City House: This restaurant is located in the Germantown neighborhood and is the brainchild of Chef Tandy Wilson. The restaurant declares itself as an authentic Italian restaurant that prides itself in using in-season locally grown produce and meats. Although the emphasis is Italian, the restaurant also offers it’s take on traditional southern foods. I really liked the décor of the restaurant. It was simple yet classy, without being stuffy or overly elegant. I was a little irritated that our table was not ready despite a reservation and the water is served with no ice. I cooled out a little once I got my Sazerac, the official cocktail of New Orleans. This drink is made of rye whiskey, bitters, sugar, and herbsaint. I was really impressed by the menu and chose to go with the Tennesse pork plate. This dish had a sampling of house cured pulled pork and house made sausage. It was served with aruglula that was cooked in a similar fashion to greens. It was very good-a little salty-but this should be expected when using house cured pork products. My cocktail and entrée ran roughly $30, which I thought was a bargin. I was also impressed that 20 year old Rip Van Winkle, the top ranked bourbon in the world, was offered on the desert menu. I’d definitely eat here again.
Knockout Wings: I’ve been trying to dine my way across two of the “ethnic cooridors” on my side of town. Jefferson Street is one of them. This is a predominately African American part of town that is famous for being the home of two traditionally African American universities: Fisk University and the Tennessee State University. Back in the 40’s, 50’s, and 60’s Jefferson Street was one of the most well known black neighborhoods in the southeast, famous for it’s jazz, blues, and R&B scenes. Jimi Hendrix, Ray Charles, Fats Domino, and Little Richard all played there. Eventually an interstate cut the neighborhood in half, and desegregation gave black Nashvillians the opportunity to shop in other areas of town. Knockout wings is located in the heart of this neighborhood. I ordered a dozen wings, half hot, half country. The first thing I noticed is that country means plain. The second thing I noticed was that the order only included drummies, there were no flats. The hot wings had decent flavor but didn’t blow me away and the famous biscuits were a little too sweet for my taste. Overall I found the restaurant to be a little overrated.
Charlotte Pike Taco Trucks: Charlotte Pike is one of the more diverse roads in Nashville. There are Hispanic, Korean, Indian, Vietnamese, and other types of cuisine offered on this street. I decided to start checking up some of the taco trucks located on this street. I’m not sure what the places true names are but I think the first one is called Tex-Mex and is located in about the 5800 block near the cluster of Vietnamese restaurants. I tried the steak (asada) and beef brisket bbq (barbacoa). They were 99 cents each and served with onions, cilantro, and a sauce. They were excellent, but upstaged by the truck in the 6300 block near the Sonic. This truck had a decent steak taco and a phenomenal carnita (roasted pork) taco. On top of that, the tacos were garnished with radishes and pickled carrots and they were only $1 each. I had a conversation with an acquaintance from Acapulco and he convinced me to go back and try some of the more exotic meats. In the near future expect reports on my experiences with tripe, beef cheek, tongue, and other strange meats!