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Wow, this place is great. It's tiny and there's sometimes a bit of a wait, but the food is wonderful. You get plenty of it, too, and every time I have eaten there the service has been top-notch. They always seem to be glad that we are there.
Favorite Dish: Remember that the vindaloo is hot. And I mean HOT. I always go for the lowest denominator, when in most Indian restaurants I can handle the medium. I especially like the samosas, spicy and evenly techtured.
I LOVE the Melting Pot. So wonderful...Yes, it's expensive, and yes you generally have to have reservations, but what a wonderful dining experience. You have to be into fondue though! (And it's not just about cheese!)
Favorite Dish: I get the "Night on the Town" special, which is served for two. You start out with a choice of cheese fondue. I go with the sharp cheddar. From there they bring all kinds of vegetables (like carrots) and breads for you to dip them in. There's a burner right on the table and everything is prepared there. After the cheese, you are served salads. I try yo skip these because I don't want to fill up. Then you get the entree. They bring in flavored boiling water and a plate of raw meat and you get to cook it yourself. Lobster, tiger shrimp, portabello mushrooms, teryaki chicken, beef, filet mignon...everything under the sun. To end it all, you choose your chocolate (I got for the flaming turtle) and they bring out strawberries, bananas, pound cake, cheesecake, marshmellows, brownies...
Trust me, it's heaven!
Istanbul Restaurant: The. Best. Hummus. Ever.
Again, a recommendation from a co-worker. What a find! It doesn't look like much inside, but it is clean and comfortable. The staff is very friendly and happy to make recommendations for you.
Very easy parking, both in front and on the side of the building.
We both agree that we have to go back and try more off the menu - the food was simply that GOOD.
We each had a drink, split TWO appetizers, each had a meal, and split three desserts. The total came to $13 per person. I can't think of a better deal!
Favorite Dish: The iced tea is a special blend of three teas - one of which is Turkish. The result is an almost spicy tea with a wonderful mellow flavor.
We split orders of stuffed grape leaves, which were wonderful, and truly the best hummus I've ever had. We each ordered the "Barry's Special", which is a gyro sandwich, I had fries, my coworker had the rice, and a drink. The gyro was stuffed full with meat and that wonderful yogurt sauce - I swear I'll be dreaming about it!
We were so full at the end of the meal, but we got dessert to go - a baklava, a turkish cookie, and something that was like a cookie in that baklava syrup. OMG is all I can say.
Next time - Turkish coffee. We were just soooo full this time...
- Food and Dining
- Budget Travel
The Melting Pot: Swiss Fondue American Style
The Melting Pot is also downtown at 2nd Avenue North 615-742-4970, based on the Swiss idea of fondue pots but changed for American tastes basically. This place I stepped inside to get an idea of what it was about, you immediately walk downstairs to a basement lounge/restaurant type setting. Its very nice and cozy. The fondue pot is brought to your table, and seasoned by the server to your own taste. I am not a great fan of cheese at all, or dairy products, but my friends just went wild for this. Cheeses, they assure you, are aged and creamy to perfection. And whatever entreé you order is cooked to your taste, with coq an vin fondue, mojo fondue, fondue court boullion or fondue bourguignonne sauce styles.
A basic price is listed of 15,00 for two people, each extra person is 7,50, and your dinner is served in courses. Pacific Rim would be my choice for dinner, teriyaki marinated beef, shrimp, pork and duck along with fresh vegetables. For dessert, you have choices of fresh fruits: strawberries, bananas, marshmallows, cheesecake to dip in wonderful choclate sauces of all kinds. Very important to know the hours at this place! Full Fondue Dinners are Mon-Thursday 5pm-10pm, Friday-Sunday they open at 4pm. Cheese and Chocolate Fondue are ONLY Sunday-Thursday from 10pm-11pm, and Friday and Saturday at 11pm (I assume, they didn´t say specific). Reservations are DEFINITELY recommended because of the limited hours, and the server having to remain at each table. So its a great dining experience, not just eating, but being entertained savoring each taste different from another. Great place!
Rosario's: Fresh Mex
Picture a sunny day, not too humid, and a big group of hungry people who need to have fun while sating their appetites. Picture a pleasant terrace, immense bowls of freshly made guacamole, icy Coronas, Margaritas large enough to swim in. (You can picture being indoors if you like. They serve in there, too. But hey, I was there on this sunny day, etc.) Picture a menu which has all the usual favorites, plus some interesting twists. I have a feeling you'll be imagining Rosario's.
Favorite Dish: My niece the vegetarian swears by Eli's Tofu Burrito. I tried the mole chicken enchiladas -- admittedly an acquired taste -- and thought they were excellent
- Family Travel
Three That I Liked: Asian Restaurants
Dragon Garden at 2817 West End 615-329-2019, basicallz 10,30am til 10,30pm Mon-Thurs, and til 11,30am on Friday and Saturday. Prices are really cheap, ambout 3,95 to 4,25 for lunch specials 10,30am-3,00pm daily. Dinner prices up to 9,95 for seafood chef´s special depending on amount ordered. Its a smaller take-out/delivery place run by a family. Very popular with the university students. (Delivery/Carry out)
Golden Coast Restaurant at 1722 West End, 615-321-8882, has buffet, but buffet is only Sat and Sun I believe that one is 8,35 per person. Its great, on it there is crab legs, steamed and fried fish, squid, lobster...If you like seafood, its perfect! Prices overall for other menu items are about a dollar more than Dragon Garden, but quality was better. I had the Mongolian Beef Szechuan style, very spicy. It was absolutely delicious. They were very nice people too, Yun Feng and Annie Yeh, I lost my keys somewhere along the avenue and they were very helpful to find them with me. It was late afternoon and they weren´t busy, so it helped me a lot!! (Carry out or dine in)
P.F. Chang´s China Bistro is more expensive, more eclectic, a fashionable place, and the choice I would make if going out to a nice evening with special friends or visitors. They have two locations in Nashville, at Cool Springs Blvd, then the one we went to at 2525 West End 615-329-8901. Their special claim to fame is they cater specially to athletes as well. A special section of the menu is combinations of ingredients fresh fish, chicken, beef, seafoods that endurance training really needs to be healthy. Nutritional values are displayed. Prices reflect!! Most dinner menu items are 10,95 and up. My favorite items were the specialty teas like Citrus Spice, White Tangerine and Sweet Giner Peach. Even though Nashville was really hot, above 35°C most days, the restaurant inside was cool enough to have tea. (carry out and dine in)
Favorite Dish: Chinese Restaurants. Whenever I am traveling, or well anytime, I like Asian foods, Korean especially or Japanese, but Chinese will do as long as its spicy Szechuan, my favorite. However! Not any slight to the Asian peoples, but its very important to me to be certain of the cleanliness, and quality of the ingredients (been sick before!). If its looks a "shady" place, I give it a pass. Three I found that I liked very much with moderate prices, having gone in and spoken with the owner and/or chefs, had a look over the kitchens if I could, and felt satisfy I was not taking my life into someone elses hand.
Flyte World Dining & Wine: Happy Hour!
Came here with a Meet-up group for happy hour - Skyy Cosmopolitans for $5?? Awesome! Service in the lounge was stellar - once we moved to the restaurant, not so much. I found the prices to be on the expensive side. I ordered an appetizer of pork spring rolls with chili sauce - the sauce was wonderful, but the spring rolls were greasy, and filled with ground pork. That's it. Nothing else. No bok choy, or shredded carrot, or anything I usually associate with spring rolls.
Again, the lounge area was fun and loud, but the restaurant was half-empty but still very loud. You can tell from the menu and decor that Flyte is trying to be a hip, cool upscale restaurant, but absolutely none of it appealed to my personal esthetic. The exposed pipes in the ceiling, the horrid colors - none of it.
Oh well - at least the cosmos were good!
- Wine Tasting
- Food and Dining
Valentino´s and ZOLA´s: Italian/Mediterranean Dining
Italian/Mediterranean Restaurants. Pasta is a favorite of mine, though my partner is allergic to seafood, we usually have to go to at least one Italian/Mediterranean place wherever we travel.
Valentino´s Ristorante at 1907 West End is extremely popular and recommended by most guides to Nashville, 615-327-0148. It has many awards for service and menu, and what´s most important, an Italian friend who lives in Tennessee said its one of the closest places to get really Italian food in the area. Venetian to Milanese, seafood fettucine, veal saltimbocca, pastas of all kinds with authentic sauces and wines, and much more, see www.valentinosnashville.com
ZOLA´S is also much awarded restaurant started by Debra Paquette, she´s been on "Great Chefs" television series. Its a really good show, and I noticed it still comes on Discovery Channel in the USA in the late afternoons. Her dishes combines French, Italian and Spanish influences. But also includes Moroccan and Greek tastes as well. Seafood is a speciality and very fresh, flown in daily. Reservations, they say are suggested but not required. Its popular, and if you really have a special dinner arranged, call ahead to reserve. Its open only for dinner Mon-thurs 5,30pm-10pm or Fri and Sat, 5,30pm-11pm. Expect to pay for what you get, average is around 18,95+ for entreés. Its at the corner of West End Avenue and 29th Avenue South. 615-320-7778. www.restaurantzola.com
Favorite Dish: Pasta Puttanesca is my favorite most any place, I like the combination of black and green oliven and anchovies.
Gerst Haus: Excellent German Food & Bier
I've seen the Gerst Haus many times in the year-and-a-half I've lived in Nashville, but this is the first time I've been inside. It won't be the last though, as the service was prompt, the food was good, and the atmosphere was wonderful. Dark wood decor with animal heads give it a Bavarian pub feel.
*UPDATE - went back the next day with a group. After 6pm on Saturdays, there is a live Oompah band - what fun! They took requests - the only polka song I could think of was "Roll Out the Barrels", and they played it! :-)
Favorite Dish: My friend and I split the Gerst Haus Sampler Dinner for $20 - we got the Jager Schnitzel, Goulash with spaetzel, and beef stroganoff, plus sides of red cabbage and cucumber & onion in a sweet creme sauce. Everything was absolutely delicious and served piping hot.
Fine selection of beer on tap - my friend had a German beer which I can not pronounce nor spell. I had a Woodchuck cider...
- Beer Tasting
- Food and Dining
McNamara's Irish Pub & Restaurant: Irish Pub in Donelson
Loved it here - dark woods, very clean. Service was very friendly and quick. Nice bar area to wait for your table or for other members of your party to arrive. They have Guinness on tap, as well as Bass, Harps, Smithwick's and Hard Cider.
Live traditional Irish music Thurs - Sun
Favorite Dish: I had the fish and chips, which were three balls of fried cod with french fries. Very tasty and just enough. My companion had the salmon patties and she loved them.
4/2/10 - came back for lunch and had the shepherd's pie - it was wonderful! Perfect portion left me full, but not stuffed. My companion had the pear & blue cheese salad with raspberry vinaigrette, and she said it was wonderful. We are really liking this place and will be returning soon! Will get some pics of the inside then.
- Food and Dining
The Melting Pot: Fondue!
Although The Melting Pot is a Chain, this is the best one I have visited. (The restaurant did just undergo extensive remodeling, and I haven't seen the reveal yet.) They have an extensive wine list that isn't too outrageously priced.
Favorite Dish: I have tried all of the cheese fondues, and the fiesta is the best. They prepare the fondure at your table so you are able to choose what you want/don't want in it. Since I am vegetarian, I have never had any of the entrees.
The Horn of Africa: Ethiopian
(I've just discovered that the restaurant is under new ownership and I haven't checked it out again. Hopefully, it will be just as good as before.)
The restaurant is a gathering place for expats of Ethiopia and Sudan. Portions are hearty and delicious. One seating section offers the traditional Ethiopian table... large upright baskets.
Favorite Dish: Lega Tibs -- beef tips, tomato and peppers in a special sauce. Mild. Duro Wat - chicken in a hot red sauce.
The injera is an experience of it's own. It's wonderful!!
- Road Trip
- Arts and Culture
- Budget Travel
Greek Deli: All-You-Can-Eat Greek Lunch Buffet
All you can eat lunch buffet, including a soft drink, for $8 (including tax)! The buffet is quite tasty - chicken shawarma (which is addictive), gyro meat (lamb & beef), tabouli, pita, bean salad, hummus - and a lot of other stuff I couldn't identify, but tastes really good! The owner, Sam, is very gregarious and always says "Hello! Welcome!'' when you come in, and "See you tomorrow" when you leave.
Not open really late (I think he closes at 7pm), but a great deal for lunch. The lunch buffet is open until 1:30pm.
Favorite Dish: I don't know what he puts on the chicken shawarma, but put that on the pita with that yogurt sauce, and it is incredibly good! And, (I don't know why), the tater tots with onion is REALLY good!
- Budget Travel
- Food and Dining
Panda House: Avoid at all Cost!
Very close to my office, we actually started to go to Subway but the smell of Chinese food was enticing, so my companion and I walked next door to Panda House.
One of your standard fast-food Chinese restaurants - you order at the desk, then sit down and they bring the food to you, and the menu on the wall is only photos. They have a lunch special on the printed menu at the counter.
We ordered, and had a seat to wait for the food. It came quickly enough, and was average tasting - not GREAT, not BAD. We were discussing our soon-to-be cancelled trip to Egypt, when out of the corner of my eye, I saw something moving. I put on my glasses and stifled a scream, as a COCKROACH was walking toward me on the wall.
Now, I am the first to admit I have an abnormal aversion to and fear of roaches. In my mind, it walked toward me, stopped and looked me in the eye, thought about it, and continued walking. My companion saw it, and monitored it as it walked away. A few minutes later, her eyes widened and she informed me it was coming back. Again, it looked me in the eye, and this time decided to approach. It started down the wall and as soon as its little legs hit the table, we scrambled to pick up food/purses/coats and move to another table.
At this point the waitress asked if everything was OK. My companion pointed out the roach, and the waitress went over to the table and with the rag SHE HAD JUST BEEN CLEANING WITH, she squished the roach.
In shock, we decided we had had enough, and left. On the way out, we saw the state inspection record...
Cantina Laredo: Sophisticated (Yuppie) Gourmet Mexican
Our Boss' choice for his birthday dinner, partly because he wanted for us to know where "The Gulch" is. The restaurant is very elegant - does not feel like a Mexican restaurant. Quiet for lunch, but has a very sophisticated ambiance. Prices are slightly more than a "real" Mexican restaurant, but they obviously use high quality ingredients, and it shows. We had a lovely lunch there.
Favorite Dish: I had the Tortas de Carnitas, which came on mini buns with sliced tomato and avacado, and sweet potato fries. It didn't look like much on the platter, but were very filling (I could only eat 2 of the 3 on my plate). I also had the frozen Mango Margarita, which was very strong, and very good.
My companion had the Enchilada de Mole, which she described as spicy, and she liked it. She also had a frozen Pomegranite Margarita, which was tart but tasty.
Boss had Chicken Flautas, which he seemed to enjoy very much.
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