What day are we on? I don’t even remember. It doesn’t matter though, Listmas is the best time of the year and ain’t nada gonsta stop us from having a ball! Today’s list comes from Sir William Tyler. Willy is a Lambchop, a Silver Jew, a Tim Chad & Sherry, a Paper Hat, a Sebastian Speaks, a great guy, a record collector, a favorite son of Nashville, and one of the nicest dudes we’ve ever met. He hosted one of our favorite shows this year [along with countless other shows over the years] at the Vine Ridge House with pretty much all those bands we mentioned earlier plus JEFF and Natural Child and a couple out-of-towners. When we heard he was moving, we cringed at the thought of a Willy T-less Nashville. Luckily he didn’t leave the city and just jumped on over to our side of town. Since then, he’s been dishing at some of our favorite eateries, and now he’s here to tell you about them.
The temperature and the Prez’s approval ratings have taken a dive, and who wudda thunk it would be Joe Lieberman that was the Grinch Who Stole Christmas. Nevertheless, the specter of mass familial gorging and gift giving is here and we got one week till those Nordic reindeer start up the convoy.
For most of the last years I was West Siding it, but this fall I relocated to the Nolensville Road area, and I thought it would be appropriate for me to give a rundown of my fave culinary crannies. I am sure everyone will have their own bit to throw in but I figured I could at least give it a shot.
TOP ELEVEN CULINARY REASONS WHY NOLENSVILLE ROAD RULES
1. Ubiquitous Taco Trucks.
My personal fave at this moment is the 99 cent taco truck on the corner of Melrose/Peachtree and Nolensville. They’ve got a green tomatillo sauce with a kick that would give Alan Greenspan hair. Excellent carne asada, and a damn good burrito to boot! I also have to give some serious love to Don Juan’s taco stand, near the intersection of Thompson and Nolensville. Stuff your gob for less than a fiver.
2. Siam Cafe
My sister and her boyfriend live quite literally next door to this amazing example of gastronomical staying power. Siam Cafe is the best Thai place in town, period, and what’s more, it’s been there forever!
3. Las Americas
Half grocery store, half taqueria, this legendary little joint churns out some mean mean papusas, bascially corn cakes stuffed with beans, cheese, and topped with red salsa and pickled cabbage. Get some!
4. House of Kabob
This Kurdish eatery, tucked into a shopping plaza off Thompson, has excellent middle eastern food, from stunning kebabs to pungent stews.
5. La Hacienda
Yup, It’s hard to get around these dudes. Probably the best all around Mexican place in town….
6. Gabby’s Burger and Fries
Quite literally in the shadow of Greer Stadium’s mega-axe, this new diner has quite possibly the best burgers in town.
7. Dairy King
This place is located off East Thompson Lane, and it’s a doozy of a time capsule. Part drive up burger and shake joint, part sit down meat and three diner. This is the way America ate before the dawn of the psychedelic era….well come to think of it, it’s still how a lot of America eats.
8. Tofu House
Korean food is not for everyone…It’s spicy, it’s heavy, and everything seems to be pickled. Which is all damn fine with me, but it’s hard to find good Korean places. This restaurant, a bit of ways down Antioch Pike, rules the coop in many ways. Great soups of course, but there are so many other beautifully unique facets to Korean dining. And the side dishes of kimchee will keep coming, so be prepared for endurance eating.
9. Athens Family Diner/La Dolce Vita
Ok, it’s obvious to most folks who reside here for sometime that we don’t exactly have a bevvy of 24 hour eating options. Athens is one of the few exceptions though, and they whip up a pretty mean breakfast at any hour of day or night. Across the street is a strangely anonymous looking store in the Kroger shopping plaza, a lonely sign beckoning “pizza”. Now, it ain’t Patsy’s or anything, but they serve till five in the morning. And in those desperate hours of hunger, you the addled wayfarer won’t be too picky.
10. Back to Cuba
This cafe off Trousdale is easily one of the best restaurants in town, of any kind. Their specials change everyday, they always have great sandwiches, and everything goes better here with an order of black beans and fried plantains. And ya gotta hold some roome for the tres leches cake.
11. Martin’s BBQ
Ok, I am cheating here a bit. Martin’s while most certainly on Nolensville Road, is actually all the way east out the road in the town of Nolensville itself. And I have heard they might be moving soon! Everyone has their favorite bbq spots, usually the more difficult to find, the better. I swear by the pulled pork and smoked turkey here though, and they have habanero based sauce that will take a ticket straight to your third eye.
Eat well and eat often,
PS. The bad boy is having a birthday next week. If you see him ’round town, buy him a beer and tell him Happy Birthday. Thanks Willy, you’re the best.