12 South Taproom & Grill
2318 12th Avenue South
Nashville, TN 37204
7 Days a week: 11A – 12A
If you are a regular reader of this blog/site, you know that Tammy Algood usually handles the recipes, and I typically take the restaurant reviews. There is a good reason for this. Actually, there are two: 1. I don’t cook that much, so I’m not that familiar with recipes, other than drink recipes (see Sangria); and 2. Tammy has written 5 (Five!) cookbooks. She is definitely the recipe expert when it comes to this site.
Seldom do Tammy and I collaborate on a post. That’s not to say we don’t collaborate, but our “work” together usually involves a bottle or wine (or two) with our spouses or working together at A Toast To Tennessee Wine Festival. We’ve never co-written a post for Haute Flavor…until now.
Recently, Tammy and I had occasion to have lunch with two of the winery owners who participate in A Toast To Tennessee. We wanted to meet them at a place that was casual, yet uniquely Nashville. Nothing pretentious, just good food and atmosphere. We chose 12 South Taproom. Read on for our individual takes on the restaurant.
12 South Taproom is like a comfortable sweater among all the trendy new restaurants popping up all over the Nashville area. It sits among a plethora of other lunch and dinner options in a “get outside and walk around” part of town. I have been a frequent customer for years because of the good food, casual welcoming atmosphere, and huge selection of beer and hard cider.
One of the aspects that I really love about 12 South Taproom is that every waiter/waitress takes care of everybody. If they see a need, it’s handled and you don’t have to search out your assigned staff person. It’s strangely refreshing!
On this particular lunch day, we started with hummus and pita chips that were just the right amount for our party of four. Then I wanted something fresh and light rather than a sandwich and the tacos were perfect. There are many options, but pork was the star of the day and it was plated beautifully. It’s nice to have the add on enhancements that come with it to vary each taco as you wish. You can select corn or flour tortillas. The salsa was not too hot or mild, the guacamole was creamy and smooth and the limes added just the right citrus punch to make everything meld. Not one person had the need to pick up the salt or pepper shakers on the table … always a good sign! When I finished, I was full and satiated, but not stuffed.
The reconstruction of the outdoor covered patio is going to make this place even more appealing. 12 South Taproom opens every day at 11:00. Look for me there!
12 South Taproom and Grill sits right in the middle of the 12 South neighborhood that has become so trendy over the past few years. They opened in June 2006, and they are committed to serving food that is made with love, forethought, and personality. They feature an extensive list of beers and hard ciders, including many options for those of you who choose to avoid gluten.
The atmosphere is eclectic and comfortable, with a bar that runs almost the entire length of the building. They also have an outdoor patio (soon to be completed) that’s pretty much as large as the restaurant. There is ample parking in the rear of the building, which cannot be said for many 12 South restaurants.
After sharing the hummus (which was fantastic) with Tammy and our guests, I ordered the Smoked Chicken Burrito. It was served with a Guacamole Salad and topped with a cheese-and-verde sauce. Just as Tammy mentioned, it was plated beautifully…much more so than you would expect in a “taproom”. But that’s what makes 12 South Taproom so unique. The atmosphere is exactly what you want – and expect – from a good taproom. But the food is exactly what you would expect at a much “fancier” restaurant, except the prices are much more reasonable. For a look at the full menu, click here.
I’ve been back to 12 South Taproom since this visit, and I’m already planning for my next visit. It has quickly risen to the top of my list of go-to places in Nashville. Add it to your list. You will be glad you did.