Nashville Restaurants and Food
Nashville Street Tacos
129 Second Avenue North
Who would have thought that there would be two places to get elotes in downtown Nashville? The Mexican street corn, grilled and slathered in mayo, crumbly queso and chili powder. Despite the mayo substitution, it’s done well at Nashville Street Tacos (the other street corn location is the new Acme Seed and Feed). While it’s not a Mexican revolution by any means, the new second avenue establishment is a considerable step-up from tourist food, and offers one of the better restaurant bargains downtown.
The line-up consists of the usual taqueria suspects: tacos, burritos and quesadillas. They originally proclaimed house made tortillas on their website, but we have not seen them served, probably due in part to the labor intensive nature of fresh tortillas. The guacamole is surprisingly complex. The green chili queso dip hits the spot. Scoop it all up with thick-cut and fresh-fried chips. The quesadillas are a big meal. The machaca is shredded beef in a red chili sauce. It’s flavorful and satisfying. Another visit brings a carne asada burrito. You can specify at the line what you want on your burrito or taco and the ingredients seem high quality: black beans, spicy pinto beans, cilantro, spicy salsa and some fresh pico. For those trying to avoid carbs you can get the burro (their name for a burrito) in a bowl. Meats include chicken, battered fish and the aforementioned beef versions. Their version of the Sonoran style hot dog sounds good: bacon wrapped frank with beans and a spicy jalapeno sauce. They have a decent beer list on tap.
Mexican is always tough for vegetarians. Nashville Street Tacos offers a sin carne, veggie version, of each item, substituting guacamole for the meat. If you’re careful about your additional items you can eat well here.
Veggie Eater: This is not a terribly original restaurant concept-pick your meat of choice and add your fixings of choice. However, it is a nice option to have downtown. I’ve found the sin carne burrito does a wonderful job of sopping up pre Ryman concert beer (though beware, beer can be found and consumed here, which defeats the purpose). There are some nice additions to the fixing choices, including queso fresco and fresh pico de gallo. The obligatory bean and rice options are also available. Once you are done customizing your item (be it taco, burrito, or quesadilla), you can further adorn it with a variety of different salsas. Don’t ask for elotes, as the staff are apt to look at you like you have spoken Swahili, but if you request the grilled corn, they are happy to oblige and the product is worth the momentary confusion. As with many Tex-Mex joints, the portions are large and the prices are fair. Of note, the veggie option is $2 less than most of the other meat options, so it’s one of the few places I don’t feel like I’m being gouged.
Meat Eater: The space is modern and large enough to accommodate crowds. The open front window makes for some fun people watching while you eat. Nashville Street Tacos may not be breaking any new ground, but they certainly offer a quality meal at a low price, perfect for before a concert at the Ryman, or to hold down all of that honky tonk beer. We paid $25 with tip on one visit and $34, including beers, on another visit.