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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Food Tour 2010 – Part III (Nashville)

Day 3. We're going to Nashville! I've never been there before but I'm expecting some good southern food!

What a big change coming from LA where it was over 75 degrees to a snowy Nashville that’s under 30 degrees. Craziness! We got in around dinner time and got our rental car. I put the location in the GPS for our dinner destination... ETA: an hour and 10 minutes?!? Damn snow! Usually it's less than 30 minutes from the airport. We decided it was safer to just get to the hotel and eat around there.

Shout out to the Doubletree Hotel in Downtown Nashville! Totally awesome front desk service. I definitely recommend it for anyone staying in Nashville. Plus it’s in a convenient location with lots of restaurants and stores around. Due to the snow, a lot of restaurants were closing early. The hotel front desk was nice enough to call around some nearby places for us. We ended up going to get some bbq.

429 Broadway
Nashville, TN 37203
(615) 244-7477

Price: $$

Rippy's was basically a sports bar/bbq joint. The reviews online weren't super great but we thought we'd give Nashville's bbq a try. I expected it to be pretty good! They were nice enough to put on the Cowboys game for us. :)

We ordered Rippy's Signature Ribs (1/2 Slab) (with Coleslaw and Potato Salad) $13.75~

This was a dry rub. Normally I prefer dry rub over saucy ribs but these needed some bbq sauce. The flavor was pretty good, but it was kinda dry. The coleslaw was good, nice and light, a little bland though. The potato salad was good...I wish we had gotten more of that.

Smoked Pulled Pork Plate (with Coleslaw and Corn Cake) $11.75~ The pulled pork was ok. It also needed some bbq sauce. Some tabasco made it better as well. The corn cake was pretty awesome. It was slightly sweet and the texture was good. It was actually really good to pair a little of the pulled pork, bbq sauce, tabasco, coleslaw, with a piece of the corn cake together. That was super tasty. Made me think that it would be good to have a pulled pork sandwich with corn cakes instead of regular buns.

Overall I was disappointed with the bbq. :( I think Red Hot & Blue in Dallas has way better dry ribs and one of the best potato salads. Sigh~ I wish we could've gone to our first dinner choice...

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While driving to the hotel, we saw Mike's Ice Cream Fountain on the way. Looks like a cute little old fashioned ice cream parlor. It turned out to be a small block from Rippy's. We decided to brave the cold and walk over for some dessert! It's never too cold for ice cream! :)

Mike's Ice Cream Fountain
208 Broadway
Nashville, TN 37201
(615) 742-6453
Price: $

It wasn't as old fashioned on the inside as I expected but they had a lot of different flavors. If I could go back again, I actually wanna try one of their many hot chocolate flavors.

Since it was a food tour we went all out! Hot Brownie Sundae (with Tennessee Fudge, Mint Chocolate Chip, Coffee ice cream) $4.95~
This was super cheap and huge! The brownie lined the entire bottom of the sundae dish. All ice cream except the mint chip were made in house. The Tennessee fudge was kick ass! It was soo much sweets...but so tasty. I think I'm paying for it now... :(

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Almost time to go home...after lunch. hehe. We went to Monell's… a place that kept coming up when I researched places to eat in Nashville. I figured it was a good place to check out.

Monell's Dining & Catering
1235 6th Ave. North
Nashville, TN 37208
(615) 248-4747
Price: $$

It's located in a historic area downtown in a renovated old home. Very cute and quaint from the outside. Inside was just like a house, very homey full of holiday decorations and many large tables. This place was cool because it's family style dining. Strangers sitting around a large table together and pass around large bowls of different dishes. It's just like a family holiday meal. At first it's a little awkward but after a while people loosen up a bit.

It's all you can eat for $11.85 a person for lunch. And each day they feature a different main dish.

There are pitchers of Sweet Tea, Iced Tea, Fruit Tea for unlimited refills. The sweet tea was pretty good. Not super sweet...refreshing.

On Mondays they served Chicken & Dumplings and Meatloaf.
I'm normally not a fan of meatloaf but this was pretty amazing. I even had seconds! I've never had southern chicken & dumplings before. It was interesting. The flavors were good, but it wasn't one of my favorite dishes.

Skillet Fried Chicken is served every day. The chicken was awesome! Wayyy better than Roscoe’s in LA! The skin was nice and crispy and the chicken was seasoned well. I think I had like 4 pieces... haha.

Here are all the sides that are served with every meal:
Corn Bread. I'm not a fan of corn bread. Theirs was pretty good though. Went well with the peach preserves.
Biscuits and Gravy. Biscuits were yummy. Great texture. The gravy was good also. You can taste a bacon-y flavor in it.

Peach Preserves. This was amazing! I also put it on the biscuits and they rocked. They also sell the preserves in jars for people to take home. I bought a jar back for my parents. :)
Coleslaw. Really good. Went really well with the fried chicken.
Marinated Cucumbers. This was nice and light. It was a good option with all the other heavy dishes.

Corn Pudding. This was one of my favorite dishes. The corn was sweet and I liked the texture of the pudding. It could almost pass for dessert!

Mashed Potatoes. Pretty generic mashed potatoes...good, but wasn't special.

Mac n Cheese. Nice and cheeeesy! The pasta was cooked nicely, not too soft.

Green Beans. Good to have some green veggies in the mix. Also pretty normal...

Sweet Potato Casserole. Large chunks of sweet potato with brown sugar and cinnamon. YUM! The sweet potato was cooked nicely. Soft but not mushy...can also be dessert. :p

Banana Pudding. Chunks of bread and vanilla wafers. It was delicious. I was too full to have more than just a small scoop though. hehe.

I was super impressed with this place. The food was excellent. It was my definition of Southern home cooking. The waitresses/hostess were super friendly. "Southern Hospitality" really is true! The ambiance was warm and homey. I had a great time! At the end of the meal they pass out a card to everyone. You take the card to the front register to pay. The concept was great...different than any place I've been before. I totally recommend this place if you ever go to Nashville. And go back on different days to sample their different featured entrees! :D

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