Friday, March 22, 2013

The Road, Episode 27: The Other Place Sports Bar and Grill [Eating Our Way Down Nolensville Pike]

Posted By on Fri, Mar 22, 2013 at 11:28 AM

My phone died before the food arrived, so enjoy this picture of a picture of Hollywood Hulk Hogan.
  • My phone died before the food arrived, so enjoy this picture of a picture of Hollywood Hulk Hogan.
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 27: The Other Place Sports Bar and Grill
Address: 6900 Lenox Village Dr., Ste. 17
Phone: 445-8122

We had no intention of going to The Other Place. In fact, we had intended to go this other place because we had heard they had a good veggie burger and ostensibly I'm still attempting my fancy hippie cleanse. But we arrived at the lower-case-other place to find there was a 30 minute wait, and as my wife observed, the joint smelled like cheap domestic beer and dirty mop water, so we skipped out and went to The Other Place. It was all very Abbott and Costello, but it worked out for the best — by the time we left, we'd had a good meal, good beers and a good time.

Truth be told, the wife and I never head to Lenox Village — mixed-use developments for middle class folks just aren't are style. You may have picked up on it in the last, oh, 20-odd installments of this column that we are more comfortable in places that are a little bit rough around the edges, a little more grimey. I personally feel more comfortable in a scrappy spot where there is no shared language between myself and the proprietors. That I could hang out at The Other Place — it's a sports bar, I am not a sports bar dude — and not get antsy, irritable and obnoxious is a pretty strong testament to the quality vibes at the OP.

The bar itself isn't anything crazy or fancy. They've installed enough hardwood to make it feel like an actual bar — instead of an anonymous mixed-use store front — and the décor is limited to a handful of pictures, beer promotions and televisions. We were tucked in the backed corner, and even though the place was full all night — Belmont and the Preds were both on television — it never got that loud. OK, it was a bit loud — and screechy — once the karaoke lady set up, but that almost doesn't count. Also, no smoking — which is nice for a dude who's trying not to smoke (as much). All in all, a nice relaxed, unpretentious little spot.

And the food was really good, even if it took almost an hour for our entrees to get to our table. We think our order — Guinness-battered cod and a Ceasar salad with grilled salmon — may have required a trip to the grocery store. Because if a kitchen is ever going to run out of ingredients, it's while the dude from the local alt-weekly is there to write a review. (I've worked in kitchens, that shit ALWAYS happens at the worst time. It's like some universal law.) But we did get our appetizer — fried zucchini with horseradish ranch, which is worth making multiple return trips for — and our waiter/bartender distracted us from the epic wait with big glasses of beer that kept magically refilling. Well played, mister bartender, well played

And when the food got there it was totally worth the wait. The cod was spot-on with a hearty, crispy crust and flaky cod goodness inside and paired with “potato nuggets” — home fries — and a tasty coleslaw. The key lime/chipotle tartar sauce is something I would usually avoid — too many fashionable flavors at once — but I found it surprisingly enjoyable. It's certainly not the cod I grew up with in New England, but it was a fun take on the classic. My wife — who is obsessed with Caesar salad — ranked her meal as one of the top five she's had in town. I'm going to guess the serious slab of grilled salmon helped the rankings. For an unexpected stop that ran into a couple of snags, The Other Place really came through with good service and solid food.

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