We Bring the Buffet to You
If you’ve been following along, I recently had the opportunity to spend the day eating my way through Nashville. My first stop was at Biscuit Love Brunch in The Gulch, and I picked up a mighty fine biscuit recipe from Chef Karl Worley while I was there. In this third of a four-part series, I discover lunch with new friends and later a gourmet coffee shop.
There are several Monell’s locations in and around Nashville, but this one was in a large, old plantation style house with massive white columns; they call it Monell’s at the Manor. The occasion was a birthday luncheon for my tour guide’s husband, Nathan. We were joined by quite a cast of characters and gathered around a large table for twelve.
A sweet but tenacious server soon explained to me (because I was the only first-timer in the party) that it’s like a buffet only they bring it to you. “If you run out of something, just ask for more. You pass to the left.” And finally, she said firmly in conclusion: “No cell phones at the table.” I shuddered to think of her catching me, but I persisted and snuck a couple of photos… for you, of course.
My lunch at Monell’s was like Sunday dinner after church with friends. Bright red bowls were passed around full of everything from juicy pot roast to crispy fried chicken plus biscuits, rolls, salads and so much more. One right after another, the options just kept coming.
The reality is that I had just finished breakfast only a little while earlier, and the thought of all of this food was somewhat overwhelming. But, after all, I was in Nashville to eat, not just to look at the food.
Scoop, pass, scoop, pass was the order of the day at Monell’s. Quite a treat, especially when Mr. Long, the birthday boy’s plant manager, picked up the ticket for the entire party!
Afternoon Break: Fido
A nap would have been more desired than food at this point in my day, but my next destination was at hand. Fido, an upscale coffee house that also serves as a very popular casual restaurant in the Hillsboro Village area of Nashville focuses on chef-prepared local and organic foods. In fact, their website claims that “Fido likely buys more regionally produced food than any other restaurant in Nashville.”
After two artery clogging meals before, I used my time at Fido to catch up on a few emails and do some fantastic Nashville people watching. I couldn’t help but wonder if the next Garth Brooks or Luke Bryan was the guy in front of me in line. At 1:30 p.m., Fido still had a deep line around the side of the ordering bar, and after observing the orders made before me, it’s well loved for its food. While I didn’t eat anything, I did have a cup of hot tea and enjoyed amazing aromas from surrounding patron’s orders. In time, one food order was placed on the bar next to me that I just couldn’t resist. It’s owner kindly allowed me to photograph her plate and generously shared her knowledge of the dish with me. Next visit to Nashville will find me eating a full meal at Fido’s – no doubt about it.