Kristin Stangl

pass the salt

91

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A Proper Southern Lunch

Living in New York City gives me access to a mind-boggling amount of restaurants, and since moving back north two years ago, I have made considerable efforts to eat my way through the boroughs.  

But it was on a recent visit back to a place I called home for over eight years-- Nashville, Tennessee-- that I was reminded just how earnest a meal lunch can be. The south prides itself on stick-to-your-ribs meals taken at high noon. "Meat and Three" as it's called in those parts is a straightforward affair that puts our city power-lunches to shame.                                               

Like riding the subway, being "on line" at Arnold's Country Kitchen has its own set of ritualized rules. First, it's always show time. Second, no avocado toast here. 

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While the food at this James Beard Award winning joint is delicious-- it also verges on 50 Shades of Brown. Red cafeteria trays to the rescue!

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left tray (my sensible lunch): strawberry pie, sweet tea, corn muff, mac 'n cheese, collards, fried shrimp + fried green tomatoes 

Since no trip to Nashville would be complete without the other town-staple-- hot chicken-- I also include the previous day's lunch below. This was a bit of a revelation from Otaku South-- a pop-up ramen shop in east nashville. It's pork bun, sub hot chicken + pickles. Not gimmicky. Actually legit.

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I'm still not totally comfortable taking glamour shots of my food in public, so these are my quick covert efforts at composition. Any feedback is much appreciated.

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