Friday, November 30, 2012

The Road, No.18: Grassmere Grill & Kabob [Eating Our Way Down Nolensville Pike]

Posted By on Fri, Nov 30, 2012 at 1:14 PM

Falafel for breakfast. Sweet.
  • Falafel for breakfast. Sweet.
Welcome to The Road, my column in which I'm going to attempt — key word: attempt — to eat at every non-chain restaurant on Nolensville Pike between I-440 and the county line. I'll readily admit that even though I live right off Nolensville — Paragon Mills represent! — and revel in the diversity and quantity of its eateries, I have barely scratched the surface of what the strip has to offer. But now I'm going to rectify that, and hopefully you'll join for what's likely to be a wild ride.

Episode 18: Grassmere Grill & Kabob
Address: 3802 Nolensville Pike
Phone: 837-2568

OK, so maybe I shouldn't have followed up Shish Kabob with Grassmere Grill & Kabob — it seems a tad bit unfair to compare the relatively low-key GG & K to the swankier SK. But then again, I don't have the self-control to deny a bright, glowing awning that boldly declares "kabob," especially now that the sun disappears beneath the horizon shortly after I get out of bed. I mean, the holidays are all about basking in the warm, warm glow of artificial light, right? And soup. This season is all about soup — which might be my favorite thing out Grassmere Grill & Kabob.

Grassmere G & K sits tucked in the plaza at the corner of Nolensville and Elysian Fields, across The Road from El Amigo and Sinbad Cafe, across the parking lot from Al-Rasoul and Hibachi Grill and Supreme Buffet. (Or as the missus and I call it, Sue-PREEEEEEEEME Buffet, even though it's just an OK buffet.) I hadn't been over to GG & K since the first time I lived in this hood, and I think they've done some remodeling? Maybe it's just me, but I feel like GG & K used to have a more fast food/cafeteria vibe, whereas these days it's a casual-but-classy spot with modest decor and a nice, clean, friendly vibe.

The food doesn't quite have the vibrance of Shish Kabob — that place is something special — but GG & K has got the fundamentals down, and they hit all the right buttons in my belly to insure repeat visits. (It is now the closest gyro spot to my house, so that helps.) For me, the real winner is their lentil soup — heavy on the fresh cracked pepper, it's a rich, filling soup that warms your belly and creates a little breathing room in winter-ravaged sinuses. I honestly ate too much of the soup and didn't really leave enough room to enjoy the falafel — a flatter, not-so-deep-fried patty of sesame and chick pea — but that also meant I had leftover falafel for breakfast. (I'm not sure if you're hep to "falafel for breakfast," but it's in the same strata of awesome as cold pizza.)

My better half ordered the gyro platter and was very happy with it; the meat was tender and moist, fresh from the spit to the grill with edges of each slice nice and crispy. The yellow rice was solid if nothing special, but GG & K's tzatziki — cucumber sauce — which is significantly tangier and more present than just about any tzatziki in town. (I have a sneaking suspicion they use kefir instead of Greek yogurt, but I also have a three-pound tub of kefir in my fridge, so I've been thinking about kefir more than usual. Mmm, kefir.)

Overall, GG & K is a sturdy little neighborhood gyro place — I won't implore you to travel across town to try it, but if you're in the 'hood definitely stop by for some soup and that tasty tzatziki.

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