The Meat & 3 Menu

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

Italian Beef Sandwich "Dipped"

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

Those potatoes will blow your mind.

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 menu

The Battery

Image

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 )

Image

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.

Image

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 )

Image

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.

Image

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

shitty sweets

Sunset Grill

Image

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.

Image

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.

Image

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!

Image

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

woody-allen-sandwich-pastrami-and-corned-beef

Carnegie Deli

Image

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.

Image

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…

Image

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.

Image

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

cake!

Southern Art and Bourbon Bar

Image

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.

Image

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.

Image

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.

Image

Image

^^^ 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

Pharmacy

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

Marina’s

SAMSUNG

Downtown Murfreesboro is an Italian restaurant called Marina’s on the Square, people in that town swear the food there is fantastically good. Yeah, I went and the aroma walking in was grand, but the decor was tacky (theater production set). I was seated right away during lunch, and ready to chow down.

The prices on the menu were very reasonable, and they offer daily lunch specials. The menu is typical sub-par “Italian”. I ordered the Italian wedding soup and this was surely MMMMM……not good cause it was Campbell’s soup (can’t fool the kid). I also had to wait on my spoon for the soup; thankfully the soup was still hot. Marina’s offers bread to the guest that is enjoyably warm. I ordered the ravioli lunch special, and there was nothing special about it. The sauce was cold, and tasted ok, but there was shredded mozzarella cheese on top and it was not melted. Finally, I had a cheese pizza and it was satisfying and the crust tasted like some good garlic bread.

Italian wedding soup

Italian wedding soup

SAMSUNG

Ravioli Special

Ravioli Special

Murfreesboro, Murfreesboro, Murfreesboro, you will have to learn what great food is. I know your town is filled with chain restaurants, and college kids but the food has to be better. The service was great other than waiting on the spoon for my soup. The food on the other hand was not pleasing. Marina’s has a lot of potential, and so does a monkey driving a car.

Overall rating: 4.6 out of 10
Marina's on the Square on Urbanspoon

OH Yeah almost forgot Dirty Silverware

Twin Peaks

tp5

All we wanted was a snack, but the only thing we got was some horrible ass food. The cool springs area which is between Franklin and Brentwood is overly consumed with chain restaurants. The disastrous place we chose was Twin Peaks, ok you are probably saying people don’t go there for the food but the scenery; however, wrong, they sell food and alcohol. The place was really clean, and the host/manager/co-owner did a great job greeting guest.

Cheese Sticks

Cheese Sticks

They have a few gimmicks to get men to order the larger more expensive beer by saying do you want a woman’s’ glass or a man’s glass (very clever and very noticeable size difference). First, we ordered mini tacos and mozzarella cheese sticks. The menu said hand cut cheese sticks, but you know they were straight out of a bag (frozen). They also came with some sort of ranch dipping sauce as well as a dab of marinara. Those damn tacos were a good size, but they were cold as a polar bears toe nail, and the taco tasted like toasted card board. We finally ordered some bread pudding, a big mistake. I actually think it was overcooked bread with a sandpaper top layer drizzled in a sauce that was really not there. It was accompanied with ice cream that was already melted by the time we received it.

Bread Pudding with ice cream soup

Bread Pudding with ice cream soup

Mini Tacos

Mini Tacos

The atmosphere was fitting, good scenery, nice flat screens, and pleasing happy hour specials.  The best things at Twin Peaks were the comfortable chairs we sat in. The service was slow; nonetheless the waitress was really nice. We noticed that the manager only interacted with one table the entire time we were there (due to a food mix up). All the places that exploit women to sell beer and less than appetizing food need to stop. The entire time I was there, I felt as if the deer on the wall was looking at me with a grin on his face saying “dude you knew this food wasn’t worth a damn”.

OH Yeah almost forgot Dirty Silverware

OH Yeah almost forgot Dirty Silverware

Overall Rating: 3.3 out of 10
Twin Peaks on Urbanspoon

RAW OYSTERS ON THE HALF SHELL

The Southern Steak and Oyster

Hyped (verb): Promote or publicize (a product or idea) intensively, often exaggerating its importance or benefits.

Hype (noun): exaggerated publicity; hoopla.

Duped (verb): Deceive; trick.

The two definitions above help me describe The Southern Steak and Oyster restaurant. There has been a lot of hype about this place, so of course we went. The first great thing is, they will validate parking in the garage attached to the building. Walking in the place, I almost forgot that I was in Nashville. Smiling faces greet you at the main entrance. They also have a nice window view from almost every table in the place except for the rooms in the back and about 7 or 8 booths in the front. You can tell a lot of thought was put into the design, because by being in this business we know some guest are picky about where they sit and always want a seat with a view (to be honest it is not where you sit, it is who you are sitting with). The well-crafted bar was placed close to the middle of the restaurant, good view if you want to see the assortment of liquor or the employees shucking oysters.

DEVIL OF AN EGG

DEVIL OF AN EGG

RAW OYSTERS ON THE HALF SHELL

RAW OYSTERS ON THE HALF SHELL

Alright, the real deal is the food. Both of my visits to this restaurant have been during lunch, and from looking online they do offer various menus throughout the day. The lunch menu includes a meat’n 3 special, fish, burgers, and more. On my first visit we had oysters and deviled eggs to start. The oysters were just oysters, but what helped was the variety of sauces they offer. Those
deviled eggs were sub-par, the flavoring was ok; however, the outside looked like little baby red potatoes, and felt like them as well (hard). On my first visit, we ordered the fried grouper sandwich (big ass mistake ordering fish on Monday). I fault myself for ordering this catastrophe; it tasted way too fishy which means it probably had been sitting in the kitchen since Thursday or Friday. The best part of the sandwich was the brioche bread it came on and they did have some pretty good sweet potato fries. The barbecuban, my guest loved it. It had pickles, mustard, and braised bbq pork which was on point. It came with black beans that looked more like black bean soup.

Fried Grouper Sandwich

Fried Grouper Sandwich

BARBECUBAN

BARBECUBAN

On my second visit, we had the Leipers lunch steak, the free bird sandwich (by default meat’n3 lunch special was 86’d). Ok when my steak arrived, I noticed the fries were not on the plate, but the extra side of mac and cheese was. The sauce on the steak was good, but that thin ass piece of meat with no side, I could have gotten it anywhere. There were no complaints on the chicken sandwich, but it’s hard to fuck up a chicken sandwich. Oh yeah the mac and cheese could have stayed in the back, they used too much flour in the sauce and no salt and pepper.

LEIPERS LUNCH STEAK

LEIPERS LUNCH STEAK

FREE BIRD SANDWICH

FREE BIRD SANDWICH

I have been there twice and both times, I have felt the wrath of their lackluster food, but both times we have had good service. A plus is one of the oyster shuckers was just talking away to guest, he was giving that extra attention. I loved the atmosphere; however, I hate to say you can get better food at J Alexander’s, but unlike J’s the service here is more natural and not cookie cutter. I would love to go back, but maybe just to give the desserts a try, and have a drink.

Overall Rating: 5.8 out of 10
The Southern Steak & Oyster on Urbanspoon

image(3)

Gondola House Pizzeria

image

A friend told me about Gondola House a few weeks ago. So we headed out to Hermitage to try this family owned establishment. As soon as we walked in, you could smell the aroma from the pizzas baking, and it was very delightful. The building is a very nice size with past and present Gondola house pictures on the walls.  The decor is simple and clean with nice lighting, wood top tables, and comfortable booths. The service was professional and friendly. I love that they had an open kitchen so you could see a lot of what was going on with your food.

gondola1

My hungry friend was ready to eat, so the server offered us some bread that is not usually available to guest. That was some great service that you usually don’t get around here. Now let us get to the food. They offer the typical family style Italian menu pizza, pastas (large ass portions), salads, desserts, and more. While at Gondola House, I noticed they offer a variety of wine, draft, and bottle beer  by looking over at the bar. We ordered a large cheese pizza with chicken, and some chicken penne pesto pasta. The food was above average and the pizza smelled incredible. The pasta had a nice amount of chicken, and the sauce was not overpowering at all. We were stuffed. The server offered us some desserts, and damn he said it was all homemade. Homemade desserts really impress me due to the fact that almost everyone in town gets their desserts off of the Sysco truck. Those desserts tend to be dreadfully horrible (just like some sandpaper cookies I had at Café Coco). Enough with my rants, I’m just passionate about desserts. They had a few choices, but the ones that stuck out were the strawberry cake and the tiramisu. We had to get the tiramisu and it was delicious, and worth it. With only a bite left, the waiter attempted to take it away; however, I let him know my guest is a human garbage disposal and eats everything including black jelly beans. The dessert was phenomenal and the marinara sauce is killer, but the service stole the show.

Penne Pesto Pasta

Penne Pesto Pasta

Tiramisu

Tiramisu

image(3)

Chicken Pizza

This is a great low-key spot with plenty of history. Gondola House reopened years later in the same exact spot as the original. The only thing that was odd was the old man about to fornicate at the bar with his younger lady friend ( not their fault I guess he picked up his Viagra prescription).  Lord knows I don’t like to travel to Hermitage, but If you want a decent meal with great service around Hermitage, you should give this place a chance.

Overall Rating: 8 out of 10

Gondola House Pizzeria on Urbanspoon

Red Velvet Doughnut

Donut Country

In the heart of Murfreesboro close to the MTSU campus lays a hidden gem. I know what you are thinking. Murfreesboro? Hidden gem? C’mon that’s ridiculous….OR is it?

DONUT COUNTRY OUTSIDE

If it’s 2 AM and your sweet tooth is just itching for a doughnut, maybe even on the brink of tweaking, than I have the place just for you!  Welcome to Donut Country. This small little doughnut coffee shop is perfect for a late 4th meal that you can’t pass up. Open till 3 AM. Homemade style doughnuts that will make your mouth water. “Fresh” would be a understatement when it comes to their doughnuts. This place is always making fresh doughnuts, they never stay on the shelf for longer than a day. The flavors are endless. I recommend the doughnut  holes. You can get a dozen for less than 3 bucks. I also tried the Red Velvet doughnut.

Red Velvet Doughnut

Red Velvet Doughnut

This is the perfect place to have a doughnut (of just about any flavor), a cup of coffee and good company. I will most defiantly be back. Probably the only reason I’d go back to Murfreesboro.  I must say, this puts Krispy Kreme to shame.

Home Sweet Home

Home Sweet Home

Overall Rating ( for doughnuts ) – 9.3 out of 10

Donut Country on Urbanspoon

Frank-Skis

Frank Ski’s

Frank-Skis

My mom and I went down to Atlanta to do some shopping. We often listen to V103 radio station and, heard a lot about radio DJ Frank Ski. Soon to find out, he also owns a restaurant and lounge. It’s right off of Peachtree Street (just like everything else), we had to stop by for lunch. On one side of the building is a really nice outdoor patio area. Surprisingly, when we walked in we were greeted by Frank Ski himself. The restaurant/ lounge has a very nice color scheme, dimmed lighting white linen covering the tables, and  against the wall were sofas with TV are mounted above them. The bar area also looks very well put together, and comfortable.

The menu has a southern influence with a mix of salads, seafood, sandwiches, and more. I ordered the fish sandwich with a side of mac and cheese (wanted more), and sweet potato tater tots (sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon, they were banging). The fish was perfectly fried with a nicely toasted bun slathered with remoulade sauce. My mom had the chicken sandwich and it had to be delicious, because she ate the whole thing. My mom is very picky when it comes to food, and she said the chicken was seasoned well and cooked just the way she likes it. The desserts looked good, but we were too stuffed to try; however, I noticed they had Camicakes red velvet cupcakes which I have had before from the store. They are good (she also has a good sweet potato cupcake). Frank Ski’s also has caramel cake, I am skeptical about eating anybody’s caramel cake because everyone loves my mom’s caramel cake (nothing but the truth). The wine list is nice and extensive, but once I saw that $1100 bottle of champagne, I turned that menu over like a bad spades hand.

The only negative item about this place may be the time it takes for food to hit your table. This is a nice grown and sexy addition to the area with a great setting, and average food. The prices are good, but we all know you just don’t pay for food you also pay for atmosphere. I have driven by at night, and people were dressed to the9’s. Frank Ski’s is a place you can do some celebrity watching, grab a meal, and socialize. They also have various shows and events as well. I will revisit Frank Ski’s next time I’m in Atlanta.

Overall Rating: 6.8 out of 10

Frank Ski's Restaurant & Lounge on Urbanspoon

mia

Soulshine Pizza Factory

Soulshine Pizza Factory

Soulshine Pizza Factory

There are plenty of pizza joints in Nashville, but the newest is Soulshine Pizza Factory on Division Street. This place started down in Mississippi and you can tell what the influences are by looking on the menu .Since they have opened, I have dined in twice and had take-out once. Each time I have been there, it has not been busy. The food and service has always been good. The building is brick inside and out with smooth concrete flooring. The atmosphere is very nice upstairs and downstairs with a bar downstairs which sits under the stairs. The downstairs bar is not that big but it is cute and it works. A few tables are sprinkled in the middle of the floor while booths surround the area. There is also a big ceiling fan in the room which fits the décor. Upstairs is a larger bar, tables, a stage¸ and an unfinished roof patio that will be great when the summer gets here. The music is bluesy, and there is great colorful artwork on the walls including a picture of Redd Foxx aka Fred G Sanford.

ss2sspic

Soulshine has weekday lunch specials, and the pizza at this place is really good. They have various types of pizza, and you can also create your own. The 28 pizzas to choose from have very gimmicky names like the Mississippian which has pulled and grilled chicken, pepper jack cheese and sun dried tomatoes. Sleeps with the fishes has Alfredo sauce, mozzarella, spinach, bell peppers, shrimp, crab meat, and goat cheese (does not sound appetizing to me). All pizza can be made into a calzone or you can have white or wheat dough. Appetizers range from wings to cream of crawfish soup, and hummus for you vegetarians. They have several Po-boy sandwiches such as the Mama Mia which I have had. It’s a meatball sandwich with marina, mozzarella, and delicious bread (Very tasty). They also have a very delicious sounding muffaletta. My friends that I have dined with had the Greek salad which they both loved. The Greek had romaine lettuce, black olives, peppers, onions, and feta cheese. Entrees include red beans and rice, Nathan Hotdogs, and Spaghetti with meatballs. They have only a few desserts but that “slap yo momma bread puddin” is soooo magnificent the sauce is sweet with a taste of bourbon. An employee told me that it had apples in it but I did not taste the apples; however, I devoured it.

The Greek Salad

The Greek Salad

mia

MaMa Mia Po Boy

Meatball Pizza

Meatball Pizza

bread pudding

Bread Pudding

This is a wonderful place with ok staff and a lot of options. It is a great spot for groups and a late night weekend bite. We were informed that the people rent out the upstairs area for parties. They also have a psychedelic van that advertises catering. Mid-Town in Nashville is getting better with each additional restaurant. I recommend this pizza joint to anyone especially to the college “kids” (the po-boys are better than the pizza). The space next door is owned by some of the same people, and rumor is, they are going to open a sliders restaurant.

Overall Rating: 7.7 out of 10 for a pizza joint

Soulshine Pizza Factory  on Urbanspoon