Business Lunch at The Southern Steak & Oyster

The Southern Steak & Oyster
150 Third Avenue South
Nashville, TN 37201
Phone: 615-724-1762
Web: www.thesouthernnashville.com

Hours:
Mon – Thu: 7:30A – 10:00P
Fri: 7:30A – Midnight
Sat: 10:00A – Midnight
Sun: 10:00A – Midnight

Today, I met a client for lunch at The Southern Steak & Oyster. The Southern, as most natives call it, is located downtown, just south of Broadway in the district known locally as SoBro. Their tag line is “South of Somewhere”, and the restaurant certainly has a southern flair.

The interior of the restaurant boasts lots of wood, but thanks to the fact that two of its four walls consist mostly of glass, it has a very light feel to it. The semi-circular bar looked to be well-stocked and tucked in nicely, despite the fact that it sits just off the center of the restaurant. The bar was pretty crowded for lunchtime, which makes me wonder what those folks do for a living. There is also a nice patio fronting 3rd Avenue.

The crowd was a good mix of hipsters and business people, although generally speaking, one should never use the words “hipsters” and “good” in the same sentence. But hey, hipsters have to eat too, right?

Depending on the time of your visit, prices range from $8 to $48. Most of the lunch selections are in the neighborhood of $12, except for the Lunch Steak, which is $28.

The lunch menu, also known as Daytime, features such items as the Barbecuban, which is a Cuban sandwich made with braised pork and served with black beans with queso fresco, as well as a Shrimp BLT, which is deep fried shrimp, jalapeno bacon, shredded lettuce and tomato on French loaf.

Each of the selections also notes from which southern city the dish takes its inspiration. I had the Grouper Sandwich, the recipe for which, according to the menu, comes from Key West. You can order the sandwich fried or blackened, and since I’m not that much into fried foods, I went with the blackened version. It came on an amazing brioche round bun, with a tangy-mustard rough cut slaw and remoulade. It was served with sweet potato fries, and the entire meal was fantastic!

If you’re not in the mood for Fish Tacos or a Southern Burger – or the items mentioned above – you can order lunch from the Anytime menu, which is a collection of soups, salads, and appetizers. Particularly interesting to me were the Saffire Steak Biscuits, which are bleu cheese biscuits served with grilled beef tenderloin and horseradish demi.  If you prefer a salad, you might go with the Hot Chicken Salad, which is spicy fried chicken, mixed greens, celery, carrots, dill pickles, and bleu cheese dressing. When I go back for lunch, I may have to try this…my aforementioned aversion to fried foods notwithstanding.

My lunch partner had the Meat ‘N 3, which today consisted of country fried pork, mac ‘n cheese, black beans, and collard greens. I’m guessing he liked it, as he cleaned his plate. I know, I said I wouldn’t be going to meat and three restaurants unless they were unique. Well, The Southern is VERY unique and, strictly speaking, it’s not a meat and three restaurant. They serve a meat and three, but that’s just the beginning.

Since it was lunch, and I didn’t have time for a nap today – or any other day – I skipped dessert.  As soon as Michelle and I can get down there for dinner, we’ll try and review some of the desserts for you. For very similar reasons, I also did not get to sample any adult beverages. More on that later, as well.

I did not notice any gluten-free selections on the menu, however, the menu did note that you should “make your server aware of any allergies”. With that in mind, I’m thinking you could certainly order some of the items as GF selections. To be honest, I forgot to ask them, and Michelle was not pleased when she discovered this. I guess we’ll be going back sooner, rather than later!

You’re probably wondering why I haven’t mentioned oysters. After all, oysters are featured in the name of the restaurant. Confession: I don’t like oysters. They do, however, serve oysters, and if they are as good as the food I had today, you’re certain to like them.

One of the highlights of the meal actually had nothing to do with the food or service, which were both excellent. Right after we were seated, Tennessee governor Bill Haslam walked in and was seated at a nearby table. My lunch partner knows Governor Haslam, and I’ve met him as well, so we both took the time to speak to him. As always, he smiled and said hello.

If you find yourself “South of Somewhere”, you should stop in at The Southern Steak & Oyster.

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