Today’s Takeout Pick: Mother’s Ruin
Today’s Takeout Pick: Mother’s Ruin

Much of the restaurant industry has had to rapidly change its business model due to COVID-19, and we’re highlighting the Nashville places that are attempting to stay open. We will give you a critic’s pick for a restaurant and a dish, as well as a running list of restaurants still open that you can support. Today: Mother's Ruin.

Really, the raison d'etre of many restaurants is to provide a place where crowds can gather to paradoxically share some intimacy among a crowd of like-minded diners. Mother’s Ruin in Germantown was perfectly set up for that as soon as it opened, with cozy tables and communal seating options set close together in a comfortable former home. It featured a crowded bar run by efficient bartenders who relied on a short menu of pre-batched cocktails and fun beers to ensure that drinks flowed quickly to offer some social lubrication to the entire proceedings, which ran until the wee hours.

In other words, exactly what you probably don’t want to be doing during a global pandemic. Mother’s Ruin had quickly become an important neighborhood hang for Germantowners, and even though the team quickly switched to a carryout model, it lost some of the appeal without access to the amiable atmosphere. Now that some socially distanced dining is allowed (at least as I type this), folks can again gather in smaller numbers to enjoy the food and drink at Mother’s Ruin. But I’m supposed to be reviewing takeout options, and I’ll admit I’m still not quite ready to patronize indoor dining rooms yet. So I wondered how the food at Mother’s Ruin held up, objectively, without the extra layer of conviviality and a couple cheap cans of Tecate. As it turns out, quite well!

Early in the pandemic, Mother’s Ruin wasn’t quite prepared for online ordering, instead taking orders via Instagram direct messages. While I do have an IG account (with exactly one photo on it), that just wasn’t my preferred way of doing anything, so I put off carrying out from there until they got their online system online.

Management took that time to really get their systems in order, and online carryout or delivery options are very simple to use. I arrived at my desired time (early, I’m old), and idled in front of the restaurant while I called the front desk. In less than a minute, a gloved and masked employee was at my passenger window ready to efficiently deposit two bags in my front seat. Seriously, the whole transaction couldn’t have lasted longer than a commercial break on the sports radio I was tuned into.

So, to quote the late complicated Southern rock poet Charlie Daniels, “I threw the man a twenty and jumped in and fired that mother up.” (OK, it was $10.) The staff had been kind enough to pack the box filled with their addictive Old Bay waffle fries on top of the bag closest to me, and I’ll admit that the alluring scent overwhelmed my self-control, so not all of the fries made it home. (Don’t tell my girlfriend, but they really are an ideal road snack to combat I-440 road rage.)

Today’s Takeout Pick: Mother’s Ruin

But it turns out we over-ordered, and everything we picked ended up being some pretty spicy food that slowed down our gluttony. In addition to those fries (oh, those fries!), we asked for a couple of apps, the hot and sweet Cholula Honey Wings and charred Brussels sprouts. Surprisingly, the wings weren't the spicier of the pair, although they were perfectly fine, cooked well even if they could have used a little more time in the fryer or oven to crisp up the skin and render a little more of the schmaltz out of them. We remedied that with leftovers the next day with an extra pass through the oven on a sheet pan, and they were even better as leftovers. The sprouts were appropriately carbonized to contribute that lovely roasted flavor that gave them their place in the spotlight on every menu a few years back, but the main punch came from the pickled chiles that were liberally applied to the dish, along with some nice crunchy cashews for textural contrast.

For mains, we picked two sandwiches, one healthy and one … not so much, but awesome. Our veggie option was the House Falafel Burger, an intriguing patty served with cauliflower tahini, cured cucumbers and radicchio on an fresh-baked bun. I really appreciated that it was not pretending to be a meat-substitute burger, nor was it just a huge smushed falafel ball. It’s its own unique thing, a brand-new dish with a lovely crunchy exterior and an interior that manages to be creamy without leaning to mushy or pasty. I was also struck by the fact that the two sandwiches were served on different kinds of buns, a sign of the thoughtfulness of really building a dish from the plate up during menu creation.

That second type of bun was more of a pillowy brioche with sesame seeds, and it was an ideal accompaniment for the main ingredient that it contained, a shatteringly crunchy, huge filet of spicy buttermilk-brined fried chicken. The Spicy Chicken Sandwich at Mother’s Ruin has immediately vaulted to top-five status in my local pantheon of chicken sandwiches. Almost too big to eat (I said “almost”), the massive breast was cooked perfectly, and juicy from edge to edge. The shredded slaw that topped it was also crunchy and not slathered in so much dressing as to make the delightful mess unmanageable. Oh yes, multiple napkins were used, but my sleeves came away unscathed. Yeah, it was a good thing that it was hot outdoors and I was wearing short sleeves, but I’d still order that sandwich in the heart of a winter night. Hopefully by then, I’ll be able to enjoy it amongst the buzzing crowd of the dining room!

#CarryOutandCarryOn


Below is a list of Nashville restaurants (with links) remaining open for takeout and delivery during the COVID-19 shutdown. While some may have had existing relationships with delivery providers, most of this list are offering the service for the first time. Most offer curbside pickup, but check when you order. As this list is a moving target, please leave any changes, suggestions or omissions in the comments.

Places with takeout or delivery as of Wednesday, July 15

12South Taproom (Postmates)

312 Pizza Co. (Grubhub)

400 Degrees

5th & Taylor

51st Deli (Uber Eats, Grubhub, Postmates)

51st North Taproom (11 a.m.-8 p.m., Thursday-Sunday)

8th & Roast

Adele’s/The 404 Kitchen (Friday-Sunday)

Amerigo

Answer

Arnold’s Country Kitchen (Most delivery services)

Athens Family Restaurant

Attaboy at Lakeside Lounge

B1281 (Uber Eats)

Bar-B-Cutie

Barcelona Wine Bar

Barista Parlor (Postmates)

Barr’s Music City Soul Food (Uber Eats, Tuesday-Sunday)

Bartaco

Big Al’s Deli

Big Bad Breakfast (DoorDash, Uber Eats)

Big Shake’s Hot Chicken

Biscuit Kitchen by Loveless Cafe

Biscuit Love

Black Dynasty via Bar Sovereign

Black Rabbit

Blue Coast Burrito

The Bluebird Cafe (Grubhub)

BokBox

Bolton’s Spicy Chicken & Fish

BoomBozz West (DoorDash)

Brightside Bakery (ordering open at 3 p.m. Tues.-Sat. for next-day pickup Wed.-Sun.)

Brother Z’s Wangs

Burger Joint (Uber Eats, Grubhub)

Burger Up 12South

Butchertown Hall

Cafe at Thistle Farms

Caffé Nonna (Uber Eats, Postmates)

Cafe Roze

The Cake Project

Capitol Grille

Cal’s Country Kitchen

Carniceria y Taqueria Don Juan

Central BBQ (DoorDash, Postmates)

Chicken Salad Chick

Cinco de Mayo (9 locations)

Chago’s Cantina

Char (Postmates)

The Chef & I

Chef’s Market

Chile Burrito

Cilantro Mexican Grill (Eighth Avenue location)

City House

City Winery (Grubhub, Uber Eats)

Cole’s Kitchen

Coneheads

Corner Market Catering

Corner Pub (DoorDash)

The Cupcake Collection (Sunday-Friday)

D’Andrews Bakery & Cafe

Daddy’s Dogs

Dalt’s Grill

Darfon’s

Del Frisco’s Grille

DeSano Pizza Bakery

Diskin Cider

Doll’s Family Cafe (Postmates, DoorDash)

Donks Bar & Grill

Donut + Dog

Double Dogs (Uber Eats, Grubhub, Postmates)

Dozen 

Earnest Bar & Hideaway

East Nashville Beer Works

Eastern Peak (Uber Eats, Grubhub)

Ed’s Fish House (Thursday-Saturday)

Edley’s

8 Hour BBQ

Ellington’s Mid Way Bar & Grill

Emmy Squared

Epice

Etch

Etc.

Far East (Postmates)

The Farm House

Farm Burger (DoorDash)

Fat Bottom Brewing

Fat Boy’s BBQ

Fat Kat Slim’s (Uber Eats, Grubhub)

Fattoush Cafe

Fido (ChowNow)

Five Points Pizza (Postmates)

Flavor Catering

Fleet Street Pub

The Food Co.

Folk (Postmates)

Fox’s Donut Den

Frothy Monkey (Postmates, Uber Eats)

Gambling Stick

Gray & Dudley

Germantown Pub

Gino’s East

Ghot Wingz (Tuesday-Saturday)

GReKo Greek Street Food

Green Chile (Friday-Sunday)

Green Hills Grille

The Grilled Cheeserie

H&T’s Home Cooking

Hathorne

Hattie B’s (Uber Eats)

Helen’s Hot Chicken

Henley

High Class Sweets

HiFi Cookies

HoneyFire Barbeque Co. (Grubhub, DoorDash)

Hugh Baby’s (DoorDash)

Hunters Station (The Grilled Cheeserie, Vui’s Kitchen, Hugh Baby’s, Tacos Aurora, Citizen Market)

Hurt’s Hot Chicken

IT’Z A Philly Thing (Wednesday-Sunday)

J. Alexander’s Redlands Grill

J. Christopher’s

Jack’s Bar-B-Q (Trinity Lane location only)

Jamaicaway (DoorDash, Grubhub, Postmates)

Jim ‘N Nick’s

Jonathan's (Grubhub)

Josephine (Postmates)

Joyland

Kalamatas

Kay Bob’s

Kien Giang

King Market

Korea House

The Kupcake Barr

Lafayette Soup Company (Richland Park Farmer’s Market)

Lakeside Lounge

Las Palmas (DoorDash)

Lemongrass Sushi & Thai

Local Distro (Tuesday-Saturday)

Lockeland Table

The Loading Dock

Long Hollow Pizza & Pub

Loveless Cafe

Love, Peace and Pho

Lucky Bamboo

Mane & Rye

Mangia Nashville

Margot Café & Bar

Martin’s Bar-B-Que Joint

Maru Sushi & Grill

Mas Tacos

McCabe Pub

McDougal’s (Hillsboro Village only)

Midnight Oil

Miel

Miss Saigon (All delivery services)

Mitchell Deli

Mixed Grill Cafe

M.L. Rose Craft Beer & Burgers (Postmates)

Monell’s

Mother’s Ruin

Moto (Uber Eats)

Nada

Nashville Chicken & Waffles

Nations Bar & Grill

Nicky’s Coal Fired (Postmates)

Nicoletto’s Italian Kitchen

North Italia (DoorDash)

Nectar Urban Cantina (Grubhub, Uber Eats, Postmates)

Nomzilla! Sushi Et Cetera (Uber Eats, Postmates)

Noshville

Oak Steakhouse

O-Ku Sushi 

Old Glory

The Old School

Otaku Ramen

Otaku To Go

Pancho & Lefty’s (Uber Eats, DoorDash)

Park Cafe

The Party Line (Julia Sullivan’s catering service through Strategic Hospitality)

Party Fowl (Uber Eats)

Pastaria

PDK Southern Kitchen and Pantry

Peach Cobbler Factory

Peg Leg Porker

The Pharmacy Burger

Phat Bites

The Picnic Cafe

Pinewood Social (Postmates, Grubhub, Uber Eats)

Pizza Perfect

Pork Belly Cafe (Uber Eats, Grubhub, Postmates)

Portland Brew

Potato Mountain 615

Prince’s Hot Chicken (Nolensville Road)

Proper Bagel (Takeout & delivery only)

Radical Rabbit

Rated V

Red Bicycle (Postmates)

Redheaded Stranger

Red Perch Monday-Friday, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.

Red Phone Booth (DoorDash, Grubhub, Postmates)

Rib Doctor BBQ

Riddim N Spice (Postmates,DoorDash)

Rise Biscuits

Rocky’s Wing Shack

Rolf and Daughters (Postmates)

Rosemary & Beauty Queen (Postmates, Uber Eats)

Rosepepper Cantina (Postmates)

Rosie’s Twin Kegs

Saint Anejo (Uber Eats)

Sam & Zoe’s

Sambuca

Sam’s Place 

San Antonio Taco Co. (DoorDash)

Santo

Scout’s Pub

Seafood Sensation (DoorDash)

Shugga Hi Bakery & Cafe (Friday-Saturday; Uber Eats) 

Sinema

Sitar

The Slider House

Slim & Husky’s (DoorDash)

Slow Burn

Smokin’ Thighs

SmoQe Signals BBQ

Sonobana

The Southern Steak & Oyster

The Southern V

Southside Grill (DoorDash)

Soy Bistro

Sperry’s

Stoney River Steakhouse

Stateside Kitchen

Stay Golden

STK Steakhouse

StrikeOut Wingz (Grubhub)

Subculture Urban Cuisine & Cafe (Uber Eats, Grubhub, DoorDash, Postmates)

Sugarlips Bakery

Sunflower Cafe

Superica

Surreal Spice Creations

Sushi Circle

Sweet 16th (Tuesday-Saturday, 8 a.m.-1 p.m.)

Swett’s

Tacos y Mariscos Lindo Mexico

Taco Mama

Tacos With A Twist

Taj (Uber Eats)

TailGate Brewery (Postmates)

The Tasty Wheel (Postmates, Grubhub, DoorDash)

Tavern at Bobby

Taziki's (Postmates, Grubhub)

Tennessee Brew Works

TennFold (Grubhub, Postmates)

Thai Esane

Tinwings

TKO (Postmates)

Tower Market and Deli (Grubhub, Postmates, DoorDash, Bite Squad)

Trattoria Il Mulino

Treehouse

Twilight Tavern

Two Ten Jack

Urban Cookhouse

Urban Grub

Urban Juicer

Union Teller (Uber Eats, DoorDash, Grubhub)

Valentino’s

Vege-licious Cafe (Tuesday-Saturday; Chow Now)

Veggie Village

Village Pub & Beer Garden

Virago (Uber Eats)

Von Elrod’s Beer Hall & Kitchen 

VN Pho & Deli

Vui’s Kitchen

Walden (Postmates)

Waldo’s Chicken & Beer

The Wild Cow (Postmates, DoorDash and Chow Now)

Wildman Smoothies, Soups & Salads

WKND Hang Suite

Woodlands

The Yellow Porch

’Za Wood Fired Pizza (Grubhub)

Zilla’s Pit BBQ

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