Culinary delights in Music City’s East end
The offerings are paired with a continuously rotating selection of craft beers on draft, including some from Nashville’s Yazoo and Jackalope breweries, as well as handmade sodas, shakes and phosphates (a soda made using Acid Phosphate, a chemical component used in small doses to add bitterness to balance the sweetness of traditional soda syrup).
The ethos behind the Pharmacy is to have adults “remember how great it was to eat, drink and play in the grass”, said Owner Terrell Raley (who also owns the nearby upscale bar and restaurant Holland House). With outdoor picnic tables covering a sunny, sloped hill and a large indoor bar where you can watch the bartenders whip up sodas and pour beers, it is easy to see why adults and children would feel a similar sense of wonder.
The 2010 neighbourhood staples
Owner Teresa Mason built a loyal following for Mas Tacos Por Favor in 2008, when she served tacos out of a colourful, retrofitted ‘74 Winnebago that she parked in front of bars in the neighbourhood’s hip downtown area of 5 Points (where Clearview, Woodland, and 11th Streets intersect).
The food truck is still in use, but East Nashville residents now head to her brick and mortar location on Mcferrin Avenue. Opened in the summer of 2010, diners file in for a taste of her legendary tortilla soup, fried avocado tacos topped with a yogurt-dill sauce, or crispy fried plantains and black beans. If you are thirsty, try the refreshing pineapple-cilantro agua fresca (infused coolers), which can be made into a tasty south-of-the-border cocktail with the addition of tequila (Mas Tacos allows diners to bring their own alcoholic beverages).
Inside, the unassuming restaurant is a hodgepodge of tin panelling, mismatched tables, Mexican tapestries and saddle blankets. The eclectic interior illustrates the collaborative effort between Mason and her creative supporters, who headed to local salvage yards to source the wood and tin used to build the space.
After dinner, head to No 308 to find a packed bar full of locals, loud music and inventive cocktails served with panache. Opened in December 2010 by Alexis Soler, No 308 hits the mark as a low-key bar with a high brow cocktail menu, with house made sodas and freshly made juices forming the backbone of their mixology staples. The list has something for everyone, with experimental favourites like the Smokey Robinson -- a savoury-sweet mixture of blanco tequila, smoked salt, honey and scotch with fresh celery and lime juice --and perfected classics like the whiskey ginger, made with house-made ginger soda for a fresh take on an old faithful.
The bar is plastered with pages of the proprietor’s favourite authors like William S Burroughs, Charles Bukowski and Richard Brautigan. Stuffed taxidermy hangs on the walls and bar seats are made of repurposed tractor parts.
Like Barista Parlor, No 308 also makes regular visits to local Porter Road Butchers and The Bloomy Rind for the charcuterie ingredients on their small plates menu. Tennessee-born chef Abby Crosett serves up diverse late-night offerings ranging from traditional Cuban black beans and rice with a fried egg (an old family recipe from Solers’ grandmother), to Nashville’s famous “Hot Chicken” Chicken Wings with a buttermilk biscuit and pickles. The kitchen stays open until 1 am on the weekends, ample time to be hungry again after a long night of sampling cocktails.