by TJ AndersonThis prediction from Dwell magazine, from late last year, just made its way into my Facebook feed: “Step Aside, Subway Tile — Penny Tile Is the New Classic.” Penny tile,
Where To Find Decent Chinese Food In Nashville
by TJ Anderson
A few days ago, the Los Angeles Times ran a piece called “Finding Chinese food, and home, in Nashville, Tennessee” — it’s more about how connection to culture brings comfort than the food itself, and it’s an absolutely beautiful read. I’d encourage you to check it out, and think about how it connects with your own efforts to explore and embrace your family’s culture.
Of course, it also centered on a painful truth for anyone who lives in Nashville: It’s hard to find decent Chinese food here. That was very true a decade ago, writer Frank Shyong notes in the L.A. Times piece, and it’s still pretty true today. Though, as with all kinds of cuisines, from Nashville pizza to Indian food, we’re improving, slowly but surely.
Back in 2007, when Frank Shyong suffered through soggy dumplings that still make him shudder more than a decade later, I wouldn’t have had too many (or any) recommendations to offer. But in 2019, Nashville has a handful of Chinese restaurants that I think are well worth a visit — even if Shyong’s dad would probably still find them under par.
If you’re looking for decent Chinese food in Nashville in 2019, here are a few restaurants that I think will do you pretty right, spread across the city.
Chinese food in Nashville
TKO opened in East Nashville’s Inglewood a few years ago, promising a “Southern-inspired twist” on Chinese food, and a little bit of an end to that area’s takeout-Chinese drought. While they don’t scratch that basic Chinese-takeout itch, they do offer something different — surprising and fresh takes on familiar flavors, with a particular appeal to vegetarians. Try the General Tso’s Beets and Dan Dan Cauliflower — I’d bet you’ll be very pleasantly surprised. If you need some simple pork or chicken fried rice, they take care of that need well too. More at TKO’s website. (Photo: TKO on Instagram.)
The Gulch-area “contemporary Chinese” restaurant Tànsuŏ is one of celebrity chef Maneet Chauhan’s many additions to the Nashville food scene, and it offers Peking Duck and dim sum brunch and lots of creative examples of “humble ingredients presented in an extraordinary way.” The Nashville Scene called it “deeply satisfying Chinese cuisine,” and I for one won’t argue. Check out more at the Tànsuŏ website.
Sichuan Hot Pot & Asian Cuisine
Nolensville Pike has long been a hotbed of culinary delights — particularly Mexican food. Just a few years old, Sichuan Hot Pot & Asian Cuisine brought steaming bowls of broth to the area, and the hot-pot devotees in my life have given it high marks, for fresh ingredients and the expected opportunity to fine-tune to your preferences. If you aren’t familiar with or a fan of hot pot, they offer more standard/Americanized Chinese-food options too. Check out Sichuan Hot Pot & Asian Cuisine’s Facebook page for more.
Lucky Bamboo China Bistro
Frank Shyong’s dad offers a firm no on this West Nashville dim sum destination, but either it’s gotten better since he last had it, or (very likely) he’s experienced a level of decent Chinese food most of us have never experienced. That Lucky Bamboo tends to win the Best of Nashville Readers’ Poll tells you, at least, that it’s among the best that Nashville has to offer, which is a higher compliment now than it was in 2007, for sure. If nothing else, they serve one particular dish that a lot of northeast expats always miss — cold noodles with sesame sauce — and do it well. This year’s Chinese Arts Alliance of Nashville’s Chinese New Year Banquet — something a lot of Chinese food aficionados look forward to all year — will be held at Lucky Bamboo this February, too. You can find tickets to the Banquet through Eventbrite. Check out Lucky Bamboo’s website for more. (Photo: Lucky Bamboo on Facebook)
Do you know a hidden Chinese-food treasure that I should know about? Please share (and if you want to keep it a secret, feel free to slide into the TJ Anderson Homes DMs).
And if, in 2019, you’re going to start looking for a new home that puts you close to your favorite Nashville restaurants, please reach out — I’d love to help. In the meantime, check out some Nashville homes for sale here. (And call or email TJ Anderson Homes here.)
TJ Anderson is a Nashville Realtor with Benchmark Realty who's helped countless clients both buy a home and sell a home in Nashville, Tennessee. He blogs about Nashville regularly, from Nashville-area....
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