1120 McGavock Street
Nashville, TN 37203
Mon – Thu: 11A – 10P
Fri: 11A – 11P
Sat: 10A – 11P
Sun: 10A – 10P
Saturday & Sunday: 10A – 3P/ 2-for-1 brunch libations
Saint Anejo is the premier, upscale Mexican restaurant for the M-street juggernaut founded and run by restauranteur Chris Hyndman. With a long and successful track record that includes the erstwhile Layla Rue and Lime (sigh), Saint Anejo carries on the tradition of delivering top-shelf cuisine, mixology, and atomosphere as seen in their other M-Street restaurants, such as Kayne Prime, Virago, and Whiskey Kitchen. I’ve eaten at each of these restaurants – some more than once or twice – and I’ve never been disappointed.
In addition to serving Mexican/Latin fusion fare, Saint Anejo also features over 120 different labels of tequila and mezcal. If that’s not your thing, you can order one of 20 different beers. If that’s still not your thing, try some wine or a cocktail.
The main restaurant level features a centrally-located bar and roll-up doors that turn the entire main floor into an “outdoor” dining and bar area. Upstairs, you’ll find the Tequila Library Lounge, which may be rented for private parties and gatherings. On this day, the lounge was home to our Sunday brunch, not because we rented it, but because there was a 1-hour wait for a table downstairs, but immediate seating upstairs. And that’s something to consider. Saint Anejo – and its M-Street siblings – are “it” restaurants in one of the “it” cities. You shouldn’t expect to walk in during peak times and get immediate seating in the main dining areas. Be prepared to wait while you have a cocktail or beer, which is actually preferable, if you ask me.
We were celebrating my mother’s birthday, and we had a party of six, but we were quite comfortable upstairs in the lounge. We sat around a coffee table on a large sofa and two side chairs. There was plenty of room, and I very much enjoyed the closeness of our group. There were TVs on which were broadcast various sporting events (The Masters and soccer on this day), and excellent music that was not too loud, but loud enough to enjoy.
Michelle and I couldn’t decide between the Mahi Mahi tacos and the Carne Molida tacos, so she got fish and I ordered beef, then we swapped one each of our two tacos. Both meals were served with rice and black beans. The rice had a nice little kick to it, which I very much enjoyed, although it might be too much for some. You can get the mahi grilled or fried, and it comes with jicama slaw and a nice spicy cilantro crema. Since Michelle cannot eat gluten, we order hers grilled. We also got both the fish and the beef tacos with corn tortillas, but you can opt for flour if you want. These fish tacos were every bit as good as the fish tacos I’ve had at other places, and they rivaled my all-time favorite fish tacos, which came from Whiskey Kitchen – that is to be expected, I suppose.
The Carne Molida tacos are served with seasoned ground beef, Mexican cheese, and charro beans. The heat level was just right for most folks. I wouldn’t be upset if they had a little more heat, but to appeal to a wider audience, I can understand – and enjoy – them just as they are.
Speaking of heat, my brother-in-law ordered the Hot Chicken + Waffles, which is exactly what the name implies. The chicken is prepared with a secret recipe and served with a creme cheese drizzle atop the waffles. I tasted the chicken, and the flavor was excellent. If you’re looking for really hot, authentic Nashville Hot Chicken, however, you might want to look elsewhere, or add some hot sauce. I suggest eating it as ordered, though. The heat level mixes perfectly with the sweetness of the waffles and creme cheese sauce. Any hotter, and you would ruin the flavor blend.
Our son ordered the Dark Chocolate Waffles, and can I just say, “Dang!” This was the absolute best waffle, ever. It was served with cinnamon and whipped cream, along with a strawberry creme sauce. I still haven’t gotten over it. I came very close to exercising eminent domain and seizing his waffles for everyone to share. And by everyone, I mostly mean me.
To wash all this down, Michelle and I split 2-for-1 Red Sangrias. The Sangria was very nice – not too fruity, and it had a nice punch to it. One or two more of those, and I might have been even more worthless Sunday afternoon.
We split the tab, but the estimated cost of our drinks and meals was roughly $40 plus tax and tip. That’s an excellent price for three meals, two cocktails, and a soda. Others in our group also commented on how reasonable the price points were at Saint Anejo. For a look at their entire menu, click here. Better yet, go to Saint Anejo and sample the menu for yourself. You won’t regret it.