On the Road: A Tour Through Music City, USA
This week the final four trucks of The Great Food Truck Race took a small detour to Pottsville, Tenn., before cruising into Nashville. There they met on a farm owned by country musicians Joey and Rory Feek. Instead of sending the teams to sell, host Tyler Florence immediately introduced the week's Truck Stop cooking challenge.
Once the teams pulled up to the curbs of Nashville, they then had to deal with an unprecedented Speed Bump: The lead cooks on each truck had to sell with two students from the International Culinary School at The Art Institutes, not their teammates, who were forced to watch the action from afar.
For the next couple of weeks, we’re following the Food Trucks city by city with our guide of the best eats, compiled by the On the Road app and website. Today we’re exploring the best that Nashville has to offer. Come back next week for our picks in Cleveland.
Start your day at Bongo Java, Nashville’s oldest coffee company. It gained notoriety in 1996 when an employee discovered a “nun bun,” a cinnamon bun that looked remarkably like Mother Teresa. You can order a breakfast of bagels, burritos or baked goods, plus a hot cup of their fair-trade coffee.
Arnold’s has been doing the classic Southern “meat and three” for 30 years and they’ve pretty much perfected it. Just ask Guy, who loves the Country Fried Steak. And if that’s not enough of an endorsement, Arnold’s won a James Beard Award in 2009.
Bro's Cajun Cuisine is a legendary local joint doing a classic bayou crawfish boil with house-smoked sausage and other down-home favorites. When Guy visited, he complained he couldn’t eat the crawfish fast enough. You’ll probably run up against the same “problem.”
No visit to Tennessee is complete without a stop at Neely’s for some classic Memphis-style barbecue. The Nashville outpost won best ribs in the city and their sides are consistently raved about.
If you’ve hit meat overload (a rare condition, but it does happen), try Sloco, a locally sourced sandwich joint with a vegan meatball sub, a slow-roasted veggie sandwich and a shaved seitan option. And if your carnivorous side can’t be calmed, try their all-dark-meat chicken salad sandwich.
For a fun and affordable night out, take a page from Rachael’s book and try F. Scott’s 9 Dine promotion. Dinner after 9 p.m. is half price, and by that time the jazz shows at the restaurant are in full swing.