The best memories of my father take place around a dinner table. Get him a good glass of wine, and he can tell stories until the cows come home. Last time we played the game of what would you choose as your last meal on Earth?, my father answered by saying he would choose to have the entire family around the table with a few bottles of wine. Although the sentiments nearly melted my heart, I still found myself wondering what he wanted to eat.
If your dad is anything like mine, he is particular. Not picky, particular. My father is a Southern man, a product of his Southern mother. She cut the crusts off his sandwiches well into college and served every vegetable creamed. In his 60+ years, he has tried kale (once, and never again), realized he likes cauliflower when the word steak is used to describe it (thank you, Henrietta Red) and is loving enough to appease his daughter by trying the new and trendy restaurants in Nashville. But more a fan of steaks than small plates, he prefers a hearty meal. His palate is sophisticated, but he appreciates the simplicity of a well-cooked meat and locally sourced vegetables. A few restaurants in town have caught his attention: Deacon’s New South for the steak and fries, Martin’s Bar-B-Que for the pork sandwich, The Southern Steak & Oyster for the oysters and Silo for the option to buy the cooks a round of beer (and the Southern food, of course).
It took time to get a list four-fingers long of where to take my dad to dinner, and it turns out I am not the only one. StyleBlueprint staffers sought out places their dads love, a safe place to return to time and time again. And in honor of upcoming Father’s Day, we are sharing their lists with you today.
Liza Graves, Cofounder
“I enjoy taking my dad to McCabe Pub when he is in town. He loves a good burger and Southern sides, and he usually insists on picking up the bill; when he does, there is no sticker shock at McCabe. They also have the best coconut cake on the planet. If he is wanting a more fine dining experience, Epice it is as he loves Mediterranean food, and everything at Epice is stellar, without being at all stuffy.”
Prince’s Hot Chicken
Jesse Gillenwalters, Digital Marketing Analyst
“My dad, a restaurant owner of 30+ years, appreciates everything from dingy hot dog stands to foie gras. As long as the food does what it does well, he doesn’t discriminate. A big bonus for him is spiciness — he’s always ‘kicking it up a notch’ (as he always says while generously dusting his dishes in cayenne). For this reason, hot chicken is the dish when he’s in town. It’s down to earth, representative of the local culture and manages to be both a meticulously crafted dish and a layman’s cuisine depending on the occasion. Prince’s was the obvious first stop, but last time he was in town we got Hattie B’s. Bolton’s is next!”
McCabe Pub and Brown’s Diner
Megan Casey, Director of Marketing
“Whenever my dad visits my home in Sylvan Park from New York, his favorite thing to do is walk down to McCabe Pub for a beer and burger on the patio. If we do venture outside my neighborhood, we will most likely head to Brown’s Diner for soup and a burger. We lived down the street from there when I was growing up, so the little restaurant in a trailer has great nostalgic meaning for us.”
Smokin’ Thighs, 5th & Taylor and Caviar & Bananas
Kate Neal, Client Success Representative
“My dad loves just about any kind of food you put in front of him, but there are a few places he always wants to go when he’s in town. One of his favorite restaurants in Nashville is Smokin’ Thighs — you can’t beat their bacon mac n’ cheese and nachos. He also loves 5th & Taylor for their hearty meals … and those sausage-cheddar biscuits are to die for. Just walking into Caviar & Bananas made him want to move to Nashville! He started talking about how he could live in Midtown and just walk everywhere. It may be a midlife crisis, but I think it sounds like a great idea!”
The Loveless Cafe, Woolworth on 5th, Husk, Deacon’s and Anne’s Cakes
Connie Prince, Account Executive
“My 93-year-old father grew up on a farm where his mother served three huge meals a day that showcased fresh or preserved vegetables from her garden. A perfect food day in Nashville would start at The Loveless Cafe because country ham and biscuits were a Sunday tradition. Woolworth on 5th for the fried chicken, vegetables and history. He would also appreciate the vegetable plate at Husk for the heirloom varieties. Deacon’s for the steak and a conversation with Chef Travis Sparks about the in-house dry aging and curing process and his time as a farmer. He also has a sweet tooth and a perfect end to a meal would be a slice of coconut cake from Anne’s Cakes.”
Virago, Husk, Germantown Café and Station Inn
Lacy Green, Traffic Manager
“One of the things I’ve always admired about my dad is his ability to enjoy and command any room. A musician turned business executive, he’s as comfortable in an adventurous upscale restaurant as he is a dive bar, which makes Nashville a great destination for our father-daughter dates. A typical night out might look like a stop at Virago, where he can ask the wait staff a million questions about sushi, or a more traditional Southern plate at Husk or Germantown Café (he loves the pork). To top off the night, we usually make our way Station Inn for some bluegrass, beer and maybe a late-night pizza during the second set.”
Cindy Acuff, Account Executive
“My husband is a great father, as I knew he would be. He indulges our strictly vegan daughter with any restaurant she wants to visit. When I ask what he’d like to eat, he tells me ‘veggies!’ but every time we are at a restaurant with steak on the menu, that’s what he gets. So, if I wanted to treat my sweet husband I’d likely take him to Oak Steakhouse (he loved the bar) or Jimmy Kelly’s!”
To learn about more local restaurants we love, click here!