Friday, August 12, 2011

Loveless Cafe | Nashville, Tennessee

The Nashville area certainly has its fair share of popular restaurants. Loveless Cafe's famous "Biscuit Lady," Carol Fay Ellison, has been featured on several nationally broadcast TV shows, including The Today Show, The Ellen DeGeneres show, and Throw Down with Bobby Flay. Sadly, Carol Fay has passed, but her legacy lives on in the delicious, down-home Southern cooking and warm hospitality that defines Loveless.

I've heard that it can get ├╝ber crowded in there (with wait times of over an hour) so I went early on a weekday. Even at 4:45 pm on a Tuesday, the place was still half-full... and filling up quickly by the time I left.

Loveless Cafe
8400 Tennessee 100
Nashville, TN 37221
(615) 646-9700
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I love how the cafe has made a real attempt to stay true to its roots. Even the signage out front gives you a sense that you're being taken back to the days long before iPhones, iPads, and anything digital.

The cafe actually started as a motel and much of the original architecture has been retained and repurposed.

Here's a shot of the cafe's renowned biscuits and jam. The preserves are all homemade and I picked some up at their "Hams & Jams" store before I left.

I figured the Southern Sampler was the best way to experience lots of different flavors without getting too crazy. I must confess: I ate the WHOLE THING! So much for not getting too crazy...

BBQ is to Tennessee what plate lunch is to Hawaii. Hey, when in Rome...

I love collard greens. That is all.

The fried chicken was supposed to be one of their signature dishes, but I found the meat dry and tough to chew. The ham, on the other hand, was out of this world. I guess the hog is king in this part of the country.

Rounding out the plate is fried okra, another classic Southern side dish.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Martin's Bar-B-Que Joint | Nolensville, Tennessee

Featured on Guy Fieri's (@guyfieri) Diners, Drive-ins and Dives, I had to check this place out and try the highly acclaimed "Redneck Taco." It truly lived up to the hype.

Martin's Bar-B-Que Joint
7238 Nolensville Road
Nolensville, TN
(615) 776-1856
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Martin's has made a name for itself with its "whole hog" approach to barbeque. The meat is cooked over low heat for hours, resulting in tender, smoky awesomeness.

If you live in the area, you can cater from them too. This is one serious mobile operation. How cool would it be if this thing showed up at Eat the Street Kakaako?!

Here's the famed Redneck Taco. It's a cornbread pancake topped with smoked pork shoulder, slaw, and their special Sweet Dixie sauce. Yum!

Wanting to sample as much as I could, I also ordered the Brisket Taco. It was good, but if I ever go back, I'd probably just order two Redneck Tacos instead.