What's a Meat-and-Three?
Homecooking southern style is what you'll get when you step into a "meat-and-three." That means you'll be served an entree and three vegetables, plus a bread (most often cornbread or biscuits). Your supper won't cost much (usually around $5 or $6) and you'll step away satisfied. Nashville has a mess of meat-and-three's and some of BlueShoe Nashville's favorites are included here.
True Grits: Wendell Smith's
Among Nashville's Meat and Threes is a traveler's
find--a restaurant that will not only give you a taste of southern
fare, but also a chance to rub elbows with the natives. Some folks
call Wendell Smith's place "Booze and Biscuits" because
the front part of the building is a liquor store (which also belongs
to Wendell). You can count on there being pickup trucks in the
parking lot, a photo of Dolly Parton over the cash register, and
a deerhead mounted on the wall. Wendell's waitresses wear t-shirts
that say things like "It's been a bad day all week," but they
are unfailing kind and competent. Daily menus are mimeographed
(that's right--mimeographed! It may seem like a time warp, but
at least one mimeograph machine has survived the Xeroxization
of the world and that machine is thriving at Wendell's.)
Breakfasts are savory--the grits are among the best in town and the white flour gravy complements the homemade biscuits. For lunch or supper, pick out your meat entree and then be sure to order the fresh turnip greens, the cornbread dressing, and the fried corn. Open six days a week (closed on Sundays), Wendell Smith's is located off Charlotte Avenue at 407 53rd Avenue North. It's just a couple of miles from downtown and near the White Bridge Road and Charlotte Avenue intersection. Look for Tennessee Tattoos right across the street from Wendell's. Phone: 615-383-7114 (for Wendell's, not the tattoo parlor.)
Soda Shop 2111 Elliston Place Nashville.
Is "Southern" considered ethnic food? If you aren't from the south, it may seem, well, distinctly different. But even if you don't want the fried chicken platter (available on certain days), you'll want to try the chocolate milk shakes at Elliston Place. They're the best in town, and perhaps the best in the state. Price: low to moderate.
Perhaps Nashville's most famous
restaurant, The Loveless Cafe is located at 8400 Highway 100.
It's worth a trip here for their ham and egg breakfasts, not to
mention the biscuits. Call ahead for reservations, 615-646-9700.
Sylvan Park West
4502 Murphy Road 615-292-9275 Located in the heart of Sylvan Park, off of West End. Friendly atmosphere and fine food.
Rotiers' Restaurant 2413 Elliston Place 615-327-9892 Mon.-Sat. Homecooked vegetables, hamburgers, chili, steaks, and noteworthy milkshakes!
Swett's Restaurant 2725 Clifton Avenue (near Tenn. State University) 615-329-4418 One of Nashville's institutions, Swett's also runs a satellite site located at the Nashville Farmers' Market.