Sunday, March 4, 2012
201 S. Main Street
Pastry folks are known as being sticklers for detail. It’s perhaps one reason that bakeries often do well when they cross over to a wider restaurant menu. Trish Golter has spent much of her life in cooking and pastry creation. She worked at Mad Platter for 11 years. Her latest passion is her own bakery and restaurant in Goodlettsville called Flourgirls. You can watch as folks come in to pick-up cakes for all occasions. One day we see an artfully finished purple Barbie design for a seven year-old’s birthday and the serious consideration by both staff member and mom to make sure Barbie’s head is on straight. The sweet baked goods are a highlight of Flourgirls, but don’t let the bakery business make you lose sight of the restaurant offerings. They have an excellent line-up of sandwiches, salads and soups, making Flourgirls one of our favorite café lunches in the Nashville area.
Ginger-carrot bisque is a thick, hearty soup with a slightly sweet finish. The Flourgirls salad features lightly grilled portabellas, sliced thin and combined with feta, spiced-sugar pecans and dried cranberries over fresh greens. The sweet basil vinaigrette is the perfect accompaniment. It’s interesting that they don’t bake their own bread for the sandwiches. But it makes sense. The quality bread fits the bill and it leaves them plenty of time to focus on the sandwich creation. The grilled Panini’s are skillfully pressed. The Cuban is a damn fine rendition with crispy crust, flavorful pork and ham and just the right amount of Swiss cheese. A lightly dressed salad with feta comes on the side. A muffaletta also does tradition proud with a fresh-tasting house-made tapenade that trends light and savory over vinegary and oily. A delicate potato soup is mild and satisfying and paired with a doughy and herby rosemary foccacia for dipping.
You can’t leave without sampling the baked goods. They specialize in the sweet side of things, with a small number of cookies, brownies, and cupcakes that seem to change each time we visit. It’s not a huge operation and so the selection is limited. The treats are made with love. Witness the chocolate espresso torte, presented with a couple of dollops of house-made whipped cream. It’s rich, dense and with a lovely flavor for a wonderful finish to one meal. For another lunch we experience a unique and tasty tahini and almond shortbread.
Veggie Eater: The menu seems to make great effort at ensuring veggie options. The daily soup selection is a rotating affair, based on whatever is locally available and seasonal. Again, they have a veggie option. The first time out, I opted to pair a bowl of the three bean chili with the tapenade plate. The chili is a chunky and thick creation with corn, carrots, and peppers providing company to the beans. It was simply seasoned, allowing the veggies to take center stage. The tapenade is zippy, thanks to the olives (green and black), capers, and roasted red peppers. The folks at Flourgirls were kind enough to throw in a complimentary dollop of the homemade hummus. Again, the hummus is simply seasoned and is the perfect mate to the tapenade. Carrots, crackers, and toasted pitas served as the scooping vehicles. On the second visit, I just had to try the pimento cheese. I have strong feelings about what constitutes excellent pimento cheese; none of the Miracle whip, slightly sweet, mousse-like textured stuff will do. I opted to have the Flourgirls version on a croissant and was thrilled with the result. This is a coarsely mixed spread with a wonderful tangy finish. The pimento cheese is generously heaped on your bread of choice and coupled with a salad. I was left with a half-sandwich for another day’s lunch (can’t wait). We received a lesson on the history of the building during one of our visits. Apparently, the building was the original fire house in Goodlettsville and was later re-purposed into a long-standing dry cleaning business. The building still has many 40’s retro touches (check out the front windows). There is music wafting from the kitchen with staff singing along. Regular customers engage in serious discussions with staff about what additional items should be taken home (a whole cake) after the meal has been finished. The staff makes a big point to greet everyone and display obvious pride in their products. Our waitress was concerned that we did not like the carrot bisque (it was simply too hot and needed time to cool) and also offered to comp our dessert because she was apologetic about the wait to get our food (maybe 15 minutes max). We assured her that the soup was delightful and that we did in fact plan to get dessert, but would happily pay for it given the fact that our wait was not at all unreasonable. This venture has been open for three years and it seems almost criminal that it’s taken us this long to wander down the hill to take advantage of the menu.
Meat Eater: The next visit will have to include the vegetarian lasagna. They serve coffee and bakery goods for a late breakfast (they don't up until 10am) and do take-out for dinner pick-up until 6pm on weekdays. It’s a simple dining room, very much in a down-home country style. Original photography and artwork lines the walls. Located just across the street from the Goodlettsville City Hall it is well-situated just down the street from the Antique stores on Main Street. We think this gem needs wider recognition.