Remember that New York Times article on the eating scene in East Nashville I told you I’d be fact-checking throughout my stay? Well, after dining my way through the district myself, I have to say: Those guys were spot on.
We set off on our tasty trek with fries & farm-fresh beef at The Pharmacy (Burger Parlor & Beer Garden). With buns from Provence & burgers from strictly Tennessee beef, the place would be a knock-out if all that came with your meal was a side of ketchup & mustard. But that’s where it gets even better. Open up a menu at The Pharmacy & you’ll find an array of interesting & order-worthy options––from Mexican to vegetarian to Middle Eastern-style sandwiches & more. After some tough deliberation, I decided on the Farm Burger (with sweet potato fries!). And boy am I glad I did. As you may be able to guess by the name, this burger caught my eye when the description listed by each ingredient the name of the (Tennessee) farm from which it came. For example: Tripp Country ham, Emerald Glen Farm bacon, Willow Farm egg. What a dream.
The shop also specializes in serving top beers & custom-made sodas, the latter of which only adds to the charm of the pharmacy, old-meets-new, soda-shop-meets-hip-and-trendy Americana feel.
We then left The Pharmacy & made our way to the latest in a long string of gourmet coffee shops in & around the city: Barista Parlor. Though I wasn’t quite sure how it could, the Parlor sets itself apart from the others with one-of-a-kind open space, community-encouraging counters & a variety of beefy brews (this is not coffee for the timid, occasional drinker. It’s the real-deal, kick-in-the-pants kind of stuff. Do they even offer cream & sugar? Probably not. But I wasn’t going to look.). And yes, it was fantastic. But I’m not sure I’m ready to give up my go-to’s for the ultra-cool café just yet. (Though their offering of Johnny Battles’ Charleston-made chocolate did score some major points with me.) Maybe with time, & a few more warm interactions in the clean-cut environment, I’ll convert. We’ll see.
But in the end, it was back to West Nash for popsicles at the ever-lovely Las Paletas on 12th. Is it possible to pass through the city on a sweltering summer day without one? I’ll believe it when I see it. So far I’ve tried chai, hibiscus, strawberry banana & possibly more, & never had a lick I didn’t love. Oh Las Paletas. Please go global & start shipping your sweets to the Jackson-area Kroger ASAP, alright?
Until then, much love & many thanks to the Southern city that lit my foodie fire last weekend. East Nashville definitely lived up to my expectations, & I can’t wait to go see it again sometime soon.