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Comment Archives: Locations: Food and Drink: 3 Stars

Re: “Tex's Bar-B-Q

Tex's has sort of a western/saloon thing going on, one that probably hasn't changed much in the thirty-five or so years that they've been open. Essentially this means a lot of iron, antiques, and unfinished barn wood, likely aimed at Nashville's tourist population. These guys offer a suspiciously cheap $9.35 Combo Plate that comes with "All the BBQ's" and two sides. At that price, game on! Like any good Nashville "meat and three", the sides here are all self-serve. I scooped myself a helping of potato salad and their famous jalapeño beans and saddled up for a quick lunch.

Wow, these beans definitely aren't for wimps. They had a significant heat level, as well as a great flavor from the peppers. In fact, I'd suspect that they might have tossed in a splash or two of jalapeño juice for good measure. I'm glad I picked potato salad as my second side dish, because I definitely needed it to temper the spicy jalapeños. It had a good crunch from the pickles and pimentos and a good array of spices.

I started my meat sampler with the pulled pork, which was fairly dry. It did have a good smokiness, but I would have liked some bark and a little more seasoning. The thick slice of turkey breast, on the other hand, was thankfully much more tender and moist than it appeared. It was very smoky, too. I still prefer dark meat to white when it comes to poultry, but the turkey was undeniably tasty.

Their fine-ground smoked sausage had wonderfully crisp casings. There was also much more smoke than I expected. It's likely not made in-house, but that's par for the course when it comes to sausage in Tennessee. Like its casing-covered cousin, the bologna (or, as they phonetically spell it here, "baloney") had soaked up plenty of smoke. A little grill char would have really rounded things out.

The large hunks of brisket on my plate had a noticeable smoke ring around the edges, but I found only a mild smoke level when I dug in. There also wasn't much seasoning on the bark. Like the pork, it was just sort of dry. One of my larger bites was fairly hard to swallow without the aid of sweet tea.

Smoked turkey was the surprise winner at Tex's World Famous Bar-B-Q, followed by the two store-bought tube steaks. Still, at their prices, it's hard to complain too much.

Read my full review, complete with pictures:

The Barbecue Fiend…

Posted by The Barbecue Fiend on 05/19/2016 at 6:03 PM

Re: “1808 Grille

The food was good as always. But for the price we would have done better to go to Mere Bulles in Brentwood for their Sunday brunch. We felt the buffet at 1808 was over priced for the selection or should I say lack of selection. I would not do the brunch at 1808 again.

It's a comfortable space and the staff is attentive. Menu interesting but a bit limited and more interested in style than substance. Entree portions modest, for the price could be more generous.

The desserts had mixed reviews. The Chocolate Mouse in a mason jar was a hit. The panna cotta was refreshing. The sophopilla in a bag were anything but a sophopillas! 1801, if you are going to put it on the menu, know what it is! They were heavy, dense fried donuts. Sophopillas are light, hollow and crisp delights. Won't go back for dinner. Maybe lunch.

Posted by Nashman on 01/19/2016 at 10:59 AM

Re: “12South Taproom

The Taproom has elements of the ideal beer bar, but the full package still eludes Nashville.

The good:

-Variegated selection, especially if you like West Coast beers
-Decent local representation

The bad:

-Imbalanced regional representation (Too much GA, not enough NC/VA)
-Overpriced and forgettable food. This tends to be a problem with beer bars because it's a good business model: get a couple beers down your patrons' gullets and their standards are lower, so you don't have to try as hard. Can't say I blame them.
-Overwhelming noise inside

What to fix:

-Make good use of the real ale rig and serve more cask beer
-Cut food prices 15% or step up your game
-Do something about the noise inside: Quieter music, acoustic panels, rugs, etc.

Some good other suggestions below…

Posted by Sam Kelleren on 03/11/2015 at 3:51 PM

Re: “City Winery

WARNING- City Winery adds surprise 15% surcharge to wine/liquor

Posted by watchyourbilld on 01/31/2015 at 1:28 PM

Re: “Rippy's Smokin' Bar & Grill

Downtown Nashville is an awesome place for live music, but surprisingly there aren't just too many barbecue joints to pick from. Jack's has a prominent place on Broadway (Nashville's main drag), and although their 'que is delicious, the line usually stretches halfway to the Cumberland River. I found Rippy's across the street and hoped it would be good, too. Fingers crossed.

Not to be outdone, Rippy's had live music going tonight. The old 90s country was actually really good. Nashville is the kind of city where it's not at all unusual to see folks two-stepping in the middle of a restaurant. All in all, this place had a really pleasant atmosphere.

I ordered a Half Portion Dinner (6 bones) of Rippy's Signature Ribs. The ribs come with two sides, so I picked potato salad and onion rings. The menu didn't specify whether the ribs were wet or dry, but I hoped for the latter.

The potato salad was nice and creamy. It had a great flavor, and I thoroughly enjoyed the crunch from the pickles, etc. I also liked that the mustard base wasn't overpowering. The onion rings looked fresh rather than frozen. They had a great batter and were fried nice and golden. This was an excellent pick for a side dish.

Much to my delight, the ribs came with a dry rub. I was able to cut them apart with minimal effort, suggesting that they were slightly overdone. They had a great smoke level, which matched perfectly with the evident smoke ring. My main issue with the ribs was the inconsistency. The first bite was fairly spicy, coupled with just a touch of sweetness. It was also decently tender. Other bites were more bland and weren't spicy at all, and the meat nearest the center was a bit dry. I was surprised to find so many differences in only seven inches of meat.

Rippy's wasn't the best barbecue I've ever had, but it was certainly passable. I'd go back for the drinks and music, although I'd likely order a burger instead.

Read my full review, complete with pictures:

The Barbecue Fiend

Posted by Jared Kocurek on 09/05/2014 at 2:27 PM

Re: “400 Degrees

Pepperfire is 5 stars. Princes and Boltons are 4 stars. This is 3 stars. 'nuff said.

0 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Michael J. Arndt on 11/13/2013 at 6:27 PM

Re: “Chase's Sports Bar & Grill

This could be a great club...nice décor, great dance floor and PA/lights. Unfortunately the club has placed them into a smoky-"biker/sports" bar niche, limiting the scope of the crowd they might be able to attract. They have pretty good food but a very limited menu. If they would shift their focus to being a restaurant with great food that had live music, and featured activities, they would attract a broader spectrum of people, who would travel greater distances to the club (that would not do so for a smoke filled music venue, with a only a typical bar food menu). I hope Chase figures out the correct formula to make this club successful. The Middle TN music scene could use a good vibrant high class music venue in the Hendersonville area.

Posted by TB on 08/31/2013 at 2:03 PM

Re: “Bailey and Cato Family Restaurant

The words "deep fried cornbread" echoed in my mind for months after reading an article about Bailey and Cato on the Bites blog. The other day, i just so happened to be in the neighborhood and decided to give it a go. It was a low key Sunday afternoon, not to busy and as I waited in line, I pondered the menu. The special of the day? Brown gravy meatloaf with two veg for $6? Classic fried chicken with two veg $7 ($7.5 for white meat)? or do i go the BBQ route. The pork shoulder sandwich sounded good too (around $4.50). Decisions, decisions. As i approached the front counter, I could visually begin to narrow down my options. In the end, I opted for the smoked white meat chicken ($7.5). For my two sides i got greens and creamed corn, and of course, the reason this establishment had beckoned to me in the first place, the deep fried corn bread. With a bottle of water, the tab was 9 bucks and some change. I paid, grabbed my food and headed for a table outside.

Overall, it was not the culinary adventure I had hoped. The chicken was dry, really dry. I know it was white meat chicken, but it was DRY. The flavor of the chicken was awesome, deep and robust. The greens were good. The corn was tasty, and the deep fried cornbread was good, but a bit bland. A side of honey for dipping would have been nice.

Will I go back? Yes, with a maybe...

Posted by Kletia Garies on 07/01/2013 at 7:00 PM

Re: “Mitchell Delicatessen

Brian, maybe you should grow a beard and get some thick-framed glasses, then the service would improve for you (Mitchell's=Hipster Territory). When I was there, twice, the service was efficient (not rude); but there's a fine line between the two. The food? Meh. And way overpriced. Not really a deli, more of a sandwich shoppe. Folks who don't know the difference are happier with Mitchell's.

PS, Are the stars to rate Mitchells, the story about it, or the comments? Either way I vote 3.

Posted by Tommy Salami on 05/06/2013 at 9:31 AM

Re: “Mazatlan Mexican Restaurant

The food was great but they need to watch their language in Spanish. They need to realize that other people speak Spanish as well. I was very offended by the language they used.

2 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Sylvia Matthews on 04/03/2013 at 12:18 PM

Re: “Athens Family Restaurant

The food was fresh and very good. Nice server and we felt we were in a clean place. We will go back. Sorry to hear folks were treated poorly.

Posted by OMFUG on 02/12/2013 at 3:45 PM

Re: “Mama Mia's

On a lark my son and I went Mid-December 2012, had a good meal and a nice time. We decided to have Christmas Eve dinner there with our group of 8. We had good service and food, again. It was laid back, pleasant and a surprisingly good meal. We enjoyed the out of the way-ness of it and family feel.

0 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by OMFUG on 01/05/2013 at 12:46 AM

Re: “12South Taproom

Great bar and great atmosphere. The menu looks promising but the execution leaves something to be desired. We had 3 entrees and 2 appetizers everything was significantly under seasoned which was rather unfortunate because like I said previously their food looks great on paper. As far as the selection of beers go it is 2nd to none. The bartender was very helpful recommending new draft selections.

The Good:
Great Atmosphere
Great Beer Selection
Good Prices

The Mediocre:
Food Execution
The crowd - total Hipster bar (if you are into that kinda thing its great)

Posted by Nashville Visitor on 11/14/2011 at 10:50 PM

Re: “Sambuca

My anniversary was marred by the lousy singer and her accompanyist. The wait staff was pleasant enough, but the food was on the small side for the price and the wine, a half bottle, was a bit on the high side for only a half-bottle.

The singer was doing a countrified version of Sade, and my husband is a big Sade buff, so it just put him out. All in all, the cost plus the mediocre to not good at all entertainment made it the moderate experience it was.

Posted by Smarmy Snodsnick on 11/03/2011 at 4:18 PM

Re: “J. Alexander's

We placed our name on the waiting list ahead of time (no reservations) so we were seated very quickly. Very pleasant service, attentive but not hovering and server was very knowledgable about the menu. We had a variety of entrees, tuna steak, beef tacos and a filet. Salad was excellent, tacos were acceptable, tuna was well prepared. The filet came medium well instead of medium rare. The room is very "alive" acoustically. So if you want a quiet, intimate dinner you might look elsewhere. Food to value ratio is ok. We'd try again.

Posted by The Dog on 05/07/2011 at 9:41 PM

Re: “Urban Flats [Closed]

I don't feel it's really fair to give a restaurant only 1 star based on your dislike of the parking situation.

Here's a REAL review of the actual restaurant.

Pleasant interior, much sleeker and more upscale than you'd expect based on the menu. Food is fresh and freshly prepared. Decent wine selection. Nothing knocked my socks off, but I've never been disappointed with what I ordered. A lot will depend on whether you like the concept and flavor combinations (I do). A perfectly decent casual chain concept that feels more sophisticated than a casual chain concept, and a good choice for lunch or an inexpensive dinner choice before heading out to downtown events.

Posted by FG on 03/21/2011 at 3:46 PM

Re: “12South Taproom

Great selection of beer obviously and a great atmosphere!

Posted by LDphoto on 02/09/2011 at 11:48 PM

Re: “The Alley [Closed]

Great bartenders, cold beer and nice TV's to watch sports on. I am really disappointed with the fried food there....burgers and sandwiches are great...but they really need to change there grease more often. The prices of there shots (6.50 for Jack Danial's) is high. I will continue to drink there but my dining days are over.

0 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by itsmyfirstday on 01/17/2011 at 5:38 PM

Re: “Basil Asian Bistro

Not a bad Thai place, but I've had better. My meal was heavier than comparable ones at other Thai restaurants.

Posted by ctbrown1 on 01/13/2011 at 4:42 PM

Re: “F. Scott's Restaurant

For the sake of brevity, I will just touch upon F. Scott’s Restaurant and Jazz Bar, who boasts nightly jazz with rich, extravagant fare. Jazzy it may be, F. Scotts is far from cool; this vanilla ‘hotel lobby’ is a favorite among old wealth, and I mean old.

I came in after 9 p.m. for their half priced entree specials, during a happy hour so to speak. This is an incredible deal for their extravagant preparations, and after having dinner, wine, and dessert once already that evening, my wallet didn’t need anymore of a workout.

I showed up expecting to have my cake and eat it too; sitting to watch free jazz with a half-priced entree sounded like a great deal. But the jazz groups play in the bar section which is separate from the dining room: the only place half price entrees were available. Reluctantly I sat in the dining room and as I gazed about, folks triple my age dined quietly which made this space feel even more out of style than it already was. The decor was a lousy attempt at a 1920s theme, with a few art deco murals on the walls. The ambiance lacked intimacy and romance, unless you really wanted to impress your grandma (Atmosphere for romance -5). I was hoping for more of an east egg mansion feel or perhaps a downtown NYC speakeasy theme.

F. Scott’s ambiance disappointed but the food soothed with its use of ‘easy-pleaser ingredients’, which were essentially bacon and cream. The shear quantity of these fatty fillers unfairly biased my opinion with guilty pleasure, but I know better now. The menu at F. Scott’s is cohesive and extravagant. Dishes include a lot of components with bold flavors, and seem to be composed in creative and delicious ways. Regionally, I would classify its style as French-southern fusion, like many of Nashville’s fine restaurants. And of course, dishes are rich, so the health conscious should dine with discretion.

Cauliflower puree soup with lemon brown butter and cornmeal fried oyster $9

The dish came looking like it had a rough journey from kitchen to table; the brown butter had diverged from a cutesy squirt design, to a hot, runny mess (Presentation -1). Aside from aesthetics, the soup was delicious. But basic it was, with an extremely high cream to cauliflower ratio (Use of easy-pleasers -1). The cornmeal fried oyster added a nice brininess to the round flavors of the soup and showed a bit of creativity. A chardonnay paired nicely with this bowl of cream, but the combination of the wine and oyster, was spectacular. The lemon was lost in the brown butter, leaving just butter. And ultimately, it was this pool of butter on top of cream that left me feeling quite fat (Use of easy-pleasers -1, Sin factor +1).

REVAMPED Cauliflower puree soup with lemon gastrique, brown butter, and cornmeal fried oyster $9

The menu description was not deceiving; I expected lots of cream, and the inclusion of butter was disclosed. The only aspect I would change is the lemon component. A separate lemon gastrique along side of the brown butter would have really made the soup pop.

Rainbow trout with fennel and bacon, greens and roasted red pepper-scallion butter $27 ($13.50 after 9 p.m.)

My entree arrived looking much more presentable than the soup. Two identical roulades of trout stood at either end of a long rectangular plate. Local greens rested under the fish and ‘red pepper-scallion butter’ was pooled about. It was visually appealing, and if you really like butter and bacon, this dish had an affinity to the heart, in a very threatening way. In this extremely rich ‘up do’ of trout, there was too much grease and butter, and frankly more fat could not have been squeezed into this dish. Let’s break it down. After trout, there was fennel, which according to the menu, was a feature. Then came the bacon, and finally the market greens which were smothered in what F. Scott's has called a roasted red pepper-scallion brown butter. This brown butter appeared more like diced roasted red peppers and scallions in brown butter. The dish sounded good on paper, looked good on a plate, but tasted like microwave pizza. Well sort of, the roasted red pepper, smokey bacon, and shear fat content reminded me of pizza. The smokiness of Benton’s bacon was so overbearing that I tasted not much else (Flavor pairing fundamentals -2). The roasted pepper and butter came through, like they would, but the fennel was completely lost in the smoke. Even the trout was hard to taste, which on a side note, was over done. This over doneness was disguised by the quantity of added fat in the dish (Doneness precision -2). This dish was also very salty and I must revoke a point here (Use of salt -1). Ultimately this dish was pretty good in a really smokey, unhealthy way (Use of easy-pleasers -2). I also preemptively deduct one point for ‘Health dish execution’ because I have a hunch that this would be out of F. Scott’s comfort zone (Health dish execution -1).

REVAMPED Rainbow trout with fennel and bacon, greens and roasted red pepper-scallion butter $27 ($13.50 after 9 p.m.)

I would have not used Benton's bacon, it's just too smokey and pedestrian for high cuisine. Prosciutto would have been perfect wrapped in the trout roulade. Fennel is too delicate for all the big flavors of butter, ham, and red pepper. I think the dish would have worked well without it.

Additional grudged deductions:

F. Scott's has no sex appeal (Sex factor -3)
The waitstaff bored me just like the crowd (Waitstaff enthusiasm -2)

1. Menu cohesion 0
2. Pricing 0
3. Beverage pairings -1
4. Atmosphere for romance -5
5. Cleanliness 0
6. Waitstaff competence 0
7. Waitstaff enthusiasm -2
8. Overall management 0
9. Flavor pairing fundamentals -2
10. Flavor pairing originality 0
11. Texture Profile 0
12. Use of "easy-pleasers" -4
13. Use of salt -1
14. Doneness precision -2
15. Dish sin factor +1
16. Dish sex factor -3
17. Presentation -1
18. Dish practicality 0
19. Healthful dish execution -1
20. Kitchen speed 0

1st visit (100-21 = 79)

2 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by DanielBF on 09/20/2010 at 4:17 PM

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