Want to know the top restaurants in Nashville—the ones we'd stack up against those in our sister cities across the country—as ranked by Where the Locals Eat? Tough. You'll just have to get Where the Locals Eat: The 100 Best Restaurants in the Top 50 Cities ($11.95, Magellan), the WTLE website's new pocket-sized guide to fine dining and good eats from Chicago to Seattle.
Editor Pat Embry, who also writes the Nashville entries, says that each city's section takes into consideration its regional specialties and unique ethnic makeup—e.g., the high concentration of seafood and delis in Miami. That explains why the Nashville section is lacking in Chinese cuisine, our city's habitual culinary blind spot.
Embry points instead to Nashville landmarks such as Prince's Hot Chicken and La Hacienda, the latter being his pick for the city's most influential ethnic restaurant. "It changed the whole nature of what we consider Mexican in town," Embry says.
The book isn't the only recent development at Where the Locals Eat. The site changed the name of its restaurant-news blog—the place where local food reporters keep score of their scoops—to YumbleBUS. (I had a cousin who was once hit by a Yumblebus.) The old title, Nashville Restaurant News, "was not a particularly sexy name," Embry says.
The book is available at Davis-Kidd, and Embry suggests it as a stocking stuffer. "It's only 12 bucks," he says. "I can blow 12 bucks at Taco Bell." But with his book, there's no reason for you to do the same.
Aw, what the heck. It's Thanksgiving. After the jump: 10 of the top Nashville restaurants in Embry's book.
The Loveless Cafe
Prince's Hot Chicken Shack