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The Most Popular Dishes in Nashville

Yes, we have new restaurants popping up every week, but these trailblazers and their most popular dishes—still feel like they're fresh on the scene.

Written By:  Nashville Lifestyles

Photographers:  Ron Manville & Jamie Hernandez

Park Café

Dish: Green Chili Mac and Cheese
“When we opened the restaurant—it will be 15 years in March—that was one of those things that was just getting started, gourmet mac and cheese. I wanted to do something with a little bit of spice, but I didn’t want it be overpowering. There’s still a good amount of kick to it. I’ve never even tried to take it off the menu.”
—Willy Thomas, chef and owner

4403 Murphy Rd., 615-383-4409

McCabe Pub

Dish: The Red Velvet Cake
“This red velvet recipe has been in our family for years. It was my Great Aunt Ada’s, and it is completely from scratch. (You will rarely find a true, ‘from-scratch’ red velvet these days!) Since McCabe opened its doors in 1982, family recipes have been at the center of our menu. It means so much for us to be able to serve these dishes that have been passed down in our family for so many years.”
—Katie Dean, co-owner

4410 Murphy Rd., 615-269-9406

Mad Platter

Dish: Jerk Duck Breasts
“Our jerk-seasoned duck breast has been a big hit. It’s served with sweet potatoes, turnip greens, and pineapple salsa. I came up with the concept because you’re usually doing chicken with jerk seasoning, but I liked the fatty flavor of duck. It’s pan-seared, then we finish it off in the oven. It’s a really pretty plate.”
—Jason Gooch, chef

1239 6th Ave. North, 615-242-2563

Margot Café & Bar

Dish: Potato Chips and Aïoli
“The chips were originally put on the menu as a bar snack but quickly made their way out to the dining room. They are a universal crowd-pleaser. We have never wanted to take them off of the menu.”
—Margot McCormack, chef and owner

1017 Woodland St., 615-227-4668

Midtown Café

Dish: Lemon Artichoke Soup
“It’s been on the menu since Curt Cole opened the restaurant in 1987. I’ve maintained that recipe, in spite of various people’s desires to modify it, for fear I would be hung. After all, we’ve been here for 26 years for a reason. […] A restaurant needs to maintain what they do right or it will lose its customers.”
—Randy Rayburn, owner

102 19th Ave. South, 615-320-7176

Robert’s Western World

Dish: Fried Bologna
Sandwich “It’s been on the menu for about 12 years. It’s something of a hillbilly Southern thing, fried bologna. It’s become so popular, we include it in a Recession Special: $5 gets you the sandwich, a Miller High Life, and a bag of chips.”
—Jesse Lee Jones, owner

416 Broadway, 615-244-9552

Tin Angel

Dish: The Med Salad
“Deb Paquette developed this at our first restaurant, Cakewalk, and it became our signature salad. It’s basic Mediterranean ingredients tossed in a sun-dried tomato dressing—it’s the same dressing to this day. It’s a great hit here and really is the thread that’s run through the culinary scene in Nashville.”
—Rick Bolsom, co-owner

3201 West End Ave., 615-298-3444




December 2013 Food Issue


Get all 101 Ways to eat up Music City in the December issue of Nashville Lifestyles — print & digital!

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