With 2011 behind us, Liza and I headed out separately to give three new restaurants a try. She took the sushi route, and I took on local and organic, then headed to the west side of town to try a new BBQ place. Seriously, we are in the golden age of Nashville. With so many new restaurants opening up, it is hard to get to them all. While all three of these restaurants are completely different, the one thing they have in common is their passion to deliver a great meal. We hope you enjoy our finds.
Koi Sushi and Thai
Liza: I guess this place has been a Franklin secret. Although I hadn’t heard of it, they were successful enough to branch out recently and add a Nashville location. And man-oh-man, is it good. Located right next to Salon nFuse on Franklin Pike in the Melrose area, don’t miss this hidden gem.
My oldest daughter and I had lunch here last week, and we were so thrilled that we went back a few nights later with another family. I want to plan a girls’ night out here, and my oldest wants her birthday dinner at Koi, as well. Yes, we are fans.
They have a large selection of fried rice and rice noodle dishes, including Pad Thai and Lemongrass Chicken. The Japanese Bento Boxes offer a nice variety of foods and are my kids’ favorites. But, I have to say, the sushi is divine. They have traditional rolls, but their specialty rolls are plentiful with 24 options, all expertly and beautifully rolled. The first one I ordered was the Atlantic and it’s still my favorite, but I am determined to try them all!
Elizabeth: Full disclosure: I am from Memphis, and while I am not a complete snob when it comes to BBQ, I know it when I see it. That’s why on my first visit to Stone House Q, I came away impressed. Stone House Q’s owner, Buck Hussang, did a fair amount of research before launching his new venture. He sampled BBQ from every state that borders our own and found a perfect combination of flavors. Just as the litmus test for Mexican food is the guacamole, the litmus test for BBQ is the ribs. I don’t really care if they’re dry-rubbed, wet or in between. What I do care about is their flavor. And as far as Stone House Q’s ribs go, let’s just say I ordered a half stack and could have eaten more—for lunch!
The sides are all homemade (and you can taste it) by Raleigh Hussang. I sampled the greens, mac n’ cheese and slaw and give all of them a thumbs up. And, Stone House Q has three secret weapons that could potentially land them a spot on the Food Network: their caramelized onions, cornbread and secret sauce. Of the three, I am begging to know how they make those onions. The flavor is rich, but I am sure there is a secret ingredient. Please, do tell.
On several occasions, I’ve gone back to grab take out. It is affordable, easy and makes for a healthy dinner option if you order the pulled chicken with some veggie sides.
You have to appreciate Stone House Q’s billboard. It says it all: Home of the Rightous Butts! My guess is their back room marketing team, Scott and Cindy Moskovitz, had something to do with the name.
Stone House Q is located one block due west of Bobby’s Dairy dip on 54th street, right off of Charlotte Avenue.
Elizabeth: In April we wrote about our visit to Tayst. During that visit, I had the chance to hang out in the kitchen with Jeremy Barlow, Tayst’s owner and chef, to discuss his passion for local foods and regional purveyors. At Tayst, each and every local purveyor holds a place of honor on his famous blackboard. So with the opening of his new sandwich place, Sloco’s on 12th Ave. S, I couldn’t wait to give it a try.
Sloco is located a couple of storefronts down from Las Palattes and Burger Up. Each, in their own way, contributes to the local flavor of Nashville.
Before you go to Sloco’s, you need to know it’s about takeout. There are a limited number of seats available and the menu is designed to grab n’ go. But, unlike lots of takeout places, Sloco’s is about quality and fresh ingredients, not quick and processed food. At the first bite, you know that someone behind the counter has carefully roasted the veggies, braised the beef and baked the bread. Each offering is unique, flavorful and fresh.
Hands down, our favorite was the roasted veggie sandwich. It was served on two slices of bread with an aromatic combination of veggies, herbs and toppings. The secret ingredient was the roasted Brussels sprouts. You’ll find Sloco’s sandwiches are interesting and deceptively healthy.
I think the name is just made up, or maybe it’s short for Slow Cooked – clever twist on the whole fast food/takeout idea. Whatever the case, the concept truly comes from the heart. Here is Sloco’s Declaration of Food Independence:
- Make rockin’ sammies quickly and affordably
- Love the community
- Operate with a small foot-print
- Cook responsively and
- If it’s not in season, we don’t have it.
Well, there you go—5 great reasons to give Sloco a try.