Milk & Honey (The Gulch)

Is this the "Land of Milk & Honey"? Ehh, kind of. Let's jump into this. 

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milk & honey

an american affair

Quite possibly one of the most hyped places when it comes to brunch out here in Nashville. I know because I have been here 3 weeks and I have had at least a dozen people tell me to check it out. Well on this Sunday afternoon, I decided to take my church outfit out to brunch (I was looking good so I couldn't pass up the chance). I don't want to keep you waiting so I'll say this. It's good - but it won't make ya hear church bells. 

Hodgepodge Hash and my sunglasses

Hodgepodge Hash and my sunglasses

It's filling. You will not leave this place hungry. That's something you need to know. Some brunch places are all about the boojie aspect of a brunch and they skimp you on the filling things. Not this place. Perhaps, not this dish. So needless to say, I'm down for the bigger portion. Egg was made alright (for me at least), which is a huge tell on whether a restaurant has got the consistency down. The yolk was runny on the top but had that slight cook on the bottom part of it. Close-call on that one.

Here is what I liked:

- Hash - yeah. they stole the show. Some solid hash was consumed that morning. 

- Sausage - good ole sausage. Did not taste fatty like others so I enjoyed it. Cooked real well and gave it that smoky flavor that I actually enjoyed. 

- Homemade Hot Sauce - I mean, it's just some hot sauce but I think that is what made me like it more than I should have. 

- Chipotle Crema - Loved it, but I wish I had more of it. Next time, I'll ask (yeah I'm going back)

- All Vegetables - Yes. All of them. All the vegetables on this dish were fantastic. Even the sweet potatoes were cut well. That is a hard task to do but they accomplished it!

What I did NOT like:

- Pastrami - I typically love pastrami. I like to think of myself as a faux italian. Yet this one just did not hit the mark. I felt like the cook was just off and the flavor profile fought a little with the sausage. The texture was welcomed. 

- Berries - You could get a side of hash, but no way I was doing that. Obviously not in season, so it's just a hard side item to have off-season.

That's it. It actually was a solid piece of a dish. I can see why it is the most popular of all. But here is where my path diverges (suspense). 

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It did not blow me away. That's what it came down to. I was a party of one and it took me 30 minutes to get a seat at the bar, which is a little less time than the wait. I then had to wait another 22 minutes to get my food. That is almost a complete hour of waiting for something that doesn't give the satisfaction I wanted. Price is fine. Ambiance is okay. Food was actually good. So... in summary:

shout out to the guys at the bar, who let me photograph his biscuit.

shout out to the guys at the bar, who let me photograph his biscuit.

I actually have nothing against the restaurant itself. If this was brunch on a Wednesday morning where I walk in, get seated, order, and my food comes out, I would be ecstatic. I guess my main takeaway from this would be to NOT go during the weekend craze. Hey! Can't blame a restaurants popularity and write a bad review (wait times should NEVER be a reason why a place is not good...unless your food takes 30+ minutes for a salad - then be mad)

Turns out everyone wants to be in that Land of "Milk & Honey". Highly Recommend.

5 stars for signage

5 stars for signage

 

Location: 214 11th Ave S, Nashville, TN 37203

Five Points Pizza (East Nashville)

I crave pizza about 70% of my waking days. That and Asian food. Yeah they aren't related at all but it's what the body wants! (not what it needs). So when the gracious locals said to check out Five Points Pizza, I couldn't say no.

As soon as I walked up I knew this was going to be something good. I look for organization and something different when I check out new places. The sign was well lit, and the restaurant was divided between carry-out and sit down. That took some foresight. Now if you ordered a pizza, you wouldn't have to be crammed in the dining space awkwardly looking at the guy eating right next to you (more on that later). 

Dining Area

Dining Area

Now on to the food. I tend never to let myself get to extreme hunger mode but today was an unusual day. Sat down, asked for water (with no ice), and immediately ordered the Garlic Knots. Why? Because you can immediately tell how a restaurant will be from their Garlic Knots. This is fact.

The Garlic Knots

The Garlic Knots

They weren't delicious. They weren't gross. They were just good. The bread lacked that soft, melt in your mouth sort of texture that the garlic knot should possess. The bread was just too oily. The plate was covered in it. All that caused the marinara to just roll off the Knot. Unless applied with a spoon or fork, you definitely weren't dipping it. I wish the bread itself contained more butter within it. Instead of pouring the fat on top, incorporating it may have been a wiser choice.

Either way, we quickly let those be and waited anxiously for our pizza. So some rules here: you can split pretty much any pizza except for the Brooklyn and the Old World. That means you can take your picky-eater friend out here. Besides that, you have free reign. We opted to go with the Vodka Sauce pizza and the T-Rex. 

Vodka (left), T-Rex (Right)

Vodka (left), T-Rex (Right)

Just look at it. Immediately you are like "yeah. that's gonna be good", and if you said that, you would have been correct. It was delicious. Best pizza award? nah, but for feeding all 3 of us while still being delicious it deserves some praise. the Vodka Sauce pizza had a unique flavor to it. It carried prosciutto, basil and mushrooms that all married so well. The T-Rex, as you can frankly guess, was packed with meats. The sausage carried that distinct pizza sausage flavor, but wasn't the only thing you could taste. My one and only complaint, and this may be a deal breaker for many of you, is that the crust was almost there. I think that's what really held me back. 

Now this is just the first time. I am looking forward to going back (I heard the Stromboli is magnificent). Do I recommend this place? For sure. I would definitely say that my visit there was worth it. Great toppings, amazing variety (something for everyone!), perfect price point and awesome vibes make it a worthwhile dinner spot to kick back. Pizza lovers rejoice!

Half and Half

Half and Half

Holler and Dash

Cracker Barrel, you have done it again. I very much welcome your new idea for a fast-casual, Holler and Dash.

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You really don't get the Cracker Barrel vibe. The vibe where it feels like you entered a log cabin of home style cooking. No, this is for millennials. It's a masterpiece. I mean, really. Coming from a large chain, it has exceeded all of my expectations. 

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This is just well built all around. I read reviews from others and it seems to me they just don't understand what this place is about. It's a casual and quick way to snag an amazing chicken biscuit. Right under $10, it's the perfect price point for what you get. 

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Now I got the Kickback. You can snag it with tots or with a side of fruit. Unlike many chains, the fruit actually tasted like it wasn't sitting in the fridge for days. Great plateware, amazing service and the food was delicious. Each bite was filled with flavor. This particular biscuit has some sweet pepper jam that complements the rich flavors of the goat cheese. The chicken is truly where this shines though. Although the biscuits is great, the chicken is better. It is tender. Perfectly cooked. The breading is what makes it different. The breading itself has enough spices to let it stand on it's own. I could see where some may dislike the strong flavors it brings, but I like that extra fried feel. 

Overall, I really ended up liking this place. It was exactly what I wanted. Yeah, if you want something more basic you could go to the Chick-fil-a across the street but why settle when you can have something so much more. Well done Cracker Barrel, well done.

Location: 203 Franklin Rd #120, Brentwood, TN 37027

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