Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Last Supper in Nashville

I'm almost caught up.

It was our last night in Nashville and I thought that we would try the restaurant recommended to us for lunch, South Street. I found their website on-line and it looked like a dangerous place to eat, it was expensive and I wanted everything on the menu. I also knew that this restaurant was highly rated on Tripadvisor.com. The only knock I saw was that parking was limited. Boy was that prophetic.

We found the place and it was tiny. And there was absolutely no parking. We circled the restaurant once looking for a place to park but after that I said let's go somewhere else. When we go out to eat we will often call out a back up in case our first choice is packed or closed. Our back up was Stoney River. At the time I did not know that it was a chain, but it's not like we have one where we live. Again, this restaurant had great reviews on Tripadvisor and was called out as the steak place for locals, as good as the upper crust places like Ruth's Chris or Morton's but at a discount.

We found the place no problem, walked in and immediately I was stressed. The place was dark, overbearing and stuffy. Clearly most of the tables were business dinners so everyone was dressed up and we were quite casual. The hostesses were not friendly. But, Rose was famished; there was no turning back.

Now ordinarily I do not let appearances at restaurants get to me. One of my all time favorite restaurants is Cargo Portside in Brunswick GA which I'd put up against this steakhouse or any fancy restaurant in the big cities like Chicago and New York. I'd get there early wearing shorts and a t-shirt, earrings in both ears and sunglasses on. I'd sit out front, smoke a $20 cigar, sip on a glass of Shiraz and read the paper while they got my table ready. When my table was ready, I'd snuff out my cigar, follow the hostess in and walk through the glares of the local South Georgia elite as I was shown to my table. I'd get the appetizer special, the dinner special and often the desert special. I drop close 10 a hundred bucks and I'd probably tip 25%. My point is that my money spent the same, and to the restaurant and staff probably better than the elite locals. I don't think we should judge the book by the cover, mostly.

Maybe my problem at this restaurant was that we did not have a children's menu. There was nothing but $40 steaks, lobsters, fancy French preparations. Dinah and I are frantically trying to find something to feed to Rose that we know she will eat since we know she was starving. I said something to our waitress about how hard this was since they didn't have a children's menu. "Oh we have one, the hostess didn't give you one?" All of a sudden the dinner dramatically improved. I relaxed. I think Dinah relaxed. I looked around and noticed a few other people more casual than the business class. The dim lights seemed a little brighter. Deep breath.

I'm sure you can guess what I ordered. That's right, another ribeye and Caesar salad with anchovies. It's been a good week. Both were excellent, on par with what I had at Sal's in Lexington but still not as good as the Chicago Prime at Malone's. I don't remember what Dinah and Rose ordered. I think they both ordered shrimp of some sort. Rose's was huge butterflied and fried and Dinah's was spicy?

For desert we got the Chocolate Fudge Cake. There needs to be a disclaimer here. It's a Blondie with ice cream and fudge sauce and candied pecan pieces. How they get away calling that a fudge cake is beyond me. That said, it is eyes-roll-back-into-your head-good. Skip the restaurant ambiance, go for lunch and get this dessert.

1 comment:

Brook said...

D is going to Murphreesborough this week which is right outside Nasheville. I'll tell him there might be a good place for him to eat(usually he just eats at his hotel).
You guys seemed to have had a great trip. And yep-money spends the same no matter whose it is. I really despise snooty attitiudes.
B and I got seated at the back of a "fancy" B&B buffet-maybe the Blue Willow Inn?-because she was in her emo kid clothes and I was dressed like LA and just did no fit in with the crowd. We were tempted to leave but they have the best fried green tomatoes and sitting in the back of the bus so to speak was okay because of that alone. If we lived closer we'd go in even more "outrageous" clothes just to piss 'em off.