With a couple of exceptions (like The Guardian, which included Tavern, Puckett's and Monell's), we're seeing the same names over and over. I fear that Mas Tacos will soon suffer the fate of being the tourist-only destination that the Loveless Cafe has been for years. Though I spotted a something a bit refreshing in last week's issue of The Memphis Flyer. It seems our friends in Memphis were able to make some recommendations for their fellow Memphians headed to Nashville that were actually different. Writer John Branston recommends Noshville over Pancake Pantry as well as Gerst Haus, Caffe Nonna and Sylvan Park restaurant. And for barbecue, Jim 'N Nick's over Martin's. Writer and vegan food blogger Bianca Phillips suggests going south of Nashville to The Farm in Summertown for a vegan retreat.
While I appreciate their efforts to mention something other than The Catbird Seat, City House and any number of bars, I wish they would have asked me (and not wasted a recommendation on barbecue). We're all friends here in Tennessee, right? Memphians will tell you to go to Central BBQ instead of Rendezvous, Pirtle's instead of Gus's, and also to get some Chinese food while you're in town, so we can share our favorites with them, right?
To our intrastate friends, I'd recommend enjoying the wonderful Middle Eastern food first and foremost and base recommendations on where they're staying (though I favor Anatolia). Then I'd tell them to visit Smiling Elephant for Thai. Also on the list would be Suzy Wong's House of Yum and/or Cha Chah, Rumba, Tayst, The Silly Goose, The Wild Cow (for veg*n friends), and Fido/Hot & Cold. And then, of course, to hit up Trader Joe's on the way out of town.
Friends don't let friends fall into tourist traps, right? What do you recommend to friends? No, really.