Fat Sal’s H*WOOD

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Walking in this place anytime from 11am-3am someone will always be there eating a big ass sandwich, drinking a shake, and listening to some hip hop that makes your head bob as you take bites from this fantastic mess of a sandwich.

I have dined at Fat Sal’s about 10 times and the first 6 times we were always checking on those milk shakes. When they finally got them number 5 became my favorite. Anyway you must go for the sandwiches we have tried damn near the whole sandwich part of the menu. I fell in love with the Fat Buffalo, the Fat Sal, and Fat cookout to name a few. With all the ingredients used on each sandwich surprisingly you can taste each one. They also have burgers, dogs, a variety of sides, and if you want a challenge ask them about the Big Fat Fatty. I will not go into mouth-watering details of these delicious sandwiches, because you need to go experience it for yourself.IMG_00000697

The only thing I think can be improved is the hero bread (it may take a superhero to fix it). The bread does not taste fresh, and sometimes a little too chewy. With that said I still love this place, and It is right down the street from my home. The staff is friendly, and they keep it 100 no robots or pretentious assholes like other places.

IMG_00001034Overall rating: 9.4 out of 10

Doughboys Cafe & Bakery

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After reading about Doughboys Café and Bakery I had to try it. Doughboys is said to have the best steak soup around, and the self-proclaimed “world famous” Doughboys red velvet cake. The only Doughboy I know is Ice Cube from Boyz n da Hood. We walked in the nice little café, and the first thing I noticed was the bakery case. Itwas filled with cinnamon rolls, cookies, and a variety of velvet cakes (white, black, and red).

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The steak soup was ordered it arrived in this huge bowl 3 people could have shared; however, the best part of the meal was the fresh baguette that came along with the soup. The steak soup is good, but I don’t see what all the fuss is about ok it is better than Campbell’s Chunky soup. doughboys clubThe doughboys club was also ordered this was a club sandwich on some “alleged” Mark McGwire Sammy “bleached skin” Sosa steroids. Triple decker on French Pan de mie bread cut into 4 sections. Unfortunately we didn’t try the red velvet cake, but we ordered a big ass chocolate chip cookie the size of a baby’s face it tasted stale. They have cheesecake for $6 not a slice but a whole mini cake, and it was good lots of flavor in every bite.

All in all I will go back they have everything from pancakes to pizza, and taters to porridge. Cozy environment, descent food, and great service hopefully next time they will have some chicken pot pie.

Doughboys Cafe & Bakery on Urbanspoon

Doughboys Cafe & Bakery Overall rating: 7.9

FATBURGER VS. IN-N-OUT

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In the Notorious BIG song going back to Cali he raps “If I want to squirt her take her to fat burger.” Ever since then, I always wondered about fat burger. I finally had my chance to try the original California hamburger stand, and I was amazed at the size of the burgers; small 2.5oz 400-600 calories, med 5oz 590-790 calories, large 8oz 850-1050 calories, and it keeps going on and on up to a 2050 calorie burger (I call this near death). They also carry shakes, salads, big steak fries or skinny fries, and other sandwiches. The burger was good and messy. You can have them grill it or cook it on the flat top. It is funny a few FatBurger patrons said they love it more than In -N- Out Burger. Just like the burgers at FatBurger, they were a greasy mess as well.IMG_00000377 IMG_20130410_162830
In -N- Out burger is 100% fresh meat, and fresh cut fries. Nice clean building as well as food. You can get a single, double, triple 3×3, or even a 4×4 if requested. They also have a spread similar to 1000 island. Their milkshakes are good and thick. Don’t forget to ask for animal style on burgers and fries. I don’t work there, but they are the highest paid fast food chain starting at $10.50. In -N- Out, that’s what a hamburger is all about.IMG_20130410_163753

After eating at both , I knew which one I liked better. I felt a grease ball after eating at Fat Burger (all that grease). The simple clean freshness of In-N- Out Burger won me over. The staff has always been a delight at In-N- Out, but that FatBurger staff was RATCHET. However, I advise everyone to try both.

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IN-N-OUT STAFF

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FATBURGER

FATBURGER Overall rating: 7.9 Fatburger on Urbanspoon

IN-N-OUT      Overall rating: 9.2 out of 10 In-N-Out Burger on Urbanspoon

Rock Sugar Pan Asian Kitchen

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If you are ready for an all around good restaurant, Rock Sugar is the place. Rock sugar is the sister restaurant to Cheesecake factory and Grand Luxe Cafe. A walk way with tables on each side decorated with candles.  When I walked into the actual restaurant I thought I was Jack Burton (Big trouble in little China). High ceilings with lamps, Chinese warrior statues, beautiful drapes around the booths, fantastic color scheme that flows with the restaurant, and gorgeous lighting . The decor and atmosphere are everything. I could just sit there with a glass of water listening to music and be satisfied.rs2 IMG_00000075 IMG_00000069 IMG_00000070 IMG_00000065

The food has tons of flavor that will shock your taste buds. We ordered several dishes starting with coconut soup with mushrooms, and galangal (Siamese ginger) very tasty. We had a nice mixed green salad, buttered chicken (Marsala curry and cream with rice), and lemon grass roasted chicken (garlic-soy, palm sugar, and kumquat chutney). All were terrific and met our expectations. The portion size is nothing like The Cheesecake Factory, but again the food has character.

Lemon grass roasted chicken

Lemon grass roasted chicken

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Coconut Soup
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Buttered Chicken

The food was awesome, and the service was cool. Between Cheesecake Factory , Grand Luxe, and Rock Sugar,  Grand Luxe is my favorite ;however, Rock Sugar is damn close. The only location for this great restaurant is in the Century City mall facing Santa Monica Blvd.

Overall rating: 9.2 out of 10

RockSugar Pan Asian Kitchen on Urbanspoon

Bottega Louie

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Sometimes pictures speak louder than words, and that is why this review has so many. Simple, clean, elegant, and all white everything describes the atmosphere of Bottega Louie.  As you walk in, you will see the bakery area with tarts, cupcakes, colorful macaroons, and other pastries. Boxes  tagged with the name Louie are all over the place. Next, you will see the bar on the left and the super clean open kitchen on the right. Walking towards the host table you see the rest of the dining area with plenty of seats, but one of the eye catchers is the pizza oven in the far back wall.IMG_00000310IMG_00000307  IMG_00000305IMG_00000288 IMG_00000267

The menu is standard American Italian. We ordered the meatball sliders with the popular fries, short ribs with lardon ragu, lamb rack chops with vegetables and red wine demi glaze. For dessert, I had a delicious peanut butter terrine, and a gang of other desserts. The food was good, but not out of this world. The short ribs would melt in your mouth; however, every dessert was on point even the macaroons despite the $2.50 price tag for the small cookie. The drink menu is very impressive; there is a wide variety of wine choices. I had a great berry lemonade topped with raspberries.

Meatball Sliders

Meatball Sliders

Lamb Chops

Lamb Chops

Short Ribs

Short Ribs

Peanut Butter Terrine

Peanut Butter Terrine

The bakery and sophisticated atmosphere were the high points. The service was better on my second visit. The biggest negative that I witnessed was some of the tables didn’t receive all their entrees at the same time. I can tell somebody there use to work at the Cheesecake Factory, because they have some of the same ideals when it comes to steps of service, and the bakery concept. Also check out our picture collage video in the AMUSE BOUCHE section. ( bottegalouie.com) IMG_00000269 IMG_00000271 IMG_00000279 IMG_00000274 IMG_00000272 IMG_00000280 IMG_00000281

Overall rating: 8.9 out of 10
Bottega Louie on Urbanspoon

Norms

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Norms opened in 1949, and it is the California version of Waffle House, but with a larger menu. This 24 hour diner exudes filth, finger prints on silverware, a cloudy dessert window, and carpet that smelled of mildew. A family friend recommended this place for a late night bite (I should have known because he is cheaper than free samples at Costco).IMG_00000131IMG_00000127  IMG_00000134

I was starving until we walked in. We had a seat and ordered. We ordered a waffle, turkey sausage, and a lumberjack breakfast (hash browns, hot cakes, bacon, and sausage). The food was cheap and tasted below average. The server was attentive, but his hands looked like he had been digging in the dirt.IMG_00000140 IMG_00000141 IMG_00000142 IMG_00000143

Just like the waffle house, you need to be intoxicated to enjoy the experience. People have been getting drunk since the beginning of time and Norms is a good reason not to stop drinking. Check out this video link, because they are selling dreams. (http://youtu.be/OLrqvYXAJh0)

Overall rating: 2.4 out of 10

Norm's on Urbanspoon

Post and Beam

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Tucked behind the Baldwin Hills, Crenshaw Plaza Post & Beam seems like it took a wrong turn, and landed behind the mall, but this could be a good thing. To my surprise, there sits a nice building with an outdoor patio and herb garden. The inside is dimly lit, and you will feel right at home in this comforting atmosphere. The open oven in the wall is a nice touch as you can watch the flame flicker.

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On both visits, the food was great, but during my second visit the food was phenomenal. We have tried the delicious turkey sausage meatballs with spicy wood roasted tomato sauce, devil eggs with smoked catfish, (great flavor), my favorite is the oven roasted penne with short rib bolognese. We also had the mac and cheese, mashed potatoes, long cooked greens, and angus short ribs with fresh horseradish (awesome). The mac and cheese is good, but not the typical southern mac&cheese I am use to;however, the short rib entree is the “one” a hands down winner. Again I must say all the food is good, and hopefully soon I can try dessert.

SHORT RIB ENTREE WITH SIDES

SHORT RIB ENTREE WITH SIDES

SHORT RIB BOLOGNESE

SHORT RIB BOLOGNESE

MAC AND CHEESE

MAC AND CHEESE

MASHED POTATOES

MASHED POTATOES

TURKEY SAUSAGE MEATBALLS

TURKEY SAUSAGE MEATBALLS

The reason I love this place so much is because, the staff is professional and courteous from the host to the bussers. I give much respect to the owner Brad Johnson for being hospitable and hands on. I watched him as he worked the restaurant and chatted with all the guest (regulars and first timers). The food is also prepared with love, and  they have a passion for what they do. Coming from a family of great southern cooks, I really appreciate it.      http://postandbeamla.com/

DON'T FORGET YOUR CORNBREAD

DON’T FORGET YOUR CORNBREAD

Overall rating: 9.4 out of 10
Post & Beam Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Mel’s Drive-In (Mel’s Diner)

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Mel’s Drive-In is a classic diner well known for its food, throw back atmosphere, and the Hollywood Museum (Highland Avenue). Walking in it reminded me of the 2009 movie Legion (dusty looking). I heard about Mel’s from friends, and by watching food shows on TV.   They have a lot on their menu, check it out at http://www.melsdrive-in.com/menu.html.IMG_00000023

I’ve heard plenty of good things about the burgers at Mel’s so we started off with the all grass  fed delivered fresh daily ground chuck sliders with fries. Those things were delicious; they had grilled onions and that sweet brioche bread. Next, I had the meatloaf sandwich on sourdough and more delicious fries. I was most definitely stuffed, but I really wanted a dessert.  I could not decide, the milkshake or the double cream cheesecake…..I passed. They also have various homemade pies that I observed being served at other tables.IMG_00000030

Typical diner style booths, but most of them have a .25 cent mini jukebox that plays rock, disco, and soul music. Service was cool, and the food was great for a diner. Thankfully, they are open 24/7, and you can order breakfast all day long. Although there are many great things to love about this place, there are a couple of negative things too; the expensive ass parking (after the first hour prices go up every 15 minutes) and the sliders are damn good, but they are $3 per slider.  Over all it was a great experience. IMG_00000024

Overall rating: 7 out of 10

Mel's Drive-in on Urbanspoon

Loco Donut vs. Doughworks

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Donuts, donuts, donuts, Nashville has two popular donut trucks that people love. I have tried both Loco Donut and Doughworks. Hopefully, Krispy Kreme will get a truck soon, but I seriously doubt it.

Both were at Friedman’s Army Navy store off of 21st avenue (not at the same time). First was doughworks, I saw their deliciously  decorated truck, and ran towards it. Looked over the menu and everything seemed like a winner, and the aroma was very pleasing. Forgive me, I don’t remember the name, but it looked good but it did not taste good.For the price of that one donut, I could have demolished 3 or 4 krispy kreme donuts (that hot light on glaze).???2013-02-16_08-30-02_948

Next was Loco donuts. The black and neon green truck was not appealing; however, thank goodness I caught them just before closing. The mini donuts did the job. I loved the menu variety and the lady gave me a breakdown of the snickers with home-made nugget (diabetic shock). I ate every damn one, and wanted more.2013-03-30_15-34-17_152

So Loco Donuts handed Doughworks a Floyd Mayweather ass whooping when it all comes down. The service from doughworks was friendly, but slower. We follow them both on twitter, and hopefully we will be able to try both again. If I were to pass them both, I would run straight to Loco Donuts.

Doughworks Overall rating: 5 out of 10    Doughworks Food Truck on Urbanspoon

Locco Donuts  Overall rating: 9 out of 10 Loco Donuts (food truck) on Urbanspoon

El Cholo

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Walking into this nice structure that displayed rich classy old Mexico put a smile on my face to see a different type of Mexican style restaurant.The female employees were dressed in character wearing traditional Mexican dresses. They have an upstairs as well as down stairs including a nice patio area for outdoor dining.

We were a group of about 14 the drinks from the bar looked colorful and refreshing, the chips and salsa had a lot of flavor. The original El Cholo was established in 1923 so many of the menu items have dates beside them to tell when they were introduced to the restaurant. I ordered combination 1 which was a cheese enchilada, and a beef taco accompanied with beans and rice. The food was not great but it pleasured my hunger; however, no one at the table seemed to jump for joy over the food.

Poo Poo Platter

Poo Poo Platter

El Cholo has a great atmosphere, but the food this time under performed, and so did the service. They are known to have some of the best margaritas (coconut is a favorite), so they may need to make the food with the same ingredients. Everyone also raves about the green corn tamales that can be ordered online. Locals say they can’t imagine the town without El Cholo’s but it is what it is another gringo style Mexican restaurant.

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Overall rating: 3.6 out of 10

El Cholo on Urbanspoon

Canter’s

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Canters is an old family owned Jewish deli/ restaurant and bakery in LA that opened in 1931. Walking in this place is a little dark, but that can be overlooked once you see the bakery. On the left are all the pastries, cookies, and cakes that looked damn good. To the right is the deli which makes a mean ass sandwich.IMG_20130416_140145 IMG_20130416_131822

We had breakfast and lunch at the same time. Waffles, turkey bacon, coleslaw, a pastrami sandwich, and a Hollywood (triple decker with pastrami, turkey, cheese, and russian dressing). Everything was good, but the waffle was just ok. We also ordered a large amount of baked goods (black & white cookies). The menu is filled with a variety of options to keep you going since they are open 24/7.

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A good experience overall, the only thing I didn’t like was the awful pickles. Canter’s has a friendly staff, and good service from start to finish (deli, bakery, and restaurant) . This place has ton of history and gives you a ton of meat on the sandwiches. The prices were reasonable for what you get, and even though I have had better in Nyc I will go back. They also get extra points for free parking.IMG_20130416_130353

Overall rating: 7.3 out of 10
Canter's Deli on Urbanspoon

Roscoe’s Chicken & Waffles

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Devastated: Cause (someone) severe and overwhelming shock or grief

The word above is the feeling I had after my meal at Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles. As I walked through the door, I saw chipped paint, greasy floors, and raggedy plants as the décor. You can smell the food as it is being cooked, and served; however, the food smelled better than it tasted.

i use to dream of waffles, but this was a nightmare.

I use to dream of waffles, but this was a nightmare.

The menu has plenty of comfort food on it including items such as greens, grits, yams, (fresh out the can), mac and cheese, and more. I ordered a waffle, chicken sausage, yams, and mac and cheese. I also ordered lemonade which was the best part of the meal. The sausage was like rubber, I could bounce it off the wall. I was highly disappointed with the waffle, and I never thought I would say this, but waffle house has a better waffle (damn). The yams were straight out of the can sprinkled with a little cheap perfume. The mac and cheese looked and tasted like some oily mushy ass hash brown casserole.

SMH @ this food.

I paid $23 for this and a lemonade.

This place here killed my dreams. I can’t believe that I walked for 15 minutes to eat this garbage. So much hype surrounds this place, and I don’t know why. I will tell you Gladys Knight & Ron’s Chicken and Waffles are 100 times better.

Overall rating: 2.4 out of 10
Roscoe's House of Chicken & Waffles on Urbanspoon

Baja Burrito

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Baja Burrito just may serve the best burritos in Nashville. This fresh food mecca is in the Berry Hill area of town. The first time I visited this place was in 2002, and the food has always been consistent. When you walk in, you will see the colorful menu board, smiling helpful staff, and festive decorations. A big plus is walking thru the cafeteria style line where you can see your food being prepared.2013-03-29_14-51-51_539

They offer small and regular size burritos which are big as a new born baby’s leg . They also have an option of tortillas flour, wheat, or chipotle. You also can add just about any and everything to your meal. I always go for a grilled chicken burrito with pinto beans, black beans, cheese, lettuce, Pico de Gallo, sour cream, rice, and salsa. (Absofuckinlutly good). Baja Burrito makes their own dressings for the taco salads, and they even have delicious tacos. The food here is extremely cheap for the portion size.2013-03-29_15-09-24_153

Baja Burrito is a locally owned independent shop with really fresh ingredients. If you love burritos, taco salads, or just tacos, I advise you to go and try it out, but good luck finding a parking spot.2013-03-29_14-49-12_409

Overall rating: 7.8 out of 10
Baja Burrito on Urbanspoon

Charles’ Vergos Rendezvous

Memphis BBQ 2

Down in Memphis there is BBQ on every corner. Literally, every corner…. Seriously, Google maps that shit. It could be a restaurant or somebody selling it on the side of the road, but the BBQ over flows the streets of Memphis. And there has always been talk about Charles’ Vergos Rendezvous. So we headed down the alley to this Memphis landmark. Yep, that’s right it’s in an ally.

The smell of food hits you before you even enter the building and to me that is a really good sign and also good if you’re a blind person who is starving. The menu is limited, but we chose some beef brisket and the pulled chicken plate. They both came with some damn good baked beans and some different, but delicious coleslaw (sweet, spicy, and tangy). The meat had that smoked flavor that we all crave  when eat BBQ.  I only wish they had more sides like fries and mac & cheese. They also didn’t have desserts, which was a bummer. Rendezvous will place a whole pitcher of water or soda on the table, so they don’t have to refill your drink, because  (A). they know you will be thirsty as shit & (B). this place is pretty damn busy.

Memphis BBQ 3 Memphis BBQ

The food here was pretty damn good. Everything is straight forward, from the food to the service. I just wish they gave more than 4oz of beans and slaw as the side, but hey I left with  a happy belly. As advertised they will send you ribs anywhere by Fed Ex in two days. How badass is that?

Memphis BBQ 1

CHECK OUT OUR AMUSE BOUCHE SECTION. Yuh feel meh?

Overall rating: 8.7 out of 10
Charlie Vergos' Rendezvous on Urbanspoon

Martin’s BBQ

This might be the shortest review we will do about a restaurant….thanks to Martin’s BBQ.

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Whoever said this place had some of the best BBQ in Nashville needs to seriously reevaluate their life on many different levels. This establishment is located in Nolensville. But let me just cut past the hype. I made a  Pros and Cons list. You decide for yourself if you wanna eat here.

martins bbq

PROS:                                              CONS: ( in bold )

  • The hot sauce
  • The aroma of BBQ
  • The baked beans
  • The free mini moon pies
  • My smoked chicken was uncooked. ( Resembled to deep sea fishing bait )                 
  • Paying 13 bucks for uncooked smoked chicken.
  • Hearing Gucci Mane blasting from the kitchen.
  • The bread on the fried catfish sandwich could be used to build a bomb shelter.
  • THEY HAVE NO MAC & CHEESE!
  • The salt monster works in the kitchen. (High blood pressure)

People talk about this place like it is the best thing smoking, but it is not. I have had better BBQ from Dale Nelson in Pulaski TN, and other places. I will give them props on all the awards they have achieved, but next time we may have to try the pork.

Overall Rating 4.9 out 10
Martin's Bar-B-Que Joint on Urbanspoon

Rotier’s

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A Nashville icon and a family business, Rotier’s opened in 1945. Nashvillians love this place, but is it actually good or is Nashville just being Nashville? Rotier’s is around the corner from Vanderbilt University and various hospitals,which makes this place a hotspot during lunch time. When walking into this diner you get the full effect of the atmosphere. You can tell they don’t spend money on the décor, giving it character or maybe their mocking  just a low budget Cheers atmosphere. Just like many other places in Nashville the service is mediocre at best. 2013-03-26_14-18-07_905

They are mostly known for their burgers on french bread, but people say everything is good. Of course, we ordered the burger on french bread with onion rings. We also ordered a meat and three special; pot roast, mashed potatoes, carrots, and more mashed potatoes. The reason for two orders of mashed potatoes was because they were out of mac and cheese (so disappointing). Let me start with the onions rings, they were not homemade, fresh out of the bag. The burger was good, juicy and fulfilling (not the best burger in Nashville). The mashed potatoes could have been better, I mean buttered. No wait, just better. The roast beef was exceptional, however the carrots tasted like they were made at the Macy’s perfume counter.2013-03-26_14-20-28_641 2013-03-26_14-20-22_341

Rotier’s has below average food that is reasonably priced. You can still go there to grab a cold beer, suck down a milkshake, or grab a piece of Nashville history. When you look around the front dining room you will see articles and newspaper clippings of past accolades. Hopefully they can get back on top, because this isn’t the 50s anymore.

Overall Rating: 5.1 out of 10
Rotier's on Urbanspoon

Cork & Cow

corkandcowChef Jason McConnell is great at what he does. He owns and operates some very good restaurants. We made our way to his latest operation, Cork & Cow. I loved the look of the emerald green banquette with mirrors placed above them. Cork & Cow also has a plethora of butcher knives placed on the wall with cut pieces of wood. Kudos goes out to them for the clean sophisticated look that is not too bougie (very comfortable).cc2

Of course, when we looked at the menu we had high expectations for the food. The wine list was very impressive. One associate ordered a glass of Leese Fitch Cabernet, and the other ordered local brew, Yazoo Gerst Ale. We started off with the Wagyu Meatball Crostini which had four or five meatballs in a delicious sauce with a “kick”, all on top of a toasted garlic bread crostini. The three entrees we ordered were the Grouper Picatta ($26), Cheese Ravioli Lasagna ($23), and Chicken Scaloppini ($25). Usually I pay close attention to the menu, but this time the two of us were duped. The server asked us what salad we would like with our meal, because they had two choices for side salads. We chose two caesar salads, and a francesca.  The lasagna was nothing special; it was a dish that could have been made at home. The grouper picatta was grand and cooked perfect with a superb sauce (more sauce would have been great), and the chicken scaloppine was good not great with a marsala sauce, garlic basil pasta and a shit ton of mushrooms. They offered several desserts, but the one I was interested in was not made in house and that made me a little upset.

Grouper Picatta

Grouper Picatta

Chicken Scaloppine

Chicken Scaloppine

Cheese Ravioli Lasagna

Cheese Ravioli Lasagna

All in all, the experience was OK. I place Cork and Cow in the middle of the restaurants in its comparable class. Everyone is saying you should have ordered a steak, but I think every item should be divine. There is nothing worse than spending money on food that could have been prepared at home or a country club that would be less expensive. Then again most of the time you pay for the atmosphere.  The Cork and Cow is an ok place to dine. My overall favorite item was the Wagyu Meatball Crostini. On a good note, although I didn’t order dessert, the server gave me a slice to take home.

Overall Rating: 6.6 out of 10
Cork & Cow on Urbanspoon

Bolton’s Spicy Chicken & Fish

BOLTONS

There has been a lot of talk about who has the best hot chicken in Nashville. In the running we have Hattie B’s ( which we have tried and loved it ). There is Prince’s Hot Chicken ( which we have not tried yet, but have high hopes about this place ). And then there is a little place called Bolton’s Spicy Chicken & Fish, located on Franklin Pike in Nashville. Other reviews said good things about this place, but you can’t believe everything you read, which is exactly why we decided to call their bluff. And boy, was it a bluff. This will be a short review due to the lack of… well everything.

For the starters, the menu looked homemade as if it was printed from an empty ink cartridge. So instead of just changing the ink, they just wrote over the menu in pen. Yes, an ink pen. The kind one would use for the office to take notes. This should have been the first sign for me NOT to eat here. “BUT THE ONLINE REVIEWS SAID THEY WERE GREAT”- said nobody. Next was the so-called heat lamp ( MORE LIKE A DESK LAMP) they had to “heat” all their stale side items. Actually, just look at the pictures below. Tell me if that looks nothing but appetizing?

This is a joke right?

This is a joke right?

Really? Shall I just end the review with that? Nooo, I couldn’t leave you with just that. There’s MORE!

Nope, not a joke.

Nope, not a joke.

So I decided to still yet eat here, God only knows why I stayed. Oh wait, but the reviews said Bolton’s was “great”.  I must say I disagree, strongly disagree.  We ordered a catfish sandwich with fires and a side of spaghetti. Then an order of the “jumbo tenders” with potato salad and mac N cheese. The catfish to my surprise was not that bad, but the spaghetti was a bad choice. It tasted like it had been re-cooked over and over. But if looked at the picture above, I should have known better than to have picked that wonderful side item. The jumbo tenders were not jumbo. That would be a false statement on their part. The tenders looked like they had been dropped into a dust pan full of chili powder. It tasted awful.

Not jumbo, just regular size.

Not jumbo, just regular size.

I love hot and spicy food more than the regular human, but I might as well just had taken the top off a cayenne pepper shaker and chugged it all. I couldn’t have told you the difference between the two. Dry as shit and not even that hot.

Bolton's catfish

Bolton’s catfish

So whoever wrote a review about this place, talking about how great the food was, I hope a rattlesnake bites you. We can smell your “spicy” bullshit from here. Bolton’s Spicy Chicken & Fish, say hello to the 86’D List. You are our newest member! Congratulations on being so dreadfully awful.
Bolton's Spicy Chicken & Fish on Urbanspoon

Overall Rating : 2.2 out of 10

Mr.Chow

Mr. Chow

Mr. Chow

Winning the five star diamond award, Mr. Chow has been serving high Chinese Cuisine since 1979. Located on 57th street, Mr. Chow is one the best places we have eaten in a long time. Executive Chef Li Hong has won the Annual Chef Cooking Competition Award in Shanghai, and many more if you want take the time to Google this guy to see what a badass chef he really is. We made our reservation and suited up for one of the best “eats” in the Big Apple.
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Mr. Chow is a hub for celebrities, multi millionaires and people whose Rolex’s cost more than my car and yours combine. Needless to say we felt out of place, but we didn’t let the ego of Mr. Chows shake us. The inside of Mr. Chow looked like a trillion bucks. The host took our jackets and the manger took us directly to our table (those tables were closer than two titties in a push up bra). Mr. Chow is a small venue, only seating close to 60 people max. The atmosphere was elegant with a Dj playing music such as Prince and Alicia Keys. Each table had a small arrangement of white orchids and there was a large arrangement of flowers in the middle of the room. The servers and bussers all wore tuxedos. White tuxedos. The service was outstanding, I couldn’t tell who was the busser and who was the server. They moved like clock work. I don’t know where Mr. Chow found these people, but every server in America could take a few notes from these guys. Their shit was on point.

OK so lets get to the best part. The whole reason why we came here. We had three courses.

Mr. Chow Noodles

Mr. Chow Noodles

First was Mr. Chows noodles: fresh house made noodles with a pork Bolognese sauce. The next appetizer was squab, which is baby pigeon with a fantastic flavored lettuce wrap that was accompanied with a sauce similar to sriracha, but tastier and not as spicy.

Velvet Chicken

Velvet Chicken

Next was the main course of velvet chicken: shredded chicken with a mild spicy sauce and vegetables. The beef with shepherds purse had a little spice to the delicately sliced beef with the wilted greens. The main course was served with green beans, baby shrimp and rice (nothing fancy,nothing special but good). The finale course was green tea and coconut cream sorbet. Yep,  it tasted just like it sounds. One thing that really stood out was that they brought out a little cup with a flower mixed with a hot liquid to clean our fingers (that extra mile). I mean who does that shit? Mr. Chow does, he cares about his customers. With locations only in London, Beverly Hills, Miami, and New York  Mr Chow has made a statement and has truly set the bar for fine dining. The food was perfect, but the service made the experience.  Oh yeah, quick side note; the cheapest item on the menu was 49 bucks. Yeah. I think its safe to say we balled out!

We thank you Mr. Chow.

Overall Restaurant Rating: 9.8 out of 10.

Gus’s World Famous Hot & Spicy Fried Chicken

People in West Tennessee swear Gus’s World Famous Hot & Spicy Fried Chicken is the best chicken in the south. My associate and I decided to give it a try. This place is located in an old Jack In The Box building (but you couldn’t tell by the inside). We walked in and business was dead, but there was a pack of employees cutting up and hanging out in the kitchen area. Since it was not busy our waitress was able to put on a helluva show for us (we were highly entertained).

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When it was time to order, our waitress kept it real with us letting us know if the food didn’t look right in the back she would not bring it out. Furthermore, she let us know the mac and cheese may or may not be good it depends on who cooked it (this shows some inconsistency). We both ordered tenders, mac and cheese, and baked beans (they were out of the can but doctored up well). For dessert, they have various pies so we ordered chess and chocolate. Word is, when they first opened no one could tell the difference between their coconut pie and chess pie.  Our food arrived and we started demolishing it.  It was average, but nowhere near the best.  The mac & cheese was simply underwhelming so was the chicken. The pies were okay, but the chocolate was better than the chess.

I can officially say that this place is over rated. The service was really the best part of our visit at Gus’s. I discussed Gus’s with a friend who is from the same town as the original chicken shack. He said “there is no comparison; the original Gus’s has more soul in the food”.

Dead

Dead

Gus's World Famous Hot & Spicy Fried Chicken on Urbanspoon

Overall Rating : 5.7

Junior’s

Juniors-Cheesecake

Never in my life had I been so inclined to making love to a cheesecake. This thought ran through my mind as I watched Diddy’s Making the Band. Diddy  sent his ratchet ass band to Brooklyn to grab a slice of cheesecake from a place called Junior’s. I always wanted to go there and in no time found myself enjoying New York City’s greatest cheesecake. During our stay in New York, we chowed down on some fabulous foods and sweets. However; none could trifle with the cheesecake Junior’s offered. Now I’m not going to lie, Carnegie Deli has some pretty damn good cheesecake. People may feel differently and that’s ok, but Junior’s is winning the game in my book. In the heart of the Big Apple, Time Square is the perfect location to enjoy a nice slice of cheesecake.

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We walked up to the building and the first thing that caught my eye was the bakery. Inside they sold all of the mouthwatering goodies by the slice or the whole cake. As you walk through the entrance of Junior’s, you are welcomed with the beautiful mural of Ebbet’s Field that use to be in Brooklyn. We were approached by smiling faces at the host stand. Minutes later we were greeted by our sever. We asked him questions about the desserts; due to the fact we were torn between a few (they have over 20 desserts). So we decided on the chocolate swirl cheesecake and the red velvet cheesecake. After my first bite, I dropped my fork and look towards the sky with a smile on my face. The red velvet cheesecake was creamy, moist, huge, and full of flavor. The chocolate swirl cheesecake had the right bit of chocolate to go with deliciousness of the cheesecake, which puts any cheesecake from any other place to shame. Both cheesecakes were mind-blowing and fulfilling. We had devoured our cheesecake in minutes and from the likes of “the cheesecake factory” this shit here from Junior’s is hands down the best. See for yourself on our Amuse Bouche page!!

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Junior's Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Junior’s cheesecake rating : 9.89

Edley’s Bar-B-Que

Everybody knows Barbecuing in Tennessee is a sport, because everyone has a grill and their special sauce. Edley’s bbq is in the ever growing 12 south area of Nashville and has been hopping with business since the day they opened. I have been to this place on several occasions and always get the same results, so the consistency is great. If you love that down home blues and bluegrass sound, you will enjoy the music. They have indoor seating that fills up quickly and outdoor seating is on a deck that is on the side of the building, as well as limited bars seating. They also can open them big ole garage doors to get that outdoor feeling on the inside. The employees at Edley’s are accommodating and the line to order your food always moves at a decent pace.

BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich, mac&cheese, and beans

BBQ pulled pork with mac&cheese and beans

Catfish Sandwich
Catfish Sandwich

Edley’s run various specials so the best time to get there is when they open. Everyone loves there brisket, which is good when you can get it because they always seem to run out of it. The menu is a typical bbq restaurant menu with ribs, catfish (ok but I have had much better), pulled chicken, pulled pork, and sides (portions are small for sides). The fried pickles are ok, but a little on the salty side (high blood pressure alert), but the downside to this place is that horrible ass mac and cheese. They need to shoot the pot, and burn the recipe for that tragedy. Don’t let me forget about the banana pudding, don’t you dare eat it unless you want to throw it back into the kitchen. The gooey butter bars and chess pie are good, they also have chocolate pie. For most part, you can get all of the meat on a sandwich or platter, and they have very good red and white bbq sauce.

Banana Pudding

Banana Pudding

Chess Pie

Chess Pie

Don’t get me wrong now; they have satisfactory food, and a great atmosphere. They just need to give more of the side items once they correct the recipes. There is nothing like good old school by the road bbq, and this place does not have that.

Overall Rating: 7.3 out of 10

Edley's Bar-B-Que on Urbanspoon

Wafels & Dinges

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While walking around New York City, I stumbled upon a big yellow food truck. The closer I got to this big yellow food truck, the more I noticed I have seen this big yellow food truck somewhere before. Then it hit me! It was the Wafels and Dinges truck from Throw Down with Bobby Flay. I was ecstatic to have the opportunity to order one of my all-time favorite foods, the Belgian Waffle.  Not knowing what to expect, the two gentlemen inside the truck were extremely funny and helpful. Not to mention their Dutch accent added that home away from home vibe I’d been missing. I chose the mini waffle with mascarpone cheese and nutella ($3). Well I be damned, that was the best waffle I have ever consumed and I mean ever put in my mouth hands down.  I popped a waffle, I’m sweatin WOOO! Powder sugar all over my face, powder sugar all down my shirt, powder sugar everywhere and I loved it.2013-01-29_11-15-34_674 That made me want another, so I waited for my business associate to get out of his meeting that morning then we made our way back over to Park Avenue. When we arrived back at the big yellow truck, I was impressed to notice he remembered my name. This time we both ordered the mini waffle with mascarpone and spekuloos, he said and I quote, “It was like a unicorn tear drop with the taste of a gingerbread cookie”. SOLD! Wafels and Dinges offer plenty of toppings such as strawberries, dulce de leche, walnuts, and more. They even have savory waffles like the bbq pulled pork waffle or de bacon and syrup wafel.  For the chocolate waffle lover you can get it dipped and covered with chocolate. I can’t express how good these waffles are, words will not do them justice. Follow them on Facebook and or Twitter, and you can learn about specials or the daily challenge to earn a free dinge on your waffle. My challenge is to get back to New York City as fast as possible for this waffle. Seriously, it’s like they got the recipe from the good book itself.

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Overall Rating: 9.9 out of 10 Food Truck Realness
(check out the video in the Amuse Bouche section)
Wafels & Dinges on Urbanspoon

Burger Up

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Nashville is known for country music, George Straight, guitars, hot chicken and more country music. But Nashville is starting to break ground in the food culture. They’re doing so by making some really good ass burgers. Nashville’s very own Battle of the Burgers: as what we like to call it, is starting to turn heads and heighten our taste buds. So of course we had to go to Burger Up. I’ve heard really good things about this place and very few people seem to not like this place. So naturally, we had to go give this place our hit and review.

From the start, I got the “Urban Outfitters” vibe as soon as we walked through the door. Everything was so sleek with wood seats, wooden bar and yes, wooden tables. The gigantic windows allow the sun to shine through, which gives the place more warmth and life. It is as if Urban Outfitters had branched off and made a burger joint (home of the tight pants and deep v-necks). No mainstream found here, just a vintage look and Neutral Milk Hotel playing in the background. Ok, ok…That was a bit of a stretch, BUT this place puts out a great vibe, it makes you want to come back.

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Now to the good stuff! The burgers were unbelievably good. It caught me off guard, on how good they truly were. Every ingredient is local. The beef is organically fed for all you healthy picky ass eaters. We ordered two burgers, the recommended Woodstock burger, which has Benton’s bacon, white cheddar, and Jack Daniel’s maple ketchup on it. That shit was great. It actually tasted fresh, which seems odd to say, but that was the first thought that popped into my head. The second burger that was ordered was the turkey burger. GOOD GAWD! Best turkey burger I’ve ever had the pleasure to eat thus far. Thumbs up to the cook. The burgers were done right. The truffle fries made for a great side (golden brown with a little salt). The homemade ketchup they served went well with the burgers and fries. It doesn’t taste like normal ketchup, a bit on the sweeter side, but something definitely to give a try. For dessert we shared the Krispy Kreme doughnut pudding with grand mariner crème anglaise. Sounds like some fancy shit, right? Well it melted in my mouth. So fresh, so delicious, and so gone off my plate, well that’s all I got to say about that. Plain and simple, it was great and I recommend you try that good ass dessert when you eat there.

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Everyone has an opinion, but too many people are complaining about the prices at this nice burger joint. They use great quality products, so you will spend a little extra cash for that. I love that they offer tons of items like chicken wings, salads, fried oysters, and plenty of burgers (that’s a given). Burger Up fits right in the neighborhood of 12th South. The only question I have is ,when will they make those vintage, extra washed, overpriced wool Burger Up tee’s that we all crave for (ha ha), and are those tight ass nut hugging jeans part of their uniform?!

Burger Up gets a 8.9 out 10 !

Burger Up on Urbanspoon

Cafe Intermezzo

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When I am in Atlanta, I always stop by one of my favorite places Café Intermezzo. The first time I was lucky enough to try this place was when my friend John and his fiancé invited me for a late night drink and dessert (I have been hooked since). This European style coffee house has everything you would want in a café. The décor is amazing with hard wood floors and brick lined walls. The ambiance is sexy with dimmed lights, burning candles, and a variety of international music playing in the background. They also have a nice bar set up as well as an overwhelming dessert case and coffee station.

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You have to look at the beverage book (yes a book) it has close to 50 pages in it filled with teas, coffees, champagne, liquor, wine, non- alcoholic beverages, chocolate drinks, and more. The food menu is great, I love the crepes, french toast, and sandwiches. They also serve entrees, a lot of breakfast items, and salads; however, the desserts, and coffee beverages steal the show. They have a case with various cakes, pies, cheesecakes, and tortes. They also ship their tiramisu from Italy that’s what I was told by one of the staff members (it was way too strong for me). The coffee bar is very impressive with very helpful baristas, you can tell they take pride in every beverage they make.

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Friends and family that have joined me at Café Intermezzo loved it. From the food to the atmosphere everything is good.  For a late night drink, dessert, or the ending of a date this is the place. For the many times I have been there, I have only experienced one bad dessert that did not taste fresh.  The service can be very slow at times, but the servers are always gracious and informative. The parking is the one thing I really hate about this place, not enough space, and being from out of town giving money to a man who tells me to park on the side of the building is shady. You will forget about all of that as soon as you go inside and smell the beverages coming from the coffee bar. Oh how I wish there was one in Nashville.

Overall Rating: 9.6 out of 10

Cafe Intermezzo on Urbanspoon

Off the Bone BBQ

Being from the south, we are surrounded by fantastic BBQ, giving us high expectations. A friend mentioned a place called Off the Bone BBQ, near Rosa Parks Boulevard and Monroe. When I go to a BBQ joint, I love the scent of the wood smoked BBQ filling the air, the friendly home atmosphere, and the assortment of different BBQ sauces that will make your taste buds dance (Literally and figuratively). When we pulled in the parking lot of Off the Bone I should have instantly known that this place was going to destroy any hopes I had about eating and enjoying such delicious barbeque. Cheap signs written in permanent marker were written all over the place, BUT given that most “hole-in the-wall” places are usually spot on I ignored the warning signs. All I could think about was the delicious BBQ I was about to partake in. The line was moving very slowly. There was only one person working the line and one on the register. While standing patiently in line, we notice the dirty windows. Wait, I think dirty might be an understatement. Just imagine someone took mud, water, grease and smeared the windows and left it to dry. However, I still don’t think that example justifies how bad the windows looked, but given that it’s a BBQ joint, I was not expecting anything classy, but damn wash those windows.

When we finally got to order and I chose the Mr. Dolla Beef Shoulder Sandwich with mac and cheese, plus a side of slaw. Ashlea ordered wings and G also ordered the Mr. Dolla Beef Sandwich with mac and cheese along with fried okra. We got a table and a free tan from the sun shining through those “greasy” looking windows. You’ll never guess what happen next! Drum roll please! They were out of BBQ beef and mac and cheese. WHAT!? Are you serious right now?! Who the hell runs out of beef BBQ before noon?! So then I ordered the catfish, slaw, and turnip greens. G got the Mr. Dolla Pork Shoulder Sandwich with fried okra, with a side of extra okra because they sorry asses ran out of what I wanted. They did not adjust any of the prices of the new order, which didn’t make a major difference in price, but come on…..who doesn’t love to pay for something that you didn’t get to eat. Ashlea’s wings smelled and looked hot, but “BAM” they were only room temperature. I love hot sauce with my catfish, but guess what; they ran out of that too. Let me repeat that, THEY RAN OUT OF DAMN HOT SAUCE!!!!! The catfish was soggy, and the turnip greens had no flavor at all plus the slaw looked and tasted like mayo based shredded paper. G’s pork sandwich was not hot and had little to no flavor as well. Who am I kidding!? I mean is anyone shocked by this?????

Catfish Plate

Catfish Plate

To my surprise the fish and chicken were not cooked to order, it was pre-cooked and placed in a steam table with lids to keep them warm. I was soooo disappointed that I could not smell or see anything cooking, not even a glimpse of grill smoke out back. I know, because I peeped around the corner. The prices would be reasonable if the food was good, (hahaha), but there was more action in the funeral home located behind this tragic restaurant. I witnessed several employees in the back, but I do not have a clue as to what they were doing. I know they weren’t cooking or helping expedite food. Off the Bone has a lot of items listed on the menu, but more than likely they will not have it in stock. It is good for people to open a business, but please have some kind of idea on how to run it. This rented out DMV lookin’ BBQ place was absolutely terrible in my book. The barbeque in prison probably taste 100 times better. Off the Bone needs to be cleared Off the Map, so that way you never have the chance to accidently stumble upon this horrific establishment of food.

It’s bad when the topic of discussion at the table is where you’re going to eat after going here, so you can recover what taste buds you have left.

For a BBQ joint and overall restaurant this place gets

1.3 out of 10 (hello 86’d List)

Off the Bone BBQ on Urbanspoon

Judge Bean’s Bar-B-Que and Steakhouse

I heard a lot about a place called Judge Bean’s Bar-B-Que and Steakhouse in Brentwood, TN. This place is supposedly known for their Tex Mex style BBQ. Various people have suggested Cowboy chili, Texas jumbo-laya, and the baby back ribs. So my home girl E.B and I decided to go, the parking lot was full, and that seemed like a good sign for us. We walked in and the place was a little busy. We waited a few minutes for a table and then we were offered a table in the back corner near the bar. The hostess cleaned the dining room tables surprisingly fast. I was not impressed with the décor or the wobbly table and chairs, but it fit in. The employees did not have a uniform, so I could not tell who was an employee, manager, or customer.

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The server arrived to the table with tortilla chips and smoky salsa (smoked paprika), and she also was bragging on the ribs like they were the best thing ever cooked on the grill. She also told us about some other amazing sounding items which I was ready to sink my teeth into. She said the brisket was flavorful, popular, and delicious. I ordered the brisket sandwich, house made fries, macaroni and cheese, and green beans. E.B ordered the smokehouse combo with ribs, pulled pork, macaroni and cheese, and fried okra. Let me start with the brisket, not tender, dry, no flavor, and room temperature. Mac and cheese noodles were overcooked and tasted cheap, but those green beans get a standing ovation. They should have soaked the brisket in that bean juice because they were well seasoned, and fresh off the oven. They could have kept those unseasoned ass fries in the back. E.B. said her ribs were OK and the same for the pulled pork, but she liked the fried okra (her food was room temp as well). Shockingly the homemade banana pudding was excellent, we had some shitty banana pudding at Edleys BBQ (tell you about that later).

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Friendly staff, televisions to watch the game, and prices are a plus (would be better if the food was scrumptious). They also have all you can eat tacos on Tuesdays, and weekly specials. The food is a big part of the experience, and Judge Beans failed at that. Hopefully they can improve so I can get some hot delicious food instead of it being room temperature and tasteless. For now the Judge needs to stay out of the kitchen unless he is making banana pudding.

Overall Rating: 5.8 out of 10

Judge Bean's BBQ on Urbanspoon

Brown’s Diner

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Right off of Blair Boulevard and 21st Avenue is a little trailer with a built on addition called Browns Diner. The first time I went to this Nashville institution, I was shocked that it looked like an outcast from the trailer park from the outside, but you can’t judge a book by its cover you must read some of the pages. The inside reminds me of an old drunk dive tavern. This place is known for the cheap food that is actually good (them burgers), and it’s friendly down home staff.

 

We wanted a quick late bite so we stopped by Browns Diner. There were only a few people there, but one guy was drunk, full of jokes, and getting takeout. We sat down at the bar and looked at the menu. They have everything; Frito chili pie, catfish dinner, homemade vegetable soup (winter months only), grilled cheese sandwich, and more. I ordered a cheeseburger with a side of hush puppies, and CP ordered a cheeseburger with a beer. The burgers were juicy and the buns were soft. After we smashed them, we were like we should have ordered 2 but the kitchen was about to close, and out of respect I never order food 30 minutes before a kitchen closes. The bartender was “cooler than a polar bears toenail” (thanks Outkast) he talked shit with us about football, and The Titans (they play so bad there are going to start paying people to go to the games). I have also been informed that people love the fried fish plate.

Cheeseburger and hush-puppies

Cheeseburger and hush-puppies

 

Browns Diner has been open since 1927, this place is history and plenty of people have passed through with many stories to tell. Great burgers, friendly staff, cold beer mugs, and a place where no one is a stranger make this place what it is. This is one of the few places you can possibly eat, drink and enjoy community with pocket change. However, I would love to see a monstrous burger or something like a Juicy Lucy (burger with hot oozing cheese on the inside). If you are looking for 5 star cleanliness “child”  this is not your place, but if you want mid 1900’s trailer park dive bar realness this is it.

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Overall Rating: 9.4 out of 10

Brown's Diner on Urbanspoon

Chappy’s

Chappy’s in Nashville “specializing” in New Orleans and Creole food, we wanted to see for ourselves. I have not been there for dinner, but I have eaten lunch there and that fried chicken sandwich was very delicious. When we walked in, the vibe was depressing; no one was upbeat and it seemed like everything was moving in slow motion, and the décor was French quarter on a messy budget.

Our server told us about his likes and the specials, and delivered the bread with an array of butters. We looked over the menu and decided to go with an appetizer and soup to start. The fried green tomatoes were just ok a little bland for my taste, but the parmesan cheese, and sauce helped it out. When I saw corn and crab bisque, I had to order it and the soup was good. For entrée, I ordered the chicken ship island (it was a shipwreck) the chicken breast had no flavor, I could not find it at all, and I even looked under the table. I chose not to get the rice du jour; I chose the mixed vegetables and it looked like a hot mess served on a plate. My guest ordered grilled bbq spice shrimp and it was not spicy, but he added the Chappys hot sauce and it worked that out. He loved the rice du jour but all in all it was just ok. Being a New Orleans style restaurant, I saw bread pudding on the menu and really wanted it; however, I no longer had and appetite.

Grilled Barbecue Spice Shrimp

Grilled Barbecue Spice Shrimp

Chicken Ship Island

Chicken Ship Island

Chappy’s has a plenty of space on the inside and descent parking out back. They also have jazz night and offer cooking classes. It has been open since 2006 and how it has been said to be the best Cajun restaurant in Nashville, but really there is not many around here. The owner is really a cool fun guy who chats with the every guest, but hopefully they can get it together so the place can stick around.

Overall Rating : 5.8 out of 10.

Chappy's on Church on Urbanspoon

Hattie B’s Hot Chicken

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We were starving and wanted something hot but we also wanted chicken so we went to Hattie B’s Hot Chicken. When we arrived, the aroma met us at the door. The first thing I saw was Miss Renita with her big grin, and a big ass chalkboard menu on the wall. The décor is nice and the establishment is very clean. This chicken joint does not have a lot of seating inside, but it has plenty on the covered front porch.

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They offer white and dark meat chicken, wings, tenders (grilled or fried), and ½ bird. The temps that you can get are Southern which has no heat; Mild a touch of heat, Hot they say is just right, and DAMN HOT. They also offer various southern side dishes, desserts; beer, fountain drinks, tea, and lemonade (needed some more sugar). I sampled the southern greens they were ok, but not the favorite. We both ordered DAMN HOT tenders with some fries, pimento mac & cheese (creamy and stupendous), baked beans, and slaw. When that sauce says “DAMN HOT” it felt like the devil was tap dancing on my tongue with hot shit on his shoes. The chicken was tasty (tasted a lot of cayenne pepper), but all I could finish was the sides, pickles, and bread. On the other hand he finished my chicken and his and didn’t even take a sip of water until it was all gone. One thing is the menu said “JUMBO TENDERS” but they were normal size; however we also enjoyed the banana pudding it was really F’ing awesome. We talked to and overheard people saying that the chicken, service, and wait time is better here than at other hot chicken places.

Damn Hot Tenders

Damn Hot Tenders & Sides

There is not a lot of parking in there lot cause Gigi’s has a sign for most of the spots. The service was great Miss Renita made our night we joked, laughed, and she made us feel right at home. The chicken is worth going back for as well as the staff. This place is a real game changer for midtown.

Overall Rating: 8.8 out of 10

 

Hattie B's Hot Chicken on Urbanspoon

Arnold’s Country Kitchen

Arnold's

Arnold’s

I am a southern boy, so when I heard of Arnold’s Country Kitchen and all of their accolades, I had to go. I grabbed my big appetite cousin and we headed over the railroad tracks. Luckily we got there just before the big rush, the place was almost packed, but fifteen minutes later there was a line outside the door and it spilled over into the parking area. The place is small with just a few tables but that’s cool. It wouldn’t hurt them to do a deep cleaning. The order line, plates, and eating utensils reminded me of a prison cafeteria (never been, but seen them on TV).

So we are about to order and the good thing is, you can see all the food you are about to devour (especially my beloved CHESS PIE). It was Tuesday so I ordered the meatloaf, 1 piece of catfish, candied yams, turnip greens, mac & cheese, hot water cornbread and chess pie of course. My cousin ordered the meatloaf as well, along with the same sides plus the white beans. Everything was just ok, but the turnip greens were missing that love and extra home cooked flavor. The meatloaf was not my fave but edible; however, the mac and cheese was the winner on the plate.  The chess pie was average (try Rose’s home-style catering and bakery chess squares). I made the catfish work with a lil added hot sauce. Oh boy I wish they would have had some good sweet red Kool-Aid ha-ha.

The Meat & 3 Menu

The Meat & 3 Menu

One of the good things was the service, they moved the line pretty fast and everyone had a smile on their face.  They recognized the regulars, and chit chatted with every guest. The price for portion size of food is pretty accurate. I can’t say it’s the best meat and three in Nashville, but all in all the food was average nothing to tell mother about. This establishment is part of Nashville’s’ history, but James Beard award winner, I don’t think so.  More important, this is a Nashville institution that the people here love.

Overall Rating: 6.9 out of 10

Arnold's Country Kitchen on Urbanspoon

Portillo’s

 

When I’m in Chicago and hungry for an Italian beef sandwich, there is only one place to go to cure my hunger. Portillo’s! This Chicago staple is known to everyone in the windy city. Now keep in mind this isn’t the place for the health nuts. Portillo’s has various locations (about 45 in fact) and I visited two of them. Both Portillo’s were very consistent. The Portillo’s at North Clark St. and West Ontario St. was amazing. If you don’t know where those streets are then just look for the big ass Micky D’s across from Portillo’s, can’t miss it. You walk into this big food court area with various food choices, BUT it’s a one stop shop. This place was busier than a Macy’s on Black Friday. Portillo’s was very fast and very efficient. The decor reminded me of a Chicago history museum in a bar on drugs. (The heavy kind) If you are in a hurry, they even have a drive-thru service for your lazy ass.

Italian Beef Sandwich "Dipped"

Italian Beef Sandwich “Dipped”

For my first trip, my Nashville friends (who once lived in the windy city) told me to try out the Italian beef sandwich. While standing in line at Portillo’s, everyone was giving me suggestions on what to eat. The menu has hot dogs, burgers, sandwiches, salads, beer,shakes, desserts and a shit ton more. Of course I ordered the famous Italian beef sandwich, a vanilla shake and the chocolate cake to go. So if  you order the Italian beef sandwich, please GAWD get it dipped and add some gardinaire. The prices are very reasonable for the amount of food you get. After I finished my sandwich I just had to have another one. Surprisingly, I didn’t fall into a food coma from this flavored pack sandwich. It made me want to move to Chicago A.S.A.P. The shakes were good and the chocolate cake was very moist. The secret is that it’s made with mayonnaise. I bet your mind is blown right now.

Portillos famous chocolate cake

Portillo’s is a kid friendly place with a food lover’s atmosphere. The staff is super nice and will help you with any questions that you may have. Everyone eats here; from business suits, construction workers, and the everyday Chicagoan. However, be prepared to pack a coat, because after eating at Portillo’s you might be staying in Chicago a little longer than expected.

For messy gourmet fast food.

Overall Rating: 8.9 out of 10

The Garden Brunch Cafe

When was the last time you ate brunch?  That was a rhetorical question… For us, it had been a very long time and we wanted a place to refresh our taste buds. So, we hit up The Garden Brunch Cafe on the north side of Nashville.

First off, if you are taking Jefferson Street to get to this place you have to drive through the Popeye’s parking lot to find their parking lot. It was a little tricky for first timers like us, because we didn’t know that the parking lot was behind the house. Just a heads up. I was expecting a warm home welcome as we walked in, giving that this cafe was once a house, but to my surprise, no one was insight. This left us confused whether or not we were to seat ourselves or wait for someone to seat us. After waiting around for five or so minutes someone from the back noticed us and proceeded to take us to our seats. Soulful music played through the restaurant giving it a nice “homie” feel. However, we couldn’t figure out what they were doing with the rest of the cafe. The decorations were random, as if they had been to 18 different yard sales and purchased stuff.

Once we were seated the server came over with menus and took our drink orders. We could tell he was not a well-seasoned server by the way he used his time moving from table to table. It seemed as if he created more work for himself which caused guest’s to have to wait even longer. All the of staff were extremely nice, but they really needed better service.

The menu was very nice and simple which had various pancakes and omelets plus other fabulous sounding dishes.  I was happy to see they offered turkey sausage, turkey ham, and turkey bacon. We both ordered omelets, one Fiesta omelet with grits and a Meat Lovers omelet with roasted potatoes. When the food arrived the Fiesta omelet came with potatoes instead of grits (but that was a blessing) and the Meat Lovers came out smelling great. They both had wheat toast and fruit for garnish.

Those potatoes will blow your mind.

Even though both plates looked very similar we were focused on those oh so sweet delicious potatoes. The potatoes were on point! No bull-ish, those were the best roasted taters I have had in a long time.  The omelets were good; they just needed a little more salt and pepper.

The Garden Brunch Cafe is only open Friday – Sunday (9am-2pm). For this place only being open three days, I would expect the omelets to have tasted a little bit better, especially for the price. The omelets were price anywhere from $10-13 dollars. I would have probably paid around $8 dollars.

All in all, I would say The Garden Brunch Cafe was average. It wasn’t a bad place, but on the other hand it wasn’t great. Except for their potatoes, those were great. The Garden Brunch Cafe has potential, it just isn’t there yet.

Overall Rating: 6.2 out of 10

Garden Brunch Cafe on Urbanspoon

The Battery

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I went home a couple weeks ago to visit my parents. During my visit they told me about a new restaurant that had just opened not too long ago in Johnson City, TN. Hearing about this I was chomping at the bit for a new taste in town, called The Battery. It’s a seafood based restaurant, but they carry more than just seafood. I will be honest; I wasn’t expecting it to be that “great” as what people were making it out to be. Sure enough, I jumped on the bandwagon. As soon as you walk in you catch onto the coastal vibe this place has to offer. The Battery opens up at 4pm (meaning your meal is anywhere from $14-19ish dollars) and at 11pm it shuts down and turns into a night club with a lounge in the back. It’s a pretty cool transition. The inside looks like a renovated warehouse (or something close to it). The exposed brick adds to the vibe of the restaurant. The artwork, dark lighting and some nights they will even have live music making this the kind of atmosphere for social gatherings or a first date, but not so much family friendly (that is if you have young kids) because they don’t have kid menus. ( that means zero crayons too )

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Speaking of the menu, it holds a lot good choices for seafood. Crab cakes, several types of fish. (Salmon, rainbow trout, and well you get the deal ) Below is a picture of their menu.

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For starters we chose the Lobster Fritters. The Lobster Fritters are hush puppies plus lobster. Mind blown. Damn, these were amazing. They were packed full of lobster. This caught me off guard; and I wish they had only lasted a little bit longer. Here’s a picture.

( Sorry if it looks like I took the picture in a cave )

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The service was good, I would say average, and the lobster was so good it didn’t bother me. Plus given that it was a Friday night, it was pretty busy. But our food came out on time with no problems. I ordered the Grilled Wild Alaskan CoHo Salmon. Yeah I know, it’s a mouthful. As my sides I picked out the steamed veggies and creamed corn. I am pretty skeptical when it comes to seafood, being that the restaurant is not located near the sea. However, when the server brought out my plate, I felt as if I were eating in Charleston. In other words it was fresh.

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My food was amazing. I really didn’t expect to be as good as it was. The salmon was a good portion and went really well with the creamed corn. My parents were also very pleased with their meals as well. I got the chance to experience the night life that The Battery had to offer. It was packed! The Battery turned their main dining space into a dance floor and with the bars located at the front, middle, and back of the restaurant the party is bound to keep poppin’ till the wee hours of the morning. Plus the DJ actually played good music to dance too, not that stupid “womp womp” dub step garbage they call music.

Overall my experience with The Battery was wonderful. It’s a spot I will definitely be going back to when I come visit again. There is always room for improvement, but in the end I highly recommend everyone check this place out, night or day.

Overall rating : 6.9 out 10

Sunset Grill

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For this place to have been open for 22 years, I really can’t see why or how it stayed open for that amount of time. I’m just confused here. Where do we start? When we first walked through the door the artwork caught my eye. It looked like the local elementary school donated their leftover artwork for them to hang on their walls. Spilt kool-aid on a canvas would have looked better. They tied too hard to make the atmosphere “fancy” looking. Sunset Grill is in a busy spot, which makes it great for lunch, right? Eh we would like to disagree. Sunset Grill is very dark inside, even during the day. The bar area looks like Dracula’s cellar and is very out dated. They also have two large private party rooms in the back, but watch your step on the way back there, because the carpet is very deceiving. (Damn those hidden dips) Trust us, we know from experience.

We were greeted by the host, who was very nice and sweet.  As soon as we were seated we were greeted by our sever immediately. He answered all of our questions and picked out his favorite items on the menu OR should I say menus. Meaning we had four of them. A drink menu, a boot-camp menu (for the health nuts), a specials menu and our regular menu. Needless to say we had options. The one thing I did like about the drink menu was that they paired current wines and drinks with what would go best with that current meal. Very helpful for people who aren’t sure about wine pairings ( like myself ).

We first  ordered the Angus Beef Meatloaf that came with mashed potatoes, long ass green beans,  and portabella mushroom gravy.

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The presentation of this meal just looked plain awful. The meatloaf was great in proportion, BUT it looked like marinated cow brains over mashed potatoes . The meatloaf was moist, however, it was lacking that “moms homemade cooking” feel. The green beans tasted like they came straight out of a can found hidden in a underground bunker from the Y2K scare. The gravy sauce could have been grease, there’s no way of really knowing. The price for the portion of meatloaf was on par.

The second item that was ordered was the Voodoo Pasta.

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The Voodoo Pasta contains chicken, shrimp and sausage. Covered with egg noodles and a spicy black magic sauce. The sever warned me it was spicy, so of course I had to order this item. It was not spicy in the least. The heat must have been left on the stove, cause it was not on my dish. The sausage and chicken were tasty, but the shrimp could have been better. After about 4 or 5 bites, my meal tasted very monotonous. The sauce was not hitting on all cylinders. This made the meal very bland. I’ve had better, yet it was not the worst.

LAST BUT NOT LEAST, we ordered dessert!

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Now, Sunset Grill has a wide variety for your sweet tooth. We ordered the small Trio of Desserts  for $12.99. This is a great deal. We picked the

- STRAWBERRY CREAM CAKE = Very moist, but the icing tasted out of date. Over all the best out of the three.

- CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER CAKE = Dry chocolate cake with a powerful, overwhelming peanut butter icing. It was gritty, image eating peanut butter sandpaper.  Very gritty.

-BUTTERSCOTCH-HABANERO BREAD PUDDING = And this shit here….. They must have re-cooked this bread pudding at least 1,000 times. Hard crust and mostly dry. More like a butterscotch flavored sponge. The worst out of the three. It’s funny, because the sever told us it was the most popular. Riiiiight. I guess those who repeatedly order this item, do not have taste buds or commonsense.

Over all we were very disappointed with the Sunset Grill. We heard great things about this place, but did not experience such things. The service was great! The food was over priced for the value of the dish, and the desserts  were a little disappointing.

The sun should have set on this grill a long time ago. 

Overall Rating : 5.8 out of 10.

Sunset Grill on Urbanspoon

Carnegie Deli

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This past summer I took a trip up to New York City with my nanny. ( grandmother, your mothers mother, you understand…) While visiting, doing the typical tourist stuff, we decided to head up to 7th avenue, between 54th and 55th street and eat at the world renown, the one, the only, Carnegie Deli. Now this had been my 4th trip traveling to NYC and I had never gotten the chance to eat here. Meaning that, when I did get the opportunity to go, I had no idea what to expect. I had this idea in my head of what I thought it would be like. But after eating at the Carnage Deli, my dining experience would forever change and leave a lasting impression.

Now, this restaurant offers mainly pastrami and corned beef sandwiches containing at least one pound of meat. I’ll say that again, one pound of meat. (0.45kg for all you freaks) I walked into the small deli, packed with foot traffic, not that knowing how big the sandwiches really were. Which explains the look on the severs face when we ordered our own separate sandwiches. That’s the expectation at the Carnegie Deli, is to split everything. The menu says, whole or split on just about every single item and the severs ask you repeatedly if you want to split the food. I didn’t get the message ( obviously ) I was to busy embracing the atmosphere around me. Small and crowded. The walls were covered in autographed pictures of the famous, seriously, every single inch. This just added to the experience. Our sever first brought us out several whole deli style pickles. Good God they were massive! I wish I knew this before hand, but this is what you call “foreshadowing” for what I was about to order and pretty much everything else on the menu.  This it what it looked like below.

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Then our sever brought out us our sandwiches. We order the pastrami sandwiches. I could tell our neighbors were staring at what lay before us. ONE POUND of pastrami on two tiny,tiny,tiny pieces of wheat bread. It was insane, I’ve never seen anything like this…

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That is exactly what our sandwiches looked like. Needless to say, I packed up my sandwich up and we just split the other one. I think this could honestly feed 7-ish people. My body hated me for eating so much of this, but no our story doesn’t end here. After all we had to get dessert.

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Cheesecake was the popular choice and a no brainer to get while we were here. My nanny and I play’d it safe and decided to split the cheesecake. We could barely finish eating this boss of a cheesecake. It was packed with flavor that melted in your mouth. Honestly, probably THE BEST cheesecake I have ever had, thus far. I have a feeling it will stay that way for a long, long time. This is the cream of the crop when it comes to cheesecake. I laugh when people tell me the best cheesecake they ever had was from Cheesecake Factory. That’s a joke.

The Carnegie Deli is rich in tradition, spreading through the atmosphere into their food. A great experience at the dinner table in the heart of New York City. I highly recommend eating here. This Carnegie Deli has more history than your high school history class ( that includes your AP class too ) and this is why I love this place. You leave with with a piece of culture that is so profound, you just have to come eat here to find out for yourself. The Carnegie Deli’s motto is “If you can finish your meal, we’ve done something wrong”. Trust me, if or when you come here, you’ll know exactly what they mean.

Total Rating 9.7 out 10

Here is a link to their menu – http://www.carnegiedeli.com/menu.php#pg6

Carnegie Deli on Urbanspoon

Southern Art and Bourbon Bar

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My friend Ashlea and I were in Atlanta a while ago and stopped by Southern Art and Bourbon Bar. It is located inside the Intercontinental Hotel in Buckhead. I almost had a diabetic seizure as soon as I walked in from looking at all of the desserts on display.  No fake.

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The décor was one of the first things that caught my eye. The brightly colored artwork hanging from the ceiling to the wall, giant windows giving a peak of Peachtree Street, and the built-in bookcases that gave me this expensive “feel”.

Image I felt as if I could’ve lived here…

The service was fantastic, our server answered every question accurately. He kept our glasses full, and didn’t try sell us on anything we didn’t want when it came to the food. All the glasses and silverware were spotless, the linens were clean, the floors looked brand new, and the bathrooms were cleaner than the White Houses’ and smelled like pine-sol. (I knew I saw Diane Amos from the commercial when I walked in the bathroom)

OK now to the best part, enough with the art show. The food was damn good. On point!  Before you get your meal they give you these mini biscuits with a touch of honey butter that fill your mouth with country goodness, trust me your taste-buds will love you for this. Yeah that’s right, real southern hospitality at its finest.  I could have eaten 20 of those biscuits. Maybe 35. They are also accompanied with pickled vegetables in these small jars, which is a nice touch.

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I had the catfish BLT, and oh lord do I love me some catfish with mac & cheese (not enough cheese flavor) and fries. Ashlea had the buttermilk fried chicken with cream potatoes and cracked pepper gravy (she lived for that fried chicken). Now back to my favorite part, dessert. I wanted to order EVERYTHANG, but I settled for the Mockingbird Cake, which was a huge slice cake with lots of flavor. I never had it before, so I didn’t know what the ingredients were that made up this delicious cake . However, Ashlea had the 12 Layer Red Velvet Cake. The layers were thin, but she took most of it home.  Southern Art and Bourbon Bar prides itself in their sweet cuisines. Such as their Bourbon Pecan Pie, Peanut Butter Pie, Banana Pudding Pie, Coconut Cake, Honey Orange Bundt Cake and the list goes on and on! Below is a picture of Ashlea’s 12 Layer Red Velvet Cake.

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^^^ Buttermilk Fried Chicken over mashed potatoes – $22

This is defiantly the place to take someone if you want to impress them. First dates, business meetings or for whatever reason, everyone will have a great time.

All in all, when I go back to Atlanta I will revisit this good Southern spot and hopefully make it back to Chicago to try Chef Art Smiths, Table Fifty-Two.

Rating 7.5 out of 10.

Menu: http://www.southernart.com/southern_art_dinner_menu2.html

Southern Art and Bourbon Bar on Urbanspoon

The Pharmacy Burger Parlor and Beer Garden.

WHAT’S UP EAST NASTY? ( aka – East Nashville ) Image

A few weeks ago my home-girl and I went to  The Pharmacy Burger after we heard all the great things about it. The place was packed balls to the wall.  So we sat down in these backless, hard ass bar stools with water from the air conditioner dripping near my friend    ( I guess it’s a new trend to bring out the real urban environment of East Nashville).

The Pharmacy Burger has a trendy vibe and a cool bar area with many unique beers. More on that later. The menu has a wide variety of food, beer, shakes, sodas, and malts, which is great for people who love options. We both ordered the “Pharmacy Burger” with fries and tots. The fries and tots were straight, but the burgers weren’t hitting on shit. The buns were not soft,  but hard. The burgers did not have any flavor (they must have ran out of salt and pepper that day). I’ve had a better burger at Five Guys and Browns Diner. However, I have faith that the Pharmacy can prescribe  me the good food I desire.

I also ordered a vanilla milkshake and to my surprise it was awful. Yes, that shake tasted like skim milk mixed with sugar free ice cream with a sprinkle of goat spit. The server was really nice and took great care of us ,even though he was super busy, it’s good to know that they have a staff that actually gives a shit about you.

I talked to a server at Holland House, which is the sister company of The Pharmacy Burger. He said that “Nobody here likes the food over at the Pharmacy”.  Maybe it was a bad day over there, so we will give it another try. Chef Timmy gave some wise words….”Ya”ll  will need a pharmacy to get a prescription for ya”ll’s fucked up food.”

Ok, ok, I get it. Enough with the buns, wait! I mean puns…..ok seriously though I’m done.

4 out of 10

Mr. Eighty Sixed

 

The Pharmacy Burger Parlor and Beer Garden on Urbanspoon