Tuesday, May 27, 2008

nashville report

OK, just a brief Nashville report cuz it might be boring if you haven't been there or will never go there and also because there is so much goddamned shit going on this week to think about.

This is Arnold's, which often gets voted "best meat and 3" (as the sign says) in Nashville. I had to walk through a slightly sketchy area to get here, and Nashville is one of the most pedestrian-unfriendly places I've ever been (how about no crosswalks anywhere? hardly anyone walks and I saw like two bikes the whole time I was there), but Arnold's was totally worth it.
It's cafeteria-style in a way that reminded me of trips to Luby's in my youth, but way better. The meat that was offered was roast beef, chicken livers, or country-fried steak. I got the roast beef, which was slightly rare and juicy and studded with whole garlic cloves. My sides were fried green-tomatoes (tart, with a crispy cornmeal crust), greens (salty) and mac and cheese (perfect Southern style). My dessert was tooth-rottingly sweet pecan pie washed down with sweet tea. This meal was practically flawless!
However, the best single meal I had the whole time was at a food stall in the farmer's market called Jamaicaway. That below is scrumptious curry goat, bracingly bitter turnip greens, snappy stewed cabbage, ginger beer, and a johnnycake on the side (which tasted like a rich, savory doughnut). Nashville has a year round farmer's market housed in a big warehouse that puts all our farmer's markets to shame. It had an Indian market that was better stocked than anything we have, tons of live plants for sale, Amish people selling baked goods, and lots of tasty lamb and pork. If they can do this, why can't we?
I tried out Hog Heaven, which is often named as the best BBQ in Nashville. It was in a little whitebrick shack with a screened in patio.
I got the pulled pork sandwich with coleslaw and what can I say? I thought it was just ok. A little dry. Thanks to Cam's rec, I made sure to make time to visit Monell's, which is in a pretty cute neighborhood called Germantown. Monell's is a family style restaurant, meaning you are seated with strangers and pass plates and bowls around. For a flat fee (about 13 bucks for breakfast) you are presented with a cornucopia of food and beverages that includes but is not limited to: biscuits, gravy, homemade peach preserves, cornmeal pancakes, bacon, country ham, sausage, green apples in syrup, eggs, potatoes, and best of all-fried chicken for breakfast! This place is awesome and shouldn't be missed!

The Opry was fun. I recommend it. People are unbelievably friendly in the South, it's true.


Anonymous said...

I am so hungry now.
Welcome home


Anonymous said...

There is a rundown version of that market in Oakland called the Housewives Market. These indoor markets have always struck me as a Southern Phenomenon. I have been to a similar one in New Orleans. Not that Oakland is on the south, I know my geography!

Also, I agree that people in the south are so friendly. A fellow in Atlanta told me that my charm was only exceeded by my beauty. Damn!

girlLawyer said...

I'm so glad you hit up Monell's! I was never floored by any of the meat n' threes out there, but I'm glad you got to try one out and were pleased with it! Try Jack's BBQ for BBQ next time you are out that way.

CM said...

Ohhh sweet Monells. I ate so much there once that I made myself sick and tried to induce vomiting.