Biscuits, Cornbread, Rolls
Port Poached Pears
Mac n’ Cheese
Fried Pork Chop
Pan Fried Chicken
Serving Nashville residents and tourists the best in home cooked Southern cuisine for over thirty years, and having now spawned two other locations, it was almost a requirement of a trip to the Tennessee capitol to visit Monell’s, and opting to visit the original location just after 1:00pm on a Tuesday our party of three found the oft-packed 19th century building with just four seats available, a prompt seating seeing food placed before us no less than 60-seconds later with plate after plate soon to follow.
Originally opened as a sort of boarding house, the Monell family serving downhome cooking to persons staying in the residence, the space has since been converted to a one-price all you can eat experience open for lunch and dinner plus weekend brunch, and with some parties opting for a made-to-order meat-and-three option the true ‘experience’ is most certainly found at a communal table with shared plates passed amongst new friends and travelers, the food every bit as good or better than rumors have it with a pricepoint that really cannot be beat.
Beginning first with several passed sides, though some tables may begin with breads or proteins depending on what the kitchen has most recently prepared fresh, it was with attention to the fact that much more was to come that small portions of items such as green beans, mashed potatoes, stuffing, and pasta salad were sampled and first deciding to go all-in on cinnamon apples followed by corn pudding both items proved to be absolutely delightful, the biscuits and country gravy also quite impressive while cornbread proved just a bit drier than one would hope, a situation augmented admirably by butter and honey, or poached pears that are also available by the jar to take home.
Moving on, much like the sides Monell’s offers a regularly changing list of entrees and joining ever-present fried chicken that features light batter and minimal grease overlying a lean bird that could have arguably used a bit more brine or seasoning was actually the baked bird that was the best protein available, a nice spice profile overlying skin almost as crisp as that of the fried version, the pork faring far less favorably and quite tough even when taken bite for bite with cinnamon apples, most of mine remaining on the plate to allow for a second helping of corn pudding, the lone dessert of banana pudding proving a competent, if not particularly compelling, iteration with a touch to much sog to the wafers.