The Southeast is a great place to find a fulfillment partner. Not only are we conveniently located for shipping to the vast majority of the U.S. population, we’re also a great place to have to come visit on business.
“But what about the humidity? What about the heat? What about the deer crossings everywhere?”
Heat Shmeat. If you can’t take the heat, don’t order the hot chicken. But I assure you, we have plenty of air conditioning.
But while we’re on the subject of hot chicken, here are five of the most delicious southern delicacies Nashville has to offer that’ll have you wanting to outsource your fulfillment needs to Remar just so you’ll have a reason to keep coming back for more.
We’re not talking about fresh out of the fryer chicken, although Nashville hot chicken IS fresh out of the fryer. We’re talking spicy chicken. But not just any spicy chicken. Chicken that is marinated spicy, then dunked in hot sauce, and fried up in a hot and spicy homemade breading. This intern isn’t exactly sure how long hot chicken has been a Nashville tradition, but it’s risen pretty steeply in popularity over the last few years along with the rise of sriracha, and for good reason. It’s one of the greatest things you’ll ever put in your mouth. It’s like tiny little spice fairies are riverdancing on your tongue, and the beauty and ferocity of their steps makes you cry. It’s like a dragon decided to claim your mouth as his new hoarding cave and gets really angry when you decide to swallow him whole instead of letting him live there.
For hot chicken specialists, we recommend Hattie B’s, pictured here. It’s kind of their thing. And they get bonus points for offering hot chicken and waffles for Sunday brunch.
Eastern Mediterranean Food
If you’re feeling adventurous, but not Hot Chicken adventurous, Nashville may have a really fun solution for you. Not Italian, we’re talking Greek, Turkish, Middle Eastern bordering the Mediterranean food. It may surprise you to learn that Nashville has the largest Kurdish population of anywhere in the world, and with the influx in recent years of Kurdish peoples, we’ve also seen the influx of a lot of beautiful Greco-West Asian cuisine. You can find some pretty fantastic gyros here. I’m going to be honest with you, I haven’t tried a lot of them, because I’m not big on sandwiches/meat in general, but I can tell you what other people have told me, and by other people, I mean the unanimous annual vote of the entire Lipscomb University English Department.
My English Department’s favorite restaurant, which we get ordered in on a semesterly basis, is called Istanbul, and they do some fabulous Mediterranean food. It’s converted a lot of unbelievers over to the way of the tzatziki. I have also heard many good things about a little restaurant called Athens. I believe they were even featured on Food Network at one point. They don’t look like much, but believe you me, these places are causing a lot of buzz and infusing Nashville with their impressive flavors.
I want to clear something up first. Barbecue is not a verb in the south. It is exclusively used as a noun. If we’re cooking meat on a grill outside, we call it “grilling” or “cooking out,” but neither of those actions produce “barbecue”, which is what we call pulled pork. Ribs are ribs. Brisket is Brisket. Chicken is chicken. Pulled pork is barbecue.
This isn’t something Nashville is as famous for as, say, Memphis, or the Carolinas, but believe me when I tell you that it is nothing to be scoffed at. Pulled pork is as sacred here as it is in any other part of the south, and there are myriad options to choose from. Even a few chain restaurants sell ridiculously good barbecue.
So, these are my barbecue recommendations. If you’re in Nashville itself, Edley’s. There are two, maybe three, locations now. It’s local. It’s delicious. You can’t go wrong there. Also, this is not a strictly Nashville-based chain, but Jim ‘n Nick’s is a beautiful, beautiful place with some beautiful, beautiful meat. And cornbread muffins. And mac and cheese. In fact, it’s probably my favorite place for barbecue.
If you’re in Lebanon itself, which is an exurb of Nashville and where Remar is located, we have several hidden barbecue gems. The first, my personal Lebanon favorite for barbecue, is Stroud’s. I’ve found that with Stroud’s, either you love it or you hate it. I am a lover of Stroud’s. It’s a teeny tiny building, basically just a drive-thru, although you can eat inside as well. But it packs a lot of punch when it comes to fabulous, flavorful meat, and they do to-go really well. They also get bonus points for having the best sweet tea anywhere. Some people will tell you differently, and like anywhere else, they probably have bad days, but I like it, and I’m a really picky eater.
The second is Tom’s Blue Moon Barbecue, which is a little further away but well worth the extra miles. I actually really like Blue Moon’s breakfast. You can get a literal trashcan lid covered in sanitary paper and breakfast foods brought to your table. Plus, the bacon is smoky and just generally unbelievable. I believe they smoke their bacon themselves. The point I’m trying to make here, though, is that they’re a top-notch barbecue joint if you want something very local and very yummy. They have a pig statue on their roof. You know you’re in good hands when you see a pig on the roof.
I would also probably be stricken down by lightning if I didn’t alert you to the presence of Snow White Drive-in, which is a functioning drive-in restaurant, and I’m pretty sure we’ve had it declared a state landmark. I put this last because I’ve never actually tried their barbecue, but everyone raves about it when they remember it exists every once in a while. I have had their peanut butter milkshake, though, which is phenomenal. The shakes there are super thick and delicious and legitimately mixed by hand with love. So, they’re also a really good local alternative to Sonic, if you’re feeling like sticking it to the man.
If you’re an international customer reading this, and thinking, oh goodie! Sweet, sugary goodness is coming my way! You are wrong, and I am not sorry. Biscuits are the official bread of the south. It was pretty dang close between biscuits and cornbread, but ultimately people liked the fluff better than the grit (speaking of which, we also do grits pretty well). I love cornbread dearly, but some people try to make it into a sweet corn muffin and put peppers in it. There’s a time and place for peppers and sugar, but cornbread is not that place. Now, some people insist that cathead biscuits are the way to go, so called because they are literally the size of a cat’s head. These are good, but I actually like my biscuits a little bit smaller and doughier, not undercooked, just ever so slightly more dense. At any rate, what makes a biscuit great is fat content. I expect there to be shortening, perhaps lard, and above all else, a generous amount of butter in and on my biscuits.
If you’re from the North, or the West, don’t get me wrong. I enjoy a bagel as much as the next guy. Nashville does, too. But when it comes to breakfast breads, biscuits are still king for me. Without further ado, here are my recommendations for Nashville biscuits:
First, there’s Loveless Café. It’s world famous, and it lives up to the hype. Probably the best thing there, though, are the biscuits, which are delicious in their own right, but also come served with an assortment of homemade preserves and jams. No jellies allowed at the Loveless. You are going to get plenty of real fruit in your sugary gelatin spread. I also want to take a moment to point out that Loveless is just about as good as it gets in terms of southern food in general. Literally everything I’ve mentioned in this post, with the exception of Greek food, you can find at Loveless, and you can find it done right. They don’t have hot chicken every day, but they do have it on Fridays, and you can sub it for the regular chicken on their chicken and waffle for the most beautiful culinary experience of your life.
Second, and I hesitate to recommend this, but the biscuits are legitimately great, there is the Cracker Barrel. Cracker Barrel is a chain restaurant, but it was founded and is headquartered right here in Lebanon, TN. Cracker Barrel is not my favorite restaurant overall. (I’m spoiled when it comes to meat and threes because there’s one right across the street in Lebanon called Sunset, which hasn’t changed since 1959 and is basically the greatest thing ever. They don’t have biscuits, but they do deserve a shoutout. Go to Sunset. You won’t regret it. I promise you. It is love incarnate on a plate. But I digress.) However, one thing Cracker Barrel still gets right every time is their biscuits. Don’t be afraid to ask for extras. They’ll give them to you, and you’ll want them. Cracker Barrel biscuits are doughy and savory and are great with butter alone (and also jam, but you really don’t need it). When I go there, I usually order the hashbrown casserole, fried apples, and biscuits, which, in my opinion, are the three best things on the menu. Granted, I’ve had better hashbrown casserole, but it was made in someone’s home, so it’s kind of hard to compare.
I struggled with myself for a while, toying with the idea of leaving you with Cracker Barrel and Loveless. But it wouldn’t be right for me to leave out one of the most important pieces of biscuit information you’ll ever hear. I wouldn’t make this third recommendation if I didn’t really, really believe that they are the best biscuits in existence today. It’s shocking, but Hardee’s, fast food chain, not really that great otherwise, Carl’s Jr. on the west coast Hardee’s, makes the best biscuits there are. At least in the South, they do. I can’t speak for the Carl’s Jrs. They are drenched in butter. They are baked in butter. They get this buttery crust on the outside that’s so crunchy, but they’re so tender on the inside. There is basically one cow’s worth of butter that goes into each biscuit. If it bothers you that they’re not local, I’m genuinely very sorry that you are going to have to live your life without these biscuits. They have a biscuit person who makes the biscuits with love, I swear. Just picture a separate kitchen with a nice little grandma in it whistling while she works, if it makes you feel better, or go on living your sad, biscuitless life if you want, but this girl’s going to go get some biscuit loving from Hardee’s. (By the way, Biscuit Love is the name of another biscuit place in Nashville, which recently converted to a permanent location from being one of Nashville’s most beloved food trucks. It’s supposed to be great, but I haven’t been able to try it yet.)
And now for a little dessert. One thing that is surprisingly hard to find in Nashville is a traditional ice cream shop, your garden variety Baskin Robbins, or even a ColdStone. We just have too many options that are more unique, super fun, and absurdly yummy.
My first recommendation to you is not ice cream. It is a popsicle, or more accurately, a paleta from Las Paletas. This delicious Mexican treat is along the order of a popsicle, but with a lot of fun twists. There are all fruit paletas, creamy paletas, or combinations of both. My personal favorite is the hot chocolate paleta, a combination of creamy chocolate with cayenne and chili peppers. The dulce de leche paleta is also an out of this world caramel experience. Plus, you can’t go wrong with any of the traditional fruit paletas or a strawberries and cream. My English department also orders these in twice a year.
Right down the road from Las Paletas is a newer paleta shop called Padrino’s Pops, which has a fun Godfather-esque motif and features chocolate-dipped paletas. The quality is great, and I think theirs are a little bigger than Las Paletas’ paletas, but their flavors are more traditional. So, if you’re not feeling quite as adventurous, I recommend Padrino’s (Situated between The Well, a FANTASTIC coffee shop, and the Copper Kettle, arguably the best Meat and Three there is. Their mac and cheese makes me cry.)
Now, let’s talk about ice cream. For Nashville, there’s only one place you go if you want the best ice cream of your life, and that’s Jeni’s. There are multiple locations, but we have adopted it as our own. All their ice cream is super fresh, organic, housemade, and highly creative. I think the best combination of flavors I ever got there was a Lemon-Blueberry Jam ice cream paired with their Coffee with Cream and Sugar ice cream. Surprising? Yes. Risky? Yes. Delicious? YES. Although Jeni’s has suffered two recent listeria outbreaks, they’re back in business and shouldn’t have any more trouble from here on out. Trust me, I’d risk listeria for Jeni’s. Life is too short, and Jeni’s is too great. I’ve waited in line for over half an hour there on a Tuesday night. Believe me. It’s just that good.
Are you starving yet? Well, you should be because I am after writing all of that.
If you still need some more substantial reasons to come partner with Remar, though, you can read our next blog post, detailing some of the advantages of working with a fulfillment company in the Southeast, and much more specifically, Remar.