Hubby loves food shows. Not just cooking shows but shows about food whether it be Rachel Ray’s $30 a day, or Man Vs. Food, and one of his favorites is Diners, Drive-ins and Dives. Hubby loves Guy Fieri. He’s always been impressed with his “knowledge of food” and how he can always seems to pick out the subtle flavors in the foods. Whenever we go somewhere that he knows he’s done a show he always wants to go to one of the restaurants. Seems that he’s done several shows on Nashville and last time we went we got to go to one of those restaurants.
We got to go to this neat little meat n’ three called Arnolds. No, not the Arnolds from Happy Days. I think this building was around before then, actually! On the episode where Guy went to Arnold’s hubby was fascinated that they put wasabi in their greens and even more impressed that Guy Fieri was able to pick that out. It’s been a while since I saw the episode but if I remember correctly he was in the kitchen with the guy and says “Do I taste a hint of wasabi?” That right there hooked hubby. Hubby prides himself on his greens (as he well should, they are the bomb!) His are so good that people who do not eat greens love his. He always loves to try how other people cook theirs and when he heard those had wasabi he was determined that next time we went to Nashville, if he could find that place, we were going!
As it turns out, it is only a couple of blocks from where our daughter works. Almost smack in the middle of downtown Nashville. It’s a pretty unassuming little building (hence the “dive” part, I guess). It apparently has not only been featured on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives but also in Southern Living Magazine. It’s been family owned and operated for 27 years. And several of the children (adult children) of the owners now work there too. The guy who was on Diner’s Drive-ins and Dives was actually one of the adult children. He said he drew the short straw to be the family’s mouthpiece so to speak.
We went by and picked up son in law from Vanderbilt first and then headed down for lunch. The dining room was actually very small. Not more than a dozen or so tables and pretty narrow. The walls are covered with signed autographs of celebrities who have dined there. It has a cafeteria style line where you pick your meat and 2 or 3 veggies and head on to the cashier. They have the standards like fried chicken, chicken n’ dumplings, roast beef and corn muffins.
I got the meat loaf which had more of like a creole type sauce on it rather than the what I consider traditional ketchup based or barbeque sauce on it. It gave it a great twist I thought. Of course hubby had to get the greens because of the wasabi and he now says that they are the best greens he ever ate. I disagree with him. They were good, but not as good as his. As humble as hubby is (about everything but his cooking) he now says that his own greens are #3 on his own list. He says that Arnold’s is #1 and Gladys’ and Ron’s is #2 and his third. His is still first in my book.
After we sat down to eat we noticed that the gentleman behind the counter was in fact the one who was on Diner’s, Drive-ins and Dives. Of course hubby had to call him over and bend his ear and tell him how impressed he was with the wasabi greens. One thing led to another and we started telling him about having seen the restaurant originally on Diner’s, Drive-Ins and Dives and how impressive it was that Guy Fieri could pick that out and how knowledgeable he apparently is about food. He started chuckling and we finally coerced out of him that when they pick you for the show THEY (the show) tells you what you are going to cook for the cameras and that you have to submit a list of all the ingredients to them prior to them coming to film. No wonder he can always pick out those obscure flavors! He’s got a list of them before he ever shows up.
I think it kind of burst hubbie’s bubble a little that it turns out he’s not as great with food as her portrays himself on TV. We also found out that what he prepared wasn’t his choice because he wanted to feature the meatloaf. I think they had him do the chicken and dumplings if I remember correctly. All the food was great and even the desserts are made on site from scratch. Even the sweet tea was great which all us southerners know is VERY important. And it was pretty cheap considering you get a meat and two or three veggies and bread and beverage for under $10. This is my unsolicited and unpaid plug for Arnolds. If you’re in Nashville and want a great and fairly inexpensive lunch… go to ARNOLD’S on 8th Avenue. You won’t be sorry.