Chain-haters are eating their words at Jim 'N' Nicks, the Birmingham-based restaurant that even Southern food aficionado John Egerton concedes is trying to do things right. So far, the Nashville outpost has managed to hire a consistently friendly and attentive staff, who deliver an addictive array of ribs, pulled pork and chicken sandwiches, catfish and cheese muffins (Oh, those cheese muffins!), along with a generous selection of salads and soups for non-cue appetites. The stacks of firewood lined up outside are a good sign, as is the line of repeat customers out the front door. Take away is available.
Pleasant surroundings set a warm stage for a meal you might have at your grandmother’s house, if her recipes included chili-lime mussels, hummus and mojo shrimp. Owner Julie Buhler Freeman cooks from scratch, with some subtle Southwestern, Cajun and Mediterranean influences. There are several options for dining, including a weekday lunch buffet, early-bird dinner specials, all-you-can-eat prime rib on Saturday evenings, and Sunday brunch. Live jazz is featured every night, beginning at 6:30 pm.
A sturdy menu of Southern food staples fills the lunch line at this meat-and-three landmark. In 2009, lines starting forming down the street, when George and Amy Reed took over, bringing signature recipes and flair from Chef Georges life in Nashvilles restaurant circles. All the usual suspects are corralled on the steam tablefried chicken, country-fried steak, fried corn, green beans and so on. But if you look closely, youll recognize unusual attention to detail, from homemade tartar sauce studded with gherkins and dill to chess pie with a yuletide nose of cinnamon and nutmeg. Every now and then, George pulls up his smoker to cook ribs, brisket and chicken. — Carrington Fox
A 24-hour coffeehouse and café with an outdoor patio, Café Coco is like a childhood teddy bear, a bit worn for the wear, but it’s still a favorite haunt of youthful local musicians and their support teams, as well as caffeine-fueled students on an all-night cram. Vegetarian-friendly.
Don’t let the quiet exterior fool you. Inside the faded-salmon
house—kitty-corner from the foodie strip of Riverside Village—the Bailey family is hard at
work, smoking ribs, cleaning greens and stewing yams for a rotating menu of
Southern and soul classics. If you can't commit to memory the weekly schedule, you can always rely on barbecue
ribs and some of the best fried chicken in town, which are available daily.
The name is the address of this downtown breakfast and lunch spot in the space that for years housed the beloved Southern teahouse Satsuma. Early morning specialties include pancakes, steak and eggs, pork chop and eggs, omelets, thick-cut bacon and hash browns. The basic lunch menu is supplemented by daily blue plate specials like fried chicken, beef and pork chops with two or three sides. The unique calling card for 417 Union is its genuine, 60-year-old soda bar that serves old-fashioned favorites like banana splits, hot fudge sundaes, floats, malts, milk shakes and even New York egg creams.