Heading to Nashville for a day of meandering and food, we were heading to my favorite “guitar store” on the planet, Carter Vintage Guitar. I have had Arnold’s Country Kitchen on my list for several years, since they appeared in Garden-N’-Gun’s “50 Best Southern Foods” in the fall of 2011, and was surprised to find them sharing the same parking lot. The lunch spot was decided.
Even though we arrived a little before 11:30, the line was still out the door, pouring into the parking lot. Once we got in the door, it didn’t look any less daunting.
As we stood in the line, we passed by the first of two James Beard awards hanging on the wall. How in the world does a meat-and-three end up with two of these? We found out shortly.
The line moved amazingly quickly, and we arrived at the steam table.
That’s a second generation Arnold slicing the garlic-studded roast beef.
I decided on chicken & dumplings, macaroni-n-cheese, green beans and corn pudding.
The dumplings were superb, with just the right amount of chewiness. I was surprised, pleasantly, by the jalapeño in the mac-n-cheese, the green beans tasted just like my mom used to make and the corn pudding was perfect.
My beloved chose the roast beef, green beans, mashed potatoes and gravy and greens, with a corn muffin.
Everything that I tasted from her plate, was as good as mine, easily, and I didn’t try the greens, which she raved about. She also had a slice of their chili chocolate pie that she proclaimed “excellent”, even convincing me to try it. It still tasted like chocolate….
I, on the other hand, had the chess pie, which did not taste like chocolate and was very, very good.
The food was phenomenal. Every element of the meal was delicious. My beloved refuses to call it a “meat-and-three” because that doesn’t connotate food of this caliber. Be warned, they’re only open 10:30 – 2:45, Monday – Friday. And there will be a line, but it moves fast.