Love At First Bite - Arnold's Country Kitchen
Other than the copious amounts of food I consume or the places that I travel, y'all don't know too much about me. So, I thought I would change that. My name is Catherine Courtney and I am proud to call myself a native Nashvillian. My childhood was spent catching cats on my grandparents' farm, spending endless hours in the swimming pool and from time to time you'd find me snapping green bean, shelling peas and silking corn from my grandparents' garden. I was raised on cornbread, macaroni and tomatoes and sweet tea and remember the days when there was more farmland than building framework. While I applaud the progress that's being made in the city, I still cherish those memories fondly.
.Nashville is quite possibly the biggest small town I've ever encountered. Despite the fact that 100+ people move to the Music City daily, I still continue to run into familiar faces over and over.
Enter Kahlil Arnold. I met Kahlil at one of the many social events in Nashville and we started chatting about food and the city as locals often do. While I don't remember all of the details ( I think I am still blocking the shame out of my mind), I remember when Kahlil asked me if I had dined at his restaurant. " Umm.. well.. I've never eaten at Arnold's. For some reason, I just haven't made it there."
No lie, I hadn't made it. I was practically raised on food like that growing up so I was on the constant search for the new and different. However, I made him a promise that I would head that way and check it out.
Even though many meals and years have passed, Arnold's was still on my list. Even though it took me 30+ years to make it to this quintessential Nashville establishment, it was well worth the wait.
Arnold's Country Kitchen is quite possibly on every "it-list" and tourist guide for Nashville. A few things you should know:
- Go early. Arnold's opens at 10:30 am and we arrived a few minutes before 11:00 am. When we walked into the restaurant, there was a small line and the restaurant was about 60% full. By the time we left the restaurant, which was close to 12:30 pm, there was a line as long as the one in front of Hattie B's. People know good food.
- Do not try to count calories or adhere to some specific diet. Splurge, use your cheat day or pretend the food the is calorie free. I don't care but you don't want to miss one bite of this goodness.
- Choose your day wisely. While the tourist invasion seems to be an ongoing thing these days, I'd recommend staying away from Mondays and Fridays as there's an influx of folks in the Music City and you don't want to fight an out of towner for that last bowl of bread pudding.
- The menu offerings change daily. While there are some things that will be repeated throughout the week, it's best to plot out your visit. Check out the menu here and see what catches your eye.
You've got your guidebook, so let's jump into the details. Shall we?
Grab a red tray and make delicious decisions. First up, pie, pie and more pie. Don't pass this up. You'll see why a little later on. There's also an option for a small green salad, but let's face it, that's not why you come to Arnold's.
By now, you've stood in line for a few minutes and know what's on the menu. Once you reach this point, it's go time. Pull the trigger and make those decisions. What happens if you're torn? Order it all. They have to go containers and it's always better to try it than to have order remorse.
Without hesitation, I ordered the Roast Beef. Arnold's Country Kitchen sources their roast beef from local purveyor, Bear Creek Farms. The flavor is impeccable and is basically melts in your mouth.
As I approach the cashier, which is usually manned by Kahlil's mom, I looked at my tray and knew I made solid food choices.
My mouth was watering and I was overwhelmed with excitement. I didn't even know what to start with first.
Can we talk about the Cauliflower Casserole? I die. I've made my fair share of cauliflower dishes but nothing that tasted this good.
As if we didn't have enough food already, Kahlil brought over their can't miss Fried Chicken, but to be honest, I feel like most of their dishes are can't miss. One thing I noticed was the Creamed Corn on top of the Green Beans. I'm a southern girl through and through, but this was a first for me. OMG y'all, this blew my mind. The sweetness from the creamed corned combined with the saltiness of the green beans made for the perfect bite.
Let's talk about this little gem below, Tomato Basil Pie. This heavenly little slice of goodness is life changing. Growing up, I would eat tomatoes like apples. Literally, I'd grab them straight off the vine, wipe of the dirt and take a bite. I'm not quite sure how I managed to make it thirty+ years before having a slice of tomato pie, but some how it happened.
Seeing as I am in the midst of food conversations daily, I pick up little tidbits here and there. Off menu items, the DL on executive chefs, you name it. Through the grapevine, I had heard that Kahlil makes EPIC tomato pie. It's so epic in fact, that it was served at one of Nashville's top chef's wedding receptions.
I don't know if he puts magic in it or what but I could have devoured the entire pie. No, it's not the most photogenic entree items that I have taken a picture of but it is DAMN good.
Curious as to what's in the tiny bowl below? Another life changing dish, Bread Pudding. If you're local, this is one of the Goldberg brothers' favorite dishes.
Warm, sweet and absolutely sensational. Some of the best bread pudding I've had in ages.
Last but not least, a slice of Peach Pie. When it's peach season and the Peach Truck is rolling through Nashville, this is a no brainer. Usually, I prefer a warm pie or cobbler, but this was an interesting twist on a classic and I really enjoyed it. The crust was firm and the peaches were delightful. And that whipped cream on top? Perfection.
It goes without saying that dining at Arnold's Country Kitchen took me back to my roots and was reminiscent of food that my mom and grandma would often prepare. Whether you are a long time Nashvillian or maybe you've just moved to Music City, check out Arnold's and you will know you are home.
Until Next Time!