Skip to main content

Nashvile: Monell's Restaurant

Last visit: December 2008
Web site: monellsdining.ypguides.net

We first visited Monell's about 10 years ago on the basis of a tiny ad in a newspaper for passengers at the Nashville airport: all-you-could-eat for $11. This proposition sounds attractive to a hungry traveler independent of the quality of the food. But Monell's turned out to be an outstanding experience. The restaurant is located in a restored 1880s house in the old German section of town. Guests are served at communal tables and served family style. The food is excellent; the family-style service helps them serve extremely fresh portions. I would never say that a restaurant is as good as my mom's cooking because it wouldn't be true and such a statement would endanger my safety, but Monell's has mastered Southern home cooking. Their fried chicken is outstanding; they always serve a selection of meats at every meal. Their dressing is more corn-based than the typical dressing, which suits my taste.  The communal service adds to the enjoyment, particularly for travelers who are ready for companionship. The house is marvelously restored.

Since our first visit, prices have gone up, all the way to $16.95, but nothing else has changed. On our last visit, we drove into town and promptly arrived for dinner: fried chicken, pork, cornbread, mashed potatoes, and corn pudding. After checking out of the hotel, we drove directly to Monell's for breakfast before hitting the road.  The guests at the table were new but the staff greeted us warmly, not surprised that we would show up again so soon.  The food was both plentiful and wondeful: pancakes, cheese grits, thick bacon, and (of course for a true Southern breakfast) fried chicken. If I have to fault them on anything, their gravy is a little thin for my taste. I believe that gravy should spackle one's innards to last through a hard day's work. As we were eating, a fire truck pulled up, two firemen came in, and left with take-out breakfast.
Monell's in Historic Germantown, Nashville on Urbanspoon

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Olympic Flame

Olympic Flame is in the industrial section of Marietta Bouevard. This is a quiet part of town, without the traffic and people of midtown. Olympic Flame has been here for almost fifty years. Unlike the Silver Skillet and White House, which cater to the white collar crowd, Olympic Flame is a workingman's place. You can see this as soon as you walk in to find counter service. You can also see it in the menu, which favors portable breakfast a.k.a. breakfast sandwiches. They do have a seating area with classic Greek diner decorations. (Did some salesman sweep through town and sell every Greek diner the same posters? Or is there a greekdinersupplies.com from which everyone orders their Greek Diner Wall Hangings Kit?) I decided to eat inside, so I ordered and took a table. As I waited, guys stepped up to the counter, ordered, and sat to wait for their to-go breakfasts. This is two orders, an omelet plus biscuits and gravy. The gravy was the star, made with a rich dose of chi…

Decatur: Golden Buddha

category: interesting Chinese/Korean restaurant
summary: ask for the special menu---ordering the right thing is important

Hyesoon and I went to Golden Buddha on Clairmont for dinner. I've driven by there dozens of times and never been in. Even if I had, I probably wouldn't have ordered the right things. It turns out that this restaurant has a big reputation among Georgia Tech students as a good place for Chinese/Korean food that is good and reasonable. The restaurant is totally nondescript and, like many Asian restaurants, have a special menu that they generally give to Asians but not Causasians. I suspect that some of their dishes are ho-hum, but I definitely enjoyed our meal from the special menu.
My favorite dish was the seafood soup (which, by the way, is on the regular menu).  This large bowl is a half-serving.  It is chock full of seafood, a healthy dose of noodles, and a little greenery.  The broth was delicious. It was spicy but just enough to tickle your tongue. The tas…

Decatur: Janet's Kitchen

I just enjoyed a delicious, hearty dinner at Janet's Kitchen. It is located on Clairmont near Scott Boulevard. The restaurant is well-organized for both dining in and takeout. The prices are quite reasonable, too. The owners, who are very nice people who clearly love what they do, explained that Janet is his mom and that they named the restaurant after her. My pork adobo was hearty and delicious. The sauce was tangy, nicely salty, and very, very porky. I actually ate all the beans first---creamy and delicious. The rice was sticky, all the better for sopping up gravy. I also used the buttery cornbread to soak up the sauce.