"The District" of Nashville, TN

Old Sep 7th, 2009, 01:01 PM
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"The District" of Nashville, TN

Visiting the Nashville area for the first time and have noticed "The District" area mentioned on line. We are staying at a hotel near the airport -- how close is The District?; is it near downtown? Looking for advice about what you think is the best reasonably priced restaurant in The District area? Where is a good place to park as far as proximity/cost, or is there much street parking available? Thanks for any input!
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Old Sep 7th, 2009, 01:21 PM
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The district is made up of 2nd Avenue, Lower Broadway and Printers Alley. That said you are about 10 minutes or so by taxi from the airport to downtown. There seems to be ample parking in the downtown area - we usually park just south of 2nd Avenue on 4th Avenue. There are meters closer to the downtown and no meters farther out. MOST parking though in dowtown Nashville seems to be paid parking.

As to a place to eat there are several that we've enjoyed - others don't - all a matter of personal preference. We like the Big River Brewery, Demo's, Jack's barbeque. We don't really care for Rippy's or Wildhorse. We've had decent hamburgers at Roberts - one of the honky tonks on 2nd Ave. I'm sure others will chime in with their favorites. This past weekend was our first trip to Pankcake Pantry - it was good but we weren't overly impressed. We thought most were moderately priced. Have fun planning - you'll love Nashville!
PamT
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Old Sep 7th, 2009, 03:07 PM
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The Lower Broadway/2nd Avenue area is walking distance from downtown--or is really a part of downtown. I got street parking on 2nd Avenue yesterday -- but if you need to park in a lot they're not expensive by big city standards.

The only restaurant I'd recommend for good food and a unique experience right in the District (which some people call "Lower Broadway") is Jack's BBQ.

If you want a quintessential Southern eating experience go to Monell's on 6th Avenue (near the Farmer's Market in the Germantown area--a block from the Bicentennial Mall). It's outrageously good -- and inexpensive. There's no menu. You sit at large tables with 10 or 12 other guests and they just keep bringing out platters of salads, vegetables & main courses -- in addition to the biscuits and cornbread. I think they have their amazing fried chicken every day, while other dishes vary. It's sort of like Sunday dinner at Grandma's house -- if grandma was a fantastic Southern cook.

This is NOT a fake review. It's just my favorite restaurant in Nashville -- especially for out-of-town visitors. I'm in the music biz and I've brought many celebrities there, as well as international visitors. Everybody I've brought there says it's their favorite place in Nashville. Tim McGraw and Faith Hill have eaten there -- and it probably costs less than $15 per person.

Monell's is about a 5 minutes drive from downtown/the District. http://www.tnmonells.com/index.php
Enjoy!
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Old Sep 7th, 2009, 04:43 PM
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Thanks Songdoc for the recommendation of Monell's - we'll have to try that out on our next trip. We're always looking for different places to eat. PamT
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Old Sep 7th, 2009, 04:56 PM
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There's a big parking garage on Commerce that's within sight of 2nd Avenue and about a two-minute walk down to Lower Broadway. If I remember correctly, parking there is usually about $5-8 for the night (I usually park there to go to shows at the Ryman, so I'm normally there for about 3-4 hours). You can find free or metered street parking after six if you're lucky, but if you're looking for easy and don't mind paying a few dollars, that's what I'd do.

2nd Avenue has the Wildhorse, BB King's, several clubs, that sort of thing. The Melting Pot, Spaghetti Warehouse and Market Street Pub are all on 2nd (along with Hooter's, if that's your thing). The parking garage I mentioned is directly above Demos's, which is a local chain that I'd pick first. Lower Broad has Big River (which I personally find OK, but nothing great) and Jack's for food, and the most well-known honky-tonks are down there: Tootsie's, the Stage and Robert's. If you're there early enough in the day, Ernest Tubb's Record Shop and Hatch Show Print are fun to go in.

Monell's is one of those places I keep meaning to try - one day I'll make it up there! I just heard that there's a Franklin location as well. They filed for bankruptcy a couple of months ago, but hopefully they'll be able to get things sorted and stay in business a long time.
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Old Sep 7th, 2009, 04:59 PM
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Will second Songdoc's recommendation of Monell's -- it's splendid, a family-style boarding-house spot for Southern cooking open for lunch and dinner -- especially liked their fried chicken and corn pudding -- where you can eat yourself silly for not a lot of money. Another first rate Southern food bargain spot not far from downtown (open for lunch only) is Arnold's, a classic meat-and-three place in cafeteria setup.

Will also second PamT's suggestion of Jack's BBQ on Broadway.
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Old Sep 8th, 2009, 09:45 AM
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Sorry to hear about the Franklin location of Monell's possibly going under. It's in an old historic jail and is fantastic. Oh ... that corn pudding is unbelievable!!!

I'm not all that fussy about food but I must say that I had the worst meal of my life at BB King's. At least the music was good ;-)
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Old Sep 8th, 2009, 10:21 AM
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Songdoc - I never said the food was good. I'd be surprised if it was, actually, given the touristy location, but maybe I'm just a cynic! Monell's as a company filed for Chapter 11 in June, but so far all the locations are operating like it never happened, as far as I know. I haven't heard much about it lately, which I take as a good sign - if Monell's were closing there'd be an uproar around here!
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Old Sep 9th, 2009, 09:00 AM
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From TravelinVic -- I sure appreciate everyone's responses. I think we'll have a hard enough time choosing between Monell's and Jack's Barbecue!!! This will be Friday night so hope we can get into one of these places without waiting too long.
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Old Sep 9th, 2009, 10:30 AM
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I'm going to 'third' (or 'fourth') the nomination of Monell's for best place to eat. Yes, they have filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy but both the Germantown and Franklin locations are up and running fine. Although, they did move from the old jail in Franklin to a different location (near the old courthouse). Great place to eat, very affordable and always an "experience".
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Old Sep 10th, 2009, 05:41 PM
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You might also consider Tayst on 21st. in the Vanderbilt area and Bricktop's on West End. They are two of my favorite places to eat in Nashville. Also on West End is Tin Angel which has lovely food as well.
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Old Sep 10th, 2009, 06:56 PM
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I'm going to be a dissenter here and say that I don't care for Monell's. We have one in Gallatin and the food is always served cold; even the items that should be hot. I have not been impressed. I do second the Jack's recommendations.
For the cheapest parking around the large lot across from the Renaissance Hotel between 6th and 7th Sts is usually $4 all day on weekends. Downtown is very walkable and you won't need a car to move around.
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