Want to know where locals go for comfort foods when they don’t feel like cooking? Try a meat & three. Knowing where to find good fried chicken and cornbread, biscuits and roast beef with gravy are hard to find when you’re not from here and are on vacation. Love fried chicken, chicken and dumplings, or my personal favorite is country fried steak and white gravy – so good it’ll make you smack your mama! Check out the meat & 3, which stands for the main course (meatloaf, fried chicken, you know, meat) and three sides. I usually get meat & 1 but just doesn’t sound as cool.
Arnold’s Country Kitchen has been around for more than thirty years, has proudly been a staple for locals here in Nashville. When you see it, you may shake your head about going in, but I promise you, if it’s country cooking you want, stop in and say “hey” and you’ll experience a southern tradition not found in a tour book.
Another good Meat & 3 is Swett’s off of Clifton and 28th Avenue. For over 65 years, it has been owned by the same family, passed down through generations and run by David Swett. A bit of history is available on their website, Swetts. As a side note, Swett’s is also serving at Johnny Cash’s Kitchen & Saloon, next door to the Johnny Cash Museum (see my tip on the speakeasy). They offer everything from BBQ ribs to turnip greens, fried chicken to pinto beans and don’t forget the banana pudding or cobbler – or both. Once again, don’t be fooled by the locale or appearance, I know company CEOs and Presidents who frequent Swett’s!
One of my critique partners mentioned another little-known meat & 3 destination is well known for their desserts, Wendell’s on Charlotte Pike. She tells me to try the dessert! Wendell’s Menu.
I say at least give it a try for something new and an affordable comfort food option off the beaten path.
In closing, be kind, pay it forward and buy someone a coffee or dinner; you’ll get the warm and fuzzies!
Be safe, be aware and enjoy.
See ya in the bookstores!