"We started out with just 10 items, including one burger, but the neighborhood immediately began to drive the direction and they wanted more burgers." Beer has always been very important at M.L. Rose, with 19 taps at the original restaurant and 30 at the new West Nashville outpost. "Our menu was solid, but the last piece of the puzzle was to match our food with the flavors of craft beers."
To accomplish this, Ray has added five new burgers and several inventive sandwiches. The Nash Vegas burger is a luxurious patty topped with pimento cheese, crispy tobacco onions and barbecue sauce served on a much-loved sweet potato bun. Ray calls it "candy for carnivores." The Night Owl features onions that are braised in stout beer with tomato jam, uncured bacon and Kenny's Farmhouse cheddar cheese.
The Smashy Melt is a pretty straightforward version of the traditional patty melt with griddled onions, mushrooms and Swiss cheese, and the Turkey Mozz substitutes bird for beef for a slightly healthier burger dressed up with basil mayo and sauteed mushrooms. The Angry Dragon burger makes your taste buds sit up and take notice thanks to a generous drizzle of Sriracha on top of avocado and a Willow Farms egg. M.L. Rose calls out many of the local ingredients they use on their menu, and all their beef comes from hormone-free grassfed cows that they run through at the rate of about one head per week.
Other notable sandwiches of the non-burger variety include a "Villy" Cheeseteak, made from shaved ribeye, more of those stout-braised onions, pickled peppers, mushrooms and smoked gouda. "I never wanted to do a regular Philly," says Ray. "I wanted something that was a little more fun and wouldn't start arguments with the Philly purists." Mission accomplished.
The Pig Roast is M.L. Rose's edition of a pulled pork sandwich, served on the sweet potato bun with jalapeno slaw, pimento cheese and a Carolina mustard sauce. Another nice sandwich is topped with a sweet tea-brined chicken breast that added a little extra punch to the typical bland chicken patty.
While you wait for your sandwich, enjoy a brew from their long beer list and an order of Bottle Caps, fried pickle chips, jalapenos and okra served with a thick housemade ranch sauce. On weekends, M.L. Rose serves a busy brunch from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. with breakfast burritos, breakfast bowls served with scrambled eggs and crispy hash browns, and a very popular Mornin' Honey, a bacon, egg and cheese sandwich served on the sweet potato bun with a drizzle of honey.
If you're a frequent visitor at M.L. Rose, you already know what's up. If not, drop by and give the new menu a try. I think you'll be impressed.
M.L. Rose Craft Beer and Burgers
2535 Franklin Pike
4408 Charlotte Ave.