and eat local.  So following their advice, I took myself out to lunch at the Wild Cow http://www.thewildcow.com/twc/ and had a lovely meal (Buffalo Grinder and hearty tomato basil soup) to reflect, ponder, and have my spirits buoyed by Jimmy Cliff playing in the background.    Life is too short for bad chain restaurant food. Opt out of Subway and Arby's for lunch during the work week and instead put the funds to better use on the weekend for far better food at our locally owned restaurants.    Here's hoping for a prosperous, rewarding, and fulfilling new year for all, including our independently owned small business owners and restaurateurs.
K

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Kay Bob’s

Nashville Restaurants and Food
Kay Bob’s
1602 21st Avenue South
Nashville
615-321-4567
http://www.kaybobs.us/

The humble sandwich has been elevated in recent years and it’s a trend that we applaud. Choice ingredients, house-made sauces and breads and creative combinations can make a big difference. Kay Bob’s is hitting the sandwich market with a restaurant just across the street from Vanderbilt Medical Center. It’s run by the owners of Pizza Perfect, which is located next door.

The Kay Bob’s name is a play on kebabs. The meat line-up is kebab-esque in preparation and it’s a simple choice of seven combinations right now. Each sandwich is a puffy, white, flat bread wrap. The Tammie Rae brings ties together barbecue chicken, Cole slaw and melted Jack cheese. It’s straightforward and satisfying. The Uncle Bob is a burger wrapped up with lettuce, tomato and your choice of sauce. The horseradish sauce is a bit tame, but the quality of the local beef stands out with a pleasant sweetness. The sides include crispy and thick-cut sweet potato chips; a mellow and chilled black bean and corn salad; skinny hand-cut fries; and flavorful sweet sesame slaw with a crunch from Raman.

The rest of the menu includes six salad options and a kid’s menu.

Veggie Eater: We started with a Bibb salad; tender, uber-fresh salad greens are sprinkled with goat cheese, slices of pear, and sprinkled with sprouts. We opted for bleu cheese instead of the standard issue raspberry vinaigrette and found the homemade dressing to be light and tasty. My only gripe is that the lettuce leaves need to be torn up into smaller pieces (or use younger greens), because otherwise the salad is a bit of a sloppy affair to eat. Next up was the Dancin’ Desiree. The flat bread was lightly toasted and spread with a butternut squash puree and then adorned with caramelized onions, roasted red peppers, black beans and goat cheese. The sandwich had a slight sweetness from the squash and onions. I opted to pair it with the horseradish sauce, which was fairly mellow and allowed the other ingredients to take center stage. On the next visit, I had Annabelle’s Acre. This is more of a kebab themed sandwich, consisting of chunks of mushrooms, peppers, squash, zucchini, onion and tomatoes and topped with cheese of choice. I found the veggie pieces to be too large, which created a bit of a messy sandwich, as the chunks squirted out the other end while taking a bite. This is served with a cucumber sauce (reminiscent of a raita) and I chose the spicy mustard sauce for my side sauce, which had a nice zippiness to it, both from the mustard seeds and from the vinegar. The skinny fries are delightful: skins-on and perfect for dunking in whatever side sauce you opt for. The two sandwiches I had are in fact the only veggie sandwiches on the menu, but to be fair, there are only 7 sandwiches in total. There are few meal sized salads that would allow for variety for future visits, and I love a good salad with fresh veggies and homemade dressing.

Meat Eater: Kay Bob’s has a Spartan, if serviceable, dining room with the added feature of roll-up garage door-style windows. That will be great next spring, but on one visit it was a bit brisk for our comfort. The staff is enthusiastic and knowledgeable. It will be interesting to see what else they do with the menu. Given the theme, we were hoping for more Mediterranean influences, perhaps a wrap with hummus or some falafel would fit the bill. We suspect they are staying away from such items to not anger the Middle Eastern restaurant upstairs.

We paid $21 with tax and tip on one visit and $30 on another visit and as usual that was for a bunch of food, some of which came home with us.

Kay Bob's on Urbanspoon

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Fleet Street

Nashville Restaurants and Food
Fleet Street
Printers Alley Downtown
Nashville
615-200-0782
www.fleetstreetpub.com

Downtown Nashville needs more places like Fleet Street. It’s a comfortable and stylish subterranean bar that serves creative and well-executed food that goes well beyond pub grub. It’s a decidedly local take on the downtown bar scene and that’s appreciated. While we love the tourists, we’re not a fan of the chain-inspired blandness that takes up much of downtown dining.

Now some folks are probably already arguing with the term local. Fleet Street has an English pub theme and that will of course inspire a fist-fight over what is an authentic British pub. Get over it. By local we mean designed for local Nashvillians, not necessarily tourists (although I’m sure they’re quite welcome). We don’t worry much about authenticity. Travel to England and you’ll find a million versions of the British pub. It doesn’t have to have a 200 year-old bar and well-worn snugs to be British-minded. Owner Glenn Henderson is a former Nashville Banner journalist, thus the British newspaper name for the joint. They have a decent, if limited, tap beer selection with some U.K. favorites, a full bar and darts for those who want some competition.

Fish and chips, Welsh rarebit, beef and Yorkshire pudding and other United Kingdom inspired dishes make up the menu, with burgers and salads to round it out. Tuck into the Shepherd’s Pie and you’ll notice a difference immediately: it’s well-seasoned and the lamb adds a welcome sweetness. The crispy mashed potato topping is rather delicate in comparison to some versions. The fish and chips are also more than expected. The fillets have a light fry and there’s creaminess to the fish. Purists can scream all they want. It’s a worthy dish and the crispy, fluffy potato wedges sit just fine with us. In fact, we suggest opening the meal with those Blackfriars fries, as they’re called on the menu. There’s a well-made mustard aioli dip for the veggie eater and if you’re with meat eaters we might suggest cheese and bacon to put the dish over the top.

The Westminster Beefsteak is on special one night and that means it’s just $15, which is a steal for this sizeable and tender, coffee-crusted tenderloin cooked perfectly medium rare. You might not taste the Guinness in the gastrique that sauces the top of the beef, but it’s still a winning combination. The side of smoked cheddar gratin is also a standout. Mushy peas are served mashed and perhaps whipped and provide a light and flavorful alternative to mashed potatoes. The German potato salad is served cold, which bothered the Wisconsinite at our table. There’s a real bite thanks to strong coarse ground mustard that I enjoyed, although perhaps not as much as the other sides.

Veggie Eater: I’m in love with this place- how often do you hear the Pixies and Radiohead on the stereo downtown? Add to this a very veggie-friendly menu and you have a winning combination. After feasting on the fabulous, but I’m sure sinfully bad for you, wedge fries, I wanted a lighter alternative for an entrĂ©e. This led to the Surrey Quays Curry, which fit the bill perfectly. Chunky veggies (carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, peas and onions) were served in a light curry sauce with faint heat atop a heaping mound of Jasmine rice. What really elevated this dish was the addition of a few stealth ingredients, garbanzo beans and beets. Chutney is served on the side for dipping. There are many other options as well, though, including: homemade veggie burger (made with quinoa), Tottenham seasonal salad (also with beets), and the Whitechapel Welsh Rarebit. Top this all with a snakebite (cider and Bass) and you have a delightful evening out.

Meat Eater: I had a lovely time on both occasions and especially with good friends Scott and Lisa on the second visit (the Veggie Eater was out of town). There are plenty of other interesting things to try on future visits: hot chicken-style Cornish game hen; spiced dates and Stilton cheese wrapped up in bacon; and a chicken pie. Here’s hoping Mr. Henderson has a successful run with Fleet Street.

We paid $64 for two with drinks, tax and tip on one visit and $139 for three people with many drinks on another visit.

Fleet Street on Urbanspoon