The legend goes like this: More than 70 years ago, Thornton Prince came home after a night of tomcatting to find his lady waiting at home, none too pleased. To teach him a lesson, she doctored his Sunday morning chicken with a wallop of spice. "Hot peppers from the garden, I'm sure," says Andre Prince, the restaurant's current owner, and great-granddaughter of that fabled philanderer whose infidelities birthed the now-iconic dish. "She was furious—but he liked it! He liked his punishment. It's just a rumor," she adds; "I wasn't there, have mercy. But I know how the Prince men are. They're known for being ladies' men."
'Nashville' on Serious Eats
Each drink at the newly opened and much-anticipated Husk Nashville attempts to tell a story—start with setting, add a dash of history, build on character, and let the experience unfold.
Heading back to the bar on Sunday afternoon might not be your first, most obvious choice for a cure. Unless of course that bar is Nashville's No. 308. With its spacey vibe and its stoner-food plates piled high, the brunch here is designed with heavy-hitters at heart.
With outmoded state laws, like the legal split between high- and low-gravity beers (a demarcation at 5% alcohol by weight, or 6.3% by volume) and the "franchise laws" of the wholesale distribution system, Nashville once seemed destined to remain a craft beer backwater. But luckily for the locals, breweries have been popping up everywhere, and Nashville is positioning itself as a bona fide beer destination.
And we're back with another edition of our March Madness-style tournament of tacos. We traveled thousands of miles to taquerias, taco trucks, corner stores, and carnicerias to find the 64 very best tacos in the country as part of a feature for Every Day with Rachael Ray magazine's March issue. Yesterday we told you about the West coast picks; today we're heading to the South for migas and suadero.
In the wrong hands, country ham can be a leathery salt-bomb, but this massive bone-in slab from The Pancake Pantry in Nashville was incredible. Salty and fatty like the best thick cut bacon you've ever had, but still moist with a touch of prosciutto-like funk. It's even better when served with two absolutely perfect over-easy eggs.
Loveless Cafe started out in the 1950s as a motel that sold fried chicken and biscuits from the front door to travelers who ate it on the picnic tables out front. They've gradually grown, changed ownership, and become more touristy over the years but still serve some pretty good Southern food in Nashville, and perhaps the best Fried Green Tomato BLT.
There's no sign at the popsicle haven Las Paletas in Nashville, Tennessee, which makes finding it tricky, but it's worth the sugary reward. The popsicles here are known for their powerful burst of unusual flavors like eggnog and hibiscus but what captured my heart was the sweet and spicy ice pops like pineapple-chile and cucumber-chile. I can't imagine a better way to spend the last lazy days of summer than indulging in this recipe for spicy ice pops.
It's time for another street food profile. This time we meet Teresa Mason of the Mas Tacos Por Favor truck in Nashville, which has been around since the summer of 2008. They have seven tacos in rotation, including fish tacos with spicy dill yogurt and cast-iron chicken with roasted tomatillo salsa. And we can't forget the elote and watermelon agua fresca.
Las Paletas makes the best gourmet paletas I've tried yet—lightyears ahead of NYC's People Pops and narrowly beating Austin's GoodPop. A riff on the angular Mexican popsicles that usually feature corn syrup or cane juice and loads of artificial coloring, these icy treats forgo all that filth in favor of pure, streamlined recipes that highlight natural fruit flavors.
"Hickory smoked," boasted Hog Heaven's menu in reverence to the barbecue gods. These words aren't the only abstraction of barbecue to be found here. Hog Heaven is a minuscule shack off Centennial Park in Nashville, located literally behind a McDonald's and adjunct to a honkytonk dive. There are a few key tenets to the art of barbecue, the holiest of which is using wood smoke to flavor meat. But does this always make for the best barbecue?
I'm going to come right out and say it. The past seven days (eight, really) constituted hell week for this serious dieter. An extremely pleasurable hell week, but a hell week nonetheless. Why do I say that? Consider the following meals of fried chicken in Nashville, pulled pork sandwiches at Big Apple Barbecue Block Party, and our office taste tests this week involving kettle chips, chocolate chip cookies, and sliders.
A quick web search of "Nashville" and "taco trucks" will get you two types of results. First you'll find a few postings, mostly from late 2005, about the city's purported plans to ban taco trucks due to "health concerns," which apparently never went through (gracias a Dios). But most of what you'll find being written about taco trucks in Nashville today focuses exclusively on Mas Tacos, a gourmet mobile trailer of the type that's got the country all aTwitter these days, but there are plenty of cheaper, more authentic, and in my opinion tastier, taco trucks nearby on two main avenues: Gallatin Pike and Nolensville Pike.
"The Pass to the Left Policy works out well—everyone gets fed eventually. But it gets a tad intense when the fried chicken arrives." Monell's 1235 6th Avenue N., Nashville TN 37208 (map); 615-248-4747 Meals: lunch Monday through Friday, dinner Tuesday through Saturday, breakfast on the weekends and Sunday afternoon meal. Monell's in Nashville is one of those places where you shouldn't eat breakfast that morning (or maybe even last night's dinner). You're basically in for a Southern Thanksgiving, except with 10 or so people you've never met. Every meal here (lunch, dinner, the weekend country breakfast, and Sunday meal) is served family-style like they did back in the days of Southern boarding houses—except with other peoples' families. But you'll get...
"The fried okra nubbins are just asking to be snacked on pre-cash register." [Photographs: Erin Zimmer] Harper's 2610 Jefferson Street, Nashville TN 37208 (map); 615-329-1909 Hours: Open 7 days a week. Monday through Friday: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Many restaurants in Nashville are closed on Sundays and Mondays, but Harper's—the cafeteria-style soul food restaurant near Tennessee State University—isn't. And that was sure a good thing this week when bundles of people filed in here after the annual Martin Luther King Day march to the university. Instead of the usual Southern tradition of "Meat and Three" (your choice of one meat and three sides—a beautiful thing), Harper's does Meat and Two. But...
"Some guy came in here once and ordered the extra hot chicken. He said it filled him up, cleared his sinuses, and killed his Athlete's Foot." Prince's Hot Chicken Shack 123 Ewing Drive, Nashville TN (map); 615-226-9442 Hours: Tuesday through Thursday, noon to 9 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, noon to 4 a.m. The Short Order: Spicy fried chicken: mild (this doesn't mean you're a wimp), medium (whoa there), hot (are you sure?), extra hot (get out of here.) Sides: Baked beans, potato salad, coleslaw, extra pickles, extra white bread, Ranch dressing It's not really a question of what you're going to order at Prince's Hot Chicken Shack (the chicken, obviously)—it's how you will order it. Mild, medium, hot, or extra...
Photo composite by Clay Gordon Every year for the past seven years I have joined hundreds of other pastry professionals in an annual pilgrimage to two of pastry's meccas: The World Pastry Forum and the National and World Pastry...
A Brown's Diner cheeseburger. Photograph from Green Olive Media OMG. I so want one of these. The folks at Green Olive Media were spurred to action by George Motz's book Hamburger America ("I've driven by here literally hundreds of...
Editor's note: Occasionally what looks at first glance to be a conventional guidebook transcends the genre in surprising ways. John T. Edge's Southern Belly is just such a read, which is why I'm pleased that he has allowed us to excerpt selected items from it on Serious Eats, where they appear every other week. —Ed Levine By John T. Edge | In fine-dining circles, tales of temperamental French chefs are rife. Neophytes who fiddle with the foie gras or diddle with the duck confit are sure to stir the ire of the guy in the white coat and pleated tocque outfit. But who would expect such an outburst of temper from a guy in a flour-streaked apron, the proprietor of...