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Comment Archives: stories: Restaurants: Dining

Re: “Homegrown entrepreneur's pop-up bakery Dozen evolves into a standout cafe

I think she saw my furrowed brow as I was reading the salad menu because when she plated my sandwich she included helpings of the red quinoa and faro salads. I'm happy to say it was my first time enjoying either grain. Very interesting and unexpected flavors.

7 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by JohntheRevelator on 03/05/2015 at 10:59 AM

Re: “It's a really good time to be eating in Nashville — but we're not a world-class dining destination yet

We need more McDonalds, Burger Kings and KFCs instead of places that cater to the 1%.

1 like, 1 dislike
Posted by davidlongfellow on 03/04/2015 at 2:51 PM

Re: “It's a really good time to be eating in Nashville — but we're not a world-class dining destination yet

Hey Lance,
You got mad because you thought "burnish" was a negative.
Aren't you embarrassed enough to just go away?

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by The Saint on 03/03/2015 at 2:26 PM

Re: “It's a really good time to be eating in Nashville — but we're not a world-class dining destination yet

"Second, a greater emphasis needs to be placed on service."

A billion times this.

People like me--empty-nesters-who-like-food-and-have-some-money-to-spend-on-it care about the dining scene.

0 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by AnglRdr on 03/03/2015 at 12:53 PM

Re: “It's a really good time to be eating in Nashville — but we're not a world-class dining destination yet

Nashville is a new and small metro market that's still learning. Period. It takes time to cultivate the talents required to provide highly consistant quality restaurant players. It also takes time to both shape and understand the market being served. Of course we're no New York, Chicago or New Orleans... they have hundreds of more combined years of experience in getting it right. We're pretty much preschoolers in the restaurant world. I do think we're doing a great job in the growing process, and I hope we keep it up.

0 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by BelleNic on 03/03/2015 at 12:49 PM

Re: “It's a really good time to be eating in Nashville — but we're not a world-class dining destination yet

I simply don't understand what all the hoopla is with the so called dining scene in Nashville. The best food is in little ethnic places, not in any of the high priced places. I assure you that you can find better food in my kitchen. If you really want an idea of what having good restaurant options is about, go to Portland,Maine.

7 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Helen S on 03/03/2015 at 11:02 AM
Posted by mr. pink on 03/01/2015 at 9:28 AM

Re: “It's a really good time to be eating in Nashville — but we're not a world-class dining destination yet

Pink, You are correct, that Kreuz Market is really good, even if you misspelled their most popular offering...unless you were going for "brisket biscuit"...come on Professor Pink!

0 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Lance on 02/28/2015 at 7:37 PM

Re: “It's a really good time to be eating in Nashville — but we're not a world-class dining destination yet

Thank you Pink. Thank you Lance. Thankfully there is room for all of our feet under the same table. I think we all want to see and enjoy Nashville's best.

--Jim Myers (cq)

7 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by culinarity on 02/28/2015 at 12:55 PM

Re: “It's a really good time to be eating in Nashville — but we're not a world-class dining destination yet

Some good points, Steve. I've enjoyed the ascent of the food scene here in the 12 years I've lived in Nashville, all while traveling frequently to food paradises like Chicago, New York, San Francisco, and Austin. I love the diversity of options I have when I leave town, but I know it's improved here because it's gotten considerably easier to be genuinely excited about our options when I'm back home, too. I had my birthday dinner two months ago at Chauhan Masala and Ale House, for example, and loved that the experience felt so fresh compared to the proliferation of 'Southern food with a modern sensibility' other commenters have mentioned.

What's missing? Here's one area: when I'm in Chicago, I always want to get my fill of Chicago Diner and Karyn's Raw. In New York, Pure Food and Wine. Our veggie restaurants are strong and reliable for staple dining, but it'd be amazing to have a knock-your-socks-off, crave-able vegetarian restaurant here of almost any cuisine where, as a benchmark, non-vegetarian people don't care they're eating vegetarian. (High hopes for Avo.)

We've also got room for plenty more ethnic diversity. Just try browsing Nashville Yelp by category and click around: Armenian, Catalan, Indonesian. Nothing comes up. Still plenty of opportunities there for immigrant entrepreneurs, and if they can deliver those cuisines as a great dining experience, well, hey, so much the better.

So while yes, as @Diatribean!! says above, a world-class restaurant scene may be something of an overreach for Nashville, I think wherever it lands when it falls short will increasingly be a delightful place to eat.

As to the shortage of kitchen talent, that's a familiar refrain we're hearing in almost every thriving industry in Nashville: tech and fashion, to name two. The process you describe about restaurants poaching line staff from each other seems like the natural evolution of a talent pipeline when the demand exceeds the output from formal feeders, such as culinary certificate programs at community colleges like Nashville State. I don't know their graduating numbers relative to an estimate of how many line cooks and other kitchen staff jobs are now being created every year, but perhaps someone at the Scene wanting to do a bit of data journalism could pull some of that together for a follow-up.

Thanks for writing this. It seems like a reality check in the service of seeking real improvement and continued progress. I'm all for it.

6 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by kateoneill on 02/28/2015 at 8:21 AM

Re: “It's a really good time to be eating in Nashville — but we're not a world-class dining destination yet

I'm really surprised to read "You just don't get mistimed entrees and rude staff in their Strategic Hospitality places." The only place in Nashville where I've been consistently treated rudely by staff is Pinewood Social - I won't even join friends who want to go there anymore. No one else has experienced this?

9 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Becky on 02/27/2015 at 2:36 PM

Re: “It's a really good time to be eating in Nashville — but we're not a world-class dining destination yet

Things have certainly improved; almost had to. Having restaurants in town in which all 10 entres are not covered with orange cheese, here in Chicken Quesadilla and Four Beers Nation, was a step forward. Understanding that "appetizers" is a course that comes before, not during or after your main course, would be another--and that "may I get that out of your way sir" while other people are still eating is not a Fine Dining moment. The servers should not be blamed--but the employers who let them go out here working like that--should be accountable. The middle range: quality everyday food at reasonable prices not set for tourists--is what any neighborhood here could still use more of--and unlikely to get, in today's rush towards mediocre "upscale" everything.

4 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Spare Changes... on 02/27/2015 at 11:11 AM

Re: “It's a really good time to be eating in Nashville — but we're not a world-class dining destination yet

I think some people like Lance above aren't really reading what the article says - for one, the sentence "For all the promotion of Music City as a food destination, it's still the non-fine-dining side of the food scene that burnishes our reputation." Burnish is actually the opposite of tarnish - what he is saying is that these classic Nashville restaurants serving excellent, non-fine-dining food are what give this city it's accolades as a food town despite the attention that some want to focus on the newer, fine-dining restaurants that have opened up like wildfire when they talk about the Nashville dining scene.

Personally I really don't care whether Nashville ever becomes a "world class dining" city to outsiders, but I do like having great places to eat and there are a lot here. There have been some hits and misses over the past couple of years but the good ones tend to stick around and the bad ones die off if they can't compete. When I first moved here in 2006 from Seattle there were maybe 2 places I would have considered for a special occasion fine-dining experience, now there are close to a dozen. I would like to see more variation in the cuisine - more international, less "elevated Southern" but that is a trend outside of Nashville as well and investors tend to put their money into what's hot.

10 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Ryan B. on 02/27/2015 at 10:26 AM

Re: “It's a really good time to be eating in Nashville — but we're not a world-class dining destination yet

@Diatribean: Nailed it.

@theanony: Ray's the Steaks sounds like the steakhouse I dream about — basically Kreuz Market with T-bones instead of briscuit. In a just world, that's where Ron Swanson ended up after the PARKS AND REC finale.

Posted by mr. pink on 02/27/2015 at 10:24 AM

Re: “It's a really good time to be eating in Nashville — but we're not a world-class dining destination yet

"No one cares whether or not he anchored the Chicago Tribune's food blog."

Right, because you'd learn nothing about world-class food offerings covering the restaurant scene in Chicago. You're lookin' a little droopy there, "Lance."

5 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by mr. pink on 02/27/2015 at 10:23 AM

Re: “It's a really good time to be eating in Nashville — but we're not a world-class dining destination yet

"World-class" is a tall order for a city the size of Nashville.

Having a world-class eating scene in Nashville would be akin to duplicating for restaurants what music means to this city.

9 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Diatribean!! on 02/27/2015 at 10:08 AM

Re: “It's a really good time to be eating in Nashville — but we're not a world-class dining destination yet

My friend from Chicago calls Nashville "The Home of Bad Food."

9 likes, 12 dislikes
Posted by Paul Griffith on 02/27/2015 at 5:11 AM

Re: “It's a really good time to be eating in Nashville — but we're not a world-class dining destination yet

"Third, I'd double the number of good line cooks." If you want a better resturant scene I agree you need a solid foundation and in order to attract such a foundation these places need to start paying these cooks a living wage. While all of the big chefs in town are not guilty, most have built their shrines to food on the backs of over worked and under paid kitchen staffs. The true food scene, unlike your reviews, is far less flowery and glamourous when you go home after a 14 hour shift to eat the scrapes you can afford that I assure you are nothing like the food you review.

10 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by SteveD on 02/26/2015 at 9:16 PM

Re: “It's a really good time to be eating in Nashville — but we're not a world-class dining destination yet

Well said Mr. Pink...very thorough. you and Steve should get a room. Being a food blogger for any magazine still doesn't mean that you understand food or food culture. In someone like Times-Picayune food writer Brett Anderson, whose insight into real Louisiana food culture and its influence on the global food scene, makes for excellent reading, and an education on why we eat the way we do, and why the chef cooks the way he does. Simply put, Mr. Cavendish doesn't possess those skills. Read Anderson's review of Peche (forgive the misspelling, Professor Pink), and you will understand why it won Best Restaurant South in the Beards last year. Read Cavendish's review of Pinewood Social, and you will understand that he is a person who is unable to look past the derivative, and unable to speak about food intelligently. No one cares whether or not he anchored the Chicago Tribune's food blog. People look for something in a review that they couldn't get just by looking at a menu, which is basically what they get from Mr. Steve. One more thing: what does Jim Meyers being good have anything to do with the way I misspelled his name? "...."even if you misspelled his name"....? You are a rude douchebag, Mr. Pink.

7 likes, 19 dislikes
Posted by Lance on 02/26/2015 at 6:21 PM

Re: “It's a really good time to be eating in Nashville — but we're not a world-class dining destination yet

Also, Cavendish grew up here and spent lots of time in Nashville even after he moved away (to do stuff like become an anchor of the Chicago Tribune's food blog); the restaurant in question was not Butchertown Hall, which actually reinforces his point about how widespread service problems are; and "no starfucking" speaks well to a restaurant's service, whether you're the star who doesn't want to be disturbed or the nobody like me who doesn't want to be ignored in favor of the celeb.

You are correct, though, that Jim Myers is really good, even if you misspelled his name. You're almost as right about his talent as you're wrong about Cavendish's.

22 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by mr. pink on 02/26/2015 at 5:20 PM

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