by TJ AndersonThere’s a lot to celebrate about the Nashville food scene, and rightly, folks from around the country have been celebrating us more and more, for years now. The New York Times
Where To Find Sushi Burritos And Tater Tot Nachos And Other Delicious Mashups In Nashville
By TJ Anderson
Over the weekend, beloved Nashville food truck Funk Seoul Brother became a non-mobile Nashville fixture, soft-opening at their new Midtown location: 2057 Scarritt Place, right by Vanderbilt University.
There’s a lot on the Korean/Japanese street food menu to get excited about, from bibimbap to kimchi fried rice. But the option FSB quickly became best known for: sushi burritos — essentially, giant sushi rolls you eat like a burrito. It’s hard not to love that concept.
A bunch of the other Funk Seoul offerings are cool mashups like that — spicy tuna nachos made with fried wontons, bulgogi beef tacos — which gave me a thought. As it happens, taking one thing I love and smashing it together with another thing I love tends to create something I love double. And I know I’m not alone there.
We’re not saying any of these Nashville food purveyors necessarily invented these dishes (though some probably did). We’re just saying they’re fun, delicious and well worth ordering. Take a spin through the menu our team drew up.
Funk Seoul Brother’s specialty isn’t a one-flavor-fits-all thing — you can choose from seven different options, including more traditional sushi choices like Spicy Tuna (with sashimi tuna, carrot, cucumber and the like) and more unusual offerings, like a Godzilla burrito with hot chicken and potato chip bits. (2057 Scarritt Place, www.funkseoultruck.com)
Pacos (a.k.a. Pancake Tacos)
This isn’t on East Nashville vegetarian spot The Wild Cow’s regular menu, but they’ve been branching out for brunch recently with a special that’s got our attention: Pacos, or veggie breakfast tacos made with a pancake in place of a tortilla. Tofu scramble with seitan chorizo and vegan cheddar, popped on a pancake and topped with maple syrup, plus fresh guacamole to put it over the top. Follow the Wild Cow in Instagram to keep up with their offerings — they’re special, for sure. (And while you're at it, follow TJ Anderson Homes on Instagram too?) (1896 Eastland Avenue, thewildcow.com)
If you’ve ever been to Quebec, I’ll bet you’ve spent some quality time with their national dish: poutine, a.k.a. french fries with gravy and cheese curds. Like so many things that are inarguably terrible for you, it’s delicious. You can find a few places around town here that offer a take on poutine, usually somewhat traditional. But my favorite is kind of a mashup of poutine and Pizza Margherita. Inglewood’s Nicoletto’s Italian Kitchen has a late-night menu (9 p.m. to 2 a.m., Thursday through Saturday), and one of its shining stars is the Italian Poutine — house-made fries topped with fresh mozzarella, marinara and basil. If you’re having an epic night of celebrating, this is an outstanding way to soak up some of the… celebration. (2905A Gallatin Pike, www.nicolettos.com)
Totchos/Tater tot nachos
In their traditional state, nachos are an indulgence. But of course some smart folks have to take them even further. Many places around the country offer this take on nachos, with crispy tater tots taking the place of tortilla chips. In Nashville, our team tends to like The Flipside in 12 South, mostly because they use all the right embellishments: melty cheese, avocado, bacon, jalapeños, tomato and green onion. And you can wash it down with a root beer float and a banana split. Ugh (in a good way). (2401 12th Avenue South, www.theflipside12south.com)
Pimento Mac & Chee/grilled pimento mac & cheese sandwich
It won’t be long now until The Grilled Cheeserie becomes the next beloved Nashville food truck to open a brick-and-mortar space. Last we heard, their Hillsboro Village melt shop will be open sometime in late summer/early fall. In the meantime, you can still catch their trucks all around town, serving creative, artisan grilled cheese sandwiches, including one of their longtime specialty melt stars, the Pimento Mac & Chee. This one’s essentially a mashup of pimento cheese, mac & cheese and a grilled cheese sandwich, and those are three great tastes that go extra great together. Grab a side of roasted red pepper tomato soup, and if you’re really looking to get ridiculous, a cookie melt (chocolate chip and pretzel cookies sandwiching a salted caramel/vanilla bean marshmallow cream thing that’s just so right it’s wrong). (Various locations, grilledcheeserie.com)
PB&J French Toast Pancakes
Here’s another trio mashup that deserves a nod. Let’s start here by assuming a gluten tolerance. Everybody loves PB&J. Everybody loves pancakes. Everybody loves French toast. So… why not smash ‘em all together? Sky Blue in Historic Edgefield more or less makes a PB&J out of French toast, and stuffs it inside pancakes. It’s one of several French toast pancake options at the cozy cafe, and definitely an inspired — if calorie count-busting — amalgam. (700 Fatherland Street, skybluecoffee.com)
I’ve praised Bonuts before, because I’m apparently trying to keep Nashville’s gyms in business. Biscuit Love in The Gulch does all things biscuit well. In particular, though, we all get cravings for their mashup of the biscuit and donut, a.k.a. Bonuts, which they serve with incredibly good house-made blueberry compote and lemon mascarpone. They’re flaky like great Southern biscuits and sweet and decadent like donuts. So, bottom line, they’re awesome. (316 11th Avenue South, biscuitlove.com)
Redneck Lo Mein
If the name gives you hives a little, call this Southern New Year’s Lo Mein — downtown Nashville venue/restaurant Acme Feed & Seed takes the Chinese take-out favorite and puts a down-home spin on it, with collard greens and black-eyed peas, plus smoked chicken (photo by Susannah White). Bonus: ACME’s rooftop offers some of the coolest downtown Nashville views you’ll find in town. (101 Broadway, theacmenashville.com)
Are there other inspired food mashups in Nashville that I should know about? Your input on this important matter is more than appreciated.
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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