I was in full retirement of my writing career when Metromix came to town. Still, through my friend and former editor at the late Time-Warner magazine called Crossroads, I got word about some money to be made writing the little descriptive paragraphs (called “capsules”) about all the retail and restaurant locations to be listed on the official Nashville Metromix website. My heart pitter-pattered at the possibility of writing hundreds of capsules!
Alas, my full-time job, the rushed deadline and, well, my own fear turned that pipe dream into the reality of only a couple dozen capsules. My assignments were all for places in Brentwood and the experience was a great exercise in writing concisely. Plus, it got me out of my comfort zone… and made me feel kinda cool (until it turned out nobody ever really cared about Metromix).
Today, the Nashville site is mostly an internet graveyard. though I think Gannett might have the whole thing on life support. Anyhow, here are some of clips:
This cafeteria-style meat and three has been a long-standing favorite in the Nashville area. Though this location is tucked in a storefront amidst quite a few fast food spots, City Cafe is always packed at mealtime with hearty appetites. The menu changes daily but features familiar Southern home cooked “meats” like catfish, fried chicken, meatloaf and, of course, plenty of vegetables from which to choose your “three.” Mom will be proud as you eat your greens, fried okra, and the best veg of all, macaroni and cheese.
Myron and Nicole Phillips are crazy about their first foray into restaurant development. It was 2004 when they finally put aside their franchised stores and launched something all their own right in Cool Springs. Battered chicken, broiled chicken, chicken egg rolls, mesquite smoked chicken wings, Cajun chicken, salads topped with chicken; it’s all here in the hip and casual storefront filled with colorful art and cool blue walls. The perfect poultry is complemented by freshly and perfectly made fries, slaw and dipping sauces.
Mazatlan Mexican Restaurant
With about half a dozen locations in Nashville and surrounding areas, Mazatlan has become a familiar and trustworthy name for Mexican-American eats. Local cubicle jockeys dine here on a regular basis because of the reasonable prices and quick lunch service (and to take a load off after work with the Monster Margaritas and Monster Daquiris). Another bonus: draft beers are $1.50. The dining room is spacious with plenty of room for groups. Visit their Web site for a buy one/get one half price lunch or dinner coupon.
Maryland Farms grows mostly businesses nowadays, but the property’s original plantation house still stands to oversee it all. The restored home now houses Mere Bulles Restaurant, elegant dining for special occasions, Sunday brunch or a business lunch. The menu offers favorites like She Crab Bisque or Rib Rolls served with homemade chips for lunch, prime steaks and fresh seafood for dinner. Plenty of sweet and savory choices make up Sunday brunch. Enjoy dipping fruit and pastries into the chocolate fountain before heading home for an afternoon nap.
For nearly 15 years, Phillip’s Delicatessen has been a favorite Nashville sandwich shop. New Jersey’s famous Thumann’s meats and cheeses stuff the deli’s freshly baked breads and bagels with preservative-free fillings. The simple and hearty breakfast menu is chocked full of reasonably priced bagel sandwiches, burritos and fruit. For lunch, choose from soups of the day, salads, baked potatoes, basic sandwiches and special deli favorites including pastrami and Reuben sandwiches, liverwurst on a French roll and the muffuletta supreme. Call in advance for delivery and catering.
Whether you’re a climber or a cycler, a water bug or a snow bird, world traveler or general outdoor enthusiast, REI’s one Tennessee location has all the gear you need. Folks of all sorts find trendy tech wear, high-end sports gear and all the tools of the trade with help from the happy REI staff. (REI has 11 times been voted one of Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to work for.) Get special discounts and annual dividends by becoming a Recreational Equipment Incorporated member for 20 bucks per year.
Stogie’s Ales and Fine Cigars
Stogie’s warm look and leather sofas are inviting for a game day hangout, an after-dinner nightcap or just unwinding after work. Literally hundreds of beers from all over the world stock the coolers and Stogie’s proudly tags the latest additions so they’re easy to spot. Five drafts are available at all times and the selection rotates weekly. Visit stogiesinc.net to see what’s stocked in the walk-in humidor. Non-alcoholic drinks, cigar accessories, pipes, tobacco and cigarettes are also available.
“My philosophy was simple; serve down-home cookin’ … fast and friendly,” says John Craighead. So in 2000 he created Vittles, an order-from-the-menu kind of meat and three. Breakfast is mostly hearty basics but also includes a variety of $1.99 “Grab-It and Go” biscuit, croissant or Texas toast sandwiches. For lunch there are plenty of big salads to choose from as well as hot and cold sandwiches. And dinner offers up many filling and comforting Southern favorites like country fried steak, pot roast and fried shrimp platters.