Daffodils have popped, dogwoods are showing their colors, and Bobbie’s Dairy Dip has opened for the season. Owner Claire Mullally spent the winter making repairs, deep-cleaning, redoing the floor and refreshing the menu, though she knows better than to take off the wildly popular sweet potato fries. They are back, as are the Holy Guacamole burgers (with guacamole, salsa and jalapeño peppers), the Sacre Bleu burgers (with bleu cheese), and the dark chocolate chunk and cheesecake crumble mix-ins.
Making their debut this spring/summer at Nashville’s oldest and most charming drive-in are fresh-fruit kabobs with caramel or chocolate dipping sauce, homemade beer-battered onion rings, turkey dogs and, somewhat reluctantly, corn dogs. “For four years, people have been asking me for corn dogs,” Mullally says. “I didn’t really have a corn-dog history growing up, so I just don’t get it. But people really wanted them, and my vendors kept coming by with different ones. We tried making our own, but it’s just too much, so we went with the best one we tried, and we added it to the menu.”
Bobbie’s officially opened Wednesday, March 10. Until April 4, when Daylight Saving begins, the hours are 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Mon.-Thurs., 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Fri.-Sat. and noon-7 p.m. Sun. From April 5 through May 20, it will remain open one hour later; from May 21 through Labor Day, Bobbie’s will be serving up the soft-serve every night until 10 p.m. Bobbie’s Dairy Dip is at 5301 Charlotte Pike. Phone: 292-2112.
Meanwhile, in other ice cream news, Purity Dairies is double-dipping, teaming up with another veteran Tennessee brand for a new frozen treat. Now in your grocer’s freezer is Little Debbie Oatmeal Creme Pie ice cream, which adds marshmallow cream and chunks of oatmeal cookie to Purity vanilla ice cream.
Bark and a bite
Google “Hair of the Dog” and you will find more than 1 million entries on the World Wide Web, most referring to remedies for those who have dipped a little too deep into the alcoholic beverage pool. Personally, I subscribe to the theory of burning off the residual alcohol via large dollops of wasabi, a bowl of fired-up hot and sour soup, or a breast of hot chicken from Prince’s or Mr. Boo’s. I recommend that method only if you’re not dining with people who may be offended by the odor that subsequently seeps out of your skin.
Hair of the Dog, a new restaurant/bar that recently opened on the northern edge of 12 South, offers itself as preventive medicine. Owners Tracy and Jai Crawford met while they were working at Bar Nashville and logged several years working clubs downtown, so they bring some hands-on experience to the table...and bar.
Tracy, who went to University of Coloradorecently named the No. 1 party school in Americasays she has long wanted to own her own business. So she put together a formal plan two years ago, when she was pregnant with the couple’s second child. “We wanted to combine food, music and art,” she says. “It took a while to find the right location. We looked at Sylvan Park and the Gulch, but decided we liked what was happening over here in 12 South. This building was bigger than we originally planned, but the previous tenant had finished out one side of it the way we wanted, so we took it.”
Hair of the Dog divides 5,400 square feet into two distinct areas. To the right of the main entrancewhich is on Acklen, though the building has a 12th Avenue South addressis the bar and restaurant area. To the left is a large room with a stage, some four-tops, booths along one wall, another bar and a pool table.
A songwriters’ night is held every Tuesday in the music room, with bands setting up on Friday and Saturday nights. “People are liking the two separate rooms,” she says. “You can stay in the big room and hear music, or go to the other bar and talk.”
Hair of the Dog keeps an all-day menu beginning at 11 a.m., with the kitchen open until 1 a.m. “We want to take advantage of fresh, local produce in season, and the menu will be changing every once in a while.” The menu is divided into light fare (steamed mussels, salmon spring rolls, zucchini fritters), heartier fare (chili, burgers and a steak), and gourmet sandwiches (rib-eye muffaletta, pastrami panini, oyster club, Creole ham). All breads come from Provence, which is where Jai Crawford last worked. Sandwiches, served with homemade chips, range from $7 to $9.
There is a full bar, with the exception of domestic beer (thanks to Metro’s peculiar beer laws), but high-alcohol beer is available. There is seating for 150 in the bar/restaurant and 70 in the music room, which also has plenty of space for standing. Local artists’ work hangs on the walls of the restaurant, and the artist group Untitled is holding a one-night only exhibit there on Friday, March 19. (See this week’s Critics’ Picks on p. 31 for more information.)
Hair of the Dog is at 1831 12th Ave. S., at the corner of Acklen Avenue. Phone: 386-3311. It’s open 11 a.m.-1 a.m. Mon.-Sat.
If you also subscribe to the “burn-off” theory for hangover remedies, there is a new place to get your hot chicken. Cluck’s serves the fiery fowl, along with catfish, wings and sides like french fries, spicy fries, white beans, fried pickles and coleslaw. Cluck’s is at 2209 Nolensville Road, south of the State Fairgrounds before the 440 interchange. Phone: 259-3955. It opens at 10:30 a.m. Mon.-Sat.
Roll ’em at Doobee’s
If you are of a certain age, or a certain culture, you have one frame of reference for the word doobie, and it’s not a brother. But Doobee’s, which calls itself home of “The Original Fat One,” asks that you think of a doobee as a burrito. The restaurant recently opened in the former location of Easy’s, next door to The Trace. Order your 10- or 12-inch chicken, steak or veggie burrito, or your chicken, steak, veggie or fish taco at the counter. There are 10 add-ins, as well as six different salsas and fresh guacamole. Beerdomestic and importedis on draft and on ice.
With a large, garish sign that is causing nearby restaurateur Randy Rayburn heartburn, Doobee’s is hard to miss. It’s at 1910 Belcourt Ave. Phone: 292-7575.